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Best way to reinforce connector

laptop dc pin connector

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#1 +Medfordite

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 21:25

We keep blowing through these types of cords on the laptop and I got to trying to figure out if there was a way to reinforce these types of connectors at the break point which is marked with the arrows in the pic below?

cord.png

I was thinking maybe heat shrink tubing might work since the last one's insulation literally broke right below the rigid connection (stress point), and cause the tiny wires to break last night. Fortunately, these are $7/each at Batteries+ so, not a big investment (gotta love the modular Laptop adapters!), but since we go through these seemingly every year or so, I want to maximize the length. I did notice (after the fact) that they have a 2 year warranty on these so will probably go that route with this one (if the receipt manages to last - it is printed in faint ink).

My wife is going to be picking up a new Laptop though next month probably for her Graduate School studies (Mine is from 2005 and still works so she uses it, but is starting to choke on today's web standards for the college and only runs XP or Linux (Forget Vista or 7 - I tried with 1gb of Ram on board). So, looking forward to reinforcing a connector like this is a good bonus! :)


#2 OP +Medfordite

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 21:09

*Bumpity Bump Bump*

#3 Shadier

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 21:13

I think your idea with the heat shrink tubing would work well. That would reinforce it and give it another layer of protection. Maybe some electrical tape first, and then the heat shrink tubing after.

#4 Detection

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 21:15

Just wrap a load of electricians/duct tape around it

#5 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 21:21

Heat shrink tubing might work, though it might just hide the problem instead of actually fixing it.

The only other idea I could think of was to MacGyver together a homebrew strain relief using a strip of elastic.

Shrink tubing is cheap and easy, so that's probably the route I'd go. Get some that's thick and sturdy.

#6 lt8480

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 21:23

I don't know how much these should cost but $7 seems very cheap - can you find a higher quality one that will last longer?

#7 Neu B

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 21:24

Go to Lowe's and get a coil spring and wrap it around the plug.

#8 exotoxic

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 21:25

Your pulling on the wire when unplugging??

#9 Shadrack

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 21:50

That is a tough one. Does the connector mate with a connector that is soldered to a circuit board? Whatever you do, make sure that you aren't just transferring the strain down the connector and into the solder joints. If the strain is transferred to the solder joints the solder can crack and then you can end up with a more expensive repair (or worse, a fire).

Ideally you want the strain to be distributed across the cordage.

#10 OP +Medfordite

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 00:53

We don't usually pull on the wire when unplugging, just the connector at the base. If I remember correctly from cleaning the laptop internals, it has a standard DC in jack which is soldered to the system board. I have gone through a total of 2 chargers before this one for different reasons.

For the what happened to the last 2 chargers I have replaced, I replaced the tips as they snapped off oddly (OEM UNITS), but those are VERY hard to find as they are a size "N". Those however, didn't last very long and looked shoddy. So, I bought the one referenced in the link (same style at least), and have had to replace that cord instead of paying for a full charger which can be spendy.

This is the charger we are using which is why it is so modular.

What I believe happens is the cord gets bent right around that stress point (Arrow on right points to it in the first post picture), but just under, as that stress point is extremely rigid. The last one broke right under it with maybe half a mm of clearance so was unable to do a self repair of soldering.

I have thought about the heat shrink hiding any problems later down the road, so that is why I was asking since yeah, it would be an easy "fix" to cover the connector, but really - I can imagine it still not reinforcing it.

I have read about using a makeshift 'splint' to reinforce the connection, but my theory on this would be fine until you got down to the end of the splint, then you have a new weak point.

Why would I be wanting to put so much effort into a $7/cord? See the first post - Getting a brand new laptop in the very near future and am looking straight ahead at a plausible solution for that one too. :)

#11 xendrome

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:00

Stop using the junk charger and get something like the iGo Slim AC/DC 90w http://www.amazon.co...op charger slim

#12 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:01

It's probably not from you pulling it out of your laptop, but from wrapping the cords up so tightly when you put it away.

#13 Simon-

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:04

How about training the users not to bend the cord on a 90* angle. Whatever reinforcement you apply the same thing will occur just further down the line. if it is really an issue, consider a MacBook Pro has a 90* connector.

#14 Shadrack

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 16:35

It's probably not from you pulling it out of your laptop, but from wrapping the cords up so tightly when you put it away.


If it were the strain relief coming out of a power brick, I would agree with you...but he is having problems at the connector. I wouldn't expect the very end piece of a tightly wound cable to receive much stress.