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Blind dates are always potentially disastrous, and even more so for divorcees who've been out of the dating game for years.
That's what we were reminded of last week, after reading dating coach Sandy Weiner's primer on how to avoid a blind date from hell after divorce. That's exactly what Imgur user squisheemittensface tried to do before a recent blind date, though things didn't go exactly as planned, unfortunately.
Disassembling Apple's diminutive inch-cube iPhone charger reveals a technologically advanced flyback switching power supply that goes beyond the typical charger. The iPhone power adapter is a switching power supply, where the input power is switched on and off about 70,000 times a second in order to get the exact output voltage required.
In more detail, the AC line power is first converted to high voltage DC[1] by a diode bridge. The charger consists of two circuit boards, slightly under one inch square each.[3] The top board is the primary, which has the high voltage circuitry, and the bottom board, the secondary, has the low voltage output circuitry. The input AC first passes through a fusible resistor (striped), which will break the circuit if there is a catastrophic overload. Next, the high voltage DC is chopped at high frequency by a MOSFET switching transistor, which is the large three-pinned component in the upper left. Input power is connected to the corners of the board, goes through the 10Ω fusible resistor, and is rectified to DC by the four diodes.
The DC is filtered by the two large electrolytic capacitors and the inductor, producing 125-340V DC. The controller IC drives the MOSFET switching transistor which chops the high voltage DC and feeds it into the primary winding of the flyback transformer. The controller IC takes a variety of inputs (secondary voltage feedback, input DC voltage, transformer primary current, and transformer demagnetization sensing) and adjusts the switching frequency and timing to control the output voltage through complex internal circuitry. The current sense resistors let the IC know how much current is flowing through the primary, which controls when the transistor should be turned off.
The second switching transistor, along with some capacitors and diodes, is part of a resonant clamp circuit that absorbs voltage spikes on the transformer.
The controller IC needs DC power to run; this is provided by an auxiliary power circuit consisting of a separate auxiliary winding on the transformer, a diode, and filter capacitors. On the secondary board, the low voltage AC from the transformer is rectified by the high-speed Schottky diode, filtered by the inductor and capacitors, and connected to the USB output.
The USB output also has specific resistances connected to the data pins to indicate to the iPhone how much current the charger can supply, through a proprietary Apple protocol.[10] An iPhone displays the message "Charging is not supported with this accessory" if the charger has the wrong resistances here.
The secondary board contains a standard switching power supply feedback circuit that monitors the output voltage with a TL431 regulator and provides feedback to the controller IC through the optocoupler. You might expect the primary board to have the dangerous voltages and the secondary board to have the safe voltages, but the secondary board consists of two areas: the hazardous area connected to the primary board, and the low-voltage area.
There are three types of components that cross the isolation boundary, and they must be specially designed for safety. The other connection between the boards is the pair of wires from the flyback transformer (yellow) delivering the output power to the secondary board; these were cut to separate the boards. I've put together an approximate schematic showing the charger circuit.[13] Click for a larger version. Looking at these pictures, it's easy to lose track of how very small these components are, and how the charger crams all this complexity into one inch. Most of the components are surface-mount devices which are soldered directly to the printed circuit board. The flyback transformer is the key component of the charger, the largest component, and probably the most expensive.[14] But what's inside? After removing the shielding and the tape, the two halves of the ferrite core can be removed from the windings. Underneath the next two layers of tape is a 17-turn winding of thin varnished wire, which I think is another shield winding to return stray interference to ground. Underneath the shield and another two layers of tape is the 6-turn secondary output winding that is connected to the black and white wires.
Under the next double layer of tape is the 11-turn heavy gauge primary power winding, that powers the controller IC. Under the final double layer of tape is the primary input winding, which is 4 layers of approximately 23 turns each.
The final picture shows all the components of the transformer; left to right shows the layers from the outside tape to the innermost winding and bobbin. Apple replaced the chargers with a redesigned model indicated by the green dot marking shown above (which counterfeit chargers inevitably imitate). I decided to see what safety improvements Apple made in the replacement charger, and compare with other similar chargers.
When I moved on to the Apple charger, the prongs didn't budge, even with my hardest pulling with pliers, so I got out the Dremel and ground through the case to find out what was holding the prongs. They have large metal flanges embedded in the plastic of the case, so there's no way a prong can come loose short of the destruction of the charger.
