Notebook power supply fixin' question.

In our recent move, my son’s power supply (cord? AC Adaptor? Transformer? I don’t know what it’s called - the thing you plug into the wall and into the laptop and it makes blinky lights happen) was damaged. The small metal plug, the end that goes into the laptop, broke off. He tried jamming it back into the socket, but no dice. Is this fixable, or do I have to drop $60 on a new power supply? Can I fix it myself (I do know how to solder metals, 'though I’ve never done electronics) or can it be repaired at a shop? What would be a reasonable price for such a repair?

Sounds like you’re describing a “coaxial” power plug.

Not fixable, but readily and cheaply replaceable in a range of sizes - take the old one along to compare. Be sure to match up which wire goes to the sleeve vs the center pin, or the magic smoke that makes the laptop work may suddenly leak out :eek: There’s usually a diagram on the adapter’s case.

Oh, you say you’ve never done electronics. I’m willing to bet that this means you don’t have the appropriate solder or soldering iron. Ask at your local “Shack” if they know a general fixit sort of shop in the area that can do it. You might be lucky, and they’ll be willing to do it for you right there, if they’re bored enough.

Failing that, you can get a cheapie electronics soldering iron and a bit of acid-free solder for about ten bucks.

The cheapest & most secure fix (IMO) would be to got to Good Will or Salvation Army and get a power adapter (usually about a buck apiece) with a molded coax end that closely matches the end on your PS. Cut it off a foot or two before the end and make sure wire polarity is correct than solder and heat shrink or use electrical tape to insulate the exposed wire sections.
A factory molded coax end is tons more rugged than a soldered one and two big wires are far easier to solder than a tiny coax connections.

If you do get a new power supply you might want to avoid Kensington. I bought one with an array of plugs, and while the plug fits my Dell and delivers the power as advertised, it’s a loose fit. Not as snug as the original.