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As it is well-known, Apple has scrapped the MagSafe connector. Thanks Apple, was too good to keep :-(

I'm considering the purchase of one of the many magnetic adapters available on the market. But I've tried this from a colleague and it looks like pins could connect the wrong way when you are fiddling to dock the plug the male in place. The magnet is polarised as to oppose the attempt to connect it in the reverse orientation, so that should be avoidable, but I've tried to slide the two pieces from different angles and I'm afraid it could actually establish the bad contacts.

Am I worrying needlessly? Is a problem of just this item, or a general one?

EDIT: clearly, I don't mean dangerous to myself, I'm just referring to the shock signals that might happen in case the pins are connected the wrong way. I'm already aware of possible physical damage to the frame if one leaves the female tip of the adapter plugged when the laptop is on the move.

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This question/answer is precariously walking the fine line of being opionated. However, to err on the side of giving an objective view, I wanted to post an answer to address the "dangerous" question posed in the title and what a real-world, potential risk may be.

Can magnetic adapters for USB-C be dangerous?

To you, personally? No.

To your MacBook? Unlikely.

MacBooks have a clever bit of circuitry (adapter sense logic gate) to prevent high voltages from reaching the SMC. If you happen to mess up the connections, it will kill the DC-in board before it fries your logic board.

However....

What you have to remember when using gadgets like this is that in the end, no matter how polished they are, they are hacks (or as I like to call them "bodges"). Hacking is good when you're in a jam with nothing else, but as an everyday thing, I find them more trouble than they are worth.

How so?

Consider the original MagSafe was built into the MacBook. Unless you set out to actually destroy it, it wasn't going to get damaged by normal every day use.

This little adapter into your USB port is something that sits proud of the MacBook frame and exposes the port to damage from accidental bumps and bruises that come with everyday use.

In other words, imagine "sliding" your MacBook with this adapter sticking out into your case/backpack/bag/etc. and the adapter catching on something. The torque (the fulcrum will be the point where the MacBook and adapter meet) it will experience may be enough to break the connectors on the logic board.

Are they convenient? Sure. Is a broken port worth it to me? No.

  • Thanks @Allan. Obviusly I didn't mean dangerous to myself, I was only thinking of short-circuits and alike. As for phydical damage due to the female tip outside the frame, I had thought that too and I'm willing to detach it when I have to put my laptop on my backpack (I don't do it very often, since I work from home). Less than ideal solution, but I'm the kind who would throw the mac away in a couple of days, by stumbling upon the cable, which would certainly be worse. Again, thank you Apple for having scrapped one of your best inventions! :-( – zakmck Jun 26 '18 at 8:45

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