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Safe to extend AC adapter with thin wire?

by Net_name / February 1, 2012 2:19 PM PST

I want to extend a laptop ac adapter by an inch or two (let's just assume it is for a good reason). If I soldered a small wire in between, used for small electronics, would that be sufficient? Or would that be dangerous? Or would that not allow enough electricity to flow through?

Something as small as this maybe?
http://alturl.com/p94y2

Thanks.

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All Answers

Best Answer as chosen by Net_name

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More than you probably want to know.
by rjmartone. / February 2, 2012 5:21 AM PST

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER">Laptops use switching power supplies, which can generate loads of electromagnetic interference. You'll likely see a lump on the DC output cable. That is a filter designed to suppress interference. Splicing into the DC cable could allow interference to escape and could affect the performance of the laptop or other devices in the vicinity. Also, the power adapter was designed for that specific length of cable, so extending it may affect the adapter's ability to properly regulate its output voltage.<span>

<span>You should be able to find a slightly longer 2 or 3 pin AC cable that will plug directly into the laptop adapter. Much safer and a far better solution.

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Answer
Rule of thumb here
by Steven Haninger / February 1, 2012 8:38 PM PST

The spliced in wire should be of at least the same gauge and flexibility. But, no matter what, it's going to be a bit ugly. Is there some reason you can't just add a small extension to the AC side and move the brick?

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Answer
Additionally
by Steven Haninger / February 1, 2012 8:42 PM PST
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Answer
Same gauge
by Willy / February 2, 2012 12:09 AM PST

I agree with Steven, unless you state otherwise, there's nothing keeping you from using an extension AC cord for just this purpose. If in fact, you're somehow blocked in doing that, using insulated wires and then attaching them, you get what you want, but on an extended usage item, you may want to rethink this. It's important that you maintain, proper wiring and all that.

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Thanks for the insight everyone!
by Net_name / February 2, 2012 5:07 AM PST
In reply to: Same gauge

The actual reason for why I need to splice the laptop AC adapter is, because the actual plug is broken. I accidentally cut it too short when I was planning to solder in another plug of the same size, thus it is too close to the ferrite ring. I wanted the plug to be further away from the ferrite ring because I thought it was too close.

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The ferrite ring can be moved or replaced.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 2, 2012 5:10 AM PST

In fact it will work without it. (please don't ask how I know)

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PS. I see someone noted what the ferrite ring is for.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 2, 2012 5:34 AM PST

They noted the noise from the switcher but there is also noise that can emitted from the laptop as well. You will find engineers moving the ferrite up and down the cable to find it's best location.

Again, it will work without it, but try to keep it if you can. There are clip on replacements if you suspect the noise is interfering with Ma's hearing aid.
Bob

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