EEVblog #353 – MailbagPosted on September 18th, 2012 14 comments
Forum Topic HERE
@time 20:00: th ename is read like Floreen Cocosh and he’s Romanian (not French). The phone number is a Romania mobile… so he’s probably working there or studying for a while
Just thought it’s worth mentioning.
Schmart has a patent because in the States you can patent 2 + 2. Doesn’t matter how mediocre or how much prior use there is, you can pretty much patent it.
Pretty much have to – otherwise someone else will patent it and sue you for patent infringement (despite you having it first). The goal is to bankrupt you in the court case before you can mount your defense to invalidate the patent.
Then again, if they used actual grooves in the PCB, it could be innovative in the way it’s manufactured since the copper cladding only exists on the surface and not in the groove. If they managed to find a way to economically groove the PCB, apply copper inside the grooves and then applying solder plating, that could be what the patent’s about. Or maybe it’s how they got the solder to stick to the PCB material in the groove.
It would be lame if it was solder mask, but if it’s grooved PCB, it could very well be patentable.
It is only the soldermask thickness:
“SchmartBoard’s new patent calls for the solder mask to be much higher than the pads. Additionally the pads are “pre-tinned” with solder.”
I’ve used SchmartBoards before and I’ve never recommended them to anyone. They’re really nice to solder on; especially if you have a cheap iron. But I used a 32 – 100 pin 0.5mm QFP breakout board and the silk screen label for pin 64 was offset by one pin. I spent hours troubleshooting a floating pin because of it!
With prior art or prior use, whatever it’s called, no one should not be able to get a patent on it. If you can patent every stupid litte thing, at some point there’s too much risk to innovate. There are only so many ways to steer a vehicle or use math to get the number 4. If they’ve patented solder mask “trapping” the component, then they didn’t invent it, it’s just a little edge to hang up the component.
[quote]It would be lame if it was solder mask, but if it’s grooved PCB, it could very well be patentable.[/quote]
From a political side, I struggle with the way patents are used nowadays. From the engineering side a solder mask solution is most probably way superior. The goal of engineering is not to create impressing technologies, but to solve problems in a simple, reliable, and efficient way. If the right twist in the solder mask recipe does the job, then it’s bad engineering to spend much work on producing grooved PCB.
at 33:24 you can compare the “Label” of each USB-Power adaptor. On the left device, they separated “infor mation” – on the right device, they forgot ” mation”. (Must be V2.0 – funny!)
I think apple wouldn’t make such an error in spelling.
Both adaptors must be copies.
Maybe teardown will show us, that they have the same parents.
They also printed “Designed by Apple In California”. Apple is known as “Apple” or “Apple Inc”. “Apple In California” is probably some company in China. There is no trade marked Apple Inc logo either.
I wouldn’t be surprised if all they have inside is a capacitor and a zener to step the mains down to 5V
Well, from a previous mailbag I had a couple of links.
A teardown of a REAL Apple charger:
And a teardown of a fake crappy one:
Dave, when you tear down those chargers, do offer a nice commentary and compare/contrast with what’s presented on those links…
1. Dave, The stamps from Sweden show a magnified picture of a butterfy wing. Obviously you missed the butterfly-shaped cameo in the lower-right corner next to the stamp value.
2. Mr. Schmartboard, If your patent is for raised solder mask to center the part, then why isn’t that happening on the Schmartboard you sent Dave?
3. I agree with most of the posts about the U.S. patent system. The U.S. Patent and Trade office (USPTO) is yet another bloated Big Government dysfunctional/corrupt waste of taxpayer money. Couple that with the greedy and corrupt Trial Lawyers of America and you end up with a real mess.
Thanks for the Vid Dave. As always, the Mailbag was healthy wholesome fun.
Happened to look up those “Slim” screwdrivers on the Wiha site – and I think Dave may have missed the reason that guy sent them in. They are insulated and are “10,000 Volt Tested For 1000 Volt Certification”. Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t know what was so special about them besides the width… who knows!?
Thanks Dave for a very entertaining and interesting Vblog.
Rgarding those 15MHz RF filters and the reasons for degraded attenuation at very high frequencies:
I reckon the reason is a lot less to do with layout and stray capacitive I/O coupling issues on the home made job, and a lot more to do with stray inductances on the commercial job… its the significance of those little hairpins of PCB trace you noticed! Those are in series with the capacitors going to ground, which shunt away the higher frequencies to deck.
I bet if you made a homebrew filter with no special layout or PCB shielding, it would still work well. On the other hand if you introduce even the tiniest bit of inductance in series with the shunt capacitors, you’re going to see that top frequency range performance problem.
Ceratinly in a 50 Ohm system anyway.
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