Case Study 3 - Replacing a Laptop Power-Jack

The 'Power Jack' is the the charger socket on a laptop. As the charger protrudes out from the side or back of the laptop, the Jack is very vulnerable to wear and damage. It is very common for the Jack to develop a fault, leading to the battery not charging and/or the laptop randomly powering off (or just unable to switch on).

When laptop jacks fail, the laptop manufacturer (and many repair shops) will want to replace the entire motherboard (main board) in your laptop. They will generall charge 200-500!!! An alternative is to send the laptop away for the Jack to be replaced by a third party company, usually costing 100-200. It should be noted that some (who will remain nameless), charge you for the third party repair, but do an amateur repair which leaves a lot to be desired!

The Paisley PC Doctor can replace any laptop Jack for 40.
The workmanship is second to none, with all soldering skillfully completed to a very high standard.

Here is an example of a faulty laptop jack being replaced...

Laptop power jack This powerjack looks okay, but the centre pin is actually loose. The pin often breaks off entirely, but a loose pin is just as bad. The Power jack needs replaced.

Unfortunately, the power jack is almost always awkward to access. Most laptops need to be complely dismantled to allow the motherboard to be removed. Dismantling a laptop is in itself a skilled job that should not be attempted unless you know what your doing.
Laptop Motherboard

Broken Power-jack (rear view)
Broken laptop power jack Here we can see where the laptop jack has broken, allowing the pin to move around- playing havoc with the power supplied to the laptop.

Removing Solder
The power jack must be de-soldered to allow removal. There are several ways to do this, but in this case, I have removed the solder with de-soldering braid.
Removing power jack solder using desoldering braid

Cleaned and Re-tinned Pads
Cleaned and re-tinned solder pads After removing the jack, the pads on the motherboard need to be cleaned and re-coated in fresh solder (known as 'Tinning'). This will provide a good foundation for a strong and reliable solder joint. As with so many things- preparation is very important.

Soldering New Power-Jack
The new connector is soldered in place. The soldering is done to the highest standards using professional equipment, suitable for the job.
Soldering in new power jack

High quality, Reliable Joints
Defect-free solder joints After a final clean-up, the solder joints are inspected and ANY defects are rectified.

Soldered to the HIGHEST Standards
These joints cannot be faulted and will be very unlikely to ever fail. You should see some of the botched soldering jobs I have witnessed- scary!.
Perfect solder joints

"Through-hole" Solder Penetration.
Ideal 'through-hole' solder penetration It is important for the right amount of solder to penetrate 'through-Hole' to the other side of the board. This helps insure that the joint is strong and reliable.

The New Power-jack
Always good to see the final article.
New power-jack

Dont hesitate to contact the Paisley PC Doctor for advice and/or a free quote.

Please be careful with you laptop chargers- try to use the laptop on charger when sitting at a table. When using a laptop on your lap, try to use battery power if possible- this will make your Power Jack less vulnerable to breakage.