Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.
Don't judge an (iPhone) connector by its shrouding
This one is meat and drink for the Made By Monkeys blog… What’s not to like, with iPhone cables, dodgy wiring and decayed grunge? Basically, while neat shrouding made things look nice from the outside, they were a bit ugly on the inside. Alice, on the Engineer in Wonderland blog, tells the tale…
Just after learning a bit about Apple’s Lightning connector, a colleague mentioned that her iPhone cable had broken – the photo to the right was how it was sold, with the gunge removed. To be fair to all here, she also pointed out that it is a cheapy and not a genuine Apple item. But I sort of assumed Apple was protective of its brand and would make accessory manufacturers jump through some quality hoops before selling them the Lightning bit. Neat shrouding made it look nice from the outside (see left). The break was in the non-Apple end – the USB connector rather than the Lightning connector. Not only were some of the wires stripped back too far and in danger of shorting, but the strain-relief gunge (above right) was not properly placed – it fell off when picked at – and had not protected one of the wires. I trimmed and re-soldered the right hand two connections and filled it up with RTV silicone in the hope that it won’t break again for a while (see below) – and am slightly ashamed that I didn’t re-solder everything else before I shoved it back together but time, as always, was limited. Stay away from cheap cables? And, pity the poor sods that have to rush making them.
Tags: alice, cables, connector, dodgy, iPhone