If you own a Macbook, you know the frustration that comes as your power adapters cord slowly frays over the course of a year or two. I usually don’t mind giving Apple my hard earned dollars, but I’ve had to buy one too many $80 power adapters in my life.
The worst is when you’ve been putting it off for months. You arrive at your gig and pull out your power adapter from your stuffed DJ bag only to find it’s decided to become two power adapters, neither of which will get you through a 4 hour DJ set. Cue the panic’d phone calls to all the DJ’s you know in the area and frantically looking up directions and travel times to the nearest Apple Store or Best Buy. Can you get there and back before you have to play your first track? I’d bet that Best Buy saved you at least once since the Apple Store was twice as far away.
Well I finally had enough of this! When that thin little wire they call a power cord recently started showing signs of giving up on one of my power adapters, I did some research and found a way to fix my adapter for just $10 (with free shipping using Amazon Prime)!
I will say that this is not a fix I could see Jay Spring pulling off. It does require a bit of engineering. You’ll need at least a bit of experience with a soldering iron (I use the Weller WLC100 soldering iron on Amazon) and the willingness to buy a full priced adapter if you mess up. This was a no-brainer for me. The chance to be my very own hero by fixing my power adapter for $10 was too much to resist.
Tools you need:
- Soldering Iron
- Needle Nose Pliers
First you need to buy a replacement Magsafe cord. Before you jump the gun, there are TWO types of Magsafe adapters out there right now, so you’ll need to determine which one you need. Magsafe 1 is what you have if your Macbook is from May 2012 or earlier. Magsafe 2 is thinner and is used on the new Retina and Air lines. See the picture from arstechnica.com below to determine which you have.
I found my Magsafe 1 and Magsafe 2 replacement cords on Amazon for $10. These usually ship directly from China, so be prepared to wait 3-4 weeks for it to arrive. This is NOT the last minute, “Oh Shit, my power cord just broke for good,” fix.
Once your replacement cord arrives, break out the tools listed above for 20 minutes of nervous fun. I’m not gonna lie, I was praying the whole time that I wouldn’t, a) brick my power adapter b) electrocute myself. When it comes to B, it’s a good idea to leave your power adapter unplugged for a day or two before doing this project. A good amount of juice can build up in the power adapters capacitors, so BE CAREFUL!
I followed this video which walks you through the steps of breaking open your power adapter, removing the frayed end, attaching the replacement cord and putting it all back together again.
The one thing I would add to the tutorial is using one or two clamps to keep the adapter together while the superglue takes hold.
And the finished product! A working Mackbook Pro power adapter. As you can see, the top and bottom half didn’t set perfectly with the glue, but at $70 savings, it’s good enough for me.