I'm impressed with the effort Apple put into making the charger more safe after the recall. Apple's power adapter is clearly a high-quality power supply designed to produce carefully filtered power. The input AC is filtered thorugh a tiny ferrite ring on the plastic case (see photo below). You might wonder why the DC voltage inside the power supply is so much higher than the line voltage. The Apple power supply uses a flyback design, where the transformer operates "backwards" from how you might expect. For more information on X and Y capacitors, see Kemet's presentation and Designing low leakage current power supplies.
Snubber circuits can be used to reduce 60 Hz hum generated by the diode bridge in audio power supplies. The power supply is controlled by the L6565 quasi-resonant SMPS (switched-mode power supply) controller chip (datasheet). To improve efficiency and reduce interference, the chip uses a technique known as quasi-resonance, which was first developed in the 1980s.
One interesting consequence of quasi-resonance is the switching frequency varies depending on the load (with 70kHz as a typical value). I thought Flextronics was just an electronics assembler and I was surprised to learn that Flextronics does a lot of innovative development and has literally thousands of patents. The picture above is from Flextronics Patent 7,978,489: Integrated Power Converters describes an adapter that looks just like the iPhone charger.
Flextronics Patent 7,924,578: Two Terminals Quasi Resonant Tank Circuit describes the resonance circuit used in the iPhone charger, which is shown in the following diagram. Apple indicates the charger type through a proprietary technique of resistances on the USB D+ and D- pins. One puzzling feature of the Apple charger is the second feedback circuit monitoring the temperature and output voltage. Note the mysterious "For use with information technology equipment" on the outside of the charger. Some notes on the components used: On the primary board, the JS4 package is two diodes in a single package.
Low-quality chargers interfere with touchscreens, and this is described in detail in Noise Wars: Projected capacitance strikes back.
Sample designs are available from iWatt, Fairchild, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, ON Semiconductor, and Maxim. When a diode or transistor switches, it creates a voltage spike, which can be controlled by a snubber or clamp circuit.
Is it possible that the higher quality IC helps this charger truly switch off when a device is not connected? In case you missed our first round-up of 25 assorted iPhone tips and tricks, be sure to read these simple ways you can get more out of your smartphone investment. And hey, if you have any tips of your own to share, be sure to leave them in the Comments section at the bottom — so you can get credit where it’s due. Turn iBooks into audio books: Like most smartphones, the iPhone has a number of accessibility options. Send multiple photos at the same time: To send multiple photos to the same contact (say, in an email or iMessage), open the Photos app and then tap on an album, such as Camera Roll. Tell Siri the entire email: iPhone 4S owners probably go through a lengthy back-and-forth with Siri just to compose an email.
Siri can handle Facebook, Twitter: The iO6 update will add native Facebook and Twitter support this fall, but until then, you can still use your voice to tweet or update your status. Lock the screen orientation: Does it drive you nuts to have the iPhone screen flip around when you rotate the phone? Master the keyboard: In the first 25 Awesome iPhone Tricks post we cover how to add your own shortcuts and quickly accept or refuse autocorrect suggestions. Preview that picture: On a related note, if you want to preview the photo you just took, just drag your finger from left to right in the Camera app for a preview. Delete your memory-hogging apps: Beginning with the iOS 5 update, you can see how much space your apps are taking up on your iPhone and delete them from your device — even a bunch at once. Isabelle Fuhrman walks with a friend after stopping by the farmer’s market over the weekend in Studio City, Calif.

The 19-year-old actress is starring in two upcoming movies, Dear Eleanor and Cell and both of the trailers were just released! Dear Eleanor, out on digital and DVD July 5th, is a coming-of-age story set in 1962, and centers on two best friends (Fuhrman, Liana Liberto) who go on a cross-country road trip to meet former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Cell which is based on Stephen King’s 2006 novel of the same name, follows a struggling graphic artist, Clay (John Cusack), who witnesses a disaster at the Boston airport when an electronic signal turns hundreds of cell phone users into rabid killers.
Several new studies suggest that because the average college student spends the majority of their day staring at their cellphone in addition to several hours before they go to sleep, both their quantity and quality of sleep is becoming affected as a result. A new study from Ithaca College in Upstate New York found that using a cell phone before going to sleep may not only result in sleep deprivation, but also lower grade point averages, a lessened mood, and an increase in car accidents. Schuetze went on to say that in order to get the best sleep possible, cellphones need to be either turned off or stored in another room. Anya Kamenetz writes for NPR that the introduction of wearable activity trackers have changed the way sleep studies are able to be performed, as they have the capability to detect movement in order to decide whether the wearer is running, sitting, or sleeping. A study performed by Jawbone, the maker of the UP tracker, tracked the sleeping habits of tens of thousands of students between the ages of 18 and 22 while they were on college campuses.
