Step 3: Epoxy the Plug

Now that you've got the plug all washered up, it's time to bring on the magnets. Roughen the magnets and washers with sandpaper to ensure a good bond, then mix up a batch of the strongest epoxy you're comfortable with (I'm personally uncomfortable with five-minute epoxies because they set up too fast, and I like to use an epoxy that I can cut off in case I mess up).

Make sure that your magnets firmly contact both the washer and the copper foil. The magnets will be your new ground contact, so make sure that they have a good electrical connection to the ground cylinder on the original plug!

Use aluminum foil and rubber bands to make a seal so that the epoxy doesn't run off the edges. Prop the plug upright, and carefully insert epoxy in the spaces between the magnets. You don't want to get any epoxy on the top faces of the magnets, and you don't want to get any in the hole in the center. But you do want to fill the spaces between the magnets with a little pool of epoxy, bringing it almost flush with their tops.

This will seem obvious in hindsight: don't use an iron implement like a nail to apply the epoxy.
<p>Great.Thank you.I will try.</p>
Another option when the side of the laptop has been broken. After fixing the standard connector several times, it was reduced a jack connector dangling out of a large hole in the side of the laptop. Online I ordered a MagSafe replacement power jack and cord for a Mac A1278. Using Volt-Ohm meter, I traced what would be power through the replacements. After removing the original cord end and jack, I soldered the replacements in place. I then used a heat-glue gun to mount the A1278 power jack in the hole in the side of the laptop. Powered it up. <br>
<p>Any picture or tutorial on how you did this? I'd like to do this to my laptop since the power cord is on the side and I know it's gonna break off eventually.</p>
Each latops innerds will be different so it a little hard to make a set of representitive pictures. <br><br>Until it breaks, hold off: I used marine-tex, resulting in a strong but not pretty mount .<br><br>I recommend: order the part, use a VOM to figure out polarity and document. Place part and document in parts drawer for that fateful day...
Great idea. i like it a great deal, but what about the magnets affective the hard-drive and other components in the laptop? Other than that, this idea can be used for other things as well...thanks
Well, I don't know if anyone reads this article anymore, but I know I did. No. Those magnets will not affect the hard-drive or any other components. The power jack is generally never directly next to the hard-drive and the magnetic field doesn't go far enough to reach it.
You'd have to pull the hard drive out and set the magnets on top of it to do any damage, mod away without fear! Magnets outside the computer are rarely a problem, unless they are very powerful and they happen to touch just the right spot.
Well, if they can manufacture HDD's with the super-duper strong magnets next to the platters, you'd probably have to put them directly on top of the platters.
do you know how HDDs work? the magnets are electromagnets and write data onto the disk. they turn on to mgnetize a spot on the disc to store a bit. if they want to demagnetize the bit, they use the other electromagnet with reverse polarity. making a spot of 1s or 0s on your disc would be bad<br>
&nbsp;You can't wreck a hard drive with magnets<br /> They actually contain 2 very strong magnets themselves
i have seen someone total their hard drive by sticking neodyium magnets on the keyboard. they are magnetic storage devices after all. So any strong magnetic field applied in an uncontrolled manner will corrupt the information on the disk. however the magsafe link is a long way from the hard drive.
their case is shielding the inside from external magnetic forces<br>i tried it
Those are neodymium magnets. &nbsp;Very powerful magnetic field but has a very short reach so to speak. &nbsp;Once you get 5-10mm away their magnetic flux/field is at it's end. &nbsp;So your hard drive is safe.&nbsp;
This looks good. My sister's HP PSU recently gave up the ghost so I'm looking a way at reducing the mortality rate of the upcoming replacement. I was thinking of a mag-safe breakaway cable that required no modding. I'd have to obtain a 4.7/1.7mm plug (I think we sell them where I work) and a line socket (a little harder) make up a short cable with a line socket on on end, and a mag-safe type thing on the other, to which you'd plug in the existing PSU, then with the plug, you'd add the other side of the mag-safe, and leave that sat in the laptop's socket. Two parts, easily removeable, no modding. If I ever get around to this, I'll most certainly reference you. Where's a good place for magnets? (preferably international shipping)
you can destroy your hard drive with that magnets if close enough.be careful<br />
ummm&nbsp; you cant really<br />
take a try.you`ll belive me<br />
Clever!&nbsp;I would personally add the magnets to the computer instead of the cable. Then there wouldn't be any way for the magnets to harm my hard drive should the cable come near it. Despite the fact that the magnets probably won't affect the computer, stronger magnets and sensitive expensive electronics usually don't mix well.... Good coupling!<br />
