How to Repair a Frayed Dell AC Adapter Cable
Background and Identification
Laptop AC adapters convert a wall outlets AC voltage to a regulated DC voltage. This regulated power is used to charge and run laptops when plugged in. Since the signal of the power output from a wall outlet is an alternating current, and our devices need a constant voltage in order to amass the chemical energy needed to charge them, the role of an AC adaptor is primarily signal processing. AC adaptors usually consist of a transformer, to lower the voltage from the outlet to levels more suitable for charging the device; a rectifier, to transform the sinusoidal AC wave into a pulsed DC wave; and a filter to smooth out the signal in order to provide a sufficiently stable voltage. All of these components are usually contained within a block along the power cable, sometimes located right at the outlet plug and sometimes situated midway through the charging cable.
Dell AC adaptors are no different than the ones used by other manufacturers, but can likely be identified by the stickers either on the plug, adaptor block, or wire. Typically, there is a sticker on the block containing the transformation circuitry that details the brand and specifics for the adaptor.