Emergency AC Adapter Cord Fix.

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About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

Ten years ago I was in middle of the Arabian Desert. My company commander came to me with a ruined power cord and asked “can you fix this?” He had tripped over the cord to his lap top; ripping the plug end right off. I said “sure, where’s the plug?” “Gone.”

We couldn’t exactly go to Best Buy, so I used what I had to make it work. With a couple paper clips, straw, coat hanger and, some chewing gum, it lasted until the mail was up and running. By then he had a new power cord shipped to him. I’ve recreated that emergency repair for this instructable. I used only a multi-tool, just like I did back then.

Step 1: Strip the Wires.

Use the blade to separate the wires. Next strip the ends with the cutting parts of the pliers. Only use light pressure or you’ll start cutting the individual wires.

Step 2: The Inner Coil.

Cut out a section of coat hanger wire. This wire is very close in diameter to the pin that makes the connection at the receiving side. Wrap a paper clip around it until it’s is too difficult to bend by hand. Then make a thimble out of the coat hanger to further push the wire around. The last little end of wire can be coiled with the pliers.

Step 3: Insulation.

Here’s where the straw comes in. Cut a section of straw down the side. Roll it between your fingers until it reduces in diameter. Place it over the inner coil which is still on the section of coat hanger wire.

Step 4: Outer Coil.

Wrap a second paper clip around the straw and inner coil. Use the multi-tool to even the coil out so it’s the lengths match. Cut a new section of straw since this one gets mangled in the process.

Step 5: Put It Together.

Crimp the paper clips onto the wires. Place the straw insulation around the inner coil. After it's together, trim off the excess insulation.

Step 6: Gum Grip.

Yes you can chew the gum but, I think a little water is better for this application. Wash any powder off the gum and kneed it until it looks like regular old chewed gum. Form it around the plug and let it sit. Make sure it doesn't interfere with any other connections. As it dries it will harden; supporting the wires and serving as a grip.

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    32 Discussions

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    Carl Stone

    8 months ago

    Nice fix! You must enter in a future McGiver contest :D

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    grtyvr

    2 years ago

    Brilliant! Things like this is what make this site great!

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    Phildbasket

    2 years ago

    Heat shrink tubing is always a good idea. I also like to stagar the splices. Cut both ends of the wire where one lead is 1/2" longer than the other. Keep polarity in mind when you make final connection. It's a redundancy when more than one safety measures exists, thats why I like it.

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    SherylinRM

    2 years ago

    Question.

    Once the two pieces are made, would it not be a tad better to separate them with heat shrink tubing?

    thanks :)

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    mario59

    2 years ago

    Fantastic and incredibly "imaginative" 'ible...

    I will try by myself just to see it working!!!! congratulations!

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    dlindstrom

    2 years ago

    WOW. Again everything I have come to love and expect from the instructables community. Ingenious!

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    Dustin Rogers

    3 years ago

    FANTASTIC!! I love solutions like this. I would have never thought about this process. Thanks, this is going in my mental rolodex

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    TheCommander

    3 years ago

    your resourcefulness is respectable.

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    Legendoflaw

    5 years ago

    But..what flavor gum was it? jk... This is def desperation vs genius and it looks like genius won.

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    veeguy

    5 years ago on Step 6

    I love this! As a long time electronic technician I am impressed. This is a very workable "chewing gum and bailing wire" fix. I must admit, if the plug were missing, I'd probably have opened the case and temporarily soldered the PS wires to the circuit board until a replacement cord arrived. Of course that assumes I have solder and tools along with me. Your fix is ingenious.

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    Phiske

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Still hope you win! Just an idea, but swap your first and second pic. Maybe it will pop a little more. Good luck!

    1 reply
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    MrballengPhiske

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the well wishes and advice. I've always wanted a leather jacket. =)

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    squee2088

    5 years ago on Introduction

    This could really save somebody's tail one day! Thank you in advance, in case I ever need to do this!

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    Mrdewdew

    5 years ago

    Looks like you just got my vote

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    Phiske

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Kudos to you! ( do they still make kudos bars? ) True Macgyver style. Hope there's no hanging chads cuz you got my vote Macgruber!

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    spiderham

    5 years ago on Step 6

    I love the way your mind works. Brilliant!