Another way of doing this would be to cut the cord about three inches from the connector, then connect the wires on the cut ends of the cord to the magnets so that the magnetic leads are only attracted to their proper mates. You know, so that ground attracts to ground but repels V+. That way your not gluing stuff to your laptop and the magnets are further away from the hard drive. Not that this isn't a fantastic mod, though.
I think the magnetic break-away cable idea is a good one. It would be much easier to make. If you were really worried about reverse polarity, you could just throw in a diode bridge or rectifier on the laptop end of the cable.
A diode bridge only used for AC&nbsp;to DC.&nbsp; The power is already DC&nbsp;coming from the adapter.<br />
Think about it a little further Kegtapper, AC is composed of alternating polarities, and a diode bridge outputs a single specific polarity.&nbsp; If your bridge is hooked up to provide the output you need, it doesn't matter which polarity you apply to the input.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> New inventions are often created from old things used in new ways. An inventor might say that something is usually used for a specific purpose, but shouldn't ever say that anything is used for one purpose and for one purpose only.&nbsp; The Chinese used to think that gunpowder was only for fireworks.<br />
I want an older Thinkpad so bad, but for the same price I can get a new laptop without the &quot;nipple&quot;.
our deep fryer has one of these on the power cables. because it isn't really a good thing when a pot of hot oil goes all over the floor. &nbsp;
&nbsp;Great instructable too bad it isn't &nbsp;very easily applicable to my mini9 power connector. Looking forward to reading your ring magnet version.
I had wanted to make a connector that when I plugged it in as I drove up to my car it would put 110 vac into the car. Then in the morning I could have a regular electric heater come on for 20 minutes or so and really warm up the inside of the car. Then rather than slipping around trying to unplug it in the cold I wanted a way that I could just "drive off" . And the unit would unplug itself. Obviously a regular power cord WOULD work but it's not very proper way to do it. This idea is pretty good if I could have made up a couple of sockets with protected 110vac holes that pins would drop into. Thanks for the help with an idea. It might still work for me.
<p>Shop around for used kitchen appliances that use magnet to retain the power cord to srip the parts off. You would still have to hook it up, but could drive off in the morning.&nbsp; I believe Anderson Power Poles have products that will make&nbsp; a mechanical electrical connection, but you'll pay for those. Anyway tou could make&nbsp; standard cord connection work, if you devise a way to have someting other than the electrical cord to take the strain of pulling the connector apart.</p>
I wish I'd seen this about $300 ago. My daughter can't seem to keep from knocking the plug out of the inside of her laptop. I can't believe it never occurred to me to look here for an answer. I never did get the magnetic plug thing until my wife brought home a Macbook from her school. Now I'm convinced. Leave it to Apple to innovate for the rest of us. This is a fantastic Instructable. Could you just clarify how many magnets to use ;-) -seriously though, the ring magnet is the way to fly. Great job!
As it often soes Apple copied another idea that has been in existance, not that I'm saying apple hsn't had any original ideas. My inexpensive&nbsp;Dollar Store deep frier uses magnets retain the power cord.
it says 4 if you scroll over the magnest in the second picture
I am actually working on a USB version, not to be &quot;breakaway&quot;, but to be unisex, so that a male = female connector. Coming along well-ish.<br/>
You should look at the construction of the Anderson "powerpole" connectors, and the old IBM Token Ring genderless connectors, for design ideas. Also the old General Radio coax connector, and the APC-7 instrumentation connector. Just curious, what do you intend to do with a genderless USB connector, aside from accidentally connecting two hosts together and watching their power logic fight and/or fry? Is On-the-Go common enough to justify this?
I have just so many different USB cables hanging around, and I can never match A to B... so to speak. I am smart enough to not do stupid things... Oh, and after reading my post, I forgot to say why I posted it here. I was planning on using magnets, and this instructable was inspirational.
And actually, I just figured it out awhile ago, sorta. Not exactly what I had in mind, but awesome none-the less :-) Instructable coming soon!
Has anyone consider the low current rating of the USB&nbsp;connectors? If I remember correctly the Acers use 19v @ 3.4A&nbsp; And USB&nbsp;connectors are rated considerably lower. Most of the USB&nbsp;devices don't even carry 1A.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Watch your power rating, or you will have a melted plug stuck to the side, or worse yet, a short that cannot be pulled out.&nbsp; Yes I am a 'Laptop Doctor'<br />