The findings suggest the average student sleeps for 7 hours and 3 minutes on weekdays, and 7 hours 38 minutes on weekends. In addition, a strong correlation was found between how hard the school was academically and the time students went to bed. Women were found to go to sleep earlier than men and wake up earlier, although they still slept more overall. However, a 2014 paper from researchers at the University of Michigan found 50% of college students reporting daytime sleepiness, and 70% reported not sleeping enough.
In her new book, Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, discusses the dangers associated with not sleeping enough. The post College Students Don’t Sleep Enough, Study Suggests appeared first on Education News. Be sure sure to call up a friend before the date and ask him or her to check in on you later, just to make sure everything went OK. To sum up what we've learned: Do ask a friend to check up on you in case your blind date is a creeper. Because of their design, switching power supplies are generally compact and efficient and generate little waste heat compared to simpler linear power supplies. The input AC is converted to high-voltage DC, which is smoothed by the two large electrolytic capacitors (black with white text and stripe) and the inductor (green). The inner side (diagram above) holds the large components while the outer side (diagram below) has the controller IC.
Note the thickness of the circuit board traces connecting these capacitors and other high-current components compared to the thin control traces. Since the controller IC needs to be powered up before the transformer can start generating power, you might wonder how this chicken-and-egg problem gets solved. A second feedback circuit shuts down the charger for protection if the charger overheats or the output voltage is too high.[11] A ribbon cable provides this feedback to the primary board. Strict regulations govern the separation between the dangerous line voltage and the safe output voltage, which are isolated by a combination of distance (called creepage and clearance), and insulation. The isolation boundary between these areas is about 6mm in the Apple charger and can be seen in the above diagram.
The key component is the transformer, which provides a way for electrical power to reach the output without a direct electrical connection. The following slightly magnified picture shows a quarter, a grain of rice, and a mustard seed to give a size comparison. Inside, the transformer has three windings: a high voltage primary input winding, a low voltage auxiliary winding to provide power to the control circuits, and a high-current low voltage output winding.
The Apple charger is higher quality and I estimate has about a dollar's worth of additional components inside.[14] But it sells for $20 more.
The photo shows the Apple plug (note the thickness of plastic removed from the right half), the prong from the counterfeit charger held in only by friction, and the Samsung prong held in by small but sturdy metal tabs.
They didn't just improve the prongs slightly to make them more secure; clearly someone was told to do whatever it takes to make sure there's absolutely no way the prongs could possibly come loose again under any circumstances.
Apple has obviously gone to extra effort to reduce EMI interference, probably to keep the charger from interfering with the touchscreen.[16] When I opened the charger up, I expected to find a standard design, but I've compared the charger to the Samsung charger and several other high-quality industry designs,[17] and Apple goes beyond these designs in several ways. Apple's isolation distance between primary and secondary appears to go beyond the regulations.
Apple went to extra effort to provide higher quality and safety than other name-brand chargers, but this quality comes at a high cost. Also take a look at Apple didn't revolutionize power supplies; new transistors did which examines the history of switching power supplies.
The DC voltage is approximately sqrt(2) times the AC voltage, since the diode charges the capacitor to the peak of the AC signal. When a voltage pulse is sent into the transformer, the output diode blocks the output so there is no output - instead a magnetic field builds up. The Y capacitor was covered with black heat shrink tubing, there was tape around the side of the circuit, the fusible resistor was covered with black heat shrink tubing, and there was a black insulating cover over the USB connector.
A detailed reference on R-C snubbers for audio power supply diodes is Calculating Optimum Snubbers, and a sample design is An Audio Amplifier Power Supply Design.
The output circuit is designed so when the power is switched off, the transformer voltage will oscillate.
Early power supplies such as the Apple II power supply used simple variable-frequency circuits to regulate the power. The patent itself is a grab bag of 63 assorted claims (spring contacts, EMI shields, thermal potting material), most of which are not actually relevant to the iPhone charger.
This circuit on the secondary board consists of a thermistor, a second 431 regulator, and a few other components to monitor the temperature and voltage.
This indicates that the charger is covered by the safety standard UL 60950-1, which specifies the various isolation distances required. These prices are the best prices I could find after a brief search, in quantities of 1000, attempting to match the parts accurately. Flyback transformers are generally custom and prices are all over the place, so I don't have much confidence in that price.
