Electronics Repair

Electronics Repair,
back online today after yet another electronics issue with my laptops 12v power supply. This is not a how to do electronics repairs but is a warning that you need to have some supplies on hand as well as in an extended kit for long term Self Reliance sustainability.

My list of tools;
box cutter / utility knife
side cutters
pliers needle nose
pliers regular blunt end
wire strippers/cutter
magnifying glasses x3 power
small screwdriver set
black utility/electrical tape
solder with flux built in
Soldering Iron – Need to buy one!!!
(I have a soldering Gun, not as useful and takes a lot more power)
flat large surface to work on, ymmv there

Last month the 12v power cord broke near the end that goes into the computer. This is a multi power, multi end power supply so the ends pop off too easy. I have taped on the end permanently. The cord broke due to the fact that the power supply on this laptop is on the left side, my main vehicle 12v power supply is on the right in the dash. This makes the cord always bend to the right in order to be plugged in. IMG_20131016_154524b

The cord from the power pack to the laptop is a coaxial type of power cord with the negative wires around the inside positive wires. This finding this out took a few attempts at cutting, moving wires, pealing the inside positive wire without hurting the outside wires. x3 power close up glasses were used instead of a magnifying glass so that both hands were free to be in play.


First I joined the inside positive wires, soldering them together though had to do this a few times. The best I found was to add extra flux even though the solder I had on had has flux built in, maybe it had to due with the size of the wire and not wanting to get it too hot as the end was so close.


Next wrapped the wire up in tape, black electrical tape, put an extra layer or two to be sure!

Next did the same with the outside negative wires, same thing extra flux worked better. Again, overwrapped with the electrical tape, just to make sure!

Then covered both wires together, made sure the electrical tape was affixed to the wires a good two inches up from the cut and repair, did I mention that I wanted to be sure!

Voila, plugged the 12v into a socket to see if the wire repair or the power pack would heat up, left it on with no laptop connected for about 30 minutes. With some trepidation, I unplugged the 12v socket, attached the laptop, then plugged it back in. So far so good, whewww… Then turned the laptop on, kept checking for heat and smoke, ready to unplug at the first sign of either!

Now, two days ago, bam the 12v plug end, melted, melted so tight that it crushed the inside fuse or the fuse broke, causing the outside casing to melt. Does not matter either way, there was trouble. I unplugged the 12v power pack took a quick look and left it for the morning.
Note: do not get angry and throw the cord to the phone against the wall! In the morning you now have another soldering job!!
Newest fix; luckily I had an extra end for the power pack to the 12v socket kicking around. After taking the somewhat melted male socket apart, there was no way to fix was was left. Looking at the never used 12v cord, making a quick cut with the side cutters close but not against the adapter where it goes into the 12v power pack, I was committed. Thinking in advance, cutting close to the end connector now has the original cord slightly less than double the length, much better!


Snipping close but not against the melted male socket (might still have some usable parts there) I laid out the wires to be stripped with the wire strippers/cutter.

Next which is good to know, this side the wires are normal cord style, positive and negative side by side, so much less stress and hassle! (relatively speaking of course)
Wires stripped back, positive first, soldered and fluxed together, wrapped excessively with black electrical tape.
Next negative wires done the same, overwrapped paying attention that there were now positive wires peeking through or mixed in with the negative wires!
All, overwrapped, up and down about 3 inches either side of the break. Overwrapped, making sure, I did mention this is my laptop cable right!

Other projects;
mouse chewed threw cables from solar panels to wire clips,
broken 12v cables that were attached to the 12v starting battery to a 4oo watt inverter
older emergency 12v battery starting wires, old ends taken off, wired brushed up, reconnected to newly exposed wire and soldered on for better connectivity and power transfer.

So, why is this important post SHTF;
no laptop for info
no solar panels
more mice to chew things
soldering iron draws less power
Soldering gun, has a nice light, ya but draws a lot more power
– also you need to hold that little trigger the whole time and your finger goes to sleep!
Get used to doing things outside of your comfort zone now!



Filed under Blog post, Equipment, Survival Prepping

4 responses to “Electronics Repair

  1. Good post but why repair, where’s your spares, or will you not be scavenging like everyone else?
    I’m a “old school” electronics engineer but I operate a low tech approach to the high tech problems that will happen come STHF time i.e. I don’t carry electronics AT ALL!
    I carry Fm 21-76, a good medical book, plus my personal notes. You can’t beat a good read and no batteries are necessary.
    Plus they are multifunctional i.e. Info, fire lighting, and wiping your backside.
    I do carry complex info though on a couple of read only memory sticks and SD cards but they are carried with a self booting OS (Ubuntu) installed so they don’t care about what they are plugged into.
    After all it’s not like every computer in the world will go bang and I can usually find an “universal key” aka brick lying round for getting into places to use what I’ll need.
    What, not legal? I’m ROTGL at that one.

    • Well I do have a spare but it is the plug in the wall type, so the 115v takes more power as you need to go through an inverter. The Laptop is my main means of access to the world right now.

      My little Netbook is ok, but a wee bit flaky. Sometimes while you type the cursor just sorts of bounces up or down a few lines, adding in letters to already written words! arrgg

      The faraday cage holds the Netbook as well as two backup drives. I would like to add in a small laser printer later, when there is money. Budget when your sick and not working is, well very tight.

      So to your question, why fix… well we should all learn to fix things, that is they way I grew up. Other reason, no money so need to fix it. Later, no money, no shipping, no internet so learn now!
      My thoughts on the matter, cheers and thanks for commenting, take care.

      • Know just where you are coming from. I live in a throw away society and regularly go dumpster diving at the back of consumer electrics shops or down the local waste tip thus I’ve got spares coming out of the Wazoo.
        Yet there may come as time when I’m forced out onto the road thus I have adopted the KISS philosophy i.e. Keep It Stupidly Simple.
        By the way, good blog.

        • Yes, throw away society!
          In more ways than one, get electronics then throw them out,
          someone gets sick, tell them they are no use to you and throw them out!

          Happened to me a few times, surprised well I would have been before, but not now.
          Thank you for the compliment on the blog, much appreciated!

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