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Laptop power connectors junk

  1. Sep 13, 2010 #1
    Why is it that laptop power connector jacks are so fragile. Or am I just the brute who mishandles my laptop?

    I get a laptop every 18 months or so, and I can only remember two of them in 20 years where the power connector has outlived the laptop.

    With my latest toshiba I have drawn the line. When the jack broke I would not be beaten. I actually went to radioshack and bought a generic power jack and ripped apart the laptop and broke out the soldering iron.

    I know with my next laptop I am buying the warranty that covers dropping it. And if the jack breaks, my laptop will suffer a very violent drop. And then I will ship it back.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2010 #2


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    You should get yourself a mac: this is an ingenious little invention that has not only saved the jack from being destroyed, but also saved my laptop from taking a tumble after I've tripped over the cable.
  4. Sep 13, 2010 #3
    Hey that is cool. Really. I might actually consider a Mac for my next system. My only issue is the price. Though technically I am a student. I wonder if Mac student discounts are as good as they were 15 years ago.

    I might actually go back to a desktop for most of my work. Running mathematica on a laptop is not ideal. And the prices for the Intel 8?0 chip have dropped significantly.
  5. Sep 13, 2010 #4
    Aside from ripping the plug out of the jack when forgetting that "things are still connected" -- the brain-dead equivalent of tripping over the cord -- running a machine tool over the wire, and having my bunny chew through a couple, I've not had any trouble with the power connectors on my laptops. Some are going strong at close to 8 years of service. So I guess I would have to go with "the brute who mishandles..." explanation.

    Fire-wire connectors are, however, a different issue. Oh...I also crossed up the motor supply ground on a servo system I was poking at with my USB attached 'scope and blew up both the USB input and the scope box, fortunately not the whole notebook -- but that's an electrical problem.
  6. Sep 13, 2010 #5
    To try to avoid destroying a laptop I'd like to find "right angle" connectors on cables or at least on adapters for power, cat5 network cable and usb cable so the cables would lie along the edge of the laptop. One laptop here has all three of those rigidly sticking out from the sides of the laptop like wings and just begging to get snapped off and turning the laptop into trash.

    Has anyone seen a source for something like this?
  7. Sep 13, 2010 #6
    I think this is your problem. You will have better luck if you buy from a reputable manufacturer. On most of the notebooks I've owned, I don't think I could break the power jack even if I tried.
  8. Sep 13, 2010 #7


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    Power cables on my Dell drive me nuts too. Last Dell, I went through about six.

    For me, they get "crimped" right behind the plug.

    I whipped up a solution a la this, using the spring from a clicky ballpoint pen:

  9. Sep 13, 2010 #8
    My sony vaio was good, but the little sony mini-notebook was crap.

    Well my new jack that I put in will not break, that is for sure. Though I had to make the jack opening larger for it to fit, it is solid metal. And the toshiba is none the wiser.
  10. Sep 13, 2010 #9


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    The question is raised:

    If not the power cable, what part will give way next time it's yanked?

    Is it possible that is a design feature, not a design flaw?
  11. Sep 13, 2010 #10

    The power cable can still come free. It is that the power jack on the laptop side won't get damaged. The problem with the toshiba was that the metal jack was clipped into a thin plastic flange. Any pressure on the jack would end up splitting the flange and the metal clip. Destroying the jack.

    The power cord is still the weakest link in this now, but I can buy replacement power adapters. It is the jack inside the laptop that is an expensive repair. ( Even to buy the raplacement jack from Toshiba is expensive, for the part ). I paid 4.00 at Radioshack.

    Of course I had to completely disassemble the laptop and make modfications to the housing. But at least is kept me off the streets at night.
  12. Sep 13, 2010 #11


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