Why Your Laptop Has This Small Cylinder In It’s Charger

Your laptop is probably the most expensive go-anywhere, do-anything electronic you own.

cylinder in laptop charger

Your /laptop is an incredibly complex machine with all kinds of tiny moving parts inside.

cylinder in laptop charger

However, one of the most interesting parts of your laptop isn’t even inside it. You’ve probably noticed the cylinder wrapped around the charging cord at some point, probably when you’re trying to wrap the cord up neatly and failing miserably.

cylinder in laptop charger

The weird thing is that your phone’s charging cord doesn’t have one. And it’s a mini-computer. So what’s up with that?

cylinder in laptop charger

That little cylinder is called a ferrite bead. And for a small thing, it plays a big role in keeping your computer running well.

cylinder in laptop charger

All those tiny moving parts like the laptop’s hard drive, motherboard, video card, and many others spin and vibrate with the capability of producing radio frequencies.

The case around the laptop dulls those vibrations and stops them from causing any interference. And of course your phone doesn’t have those moving parts, so it doesn’t create those frequencies.

cylinder in laptop charger

However, the cables attached to your cat-warmer/laptop act as antennae. They can both broadcast your laptop’s vibrations as radio frequencies and pick up signals, which creates interference. And just imagine trying to use your W-Fi with random competing signals in the way. It would be like trying to listen to your favorite song with seven different tunes playing at the same time.

cylinder in laptop charger

Just snapping a cylinder filled with ferrite — an alloy of iron oxide (rust) — can deaden those interfering signals. So a ferrite bead is a simple, cost-effective way to prevent interference between your many great electronic devices and keep them from shouting nonsense at each other when you finally reclaim them from your cat.

cylinder in laptop charger

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