I want to make the same thing, magnetic USB connector. Where can I read the instructions? Can you solder any wire to the surface of the NIB magnets? Do you have to wrap the magnets with some kind of copper or tin strips? Thanks for sharing.
You can probably solder any common type of wire to the magnets, with a few gotchas to watch out for. Firstly, aluminium is not great for soldering to because it is covered with a layer of very hard oxide which stops the solder "wetting" it properly- you have to sand aluminium quite hard if you want to solder to it. Copper tends not to have this problem, iron/steel might and stainless steel will probably also need sanding. Secondly, soldering to magnets is not a great idea because magnets don't like heat. Excessive heat makes magnets lose some or all of their magnetism (depending how hot you get them for how long), so soldering to magnets is usually discouraged. You are probably better off letting them stick themselves to a piece of steel, adding epoxy around the sides to keep them in place, and then soldering the steel connection to your wires to keep the heat away from the magnets. This instructable uses epoxy and contact fittings to avoid soldering near the magnets at all, and that is probably the best solution if you can do it.
This is great! I wonder if anybody has tried it with poured resin instead of epoxy, maybe enclosing the group of washers as well so that only the magnet surfaces are exposed? You could pour too much and dremel / sand down to expose the magnets after. Stick a bit of tightly rolled paper topped with clay in the tube part to keep resin out of there.
Epoxy is a type of resin.&nbsp; Most epoxy resins are liquid and can be poured.&nbsp; 5min epoxy is the exception, not the norm.&nbsp; You might be thinking of polyester or vinylester resins.&nbsp; I am building a Cozy MKIV which is epoxy/fiberglass/foam composite.&nbsp; Most epoxy you see in hardware stores is the 5min variety, mostly because it's pretty expensive compared to polyester resin, and most varieties of epoxy use pretty nasty chemicals for the hardener.&nbsp; Brain damage, skin reactions, etc.&nbsp; As always follow the safety instructions on the packaging!
Last but not least: the power plug from the adapter had that recessed post-receptacle for a reason: they don't want to shock users with 16VDC. This mod bypasses that safety factor. The MagSafe has 16.5VDC on its pins too but the middle one keeps the plug from being energized unless it's connected to the laptop. This one will be energized full-time. I'd guess 16VDC isn't enough to hurt if accidentally touched with fingers, but if you have kids I'd think twice about this. I don't have kids so it's a-modding I will go! Thanks for a great idea! I can see this being useful for all kinds of power sockets, too. Another idea: they make ring-shaped rare-earth magnets *grin*
Most smart power supplies automatically shut off when shorted.&nbsp; I wouldn't put this kind of connector on a &quot;dumb&quot; wall wort type of PS.&nbsp; But a laptop PS has a lot more going on than just a DC source, even the ones with just ground and power connections.<br />
Yeah! I just got a ring magnet, and it's about a million times better. I'll try to update this Instructable once I get some pics and some free time.
it is a great idea!!! but i just put the magnetic power conector of a blender ruined of my kitchen, and it works very well in my laptop... try it if you hace a ruined machine at home that has this kind of power conector and its easier!!... an' also you can get one in a flea market, my cousin find one in 3 dollars!... i think you shoul try it!!! its better!!! :)
you could just buy a mac
Couldn't you put the magnets on the laptop, and put a washer in front of them? Here's a crappy ascii diagram: | m K pin/post | m K The | is a washer, m is magnet, K is laptop. This way you're not using magnets as contacts, and the cost of doing more than one rises more with the number of laptops vs. the number of power adapters.
Very VERY kool. I am not having any problems with my plugs (yet), bit I might just do it anyway. I think that I have seem 'washer' type FeNd (Neo) magnets. I'll grab a few of those to keep it more on the rounded side. A+
What you don't make clear is how you put in the spring and the + aluminum contact. How does it stay together and not fall out of the magnetic adapter on the plug side yet spring back and forth as necessary
this is a truely creative hack! my hats off to you sir!
You never mentioned this but somehow I think it would be important to arrange the magnets in a proper north south series but I am not sure what it would be
Really elegant. Have you made a video of how your modification works? I don't mean showing the whole process, just showing how the power plug mates to the jack and then how it comes apart. <br/> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://tinyurl.com/2f4bfk">I have a page here</a> where I have been collecting information on laptop DC power jacks and plugs, problems, solutions &amp; resources as a reference for any laptop users interested in learning about the common problems.<br/>

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More by breath:ThinkSafe: A Magnetic Power Connector for Thinkpads 
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