Author Topic: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?  (Read 17225 times)

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Offline FransW

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2017, 04:32:05 pm »
I just modified a 19V 3Amp laptop power supply (switcher) with a cheap Chinese Magsafe 2 connection and my MacBookPro Retina 15" does not have any problem with this power supply.
However, it does not charge the batteries as could be expected due to the 1-wire communication protocol and IC absence.

So anyone who wants to run his Macbook independant from the batteries can follow this example.

Regards, Frans
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2017, 11:12:07 pm »
FWIW, I have always found the Apple charger cables to vary in quality, and rarely the charger internals at fault unless driven over by a forklift

Finding breaks and or applying heatshrink to reinforce weak spots and the sometimes splitting and fragmenting cable sheathing makes for a working Magsafe charger,
that won't be as flexible to handle nor win any beauty contests  :o  :scared:    but saves money, petrol and waiting frustration  |O

If I was to get a new Magsafe charger (unlikely so far due to DIY fixit) I would get a verified original with warranty,
some of the knockoffs are iffy in all respects   :palm:
 

Offline tooki

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2017, 01:10:41 pm »
Agreed. The power supplies themselves are top-notch, but the “environmentally friendly” PVC-free cords just suck, they’re too stiff, and the insulation eventually gets warped and brittle. (On one MagSafe cord I have, the outer jacket seems to have stretched longitudinally, seemingly several centimeters. Obviously it cracked and has splintered off. Even with heatshrink there’s only so much I can do though!)
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2018, 01:08:15 am »
I've come across a few of these, and at first suspected cats or dogs chewing/clawing on them and or too much exposure to direct sunlight etc.   :-//

It soon dawned the cable sheath/covering is literally flimsy, flakey crap, depending on which back alley 'HowLoKanUgO' factory churned it out for Apple Co.,
though in their defense I have also come across some that appear identical yet are top notch quality 

Usually if the wires are ok, I first I give it a good once over wrap around with good quality white electrical tape that won't goo when heat is applied,
then do one continuous (or partial) cover all with either white or clear heatshrink, and offer no apologies for the appearance and stiff handling.

They work great, and $5 worth of tape and heatshrink is a better deal IMO than a new charger whose internals may be worse than the previous batches   :palm:

...that Apple should HEAVILY discount or offer changeover rates for verified Mac owners who submit their knackered/faulty ones  :popcorn:

 

Offline tooki

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2018, 02:19:13 am »
Obviously Apple isn’t using back-alley factories - making that kind of claim just makes you look stupid. Back-alley factories cannot churn out the volume and adherence to design spec that a company Apple’s size needs.

Look at Apple chargers, and the manufacturers are a who’s who of top-tier power supply vendors. But they’re doing them to Apple’s custom specs, and Apple’s specs dictate every detail of their design and suppliers. This includes the PVC-free insulated wire that Apple now uses, having phased out PVC for environmental reasons. But even more than with lead free solder, I wonder if this environmentally friendly insulation isn’t actually resulting in a net negative effect, given the added e-waste due to premature wire failure.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2018, 02:21:07 am »
Obviously Apple isn’t using back-alley factories - making that kind of claim just makes you look stupid. Back-alley factories cannot churn out the volume and adherence to design spec that a company Apple’s size needs.

Look at Apple chargers, and the manufacturers are a who’s who of top-tier power supply vendors. But they’re doing them to Apple’s custom specs, and Apple’s specs dictate every detail of their design and suppliers. This includes the PVC-free insulated wire that Apple now uses, having phased out PVC for environmental reasons. But even more than with lead free solder, I wonder if this environmentally friendly insulation isn’t actually resulting in a net negative effect, given the added e-waste due to premature wire failure.

Part of the reason why they went to detachable power cords with Type C.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2018, 02:27:18 am »
Took me a second to realize what you meant, since you left out “USB”, but yes, that would make total sense. The real proof will be in whether future products also migrate to USB-C or Lightning for charging. Right now most of their laptops still use MagSafe. (And I have to say, I really like MagSafe, it’s prevented so much charging port damage over the years!)

Now if only they’d make their USB cords and earphone wire out of wire that doesn’t fail when you look at it wrong...
 

Online blueskull

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2018, 02:30:26 am »
Now if only they’d make their USB cords and earphone wire out of wire that doesn’t fail when you look at it wrong...

Again, planned obsolescence. Prolink makes cables without PVC, and they don't fail, at least the cable part don't fail, though the crappy connector part usually fails in 1~2 years of use. Still better than Apple Lightning cables which are guaranteed to fail in half a year if you use your phone, being charged, in bed everyday.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2018, 02:39:02 am »
Nah, that’s not planned obsolescence. (A term that’s frequently, and rather cavalierly, bandied around without understanding what it means.)

And I can easily prove that it’s not. How? Because the damned things frequently fail within the warranty period. Nobody is going to deliberately make things fail when they’re still on the hook to replace them!
 

Online blueskull

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2018, 03:17:10 am »
And I can easily prove that it’s not. How? Because the damned things frequently fail within the warranty period. Nobody is going to deliberately make things fail when they’re still on the hook to replace them!

A cable costs Apple maybe $2 to make, and they sell it at $20. They can offer you one or two free replacements in the first year under warranty for the cost of $4, then in year two you have to buy 2 more at $40 total. Apple makes $40 for the cost of $8, good business plan.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2018, 03:28:05 am »
And I can easily prove that it’s not. How? Because the damned things frequently fail within the warranty period. Nobody is going to deliberately make things fail when they’re still on the hook to replace them!

A cable costs Apple maybe $2 to make, and they sell it at $20. They can offer you one or two free replacements in the first year under warranty for the cost of $4, then in year two you have to buy 2 more at $40 total. Apple makes $40 for the cost of $8, good business plan.
Don’t be so naive. It’s not just $2. It’s also the logistics costs to get that replacement to you, the wages of the employee who processes it, the overhead for the store to do it in...

