WORKSHOP VIDEO #51: Fake flash drive, QFP protoboards, 1 year of workshop video retrospective

in Videos by DP | 16 comments

Teardown of a fake USB flash drive from India and a USB charger from China. A look at the new xQFP protoboard v2 PCB, and a new filing system for free PCBs. We’ve been doing workshop videos for more than a year now, so we look back on the evolution of the weekly updates.

While on our Global Geek Tour of India we scored a fake 32GB flash drive. We hoped it was one of those smart fakes that have only 1GB of memory, but simulate a 32GB drive by correctly recording the full 32GB file indexing. It turns out our flash drive was just a USB cable jack stuffed into a flash drive case.

Disillusioned by our flash drive experience we expected to be similarly burned by the USB charger we picked up for $0.25 during our latest Shenzhen visit. The charger is small, very light, and the USB jack sits a little crooked inside. We were pleasantly surprised to find two PCBs, a few caps, and a coil inside.

Version 2 of the QFP protoboards just arrived in the workshop. We moved the PCB to the Sick of Beige standard, and extended the IC pin footprints to make it easier to solder. This time around we placed 2 different pitch QFP footprints on each side of the board. These boards will go into production when the current batch of QFP protoboards is depleted at Seeed.

The previous versions of the QFP protoboards are available for $10.

We’ve been doing Workshop Videos for a year now, and we take a look back at the evolution of the update videos. At first we had floating hands explaining electronics in a poorly lighted workshop. As the time progressed we got more cameras for better angles, much better lighting, dedicated microphones, and finally a large workshop.

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Comments

  1. Jan Ciger says:

    Ian, I think the Chinese charger is one of these:

    http://www.eevblog.com/2012/11/20/eevblog-388-apple-clone-usb-charger-teardown/

    So yeah, it will most likely blow your device up or electrocute you if you are unlucky :(

    Jan

    • Sleepwalker3 says:

      Yeah, there is no way that transformer would comply with the Australian Standard for transformers, doesn’t look like a split bobbin for a start and likely wouldn’t comply with US, EU nor the CSA, UL, etc. either. Unfortunately there’s a ton of that stuff on the market. If you look on Youtube there is a number of teardowns and some are downright scary.

    • Ian says:

      As always, Dave did it first :)

      I wouldn’t use it either, and haven’t. It’s not UL or CE marked (they didn’t even fake it…) so I wouldn’t plug it into the mains. I talked about this at length, but cut it from the video for time.

  2. neslekkim says:

    Talking about fakes, I have my second Hakko fx-951 220v ordered from USA here now, one fake better than the other.. Even ordering products from USA doesn’t guarantee proper products..
    Anyone have pictures of the inner stuff of an proper unit?

  3. Mark says:

    I wonder if Windows and Linux are deliberately misspelt on the fake flash drive to avoid copyright prosecution. However saying that, why was Transcend spelt properly.

    • Jan Ciger says:

      Doubt it. First, that would be a trademark violation, not copyright – they didn’t copy neither Windows nor Linux. Merely using the name is not copyright violation, but could be a trademark one. Second, they obviously don’t give a damn about trademarks (or even committing crime), because they didn’t care about violating Transcend’s one with a fake, non-working product.

      It is only sloppiness, nothing else.

    • Sleepwalker3 says:

      The fake fluxes have the same thing, spelling mistakes, slightly off fonts, etc.

  4. asdf says:

    Jeez, what kind of building are you located in if the floors are that slanted?

    • Sjaak says:

      One of the joys of living in an old house in the Netherlands :)

      Playing marbles would be unfair :P

    • Whenever I go to London I always make a stop at a pub that was built in 1492, absolutely nothing is plumb, level or straight in that place and the upper floor windows (which was added in the 1600′s lol) look like something out of a cartoon due to their angles. But how cool is that that you can get a few pints in a place that predates the “New World”. I wish I could remember its name, its been about 6 years since I was last there.

    • Ian says:

      Mom’s basement is unfurnished ;)

  5. Tom Price says:

    Erm, was it the Anchor on the South Bank?

    • Nope that’s not it, it was white and had unused stables IIRC.
      I usually stay with my cousin near Hampton and its somewhere by there, I wish I could remember more but its been too long now, and I was always lost out there anyway haha.

  6. Haha….had expected atleast a bodgily soldered USB controller in that 100 Rupees Flash drive!

  7. Hardcore says:

    Yep those “chargers” are deadly once you have a component failure…….
    Some also have the Ecap metal case contacting live parts

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