Thursday, 17 July 2008

Laptop power plug fixed.

For a while now, my laptop power plug has been getting really annoying. It will only charge the laptop if it is left in a certain position - with the plug fully inserted and the wire bent to the side - and often runs the battery down, as my laptop is typically on most of the time. The screen keeps dipping in and out of power saving mode (going dim and then bright) as the power is connected and disconnected.

This got too annoying last night, so I fiddled with the power plug and the entire plug barrel came out of the plastic shield. It seems that the tiny solder joints holding the plug into the shield had broken (leading to the intermittent power connection).

Time for a fix.

I cut away the shield to expose the connectors at the back. This was a replacement 'generic' PSU, so it had a generic two-pin connector to several sizes of power plug. I could then re-solder the power connectors, like so:

Then I grabbed some of the 'Polymorph' (CAPA) plastic from my RepRap project. Softening a bit in some hot water, it could be moulded into a custom 'made to fit' plug shield for the laptop:


It looks a bit different, but it does provide a stable power connection and will allow my aging tablet PC to limp along for a while yet. It also seems to be more securely plugged in.

3 comments:

Mark said...

Nice :o) Do you have a problem with it getting hot and softening?

Renoir said...

It's been stable so far. When I get the RepRap working, I can extrude a plug shield using ABS which is stable to well over 100 C.

Pat Galea said...

When you get the RepRap working, you can use it to build you a new laptop! :-)