Replacing a frayed Apple charging cable – (Part 2)

ATTENTION: Opening the AC adapter means you are voiding the warranty provided by Apple. In case of any accidents, fires or mishap, you will hold me harmless against all liabilities, lawsuits, etc.

Part  1 – Preparation work to open the ac adapter
Part 2 – You are reading Part 2
Part 3 – Re-soldering the terminals
Part 4 – Apple aesthetics

Work Steps that I’ve taken

Step 1

Disassemble the adapter by opening it with pliers. You will need a bit of strength to open the adapter. DO NOT to whack the adapter against any hard object in hopes the glue will give way. IT WILL NOT.

This is how I opened the casing.

 

This is the aftermath of removing one half of the cover.

The green strips are 3M tape to hold the copper shielding together. Depending on the position of the soldering connectors, you might need to remove the copper block from the white plastic casing.

In my case, the casing opened on the wrong side (the soldering connectors were only accessible from the other half of the casing), so I had to remove the other white casing to get to the connectors.

How would you know which is the correct side? Look for the orange tape.

You will need to remove the orange tape to get to the soldering connectors. Above shows the white casing opened from the wrong side, thats why I had to remove both sides of the casing.

 

Step 2

Before cracking open the other side of the casing, you will need to be careful as the other side will connect to the external connectors.

 

 

By the way, the white gunk appears to be the glue. I’ve gently scraped them away as it’s hindering the adapter refitting into the casing.

Unlatch the copper shielding on the side with the orange tape.

Then you will get to the circuitry after lifting the inner copper shielding. Depending on your soldering skills, a 75 degree bend on the inner copper shielding should be more than sufficient to get to the two soldering points.

Remove the orange tape, it should be out with a slight pull. Do not remove the white gunk blob between the green and black wires.

So we are ready to desolder the two points. The point on the left (green wire beneath) belongs to the positive terminal. The point on the right, leads to a black wire, for a negative terminal.

Continued on Part 3

Replacing a frayed Apple charging cable – (Part 1)

I’m a big fan of the Apple Magsafe (1 & 2) technology where the charging cable is magnetically attached to the laptop. Any accidental trips over the AC adapter and charging cable, doesn’t pull the entire laptop off the table.

Why did you (Apple) discontinue the Magsafe technology? What a shame!

Although I like the Magsafe technology, I am not a fan of the ac adapter build. The charging cable is usually the first to be damaged, as what I’ve found out on the web. It also happened to my AC adapter cable.

I wasn’t ready to shell out $108 for a brand-new AC adapter, so the alternatives were:

  • Get a ‘OEM’ Apple AC adapter (Easiest but cost $50)
  • Replace the charging cable (Elbow grease + cost $15)

I decided to go with the replacement of the charging cable. It practically cost nothing apart from the time I spent and the replacement charging cable, since I’ve got the tools in place.

So here goes:

Time spent: 1 hour
Equipment needed:

  • Pliers (to open the AC adapter)
  • Replacement charging cable (Get it from Taobao)
  • Soldering iron (Mine’s 60W)
  • Solder flux
  • Soldering wick or solder sucker (to remove excess solder)
  • White electrical tape or super glue (this is for resealing the AC adapter)

Some caveats:

  • Leave the AC adapter unplugged for a few days. This is to discharge the electrical energy in the adapter or you might get a shock while disassembling it. In my case, I left it alone for nearly a month as I was waiting for the replacement cable to get shipped in from China.
  • You should have some understanding on how to use a soldering iron, solder sucker.

Part 1 – You are reading this
Part 2 – Work steps to open the ac adapter
Part 3 – Re-soldering the terminals
Part 4 – Apple aesthetics

Futurology

Recently, I’ve been thinking about upcoming technologies and especially human interaction with these technologies. The technology is deemed a success if it addresses the needs of the majority.

But what about the minority’s successes? More importantly, whether can the minority disrupt the success reaped by the majority?

I’ll be placing these thoughts and discussions under the futurology tag, with a nod to Reddit’s thread of the same name.

Grab/Uber Roadside?

I had a friend who called out for car battery replacement assistance via WhatsApp this morning. Unfortunately, regulars in the chatgroup aren’t available to assist.

Thought that a roadside service (common repairs or replacements) provided by Grab/Uber would make most sense, like Massage on delivery by GoJek in Indonesia.

Let’s what can Grab/Uber Roadside provide?

  1. Battery jumpstart (jumpstart cables or portable battery starter required)
  2. Spare tire replacement (limited to what is in the boot)
  3. Fill up spare tire with air (portable compressor required)
  4. Fuel delivery (gas stations will have the metal containers for sale)

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Launch Sublime Text 3 from command line

Wiped and reinstalled OS X on the MBP, thus lost the shortcut to invoke Sublime Text on command line.

