Archive for the ‘baddesign’ Category

Repairing a Busted iBook Power Connector

January 21, 2007

Busted iBook Power Connector My iBook power cord is broken! This has happened to every one of my power adaptors (three times in three years, always just out of the warranty period.) Lets just say Apple’s design standards are not always what they get credit for. Take this piece of crap for example.

1) The Body of the plug sticks out over an inch from the computer, giving the cord plenty of leverage.

2) The flimsy little plastic spring is all that’s holding the cord to the plug. Because they made the cord come straight out of the plug (instead of out the side like most other designs), the spring is constantly being bent back and forth. From my experience, it takes about a year for the spring to fatigue and fail, just in time for the warranty to expire.

3) The cord is a coaxial design. So the electricity is partly carried by lots of tiny little wires just under the outer insulation. Without the support of the insulation, these wires break one by one until there isn’t enough connections to carry the current safely, and it starts to spark. Sparks flying from the side of your computer is guaranteed to scare the crap out of anyone.

4) Instead of using an industry-standard power connection, Apple decided to use their own crappy interface. Replacements cost $100, and don’t get me started on the availability of aircraft & car adaptors.

Note that Apple has resolved many (but not all) of these issues with their new “Mag Safe” power cord. But they refuse to acknowledge the mistake they made and won’t replace my broken cords.

Busted iBook Power Connector Being someone who refuses to submit to bad design, and also a cheapskate, I’ve come up with a way to repair these shoddy sockets for a lot less than $100 that looks much better than a ball of electrical tape (my first attempt). I’ve posted the instructions to Flickr. All the typical disclaimers apply – I’m not responsible if you break the connector (any more than it was) or hurt yourself.

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