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Something is clearly wrong with the strain relief design and the material on the Magsafe connector cable. The insulation disintegrates causing the copper strands break which eventually results in a higher resistance and therefore more heat and a maybe a nice burning smell. The picture below is my Magsafe connector after 2 years of use.
I’m sure i’m not the only one this has happened to so here’s how i fixed mine and replaced the connector with the older (better imo) rectangular type after a lot of trouble opening the charger housing. I found a good trick for getting the case open.
The Magsafe cable problem
I upgraded to the Macbook pro 2 years ago. Along with it came the new ‘cylindrical’ magsafe connector. I noticed two problems:
Does not function as well as my old rectangle magsafe connector (doesn’t always detach from Macbook when pulled)
Not enough strain relief since this new (cylindrical) design allows the cable to be bent round 180 degrees.
I always look after my stuff but I’m a hardcore computer user – my Macbook is in my rucksack where ever i go and it does a bloody great job, but the same cannot be said for the Magsafe charger (specifically the cable). I have cables that i’ve had for +10 years and still work fine so why is the Apple cable failing on such a premium product?
Apple told me that the only option is to buy another at a cost of £65 at which point i asked if the design had been improved and if the same problem will happen in another 2 years. The answer was no and probably – general wear and tear he said.
So a faulty power cable renders the whole charger unit useless? that’s bad planet saving, Apple. The unit is not designed to be disassembled so that means a whole new unit and another bit of scrap on some Indian E-waste heap – and i’d have to do this every 2 years?
Don’t worry, planet, i like to fix things
I tired for 30 minutes trying to neatly get this case open. The two halves are fused together really well. I thought i’d try a crazy idea i had – using PolyCement glue to remove the case. I remember how it softens plastics and dissolves styrene.
It worked! I found the best place to start was the corners with the cable tidy ears
OK that was messy. The plastic is very soft.
The old wires were crimped. I desoldered and removed
New wires tinned
Soldered new cable
I used a blob of silicone to glue the case back together and poly cement round the seams
Clamp in vice to wait for glue to set.
A little chewed up but works like new and imo is an upgrade 🙂
My charger now works plus i’m back to using the old rectangle type Magsafe connector which does its job a lot better in terms of keeping my mac safe when someone trips over the cable. Apple, why did you change to the cylindrical connector design? i genuinely would like to know.
I’m pretty sure i’m not the only mac user who hates the new Magsafe connector? Please leave commens below…