back to article Exploding phablet phears phorce Samsung Galaxy Note 7 delay

Reports of the new Galaxy Note 7 exploding while being charged has caused Samsung to halt shipment of the high-end "phablet." South Korean news agency Yonhap first reported that the company has halted delivery of the device after no fewer than five people complained about "explosions." Some shared pictures of their burnt-out …

  1. djstardust

    Well at least

    Samsung have done the correct thing by pulling them and investigating the cause.

    Apple would sell them anyway and blame the user for setting them on fire.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Well at least

      Apple would sell them anyway and blame the user for setting them on fire.

      The right person to blame would be the standards droid(s) who came up with USB-C. There are quite a few places in it which read like "no boom today, boom tomorrow. There will definitely going to be a boom tomorrow".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well at least

        The right person to blame would be the standards droid(s) who came up with USB-C

        From what we are reading in this and other articles it is USB-C that should be banned.

        Who thought it up first and why?

        1. james 68

          Re: Well at least

          Funnily enough, Anker has just recalled several thousand USB-C charging cables because they make devices go boom.

          Details:

          "Anker’s USB-C cable model A8185011 can “remember” the voltage of the device it was just plugged into. This is dangerous because if you unplug it from a laptop’s USB-C port and then plug it into your phone, it could push a 15V-20V power draw into a port that shouldn’t see more than 5V."

          Just one of many links.

          Coincidence?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well at least

            >Details:

            >

            > "Anker’s USB-C cable model A8185011 can “remember” the voltage of the device it was just plugged >into.

            How the hell does a cable remember? Its just a piece of wire. ITTM the voltage regulator at the wall its plugged into. Also the voltage regulator on the phone clearly isn't doing its job properly - if there's an over voltage it should cut out, not continue feeding too much to the battery.

            1. james 68

              Re: Well at least

              Indeed, a cable should be just that, a cable. However in their geneous level decision ("They" being those who designed and ratified the USB-C "standard"), they chose to add a microchip into the cable end. This allows the cable to make "decisions" which should really be made by the PDB of the attached device, ie what voltage it needs to charge at. USB allows for charging at up to 20 volts, this is usually decided by the attached devices USB hardware.

              Why they don't just let the USB interface make it's own decision, since that's actually part of the USB standard for charging, is beyond me, seems like a solution in search of a problem.

      2. James 51
        Thumb Up

        Re: Well at least

        Should change your handle to Vorland's right hand.

      3. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: Well at least

        Maybe they'll come out with a USB-C health warning on the packaging - This may cause your device to explode! (not covered by warranty).

        Do you feel lucky punk... well, do you?

        SNAFU!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well at least

      Should have known someone would use an article about Samsung phones catching on fire to criticize Apple. Imagine the pointing, laughing and shouting from Fandroids if the new iPhone had a problem like this!

      Given 5 known cases already with only 400,000 Note 7s shipped, since Apple ships over 10 million on launch weekend there would have been over 100 fires and stories would have hit every news site in the world, instead of just a few articles on tech sites.

    3. Geronimo!

      Re: Well at least

      You're holding it wrong!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well at least

      Yeah, this story confirms it - Apple are just so sh!t - well said.

      Have you heard they're behind JFK's assasination too.

      /shakes my head and awaits the Pavlovian reflex down votes.

  2. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    And people downvoted me when I wisely suggested charging the newly repaired-by-net-upgrade Microsoft tablets on a concrete slab within a sandbag emplacement to mitigate any mistakes made in the detection of over-charge department.

    Harrumph.

    It's all fun and games until your smartphone sets fire to your Playstation.

  3. cd

    Surprised that Amazon would ban something for being unsafe. And wonder if Samsung included a proper charger/cord or tried to cut corners and is now repackaging.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Batteries not included

      And wonder if Samsung included a proper charger/cord or tried to cut corners and is now repackaging.

