If you have an older MacBook, here's a very inexpensive charger

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/04/if-you-have-an-older-macbook.html

Has anyone taken this apart to make sure it isn’t a dumpster fire of bad electrical design like a lot of the cheap knockoff usb phone chargers are?


From an Amazon review: “I have used this charger less than fifteen times and now within five minutes of being plugged in, the charger is so scalding hot to the touch. So hot, in fact, that I could barely even unplug it without wearing a glove.”


Plus, it could stop working at any of Apple’s system updates. That’s what happened to my large collection of third party VGA adaptors.

Reading the one star reviews on Amazon convinced me not to buy this product.


Getting rid of the magsafe power connection was one of the absolute shittiest things Apple’s ever done. Besides the whole “tough shit if you want to use that jack for something else” thing, the whole point stated in the very name of the thing (plug that was safer because it was magnetic and would pop out if you tripped over it rather than pull your MacBook to the floor) got tossed in the toilet just to score cool points by making the case sleeker or whatever.
Too bad this sounds like garbage, from the other comments & cited reviews. I can only applaud cheap bootlegs of Apple accessories after behavior like that.


Are these crap products ever actually seen and tested by the authors?


I’ve always had hit-or-miss experiences with third party (usually cheap/house brand) adapters on apple products. Sometimes display adapters would work but then another day they wouldn’t. I’ve switched to 100% apple parts and I haven’t had a problem since. Sometimes the third party stuff is just cheap shit. See also the super common non-standards compliant usb-c cables.

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The magsafe connector is awesome, but the entire unit was deliberately flawed. The cables on the computer side of the transformer are notorious for losing their insulation, and instead of the cable being cheaply replaceable, you need to replace the entire adapter, which is fucking expensive. I’m tired of shelling out $100AUD every year or so for their bullshit planned obsolescence.

Here’s a couple of great and nerdy articles about Apple’s laptop chargers, why they are technological marvels, and why the fakes are so dangerous.

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I used to have two nice, Apple branded chargers for my 2009 Macbook Pro. Then I loaned one to my partner who possesses rare destructive talents. So I went shopping for an aftermarket charger. I went through four of the things, with multiple returns too. The absolute best one I could find would charge my Macbook without getting hot or marking a weird whine. But when I use it, my Macbook would crash now and then, which is something it otherwise never does. So I resorted to using the charger only when my Macbook shut down. Then I’d use the macbook. Then I’d shut it down and charge it.

This was one of the factors leading to me switching to Windows–I had to start using the PC in my office (with an ancient i5 and 32 bit Win7. Ouch).

tl;dr - in my experience aftermarket macbook chargers are trash, at best marginally better than nothing

[EDIT: me grammar were confusy notgood.]

You’re not doing anybody any favors posting links to dodgy e-junk. I’m not sure what Boing Boing’s slant is anymore. You call out and attempt to shame (with mostly good reason) slimy folks and companies but you surround it all in a click-bait digital flea market and, in this case, recommend products that don’t appear suited to the purpose for which they’re sold. Maybe you’ve used this charger? I dunno. I miss the old Boing Boing. :disappointed_relieved:


That sucks, however you might get a new cable for $10 on ebay, crack the charger open and solder it in. Look for guides in the net, its pretty simple and reliable. I am on my third cable with my 2010 charger.

Reminds me of the time when I used an aftermarket charger in my office, and the cursor at times jumped a little when using the trackpad. Tok me a while to diagnose, because it did not happen when I used the mouse, or at home with my Apple charger, or in meetings when the Macbook ran on its battery.

So please do your homework before recommending chargers.

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Normally I’m pretty happy to open things up and do elementary repairs, but messing around with power supplies terrifies me. I’ve just accepted it buying new chargers as being part of the operating cost of having a Mac, unfortunately.

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