Current moving through a wire creates a coupling force on the nearby wires pulling them closer and then pushing them away, when the current stops flowing at the end of the cycle. Most people say the person’s name and then, when prompted, the subject line, and finally, the body of the email. It involves setting up these popular social networking services to work with text messaging. You can prevent this from happening if you have no desire to swap between portrait and landscape view. Just give Siri a verbal task, be it addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, equations or fractions — and you’ll see (not hear) the answer on the screen.
Instead, many iPhone users waste time by opening up each and every message and tapping the small trash can at the bottom of the screen. Most people will tap the icon in the lower-left of the screen and open up the photos manually. But did you know you could quickly double tap to skip to the next song and triple-tap to listen to the previous song? You know, like a little yellow face with hearts for eyes, teddy bears, Christmas trees, and so on?
Along the way, they meet a host of characters while trying to stay one step ahead of Ellie’s dad (Luke Wilson) and the police. Do your homework on the person you were set up with and don't be afraid to ask your matchmaking buddy why he or she thinks your date is such a great match for you.
The solution is the high-voltage DC is dropped to a low level through startup power resistors to provide the initial power to the IC until the transformer starts up. The standards[12] are somewhat incomprehensible, but roughly 4mm of distance is required between the two circuits. Note the lack of components in the middle of the secondary board, forming an isolation boundary. The output winding is connected to the black and white wires coming out of the transformer, while the other windings are connected to the pins attached to the bottom of the transformer. Also note that the winding is triple-insulated, which is a UL safety requirement to ensure that the high voltage primary remains isolated from the output. Two other R-C snubbers filter the diode bridge, which I've only seen elsewhere in audio power supplies to prevent 60Hz hum;[6] perhaps this enhances the iTunes listening experience. To see Apple's adapter disassembled, check out videos created by scourtheearth and Ladyada.
Thus, the input of 100 to 240 volts AC is converted to a DC voltage of 145 to 345 volts internally. When the voltage input stops, the magnetic field collapses causing voltage output from the transformer. But in the 1980s, these circuits were replaced by controller ICs that switched at a fixed frequency, but varied the width of the pulses (known as PWM). Transistor Q1 is the clamp transistor, which directs the voltage spike from the transformer into resonance capacitor C13. The output is connected through a second optocoupler to more circuitry on other side of the secondary board.

For a brief overview of isolation distances, see i-Spec Circuit Separation and some of my earlier references. GB9 is a AS431I low cathode current adjustable precision shunt regulator, and 431 is a regular TL431 regulator. I think the POSCAP price is high because I was looking for the exact manufacturer, but tantalum capacitors are fairly expensive in general. Seeing how much thought went into these things, knowing a recall and a redesign happened, reading how the design goes above and beyond safety regulations, I dare assume Apple spent a lot of time on research, prototyping, and testing.
While designed primarily for the seeing impaired, anyone can take advantage of this feature if they want to turn an e-book into an audiobook.
Otherwise, you need to open Mail, select the email account, select Drafts and then find the message.
Press and hold an icon and they’ll all jiggle, which means you can tap the X to close the open apps at the bottom of your iPhone. Go to Settings on your iPhone, select Twitter (look for the little white bird on a blue background) and enter your Twitter handle (or email) and password. Simply choose the orientation you prefer by tilting the device and then double-click the Home button. On a related note, you can delete unwanted emails in bulk rather than deleting one at a time: In your Inbox, simply click the Edit button and check off the emails you want to delete with your finger and then choose Delete.
But did you know you could also create folders and add them to your dock at the bottom of the iPhone? If you haven’t taken any photos or videos lately, swipe from left to right in the Camera app will start to show your Camera Roll, from newest to oldest, as you continue to swipe along.
You need not connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac every again if you activate the iCloud service.
By default, your iPhone doesn’t give you access to these emotions and other graphics — but it is stored on your phone and ready when you are. Finally, this AC is converted into DC which is filtered to obtain smooth power free of interference, and this power is output through the USB jack. The gray ribbon cable (just barely visible on the lower right under the capacitor) provides feedback from the secondary board to the controller IC to keep the voltage regulated. The second component type is the optocouplers, which send the feedback signal from the secondary to the primary. The components on the right of the secondary board are connected to the primary board by the gray ribbon cable so they are at potentially high voltages. This is one place where cheap chargers cheat - they just use regular wire instead of triple-insulated, and also skimp on the tape. Other chargers I disassembled don't use a ferrite ring and usually only a single filter capacitor.
Finally, if you have an interesting charger lying around that you don't want, send it to me and maybe I'll write up a detailed teardown of it.
This isn't enough to be officially high voltage but I'll call it high voltage for convenience.
This is known as Zero Voltage Switching because the transistor is switched when there is essentially no voltage across it, minimizing wasted power and interference during switching.
