Sunday, July 29, 2012

Replacing a Beard Trimmer Power Supply

Recently while using my beard trimmer it completely died.  Over the last couple of weeks I had noticed it getting weaker and thought that the batteries just weren't taking a full charge any more.  It was a year old after all.  Then I remembered that I hadn't seen the charging light come on for a while, which led me to believe that the power supply may be dead.  After checking with a multimeter I was proved right. 0 volts on the output.  The easiest way to fix it would be to get another power supply, but because of the way the charging station is designed that's easier said than done.

VS Sassoon VS7836A igroom
VS Sassoon i-groom

The charging station for the i-groom is just a holder for the attachments and is used to retain the end of the  power supply.

igroom base station
i-groom base station

Because the charging station uses the plug from the power supply as a integral part of the design, I can't replace it with just any power supply.  I would have to find an exact replacement or use the lead I had.  After looking around on-line and checking Cash Converters I came up empty.  My only option was to use the original cable and get another power supply.

igroom base station
Removing the plug from the base station

igroom base station
The plug that fits the base station

The requirements for a replacement were reasonably basic.  All I had to find was a power supply that could output 1 Amp at 3 volts DC.  I didn't have any power supplies on hand that fit the specs so I decided to buy a new one.

SW-030100AU power supply for igroom
Dead i-groom power supply

The easiest way to go about doing this was to go to Jaycar and buy a multi voltage power supply for $25 that could output 1 Amp.  $25 may seem like a lot to fix something worth $65, but I use these things all the time, so even after the beard trimmer dies the power supply will still get plenty of use.

Jaycar Multi-Voltage Switchmode Power Supply MP-3312
Replacement power supply

Getting the charger up and running again was the easiest part.  After cutting the lead off the old power supply I soldered an in-line socket on the end of it making sure to pay attention to the polarity of the wires.  The polarity isn't really that important, but I wanted it to be the same as the original.  Once that was done I selected the adapter for the power supply that fit my socket, set the output voltage to 3 volts and hooked everything up.  Easy

Repaired igroom power supply
The repaired set-up

If you've never used a power supply with a range of output connectors you may be unaware of a small problem that commonly arises.  You tend to lose the connectors you're not currently using.  I usually get them mixed up with connectors from other power supplies.  I've found that the easiest way to deal with this is to put all the excess adapters in a bag and cable tie it to the lead of the power supply.  Obviously if you're constantly changing adapters this wont work, but in a situation like this where I may not change the plug in the next year it's perfect.  Honestly, I don't know why there isn't a place on the body of the power supply to store the left over adapters.

Extra plugs attached to the lead of the power supply
Extra plugs attached to the lead of the power supply

Just to make sure I know what voltage to use in the future, it's a good idea to label the new lead.  One way to do this is to get a piece of heat-shrink, write all the details on it and use it to cover the in-line socket.  It gives good results and makes the final product look a little more complete. If you want to get really fancy, print the information on a piece of paper, place it on the lead or plug and use some clear heat-shrink to hold it in place.  I've used this method before when installing a network.  It allowed me to tell what cable went to what room.

Power supply information written on the heat shrink
Power supply information written on the heat shrink

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