Repairing wall warts

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Wed Feb 15 19:16:50 CST 2006

On 2/15/2006 at 3:32 PM Joe R. wrote:

>   You may not believe it but the best method that I've found to get into
>wallwarts is to lay them on a hard surface and smack them with a hammer!
>It's sort of like cracking open walnuts. If you hit it on a seam you can
>usually pop the seam apart. One of the advantges of doing it this way is
>that there's no gap to fill such as there would be if you cut it open. It
>takes a bit of practice to learn how how to hit them but once you learn
>can pop the shell apart without damaging anything inside.

Well, I've got a bunch of nice soft-faced hammers, from a 10 oz. rubber
mallet to a rawhide hammer.  I started with a NEC 18v 1800ma. cube with a
blown fuse.  I whacked that thing until the experience was no longer
cathartic and my arm was tired--nothing.  I then grabbed my jeweler's frame
saw and ran the very thin blade down the groove a bit (using a couple of
drops of oil to prevent binding).  I didn't cut all the way through; maybe
only the first 1/64 of an inch to weaken the joint a bit.  A few more
healthy whacks with a mallet and the thing opened right up, without
damaging a thing!

I wish I'd hung onto the plastic-faced shot-filled flooring hammer I once
owned--it was probably about 20 oz. and you could land some serious blows
with it.

Next up is an early 80's Racal Vadic modem PSU.  Not really a wall wart in
the sense that it actually has a line cord; but the caps in it have dried
out and the regulated +/-12, +5 supplies make this one worth salvaging, as
the internal caps have dried out.

Actually, most DC wall warts are doomed if they get warm enough during
operation.  Darned things just cook the juices out of the caps.

Thanks all,

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