USB Chargers

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I figured I'd post a link to this as I have recently tested a dozen or
so mostly intended for Apple devices.

  http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/audiofaq.htm#audipcrhg

Comments welcome.

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Re: USB Chargers
On 09/08/2017 18:08, Samuel M. Goldwasser wrote:
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That does not include this lot, seized recently
<http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/15453804.__1m_of_fake_Apple_products_seized_the__biggest_in_history_/



Re: USB Chargers

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One Web site said that something 90 percent of the Apple chargers sold
on eBay were fakes.  I don't know if that includes only those listed as
"Genuine Apple" or just "Apple".

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Re: USB Chargers
On Wed, 09 Aug 2017 19:13:16 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@repairfaq.org (Samuel M.
Goldwasser) wrote:

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It did include "Genuine Apple" is has become a sure sign that the
adapters sold are not genuine Apple.
<http://www.archersecuritygroup.com/tell-real-apple-charger-fake-life-may-depend/

The real chargers:
<https://www.apple.com/power-adapters/

There are quite a few web sites that offer advice on how to recognize
the difference between a genuine Apple charger and a counterfeit
clone.  Most of them use slight differences in appearance to make the
determination.  They never seem to mention using the weight of the
charger to identify the counterfeit.  I've been doing that with LiIon
18650 cells with good results using a cheap eBay scale:
<http://www.ebay.com/itm/182406361786
The fake cells usually weigh less.
<http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-know-a-fake-18650-battery/

However, I haven't tried weighing chargers.  When torn apart, the
counterfeit chargers tend to have much fewer components than the real
charger.  For example:
<http://www.righto.com/2015/11/macbook-charger-teardown-surprising.html
<
http://static.righto.com/images/magsafe/top_comparison.jpg

The real Apple charger is on the left.  I would expect that a fake
could be identified by the weight, as long as Apple doesn't redesign
the electronics, which could be identified by a change in FCCID number
and model number.

You might want to get a scale, record the weights, and add them to
your chart.




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Re: USB Chargers
snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com says...
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It looks like Apple used a lot of engineering just to charge a battery.  
From the writeup, the Apple charger does not seem to rate much if any  
better than many of the fakes.  




Re: USB Chargers
Ralph Mowery wrote on 8/10/2017 1:14 PM:
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Ya know, battery charging is not rocket science.

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Re: USB Chargers

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Technically, these aren't even battery chargers.  They are constant
voltage DC power supplies, period.  Or should be if designed properly.  The
charge controller is in the device (or battery).

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Re: USB Chargers
On Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:14:07 -0400, Ralph Mowery

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Whether an Apple charger represents a quality device is not the issue
or the problem.  It's whether the chargers in question are safe to
operate and meet the various safety specifications.  Much of the extra
circuitry in an Apple charger is required to comply with power factor
correction (on the larger chargers), power line isolation, overload
protection, efficiency requirements, operating temperature range,
EMI/RFI, electromagnetic compatibility, etc.  Every single logo on the
(larger) serial number labels represent an expensive certification
test.  

Anyone can easily design a usable charger by simply copying the
recommended circuit on the data sheet.  Making one that's safe,
rugged, customer proof, and passes the necessary tests, is another
story.

In my never humble opinion, Apple chargers are designed to survive
about 5-7 years under normal use, after which they mechanically fall
apart.  There are no concessions to reparability or long life.  At
best, they are nice looking, overpriced, throw-away products. However,
I'm fairly sure that a genuine Apple charger is unlikely to
electrocute me or set my house on fire, which is something I cannot
say about the counterfeits.

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Re: USB Chargers
snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com says...
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I agree with you , but even brand names have their problems.  The  
Samsung is a well known brand and their cell phones would burn up.  

Other well known brands have had their problems.



Re: USB Chargers
Ralph Mowery wrote on 8/10/2017 4:02 PM:
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A *lot* less often and when they do have problems they own up to it and  
recall them.  You won't see any of the cheap models recalling products.

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Re: USB Chargers

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Also, the Samsung recall of fire-prone phones was due to battery
problems, not charger problems.

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Re: USB Chargers
On Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:02:08 -0400, Ralph Mowery

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My current smartphone is a Samsung S6.  I guess I should buy a pocket
fire extinguisher in case my phone catches fire.
<https://www.google.com/search?q=pocket+fire+extinguisher&tbm=isch
Soon, everyone will be carrying pocket fire extinguishers.

Most manufacturers of laptops, smartphones, and cell phones have had
problems with older LiPo batteries.  These would bulge, which is
normal during a fast charge cycle, which was most irritating, but
allegedly not considered hazardous.  A few phones did catch fire,
which attracted media attention.  However, what finally got their
attention was the large number of YouTube videos showing what happens
when someone pounds a nail into a LiPo battery pack.  The result was
the general addition of a BMS (battery management system) designed to
protect the battery pack against over charge (above 4.2V), excessive
discharge current, and discharge below about 2.8V.  That was
sufficient to reduce the number of spontaneous fires.

