A frayed cable is not a rare case for Apple’s MagSafe power supplier, and I am proud to be part of this statistical failure. After a quick search I found out that the cable that connects the MagSafe and MacBook is prone to fraying in both ends, near magsafe and near magnetic socket. There are many users complaining for the quality of this product even in Apple’s store.
Apple has acknowledged that some of the power adapters that came with MacBooks and MacBook Pros have a flaw making them fray at the base of the plug.
For me plugging power to MacBook and finding out that it didn’t charge it, was an uncomfortable situation that had to be solved. At first I went to buy a new MagSafe but 80 euros seemed too much for a frayed cable. So I decided to give it a try and fix it.
You can do this!
With a close look at MagSafe, you get to understand that it will not be easy to open it. The MagSafe has no screw or clips rather than it consists of two plastic plates that are stuck with epoxy glue. To open it you have to “break” it. Depending on how much gentle you are, the breakage will or not have aesthetic impact on the final result.
DISCLAIMER: I have no photos from the separation process as I didn’t thought to blog it until I heard the cracking sound.
You will probably only need one or two screwdrivers with a thin head. The idea is to use screwdrivers to crack the glue between the two plastic covers. You can do this by putting the screwdriver head in the indenture of the MagSafe and use it as a lever to force the edge of one cover away from the others cover edge. The best is to start from the place where the power cable clips in.
This process demands a lot of patient otherwise if you press it too much you will injure the external surface. If you are patient and gentle enough you will unstick covers with minimal deformation.
MagSafe consists of multiple layers, you start by cracking the outer plastic cover and unfolding two protection shields till you see the actual circuit.
The magnetic shield is 3 or 4 metal leaves that are taped with an electrical conductive tape of bronze colour. One of this leaves is short circuited with the main board of the adapter. You have to unsolder this leaf from the board before you unfold it. You also have to unscrew it from the chassis. Finally you can untape one edge of the shield so that the shield can be removed completely from the circuit.
There is also a plastic shield that is short-circuit protector. This shield is glued on the circuit using silicon. You can cut the silicon with a knife or use extra force but take care not to destroy the circuit.
Here you are! Naked!
The constructive part
After the complete demolition you are ready to rebuild. At first you unsolder the cable from the board.
Then use any of your preferred tool to cut the damaged cable.
With a blade strip the cable and separate the outer and inner cables.
Although we could just solder the cable back on the board, it would not be mechanically supported and with minimal force, the cable could be cut off of the board. To prevent this damage I have to reuse the supporting plastic but first we have to trim it a bit. Using a blade you cut it in half.
Using any tool you believe it best fits, extract the black plastic part from the hole of the supporting plastic.
You can now use the soldering tool to resolder cable back in the board.
At this point the electric circuit should be working again.
You need to reassemble it so that it looks like a MagSafe (or something like that). You need to rebuild all the parts that you previously removed. Starting with the plastic protection.
After managing the plastic protection you should put back the metal protection. This will not be that easy as the plastic one. At first you can place back all leaves together and with a tape make it steady. You must use soldering tool to resolder protection on the board, as it was in the first place. And don’t forget the two screws.
We need to add a mechanical “stop” on the cable so that if someone tries to pull it jerkily, it will not unsolder from the board. I used two tire-ups which I placed them between the supporting plastic and the board.
Trim tire-ups so that they are able to fit inside the case of MagSafe.
You can now put the circuit back in the plastic cover,though you will probably have to push a bit the cable supporter to place it back in its proper place on the external cover. Before reasempling the external parts you can use a sewage to fix possible deformation of the edges caused at cracking process.
Finally you can also use epoxy glue to glue the two external parts together. You can also use duct tape for extra protection of the crack.
You made it!
It was not trivial but hey you have a working MagSafe again at no extra cost!
And here it is my MacBook and MagSafe working again!