Repair Your Macintosh Power Cord





Introduction: Repair Your Macintosh Power Cord

Tired of Mighty Apple charging you beaucoup $$$ for those badly designed power adapters which break all the time? Repair it yourself!

Step 1: Slide Back the Sheath

My sheath was cracked already, so it was easy to slide back.

Assuming yours is intact, I think a good swift twist/tug with a pair of pliers should snap it loose.

Step 2: Cut Off Faulty Wire

Cut the power wire a couple inches shy of the strain relief. Desolder and discard the short section and the strain relief.

Step 3: Prepare Wire

Strip off the sheath to about 15mm from the end.

Separate the copper strands from the green nylon, from the smaller wire.

Twist the copper strands.

Cut off the green nylon.

Strip the smaller wire.

Tin the ends of both wires.

Step 4: Heat Shrink Tubing

Cut a very small "sock" of heat shrink tubing, and place it over the copper wire. Heat to shrink, using a cigarette lighter, a heat gun, or the edge of your soldering iron.

Step 5: Prepare Plug

Desolder the old wires from the circuit board on the back of the plug. MAKE SURE TO NOTE WHICH WIRE WAS ATTACHED TO WHICH PAD!

Now, apply some nice fresh solder to the two pads you liberated, to get them ready for their new wires.

Step 6: Solder Wires

First, make sure the connector sheath is STILL ON THE CORD. If it's not, slip it over the end of the cord before proceeding. I have made this mistake probably 200 times in my life :(

Carefully solder each wire to its respective solder pad.

Step 7: Sheath and Strain Relief

Slide the sheath back down the cable onto the jack assembly. Yours should snap into place. Mine is broken, so no snap-action here...

Since mine was broken, I applied some electrical tape to bandage it.

Now for the coup-de-grace: Heat up your glue gun, and fashion a nice strain relief out of hot-melt glue!

Et voila! Just as good as new. Actually, probably better than new. And: it's got that post-apocalyptic look I know you love :)



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    64 Discussions

    Yea, this is exactly why I look at the power cord of the computer I am buying ... if it cant be replaced by a 3$ radio shack park I dont want to shell out a pile of money, darn well knowing its going to take another pile of money or a afternoon to fix.

    Or, better yet, put the end of the wire, (the very end) into a flame, and pull it out. The first few millimeters should have burned off. If more is needed, stick it a little further into the flame.

    As long as you have your soldering iron out, weld up the seam in the circle part of the connector. I put a big blob on it and then took a file and got it a smooth as I could. Stays in way better and it can't splay out any more.

    May I suggest using something like Caulk or even epoxy instead of hot glue, after a while it tends to come unstuck (for lack of a better word), It's not really designed to be permanent, especially in an area like that where there's a lot of movement.

    The sheath can be easily removed by inserting a thin blade between the clear ring and white sheath. Gently press on the blade while rotating the sheath. This will separate these two components slightly. Once this is done, use your teeth to pull on the clear ring and push on the sheath ( charger tip poiting toward your throat. This will result in a full removal.

    2 replies

    Thanks, better than distorting the metal power sheath with pliers like I did. Still works but tight fit in mac.

    Good stuff, geo. My iBook is charging again as we speak. To avoid messing with the tiny circuit board, I carved away the lumpy part of the strain relief and found a small steel band, inside which was some healthy wire already soldered to the board. I cut, stripped and tinned everything, soldered and taped, and it's fine.

    What I did notice was something that may have contributed to why these are flimsy -- the braid wasn't tinned in the original hookup, not even twisted, and the nylon was still flopping about in there. Can't possibly have been a good connection.

    Great instructions. Something similar happened to my powerbook G4 adapter. When I went to remove the outer white insulation to get to the two wires inside, i found one wire in grey insulation, and the other wire in a braided mesh around a green nylon string.

    Any suggestions on how to connect this braided wire with the end connected to the plug?

    This was great. This page came up when I was looking for a place to buy a new power cord. Not only did it save me money but time as well. I didn't want to wait a week to get a new power cord, thats to long to be with out a computer. Good old powerbook G4, still going strong after 6 years.

    1 reply

    ditto, my powerbook g4 is still going strong... it's just the power adapters that keep crapping out on me. Too bad I don't have a soldering iron handy otherwise I would totally do this. I have too many of these power bricks lying around. As of right now I've got my powerbook at a weird angle just to get the plug to charge my laptop.

    Enhanced strain relief; finish up by adding a small piece of nylon wire tie or similar material between the shrink tube and the outer jacket of the power cable power cable where it exits the plug housing. This will add a little "spine" to your strain relief. YMMV.

    Well, this was certainly a fun, albeit necessary, project. Thank you so much for the instructions - made this much easier than me just making crap up and hoping for the best, lol.

    To take the plug apart you need to hold the metal part. and twist and pull the plastic part - Mine came of quite easily. I fixated the metal tip in a vice using some O-rings (3mm) that just fitted inside the tip so the outer metal shield did not get squashed when is fasten it.

    Great ideas - thankyou. - however I have 2 mac laptop power supplies with a problem where the small cord enters the power unit. Does anyone have an easy fix for this? I haven't tried to take one apart yet.

    So... is the function of the round metal sleeve over the power tip only a safety measure - to keep you from plugging he power supply into the headphone socket, for instance?

    1 reply

    The sleeve has nothing to do with the actual power. It is just for extra damage protection and to prevent the plug from shorting. Since the actual power connector is similar to the 1/8" headphone jack, if there was no sleeve anytime the plug touched something it would short.