I may need a new charger and really don’t want to spend $79. Has anyone had luck with 3rd party chargers?
Here’s an option:
Apple doesn’t licence MagSafe, so any 3rd party options are unlicensed and could do anything from “work fine” to “blow the innards of your machine”. If you’re short on cash I’d recommend a second hand/open box over 3rd party.
You can also take your failing power adapter to Apple and they can swap it out for $61+tax. You’ll get a 90 day warranty instead of the 1 year warranty a brand new adapter comes with.
I have found that most 3rd party adapters short out after 45-60 days. This can cause power related issues with your MBP.
Well, I didn’t love paying $79 but I also subscribe to the adage, ‘penny wise, pound foolish.’ Bought directly from the Apple Store and will be more careful with wrapping the cable so this one lasts for the duration of the laptop.
Sugru can fix old janky cables, and make new cables last longer.
I had a few of these on my various MBP chargers.
I can recommend them as a worthwhile investment for new adapters.
I also did a repair on my own adapter that frayed at the connection out to the MBP. I had to pry open the power box, re-connect and re-cable the ground/shield wire, electrical tape the entire work, and glue the box back together. It is not pretty (it has a hole where the rubber piece used to go in to the box) but it works. I keep this ugly in a fixed location at my office as the main charger to avoid further stress. I have a second one that is at home as the transportable when I travel.
The first disappointment here is that, for such an expensive component, the ground wire is used as the shield wire. The far better option would have been to use a twin, wrapped cable inside with a separate shield outside. Indeed, the shield is not really essential on a cable that for all intents is just providing DC power. The second disappointment is that no attention was paid to mitigate against the fatigue behavior of the cable as it joins the box itself. One might almost argue the inverse: that joint is almost purposely designed to be the locus of failure within a few years for anyone who wraps and then unwraps the cable.
Surprisingly, these chargers generate a lot of electrical noise. Whether that is the laptop charging circuits, noise emanating from the wire, etc. I don’t know.
When my students do the cockroach electrophysiology lab, we usually have at least one instance of someone connecting their charger, with the result being that the neural firing of the cockroach leg is completely obscured by the noise induced by the charger and/or charging system.
I have 3rd party charger spread on locations I often are to avoid packing the charger. Never had an issue.
Oh. I was of course thinking the other way. One does not need to protect the DC power to the MBP from outside electrical noise.
Running these things the other way around, I can see why you should NOT have one of these in a lab where instruments are sensitive to fluctuations in EMF fields. The inside of the bricks have no real shield from the internal rectification spikes, and the shield ground acts as a great antenna to transmit the spikes. You should put all of these types of power generators in their own well-grounded Faraday cages. I’d also be sure not to connect the input plug from the charger to the same line as the measurement devices. I’ve had my long days of trouble-shooting ground loop connections as sources of feedback, to the point that a technician in a lab in Europe where I worked purposely cut the pre-made ground plugs and then re-made all the ground connections manually with thick copper wire for every device in the lab.
Because they are SMPS (switched-mode power supply). High interference is a downside of SMPS, the advantages being size, weight, cost, efficiency. The EF noise they generate is a problem.
I built several amplifyiers and there I used toroidal transformers to get the needed voltage. But those are cumbersome, expensive and heavy. Positive: very low EFI and very “clean” current.
If you want to hear an hour-long rant: use “switched-mode” or “Powerline” as a conversation starter with a local radio amateur.
Other World Computing - macsales.com - offers Apple MagSafe chargers for around $49. I have two, travel with one and one at the office. Work perfect.