The innovative part of this circuit is that Q1 doesn't need special drive circuitry like other active clamp circuits; it is self-powered via the capacitors and diodes. Two transistors are wired in a SCR-like crowbar latch that will short out the auxiliary power and also shut down the controller IC. That time is an expensive investment and I'd say a large part of the margin goes into returning that investment.
While Amazon has a smaller charger that can fit even more easily in a pocket, they were kind of notorious for having usb cables that disintegrated in under a year. Given that the coil has many hundred turns of wire, each of which, is displacing, the sound pressure generated by the movement can amount to something noticeable if it is in the audio band. Now you can listen while commuting to and from work, while closing your eyes in bed or when jogging down the street. To have it show up on the list again, simply turn off your iPhone by pressing and holding the power button (on top of the phone) for a few seconds and then swipe to shut down. You’ll get an automated reply on your phone with a link to click to finish the setup. Simply tap the word Books in the iBooks app (top, center of screen) and now select PDFs to see them all on the virtual bookshelf.
Once you’ve got your folders created — and you can create or edit the name for the folder by pressing and holding the icon — simply drag it to the bottom of the iPhone screen for easy access.
A feedback circuit measures the output voltage and sends a signal to the controller IC, which adjusts the switching frequency to obtain the desired voltage.
Internally, the optocoupler contains a LED and a photo-transistor, so the two sides are connected only by light, not by an electrical circuit. The circular center section is very slightly shorter than the ends, creating a small air gap when the core pieces are put together. The result is there's not much protecting you from high voltage if there's an insulation flaw or power surge. The primary circuit board has a grounded metal shield over the high-frequency components (see photo), which I haven't seen elsewhere. According to standards, anything under 50 volts AC or 120 V dc is considered extra-low voltage and is considered safe under normal conditions.
The circuit remains on for a variable time (depending on the power required), and then switches back off, repeating the process. But in addition, super-cheap knockoff power supplies use variable frequency circuits almost identical to the Apple II. This circuit seems excessively complex for this task, especially since many controller ICs have this functionality built in. Also remember that you can start typing a friend’s Twitter handle and the iPhone will autocomplete the rest. Plus, spending time deleting photos on your smartphone right after you took them means you might miss an awesome shot because you’re not paying attention. You can only have four icons at a time, so you might gave to move one there to your homescreen to make room. Also, be sure to select what gets synched over Wi-Fi (or if you prefer, 3G, too, though be aware of data costs). I could be misunderstanding this circuit, because it seems that Apple unnecessarily took up space and expensive components (maybe 25 cents worth) implementing this feature in such a complex way. You can choose to sync Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Bookmarks, Notes, Photos and more. The output circuit uses three capacitors including two relatively expensive tantalum ones[14] and an inductor for filtering, when many supplies just use one capacitor.
As the component ages, the glue becomes more brittle and may crack or otherwise yield allowing the wires to displace more freely.
Most people say the person's name and then, when prompted, the subject line, and finally, the body of the email. You also said "and say," which places words you said after that into the body of the email. Chances are it's because they didn't know they had to sign in first — but it's only required once. Also remember that you can start typing a friend's Twitter handle and the iPhone will autocomplete the rest. Finally, add the short code to your address book and rename it "Facebook." Now you can tell Siri "Text Facebook," followed by your status update. It's the same process for Twitter, as you'll want to enable mobile updates by sending a short code to Twitter. Then you'll add the short code to your Contacts, name it "Twitter" and then instruct Siri to send a message there. Just give Siri a verbal task, be it addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, equations or fractions — and you'll see (not hear) the answer on the screen.
You can ask Siri something like "What's a 20 percent tip on $300, for four people?" and Siri will tell you everyone owes $15.
For example, you might want your friend's face in perfect focus or might opt for a more artsy shot of the sushi they're holding in their chopsticks by focusing the camera on the food.
Once you've got your folders created — and you can create or edit the name for the folder by pressing and holding the icon — simply drag it to the bottom of the iPhone screen for easy access. If you haven't taken any photos or videos lately, swipe from left to right in the Camera app will start to show your Camera Roll, from newest to oldest, as you continue to swipe along.
Also, while here, activate "Find My iPhone" so you can track your phone if missing or stolen (see here).
If you see that Max Payne game is 1.3 Gigabytes and you don't play it anymore, tap to delete it.
By default, your iPhone doesn't give you access to these emotions and other graphics — but it is stored on your phone and ready when you are.
Select "Emoji." Now, when typing an email or text, tap the globe key near the space bar for these new options.

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