Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st May 2012 21:12 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Disassembling Apple's diminutive inch-cube iPhone charger reveals a technologically advanced flyback switching power supply that goes beyond the typical charger. It simply takes AC input (anything between 100 and 240 volts) and produce 5 watts of smooth 5 volt power, but the circuit to do this is surprisingly complex and innovative." Quite fascinating, although I'm not sure just how much the mentioned advantages really matter beyond bragging rights.
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Chargers (and their sockets)
by zima on Mon 21st May 2012 21:50 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

Now, if only regulations about microUSB as the standard power socket were a bit more throughout, specifying this port on the device itself.

They way are are, allowing for an adapter,it's only somewhat better (and certainly doesn't preclude from the usual dramas with incompatibilities)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by broken_symlink
by broken_symlink on Mon 21st May 2012 22:41 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

To me it just looks like the apple power supply uses a bunch of filters. I've only taken a few classes in ee though and don't know very much about power supplies.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by broken_symlink
by Tuishimi on Tue 22nd May 2012 04:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by broken_symlink"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd say you are onto something based on the article:

"Apple's power adapter is clearly a high-quality power supply designed to produce carefully filtered power"

Reply Score: 3

Ripoff piece of common tech
by RawMustard on Tue 22nd May 2012 04:46 UTC
RawMustard
Member since:
2005-10-10

There are millions of these produced everyday. They're in every CFL light globe you buy. They're also in the new LED lights you can buy these days. You can also get the the circuit from a multitude of online suppliers for less than a couple of bucks. So why are they so expensive? Because soon as you put a picture of an apple with a bite taken out of it on it, you can times the cost by fifty!

So what's so "technologically advanced" about it?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ripoff piece of common tech
by daedalus on Tue 22nd May 2012 07:19 UTC in reply to "Ripoff piece of common tech"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

I dunno, maybe it's in comparison to the basic chargers which used to come with the cheapest phones - they were just a transformer, a couple of diodes and a capacitor. No regulation, no filtering. I don't know if they're still around though...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ripoff piece of common tech
by Sjon on Tue 22nd May 2012 07:44 UTC in reply to "Ripoff piece of common tech"
Sjon Member since:
2012-04-12

You should really read the previous post on his blog for comparison:

http://www.arcfn.com/2012/03/inside-cheap-phone-charger-and-why-you...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ripoff piece of common tech
by claudix on Tue 22nd May 2012 09:51 UTC in reply to "Ripoff piece of common tech"
claudix Member since:
2012-05-22

I agree you.
There's no hi-tech feature in this circuit at all... All of these are common electronic components in a common switching power supply design. Delivering 5VDC up to 5W is fairly easy to achieve. Otherwise compare my laptop's power supply that delivers 18V @ 6.5A (117W): it is not much bigger than the iPhone's charger (considering its high power features).

The only innovation I see is the fact of distributing components along the 3 dimensions instead of distributing them in 2 dimensions, as usual.

Reply Score: 1

Meh
by Neolander on Tue 22nd May 2012 09:39 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Call me crazy, but I liked the old power adapters based on a the transformer/diode bridge/filter combo, with a dissipative regulator if you really need a clean signal at the cost of some efficiency.

For some reason, PWM-based adapters tend to make painfully audible high-pitched sounds when they are plugged in, but do not deliver current. I have to admit that this reminds you to unplug them, though...

Edited 2012-05-22 09:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Meh
by Fergy on Tue 22nd May 2012 20:44 UTC in reply to "Meh"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Call me crazy, but I liked the old power adapters based on a the transformer/diode bridge/filter combo, with a dissipative regulator if you really need a clean signal at the cost of some efficiency.

For some reason, PWM-based adapters tend to make painfully audible high-pitched sounds when they are plugged in, but do not deliver current. I have to admit that this reminds you to unplug them, though...

Call _me_ crazy but I would like them to shut off when there isn't something connected.

Reply Score: 2