However, that didn't stop the problems at the manufacturing end.  Sony
had a huge recall of laptop battery packs for leaving scrap metal
inside the cell which could eventually puncture the insulating
separator and start a fire.  Samsung had a similar problem with two
generations of batteries in the S7.
<http://www.techradar.com/news/samsung-galaxy-note-7-battery-fires-heres-why-they-exploded

Ok, so much for batteries.  However, we're talking about power
supplies, not batteries.  We're also talking about a fairly small
number of smartphone batteries that caught fire.  I'm too lazy to
calculate the odds, but I suspect you're safer carrying a Samsung S7
than you are trying to talk on your phone while charging it with
counterfeit Apple power supply charger.  For a smoking battery, the
risks are statistical.  For a counterfeit charger with insufficient AC
line isolation, their situational.

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The Sony laptop battery recall affected almost every major laptop
manufacturer and a huge number of laptop batteries in 2006:
<https://www.engadget.com/2006/10/19/sony-battery-recall-approaches-10-million-costs-mounting/
When Sony laptops switched to Panasonic batteries, it happened again
in 2013:
<https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/sony-vaio-batteries-recalled

Apple had problems with some of their power supplies:
<https://www.apple.com/support/usbadapter-european/
<https://www.apple.com/support/usbadapter/exchangeprogram/
<https://www.apple.com/support/ac-wallplug-adapter/
<https://www.apple.com/support/usbadapter-takeback/
<https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204551
Seen any recalls of counterfeit power supplies and chargers?





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Re: USB Chargers

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There's mention on at least one Web site (and in the writeup) about the
fakers adding iron blocks to make up the weight.

X-rays will tell. ;-)

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Re: USB Chargers
On Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:58:48 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@repairfaq.org (Samuel M.
Goldwasser) wrote:

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I haven't seen iron blocks, but have seen sand inside one 18650 cell.
The owner didn't want me to take it apart for some reason, but I could
feel and hear the sand when I shook the cell.  However, they added too
much sand and instead of the usual 44-49 gram weight (for unprotected
cells), it weighed about 60 grams.  My guess(tm) is that they thought
buyers would think they were getting more for their money if it were
heavier.  I just weighed a few known fake 18650 cells (Trustfire, GTL,
Ultrafire, SkyWolfEye, etc).  Most weighed 33-35 grams.  One older
Ultrafire "BCR-18650" weighed 47 grams.  My guess is that it dates
from the days when Ultrafire was a legitimate brand name.

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Yes, unless the bad guys add a sheet of lead foil inside the power
supply as "shielding".

More...

USB power supplies and chargers:
<http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/indexUSB%20UK.html

Index of tested USB power supplies/chargers:
<http://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerIndex%20UK.html
(Note the column in the chart on safety).

Test results on various supplies/chargers:
<http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/usbPowerSupplyTest%20UK.html

How does a USB charger work:
<http://lygte-info.dk/info/SMPS%20workings%20UK.html

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Re: USB Chargers
On Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 1:08:32 PM UTC-4, Samuel M. Goldwasser wrote:
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None except nice to see you posting and hope all is well Sam.

Re: USB Chargers
On 8/10/2017 2:15 PM, John-Del wrote:
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Me also.

Long time no see!

RwP


Re: USB Chargers
On Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 1:08:32 PM UTC-4, Samuel M. Goldwasser wrote:
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You didn't test beyond the rated power?  
I always like to see what happens when things are overloaded.
Do they shut down, or stink and smoke?

George H.
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Re: USB Chargers
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:

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No, at least not intentionally, sorry.  Some ended up being tested at higher
current than their ratings and at least didn't stink or smoke or shut
down during the quick test. :)

And, in the interest of science, I have just purchased a 12 W charger
from the Apple store to compare. ;-)

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Re: USB Chargers
On Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 8:24:10 AM UTC-4, Samuel M. Goldwasser wrote:
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If it's just a 5V supply you could buy a Phihong wall wart for ~$15.
You'd have to re-wire the plug.  How much is the charger from the apple  
store?  (If you don't mind my asking.)  

George H.  
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Re: USB Chargers
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:

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Yes, of course, or less from MPJA.

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12 W charger is $19 delivered.  It just arrived and tested very similar
to the one I bought on eBay as "Genuine Apple 12W Charger".  Labeling
slightly different, but consistent with acceptable variations.  Gold and
silver refer to the USB contacts.

                                    Rated |<--- Volts (V) with Load R of --->|
  ID  Description                   Max I | NL    10   5.0   3.3   2.5   2.0 |
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   1  Apple 5W A1265 Gold Pins      1.0 A  5.03  5.01  4.98   --    --    --
   2  Apple 5W A1265 Tin Pins       1.0 A  5.01  5.00  4.97   --    --    --
   3  Apple 10W A1357 Gold Pins #1  2.0 A  5.06  5.03  4.96  4.94  4.92   --
   4  Apple 10W A1357 Gold Pins #2  2.0 A  5.04  4.96  4.95  4.94  4.90   --
   5  Apple 12W A1401 Gold Pins     2.4 A  5.11  5.08  5.06  5.03  5.02  4.92
   6  Apple 12W A1401 Tin Pins      2.4 A  5.11  5.09  5.07  5.05  4.98  4.97

#5 is from Apple Store, $19, #6 is from eBay, $7.

Have sent off to be X-rayed. ;-)  

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