Monday 20 March 2023

Laptop Power Hack

My Entroware Orion laptop developed a very annoying power problem. 


Sometimes it would unexpectedly go flat while in use with the power supply plugged in!

So what to do: send it back or bodge it?

The problem was due to an intermittent power connection, which started last summer. As we were in the middle of attempting a very stressful house move, I just put up with it. I had to keep checking that the little power led next to the socket was ON by moving the plug & cable into a suitable position to keep the laptop fully charged.

Now that we are happily living in our new home (and the events of last year seem like just a bad dream) I've reached a point where action is required.

My options were:-

  1. buy a new laptop; wait a moment, this one is still only 2 and a half years old!
  2. send this Orion laptop back to Entroware; this involves the hassle of packing it up, being without it for a few weeks, and the possible argument about responsibility.
  3. fix it myself!

It was already clear that the power socket was the problem, before I even took the back off. Whether it prematurely wore out or whether it had had a hard life, I honestly don't know. But the plug was a sloppy fit and, when I checked inside, there were no signs of dry joints or track-work damage to the pcb.

After taking the back off, I disconnected the internal battery pack from the pcb. I then fed a twin cable in through the gap between the existing power socket and the gap in the case.

As I couldn't find a power socket with the same size bore/pin as the original, I basically robbed a plug and socket from an old router, then cut the plug off the power lead.

I double checked the power polarity, soldered on the new plug and socket and powered up.

All good, so time to apply plenty of PVC insulating tape.

And of course it can still be run from the battery...

...and it looks great!

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