Itty Bitty Laptop Power Cord Hack

2013-09-16 20.32.56

Something quick I threw together tonight.  It isn’t pretty but it works.  I have an Alienware M14x laptop.  I love this thing.  It basically is a desktop shoved into a laptop case.

It has two issues.  1. It gets really hot, like branding the Alienware logo into my legs hot. 2. If I breathe on the cord too hard it falls out.  I could also add that if I look at the cord too strongly it falls out.  If I look at the ceiling it falls out.  Basically the cord falls out.

Number one is easy to fix.  I bought a decent laptop cooler off of Amazon.  Number two was a bit of a challenge and I tried to ignore it for a long time.  I couldn’t stand it anymore so I brought up a pile of materials from my basement tonight not knowing exactly what I was going to do, the above is what I ended up with.

Instructions:

  • Cut a length of PVC pipe about 2-3 inches.
  • Drill two small holes in the back of the pipe near the edges (Which side is the back of the pipe is a philosophical question, wherever you drill it will be the back.  Cylinders are good like that.)  The holes should be large enough to accommodate cable ties.
  • Drill two larger holes on the front of the pipe with a diameter large enough to comfortably seat your power cord, drill these holes as close to the edge as is safe.
  • With a pair of rugged wire clippers remove the remaining plastic next to the edge of the larger holes so you have a ‘U’ shape on both sides.
  • Use a file to clean up the edges of both ‘U’s so it doesn’t tear into your power cord.

Now the tough part will be figuring out how to attach your new thingamabob to your laptop cooler.  I was lucky enough to have wide vents on the back of the cooler where I could loop small cable ties through the vents and the holes in the PVC without restricting airflow.  If this doesn’t work for you I would suggest industrial velcro unless you want to start drilling holes in the chassis of your laptop cooler.

After the PVC is attached to the cooler I ran my power cord through the PVC  and then looped it through again almost like a very loose knot.  The loop of the cable that remains outside of the PVC should seat snugly in the ‘U’s that you created on the front of the PVC.

That’s it.  If I wanted to make it more attractive I would probably paint the PVC with spray paint made with plastics.  Anyone can make anything better, you just need to decide that you can.