Thought I should document this so I won’t have to go through Sublime Text directories in Applications.

Open up Terminal and run the following (assuming 1. Sublime Text is installed 2. /usr/local/bin is in your PATH)

Step 1: Go to Terminal; Check whether /usr/local/bin in in your PATH

echo $PATH

Terminal should return the following

/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin

/usr/local/bin is located at the end of the string. You’re set!

Step 2: Run the following on Terminal

ln -s /Applications/Sublime\ Text.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin/subl /usr/local/bin

Step 3: Test the setup by running the following:

subl .

This will kick in Sublime on the current directory.

 

How to extract the blue color from the Blue Pea Flower

Blue color can be extracted from the Blue Pea Flower, and is commonly used in South East Asian dessert and foods. What’s even better, the extract is wholly natural.

What is required:

  1. 10 buds of Blue pea flower
  2. 200ml of Water
  3. Metal container
  4. Heat

Place the blue pea flowers and 200ml of water into the metal container and simmer over low heat. The blue color from the flower will dissolve into the water.

Add more blue pea flowers or water to regulate the color.

Visiting Melaka

I woke up one morning to find the Malaysian state of Malacca renamed as Melaka. Is that going to increase the number of visitors? – oh well, nvm.

I was in Malacca for a quick getaway and thought to document the worth-goings vs skip-where-possibles.

Food

1. Teo Soon Loong Seafood Restaurant (Teochew fare)

Address: No. 42 & 44,Jalan KPKS 1,Kompleks Perniagaan Kota Syahbandar, 75200 Melaka, 75200 Malacca, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-288 0209

This restaurant moved from its old premises in 2nd Cross Street into new digs at Jalan KPKS 1. The new place is bright and bigger than its old premises and more importantly doesn’t have that musty old building smell. The new premises has ample parking space for cars and chartered buses.

Make a reservation at least one day in advance for weekdays and one week in advance for weekends. Order one whole suckling pig (RM268) when making reservations for more than 8 pax, it’s well worth the money!

Not to miss
Oyster noodles, Signature braised duck, Steamed pomfret, Suckling pig, Bitter gourd with pork, Orh Nee

Skip
Yam ring, Sweet and sour pork, Oyster omelette

Desserts

1. East & West Rendevous (60, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia)

Skip
Durian chendol. Wasted my time for this.

Interesting
Dried Blue Pea Flower. The deep blue color from the petals can be extracted from the flower and is used in the making of the Pulut Tai Tai (Nonya Steamed Blue Glutinous Rice) dessert.

 

Idea

The blue extract from the pea flower could be used for a drink of sorts.

 

 

OS X unable to read WD My Passport Ultra

(Or How To Read From A Slow Booting WD My Passport Ultra portable hard drive)

Recently, El Capitan and Sierra had stopped recognizing a WD Passport Ultra external USB portable hard drive that I have.

I had some really important data held inside which made me quite anxious about it. After scouring the intertubes [here], I had an assumption that a major surgery needs to take place before I can extract the data ever again.

The WD Passport Ultra has a PCB with a proprietary interface and I wasn’t able to attach a SATA to USB adapter to the hard drive. Also, the Passport Ultra comes with built-in AES256 encryption which meant I can’t read it directly when plugged into a SATA to USB adapter anyway.

I had even chucked the WD Passport Ultra into the freezer (freezing trick) that had worked before, all to no avail. Furthermore, the video above was quite telling about the recovery requirements, with the need for a PCB of the same version etc. Thus I had almost given up on the WD Passport Ultra.

Right before I decided to open up the hard drive, I had a job that required to forensically image a client’s data. A spark went off and I tried using a linux based recovery tool to read the portable hard drive.

Voila! 

I was able to mount the portable hard drive in readonly mode and was able to copy out the data. Of course, there is a need to sudo apt-get install hfsprogs as the drive was formatted in OS X, before mounting the drive in readonly mode.

Q: Why did a Iinux-based recovery tool managed to read the drive while full featured OS X couldn’t?
A: I suspect OS X will assume the hard drive as dead if it does not respond in an acceptable time.

Q: Why did the portable hard drive work previously?
A: Beats me. But since I was able to extract the data, I’ll leave it to the WD Quality Assurance division to give an answer.

 

 

Back online…

Back online after a hiatus of 4+ months. I had a problem with the previous webhosting provider which made me just want to switch to another.

Nonetheless, I’ll be posting my thoughts (again).