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Summary:

Apple engineers are some of the most imaginative and pioneering in the technology industry. But they missed the boat on the design of my 65W Powerbook G4 adapter. About one year after I bought my $3900 Powerbook, the power supply started to short out. Of course […]

acrepair1Apple engineers are some of the most imaginative and pioneering in the technology industry. But they missed the boat on the design of my 65W Powerbook G4 adapter.

About one year after I bought my $3900 Powerbook, the power supply started to short out. Of course this event occurred after the warranty had expired. The smaller white cable coming out of the supply takes on a ton of stress through daily use. Eventually this thin cable weakened and shorted out completely. It shorted out to the point of actually sparking and melting the plastic. I’m lucky I didn’t have to sue Apple for my house burning to the ground.

repair3When my first power supply shorted out I looked at it for a bit to see if I could fix it. But the white casing was pretty much permanent and I didn’t want to destroy it. So I ponied up the big bucks and bought a new one.

This week my 2nd adapter shorted out completely. And since my battery only lasts about 7 minutes I was dead in the water. I really didn’t want to fork out more bucks on another new supply so I decided to crack it open. I was able to fix the problem and put it back together, just like new….sort of.

First I had to crack open the casing. The supply was obviously designed to be disposable and the casing had no latches or screws holding it together. I had to hammer a thin screwdriver around the edges and eventually cracked the egg open.

repair4The short in the cable was at the weak point where the cable goes into the casing. So I cut off about 2 inches of the cable, twisted it back together, soldered it and covered it with electrical tape. I tested it out before I put the case back together and it was good to go.

I then put the casing back together and used some gaffer’s tape to attach the casing’s shells back together. As you can see in the final pic, the case looks just like new….sort of. I didn’t want to use glue or epoxy, as I figured I’ll have to do this repair again. So I used Gaffer’s tape because it can easily come off to do the repair again.

I saved myself at least $80 this time. I only wish I would have done it the first time.

By Tony Korologos

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  1. There is some talk about this on the apple discussion boards. Also, you should really look into getting applecare, its really worth it.

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  2. AppleCare wouldn’t help in this situation-at least mine didn’t. They just want to sell a new power cord. However, I did the same thing on my old one and glued it back together.

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  3. You could always look into third-party AC adapters that are half the cost and more of a traditional design, but usually use heavier wiring.

    It is good to fix things though…

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  4. Are u shure apple dont cover thhis as i know they gets really scared when things melt and stuff like that try and see what happens if you call them about it. I would like to know the result if u call.

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  5. I recently had my second power supply short out on me. The first time, a local Apple authorized repairer replaced it free of charge under the original warranty. The second time I called Apple and they sent out a new power supply two days later under AppleCare.

    First though, they took a credit card and told me that if I didn’t return the broken adapter, I’d get charged for the new power supply. Returning was pretty easy, take new adapter out of box, put broken in, tape box box up, tear off top label, hand back to delivery person or drop in Airborne/DHL box.

    Since I mentioned shorting, burn smell, and smoke, Apple did send me through an extended questioning to determine how much of a hazard the power supply was. They do indeed seem to worry about this.

    I agree with others, this shouldn’t happen in the first place. I now have on power supply left at home and another that travels with me. Hopefully, I’ll not have another shorting issue for a while.

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  6. These things aren’t supposed to happen, so AppleCare or not, I’d expect a replacement.

    And how come they are certified if they break down this easily?

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  7. Well, mine had lasted about two years before it did it, but when I went to Apple store all they were willing to do was sell me a new one.

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  8. I had the same thing happen to me… does anyone know why, my 17″ power doesn’t go to sleep when my power is low… it just shut’s off…

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  9. Anyone know how to fix the other end? The power supply -> laptop connector has been trying to pull off on me for 6 months or so. Thus far, repeated tapings have held it together, but I know the day is inevitable.

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  10. Nice one, my power supply looks exactly the same, with a bit more gaffer tape holding it together after the hot glue failed to keep it together.

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