The stylish yo-yo power adapter that accompanied the old G3 powerbook I acquired off ebay broke. It was obviously heavily used before I got it but the fault lies with the lousy mechanical design. When the wire is retracted into the yo-yo housing, the plug head is under tension. That might be okay, except that the strain-relief on the head is flexible and does not anchor the wire which moves within its soft, translucent plastic insulation. Eventually, the flexing of the wires fatigues them and they short- rather spectacularly, too. I saw a bright blue spark when I moved the cord and noticed that the wire was a little charred inside. That’s bad.
I’ve replaced it with a traditional black brick power adapter made by Samsung. It’s not fancy or good-looking but it has an extended strain-relief moulding where the wires attach to the plug. Given that one doesn’t yank on the plug or keep tension on it when retracted like the yo-yo design, it should last a good while. At $25 plus shipping off ebay, I’m unconcerned if I need a replacement in a few years.
I may make an attempt to fix the yo-yo adapter. I plan to cut the head off the wire and solder on a standard 3.5mm stereo jack. These go for about $0.68 from electronics supply houses. The barrel shield, which I’ll ignore, is just there to prevent someone from plugging the 24VDC adapter into a piece of audio equipment.