Monday, 26 November 2012

Repairing my Magsafe T connector

As I already have mentioned, the power cord of my laptop was cut because of too much use and twisting. I needed to fix it, because I need my laptop to work. (And have access to my previous work too)

So I searched for options:
a) buy a new adaptor
b) give it for repair
c) repair it myself

Guess what I chose.^^

Option a) was instantly left out, mainly because a new adaptor costs 90 euros, and it really makes no sense: the adaptor is fine, the cord in just one edge is not. Option b) was so and so, but in the end I also left this option out, since I would have to pay I-don't-know-how-much for such a small repair, and also not be 100% sure that they won't make any serious mistakes or butcher the remaining working parts. 

So I went for option c). And here is how it went:

First I searched for repair videos. Found mostly for the new(?) magsafe connector, which I don't have, which makes the videos useless. But I found one or two for my situation. The best I think is this one, and although I don't entirely like how the guy handles the parts, almost like a butcher, destroying everything to open up such a small and delicate thing, it was a good opportunity to get an idea of how the connector is constructed - before opening it myself. 

The tools I used were a black thick pensil tool, pliers, a cutter, a soldering iron, rosin core solder,burn resistant soldering paste flux and a very very thin screwdriver.

the extent of the damaged cord
the extent of the damaged cord

I will be describing the procedure in steps:
Step 1: I used the pensil tool to 'loosen up' a bit the 2 sides of the white cover, like how it is shown in the video.
Step 2: I removed the white cover by pushing it to the side of the cord while holding the magnet with the pliers.

Step 3: As shown in the video, I removed the two tiny yellow bars in the magnet by using the thin screwdriver and then removed the magnet. 
Step 4: Removed the silicon part carefully - didn't cut or break any of the sides.

Step 5: Cut the cord a few centimeters away from the damage and used the soldering iron to release the 3 connected parts from the board. Removed the silicon protector and the T 'glove' from the damaged part.

Step 6: Cut very gently the outer layer of the non-damaged cord, a few centimeters away from the clean cut. Separated the outer layer of thin strings to two and twisted them tightly.

Step 7: Made another gentle cut (we don't want to destroy the strings!) to the inner cord layer but this time only 1-2cm away from the clean cut. Twisted the strings a bit together. Also used the two black plastic protectors from the previous soldered parts and put them on the newly twisted strings.

Step 8: This was a bit of a pain in the ass, so try to remove the metal part from the T 'glove' first. When that is done, take the white part and pass it through the twisted strings and fit it through the not-opened cord. Then loosen up a bit the metal part and just fit it directly to the cord. Like a resizable ring. (Opposite way than in the picture!) Then fit the metal part in it's place once again.

Step 9: Soldering! First I adjusted the 3 smaller cords to their positions and then cut any excess parts. I soldered the tips of the strings first together and then to the board. Be sure not to solder outside of the borders of the board. If your soldering becomes too big, the white cap won't fit. 

Step 10: Time to put the parts back together. First the magnet, then the silicon protector, which might not entirely fit (because your soldering is different). You may cut out some parts or make them larger or even not put it at all. Then you have to push the T 'glove' to the white cap. But before that, you should check whether the metal part of the T 'glove' actually can cover the 3-small cord aera. If it's too tight, then take it off entirely, it might damage the strings and all the work you have done so far. But the white cap back on carefully. (I was not very careful and got a small crack in one side)

Step 11: Connect it and see if it works!

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