And for sure, if we are talking a MagSafe charger, which is the original subject of this thread, the cost of the replacement is going to be high enough to not wanna give them away, since they can’t just replace the cord.

Also, don’t forget that one of Apple’s biggest markets is Europe, where they must give a two year warranty by law.


So yeah, all in all, planned obsolescence simply doesn’t add up here — it doesn’t even pass a rudimentary sanity check. What really boggles my mind is that Apple tolerates the ongoing bad press about the cable quality. Surely that’d make them want to improve it, since it’s incongruent with the high build quality of the devices themselves.
 

Online Jeroen3

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2018, 08:06:25 am »
Does anyone have an unbiased test of Apple's silicon cables vs Standard PVC cable?

I think both cables fail after similar wear. But one fails on the externally (visibly) and one fails internally.
 
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Online blueskull

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2018, 08:59:54 am »
Does anyone have an unbiased test of Apple's silicon cables vs Standard PVC cable?

I think both cables fail after similar wear. But one fails on the externally (visibly) and one fails internally.

I've never used any iOS devices over a long time, so I guess the occasion use of iOS devices doesn't count.
However, I do use other types of USB ports all the time, and so far I've never had a single cable failure. All fails are due the connectors.
Mini USB sees the most fails, everyone fails sooner or later within 2 years. On the other hand, Micro USB 2.0 is much more robust, with no fails except for those caused by external brute force, but that can't be said for Micro USB 3.0. Loss of connection is frequent, if you apply even a little bit of pressure.
I've also seen a few USB-A fails, but not on the cable, they fail on the PCB connector instead. So far, standard size USB-B is the best, they are just indestructible.
Again, none of my PVC USB cables have failed on the cable itself. It's always the connectors that fail first.

On the Apple side, I've seen a lot of Lightning cable fails, but I've never has any devices, so I can't tell. But none of my MagSafe chargers for my 3 Apple laptops, one 2010 Air, one 2011 Air and one 2012 Pro, have failed. The cable, over time, develops rough and dirty surface, but nothing can't be fixed by alcohol rub.

My latest laptop, a USB-C Macbook 12'', came with a 29W charger and detachable cable, and despite everyday usage for almost half a year (I also use it to charge my phones), it still looks nice. Again, surface becomes flaky (think of rubber under rubbing), dirty and rough, but so far I have not seen any copper yet.
 

Online Jeroen3

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2018, 09:45:15 am »
I have not owned a macbook, but I do have iPhones. I have failed 1 out of 5 cables. The 30-pin variant. Due to it being on my desk and often plugged in and out, and pushed back when not in use. I think this is fair. But I have tossed many more USB B/Mini cables in the bin than I've owned Apple cables.

I also have had to re-splice my Dell power cord twice since 2010. I think that's fair as well. The abuse it takes being wound up tightly and put in a backpack more than 200 times a year is quite severe.

That's why I ask if anyone did a test instead of just rambling personal biased experiences like I just did.
Like this?

 

Offline helius

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2018, 09:49:31 am »
One aspect that these discussions don't usually cover is that environmentally durable cables are not made in all colors. The UV- and ozone-protective additives that make cables last a long time without cracking are usually based on carbon black. This limits the colors industrial designers can select when durable cables are used; it isn't an accident that SJT flex cables are always black.
Like Henry Ford, you can have it in any color you want as long as it's black. Apple's charging cords are notably silver-gray or white.
 
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Online Jeroen3

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2018, 09:56:03 am »
Now that you mention it. I remember having to throw away my iPod touch earbuds since the cable got all sticky and stuff.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2018, 09:59:08 am »
Now that you mention it. I remember having to throw away my iPod touch earbuds since the cable got all sticky and stuff.

Yes. And FYI, early Tek active probes suffer from the same. I once bought a P6243 that is stinky and oily, and the rubber crumbles under force. Thank you eBay for the buyer's protection.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2018, 04:19:37 pm »
Does anyone have an unbiased test of Apple's silicon cables vs Standard PVC cable?

I think both cables fail after similar wear. But one fails on the externally (visibly) and one fails internally.
I don’t know of any such comparisons. Somewhat hard anyway, since there aren’t a ton of cables that existed in both variants.

FYI, I don’t know what the PVC-free cables are made of, but it’s not silicone. The MagSafe, Lightning, and USB cords use something that goes brittle and splits longitudinally eventually. The earbuds use something very different that’s soft and tacky like silicone. But in both cases, it’s a thermoplastic.


On the Apple side, I've seen a lot of Lightning cable fails, but I've never has any devices, so I can't tell. But none of my MagSafe chargers for my 3 Apple laptops, one 2010 Air, one 2011 Air and one 2012 Pro, have failed. The cable, over time, develops rough and dirty surface, but nothing can't be fixed by alcohol rub.
Oh, I’ve definitely had MagSafe cables fail. (Even old ones with PVC insulation.) I have one PVC-free MagSafe with a giant heatshrink section to stop the insulation from fraying. (But of course the fault will eventually reappear at the end of the heatshrink.)

There’s tons and tons of reports of MagSafe cable failures, they’re notorious for it. So is failure of Lightning cables, but since they don’t cost anywhere near as much to replace, people don’t make quite as big a fuss about it.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: replacing Apple magsafe 85W charger with a normal laptop PSU possible?
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2018, 04:21:34 pm »
That's why I ask if anyone did a test instead of just rambling personal biased experiences like I just did.
Like this?
That said, it’s extremely rare for them to fail mid-cable. That’s not the failure mode we are worried about. Where Apple cables invariably fail is at the strain reliefs.
 


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