Pants on fire? Note 7’s “explosiongate”

Update: Worldwide recall – will take up to two weeks to get the logistics in place – then we’ll find out how painful this process is going to be.  Therefore I’m switching back to the S7 Edge for the time being (thank goodness I hadn’t sold it/sent it off yet).  Which means setting everything up again.  Joy.  Strangely, however, I’m okay with all of this.  More so than when I had to get the iPad Pro replaced because Apple’s new firmware bricked it.

With the news that Samsung has halted delivery in South Korea of the new Galaxy Note 7 due to multiple reports of the phone exploding during charging, I’d like to remind the press and everybody else that until Samsung officially announce something, this is best taken with a massive pinch of salt.

There have been occasional reports that iPhones and other devices have occasionally exploded  This is often attributed to poor quality third party cables and charging devices.
With more new devices coming onto the market using the new USB-C port (which like Apple’s Lightning port, uses reversible connectors) as both a charging and data interface, this has lead to questions as to how cable (and even device)manufacturers are implementing it.

As you can see from this Wikipedia entry on USB Type-C, it’s possible to send a much higher current than allowed, causing damage to the device.

Some non-compliant cables with a Type-C connector on one end and a legacy Standard-A plug or Micro-B receptacle on the other end incorrectly terminate the Configuration Channel (CC) with a 10kΩ pullup to VBUS instead of the specification mandated 56kΩ pullup, causing a device connected to the cable to incorrectly determine the amount of power it is permitted to draw from the cable. Cables with this issue may not work properly with certain products, including Apple and Google products, and may even damage power sources such as chargers, hubs, or PC USB ports.

This has directly lead to Amazon pulling cheap, non-compliant USB-C cables from its site.

As the Note 7 uses USB-C, one has to be careful as to what’s being used to charge the device.  Me?  I use Samsung’s wireless Fast Charger pads, with the official fast charger (the pad uses a micro-USB connector).  I’ve not charged my Note 7 with the supplied USB-C cable yet.  I prefer wireless charging because you never have to keep scrambling around for cables, plus it acts as a stand.  You can just pick it up and put it down, and it’ll start charging. Wireless charging is the future.  Tesla would be proud.

Wireless charging pad from Samsung.
Wireless charging pad from Samsung.

And all being said, batteries are batteries ,and all batteries are liable to explode if improperly handled/charged. Unless the battery has manufacturing faults.  Then it’s *especially* liable to go kaboom.

So I’m not yet bothered by this “explosiongate”.   Unless Samsung gets in touch with me to replace the phone, I’ll continue charging it exactly as I am at the moment.