In this MagSafe Plug repair guide I’ll, obviously, tell you how to fix a T-shaped MagSafe plug. :-) Note that you have to be carefull. With another(3rd party mac PSU) I managed to break my left I/O board(at least, the charge controller on it).
Lets start of with the plug:
You see the cable broke off just next to the block. To fix this, we’ll have to open up the plug. Open it up? Yes, you’ll be surprised how much electronics is in there.
Step one: Tools
Get some tools. You’ll need small pliers, a pin(or two), small soldering iron, solder, de-solder pump, a knife, a glue gun and some tea to take a break now and then.
Step two: Get the plastic cap off
To do this, check out the next picture:
You see that there are four notches that more or less hold the cap in place. Use your pin to force the cap off. You can press the plug on the table in a way that the small piece of remaining cable pushes the plug out of its housing, while you’re fiddling with the pin and the notches.
Here’s another pic from the plug, without its housing, with the notches circled/squared.
Note that I damaged one of the notches. You can avoid this by being careful. :-)
As you might have noticed, I removed the metal cap that slides over the connector’s pins. Later I found that this wasn’t necessary, but if you want to do so, push out the little brass pins that secure it to the rest of the plug, and keep them in a very safe place(!). Picture!
Step three: Cut the crap
The whole inside of the plug is covered in glue, and we need to solder there, so cut the glue off. An easy way to do this, is cut along the edges of the small PCB, and the fold it aside. Vague? Pic’s!
Here’s an overview of the plug as it is now. Note the IC with “A3, 2100, 608A1″ on it. It communicates with the controller in your laptop, telling your laptop the type of power supply(It’s ID, serial number, wattage, etc.) and controlling the charging.
Noteworthy is that the positive wire(+18.5/16.5v) is connected on one side, but the GND is connected on both sides.
Step four: Strip it down
Take off the rubber thingy from the cable, and the metal thingy from underneath. Then desolder the cables, and remove the leftover tin with your solder pump. Several steps, several pictures.
I’ll elaborate a bit on the preparation of the wire. You start with cutting the wire, so you have a clean start. Then, strip off about an inch of the outer insulation. Then, carefully untwist the GND wires, which shield the positive center wire. If you look closely, you’ll find the there are two layers of GND wire. One twisted one way, and one twisted the other way. So untwist them in their direction, and move half of the fibers to one side, and the other half to the other side. Twist them both as shown on the image. The center wire is obviously much to long, so cut it off to about 1cm(2/5″). Beware! We need the piece you just cut off! You’ll see… Then, strip the tip of the positive wire, just 3mm or something equal in inches. Twist the tip, so that the fibers won’t stick out when you solder it to the PCB, and put solder tin on the tip.
Step six: Solder the wire to the plug
Carefully solder the center wire to the solder pad on the plug’s PCB.
That’s one. Not much to say, just be careful not to connect it to anything it shouldn’t connect to. Next, 1st GND wire. Here’s where the piece of wire you cut off earlier comes in handy. Take e small piece of it’s insulation, and put in on the GND(green arrow) and then put a little solder on the wire(blue arrow). Cut the wire so that it doesn’t stick out, and solder it, again carefully, to the PCB. Note that if you make the PCB to hot, it might melt the glue that sort of protects the components, or even unsolder components. So be quick. :-)
So, now the plug is electrically fixed, but it looks, and is, pretty fragile.
Take you glue gun, and cover the plug in glue. Put more on it than fits in the plastic cap, and cut it off later. You can shave off a little of the insulation of you cables, just be careful that it can’t connect to anything. When you finished glueing and cutting it to the right size, put back the metal tip of the plug if you removed it. You’ll need to do it now, because next steps are putting the cap back on, and that’ll cover the brass pins.
Now, put back the little metal thingy and the little rubber thingy, and slide the plastic cap on. In my case I had to leave out the rubber thingy, because I couldn’t get it through the hole of the plastic cap.
Hope you enjoyed, and saved yourself some 80 bucks for a new Magsafe. If I forgot something, made some typo’s or misspellings(is that even a word?), or you just want to share a thought, please leave a comment. :-)