Aesthetically the macbook charging connector is quite nice but it just didn’t hold up very well to cable strain. Over the past few weeks the connector LED has been flickering on and off and it’s become very difficult to get it to charge the battery. Although I couldn’t visually see any damage it was obviously some kind of break in the conductor.
Turns out mine developed a crack in the cable rubber that was concealed underneath the strain relief boot. So whilst it was breaking I had no idea of the damage (and I think it goes to show the strain relief boot isn’t functioning as intended as that’s precisely where the damage developed).
The cable is two part, an outer jacket covering negative sheathing followed by an inner jacket covering (presumably) the positive conductor. The outer conductor was almost entirely frayed and there was some arcing evidence too.
Anyway, not wanting to pay 80 bucks for a new charging adapter I thought I’d try fixing this one instead. Initially it seemed like it was going to be difficult due to the breaks’ proximity to the connector – I wasn’t sure if there would be enough wire left before the casing to solder onto – but there was (barely).
Taking the connector apart entails loosening it up a bit with a razor knife. Followed by gently pulling down on the casing while pushing up on the strain relief boot. I used a small screwdriver to poke it through when it started getting stuck.
Once the casing was off I had to remove the strain relief boot. At the time I thought I would save it so I just slid it down but I ended up cutting it off later. Once it was out of the way I could see the damage.
To expose the area I needed to work on I slit the outer jacket with the razor knife and pulled it back pretty far. Then I slipped down the top crimp easily (it’s supposed to be tighter right?) and salvaged as much of the negative conductor as I could by prying it away from the jacket and off to one side.
With that done it was time to solder a jumper on to replace the broken portion. There’s a chance the metal here is aluminum so I made sure to get it pretty hot with the solder iron and I used tinning solder. If it breaks again it breaks but hopefully I’ll get the rest of the macbooks life out of it first.
Once it was soldered I taped it up and cut a small hole in the casing so that it would fit nice and snug over top. I didn’t actually test it at this point I finished taping it up and then gave it a whirl.