      That's just lazy. It would not take many keypresses to find out what ships with the phone. Yes it ships with fast charge charger, USB cable and USB/MicroUSB and MicroUSB/USB-C adaptors.

      I suspect most people would be using a QI charger though rather than plugging it in. Especially given N7 supports fast wireless charging.

  4. Brian Miller
    Joke

    Requires 440VAC for charging

    The actual problem with the phone is that its charging specifications are incorrect. It actually needs 440VAC at 200A, otherwise there's too much amperage coming in through that little 5V connector.

    Never mind Moore's law, it's Ohm's law here!

    1. arctic_haze
      Flame

      Re: Requires 440VAC for charging

      You mean it needs a 88 kW charger? ;-)

      The icon represents the inevitable result.

      1. Bryn Jones
        Mushroom

        Re: Requires 440VAC for charging

        Super-duper-88kW-fast-charge-and-incinerate.

        Charges the battery in a moment, and then keeps pumping in energy until there is only a pile of molten slag descending through the floor.

        The ultimate secure erase :-).

  5. ecarlseen

    Cross-promotion?

    Perhaps they should go in on a spontaneous combustion combo with Tesla....

  6. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    If you want to prevent this..

    The logic has to be in both the device being charged and in the charger. The device being charged needs to detect what voltage is being applied and either accept it if the proper telemetry is passed indicating what the charger is capable of, limit the current if not sure, or cut it off entirely if the voltage is too high, polarity is wrong, etc. Or regulate a wide range of applied voltages internally. Of course this would add size to the device, and a little more cost, but would be worth the extra safety and battery longevity IMHO.

    The charger needs to have current limiting circuitry such that if a device is attempting to draw beyond its capacity to provide, it limits its output to specs or shuts down if a fault is detected, such as a direct short or an overtemp condition in the charger. Similar to what a good laptop charger will do and smart battery chargers have been doing for decades.

    This situation is only going to get worse as batteries get bigger and devices get thirstier, while everyone seems to think a right-sized connector is apparently gauche and smaller is better. If this was the trend in home wiring, we'd all be plugging our waffle irons into receptacles the size of a hamster's anus by now.

    Of course everyone that expects to get a high quality precision piece of electronics for $5 off ebay or Amazon is delusional. Fly-by-night companies in China, etc. will crank out the ill-designed, poorly built junk as fast as idiots can buy it, as long as there's a market for it.

    1. Ru'

      Re: If you want to prevent this..

      ^^^ this.

      It's so easy to design a PSU with over-current protection (in fact I would suggest that every commercial PSU has this anyway).

      And it's so easy to design a charging circuit which takes a voltage, changes it to the one required and then controls the charge current to a battery.

      Why anyone thought a device requesting a different voltage from a PSU was a good idea is beyond me, apart from obviously making the device slightly cheaper/thinner.

      Having (say) a standard (fixed) 12V or 24V 5A-capable wall supply would be fine for most devices. The devices themselves could then convert this to whatever they need voltage-wise.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: If you want to prevent this..

        Quote

        It's so easy to design a PSU with over-current protection (in fact I would suggest that every commercial PSU has this anyway).

        Err..... didn't that used to be called a Fuse?

        mines the one with a load of 500mA fuses in the pocket.

    2. Christopher Lane
      Thumb Up

      Re: If you want to prevent this..

      "receptacles the size of a hamster's anus"

      ROFL! Ah....that's set me up for the rest of the day {wipes a way a tear of laughter}

  7. Craigie

    USB-C is a disaster. it is not user-friendly enough to be a standard.

  8. Ru'

    ...if it's so difficult for devices to accept "high" voltages without frying, they should have just added a couple more cores to the cable and connector. 1 for 5V, 1 for 12V and one for 24V.

    This is the problem where standards are made by companies who sell various "solutions" for problems which don't exist, and where these companies want to freeze out other suppliers.

    That USB lead suddenly isn't just a wire with connectors at each end. Not for your benefit.

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