FW16 and repairability


I think the FW16 laptop is easy to open and repair, but what about the Power Brick?
Its all sealed and one would have to cut it open to repair it.
I am an expert in working with electronics so I could repair it if it ever failed, but unless you know what you are doing with it, one can seriously electrocute oneself.
I would have liked to see it open-able with screws.
One has to destroy the plastic outer casing to repair it.
Maybe FW could sell the “Power brick casing” in their Marketplace so that if someone has made a repair, they can put it back together neatly?
This is not an urgent request because I have about 2 years to go before the warranty runs out, but would like to repair it myself after 2 years.

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FW would never do this as there’s too much liability when something inevitably goes wrong

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And that is exactly why they are normally ultrasonically welded / sealed shut.

Sometimes you can crack the weld cleanly by prying and / or clamping the shell to temporarily deform the shape.

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I don’t think the power brick being sealed shut is for safety reasons.
Its just cheaper and quicker to seal it shut rather than use screws.
Power supplies for other devices are not sealed shut. E.g. PC Desktop power supplies are not sealed.
I have a few power bricks that are put together with screws and not sealed shut.

Not having screws also helps with the whole double insulation thing and all that.

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Opening 240V electronics isn’t safe unless qualified. Also double insulated.


The power brick deals with up to 339 V (240 V AC power actually peaks at 339.4 V).

The laptop on the other hand only deals with up to 48 V. The US government defines any voltage at or above 50 V as hazardous (and many other governments have similar definitions), so the laptop’s 48 V is already very close to that.

The power that goes through something goes up with voltage squared. So that means that if something goes wrong and someone that isn’t qualified accidentally touches an electrified component then they could receive a 50 times as powerful shock from the power bricks as they would from the laptop.

Furthermore there is a lot less benefit to repairing power bricks since they are much cheaper and smaller than the laptop.

I think it also depends on how granular you want to be with the term “repairable”. Framework is selling just a step above layman repair parts. If your screen dies you can get a new screen. If your bezel breaks you can get a new bezel. If your keyboard starts to die you can get a new keyboard. If you spill water on your laptop and it dies you can get a new mainboard and battery. You are replacing parts to repair the whole, not repairing the parts themselves.

They aren’t selling specific capacitors or resistors, or selling connectors that need to be soldered to the mainboard. They are offering that same level of replacement for the power adapter. Did the AC or USB-C cable fray? They sell replacements. If all you need is a new adapter they sell just that.


Some of the most common components that fail are capacitors, triacs, small commodity chips that one does not have to source from the original computer manufacturer (FW).
Of the 100s of PSU I have repaired, the cost of the component to fix them has been a few $ at most. Similarly for motherboards. A common fault is a failed capacitor or other small component that fails resulting is a short or open circuit. One simply tracks down which component it is, and replace it. Cost of parts, a few dollars. Cost in time, 5-10 mins.
Some, few, result in cascades, i.e one component causes the next to fail, then the next etc. Those few problem boards become uneconomic to repair, but it is worth it in a majority of cases.

The skills to track down the failed component are specialist knowledge.

As is the skill to replace it, in most cases. Not everyone has the tools or skills to perform board-level component replacement/repair. At least Framework isn’t hostile to board level repair. I guess because of requirements of the board partners, they don’t just hand out board schematics, but it technically is possible for independent repair companies to get them.

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