Computer Power Plug

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My wife has an IBM ThinkPad T23 notebook computer. She's on her fourth
power supply because they keep breaking at the power plug. Since the
plugs are molded they cannot be repaired. I replaced the plug with a
Radio Shack 2.5mm by 5.5mm plug, but it is not a good connector. It will
disconnect with the slightest movement.

Since a new IBM power adapter works fine, I don't believe that there is
a cold solder joint on the motherboard, although there could be. If I
knew how to get into the case, I would re-solder the jack, but I could
end up trashing the computer.

Does anyone know where I can get a QUALITY solder-on power plug for an
IBM ThinkPad? The center wire in the cable is about 20AWG diameter,
which means the flimsy Radio Shack crap is not a good fit.

It would be great to find a source for pigtails with molded plugs such
that all I have to do is to put an intermediate connector on the cable.

Re: Computer Power Plug

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There are two distinct sets of dimensional outlines for concentric ("DC power")
connectors.  There is an EIA family and an EIAJ family.  The former are more
common in electronic supply houses incl. RatShack, while most so-called quality
imported eqiupment seems to use the EIAJ outlines.

Re: Computer Power Plug

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Maybe you should try putting some reinforcing on the power plug, like
covering the area most likely to break with a layer of hot glue, or
maybe wrapping it with duct tape, or educating your wife to be more
gentle.  I have never heard of anyone doing that much damage, certainly
not repeatedly.


H. R. Hofmann


Re: Computer Power Plug

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I can relate to the problem you are encountering. I have had several
ThinkPad power supply DC power connectors fail at the strain relief of
the cable. These things generally use a round cable that has a center
conductor and a spiral wrapped shield. I have found that it is the
shield that eventially breaks and fails.

I have replaced the ends with replacement plugs I purchased from
Mouser. I am surprised you found the correct sized connector at Radio
Shack. I have checked at their stores repeatedly over several years in
several states and have never found them to carry the correct size
connector (in terms if the barrel inside and outside diameters). Mouser
seems to have almost all sizes available and for excellent prices. For
my ThinkPad T43 and 600E model power supplies I bought the Mouser part
numbers 1710-3225 (for a metal shelled unit) and 1710-2512 (for a
plastic shelled plug). Both fit the DC jack on the back of the
computers as good as the originals on the power bricks.

You may check out Mouser at:
www.mouser.com

- mkaras


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