Nine years have passed since the release of the iPhone 5. During this time, the iPhone’s 4-inch small screen has grown into a 6.7-inch full screen, the A6 chip has evolved into an A15 bionic, and the shape has undergone a design cycle. And Lightning is still the Lightning.
Looking back at the Lightning interface, whether it is a transmission speed of 480Mbps or a maximum charging power of 36W, it pales in comparison with the USB-C with a maximum bandwidth of 10Gbps and a maximum charging power of 240W (EPR).
When the iPad Air and MacBook have been replaced with more advanced USB-C ports, the iPhone has not been able to wait for an update.
This means that an Apple Family Bucket user always needs to bring several charging cables when going out: a USB-C cable, a Lightning cable, oh yes, there is also a dedicated charging cable for Apple Watch.
Many iPhone users just want to use a single interface to charge all their devices. Among them, Ken Pillonel, a student of robotics engineering, successfully turned this idea into reality. He converted an iPhone X into a USB-C interface and released the entire project as an open source on Github.
Ken Pillonel's modification was inspired by the Lightning To USB-C (LtoC) cable shipped with the iPhone.
In his conceptual prototype, he envisioned connecting a two-way USB-C female port as an adapter after the USB-C port of the LtoC line to simulate the input and output of the USB-C port.
Ken Pillonel proved that this concept is feasible after experiments. The next thing to be solved is to condense the entire complex switching circuit on a flexible PCB board and stuff it into the iPhone.
The actual operation is much more complicated than the theoretical guess. Ken Pillonel must first simplify the entire circuit, because the internal space of the iPhone cannot accommodate so many interfaces and adapters.
Among them, extracting the C94 conversion chip in the LtoC line is the most difficult link for Ken Pillonel, and it is difficult to remove it either through physical or chemical means.
And the most dramatic thing happened. Ken Pillonel heard that a powerful Eastern force cracked the C94 chip, which can bypass the MFi certification and is easy to disassemble.
So Ken Pillonel purchased a batch of cracked interfaces from China on Taobao, and successfully obtained usable chips.
▲ The circuit design process is very professional and complicated
Ken Pillonel redesigned the new circuit and carefully soldered all the chips onto the flexible circuit board. After testing, the circuit worked normally.
▲ Final product
The last thing he needs to solve is how to plug this circuit board and interface into the iPhone.
Ken Pillonel found that there is a tiny slot between the battery and the Taptic Engine vibration motor, which is enough to embed the PCB board, but the opening area of the USB-C interface is larger than that of Lightning, and he needs to be re-polished by CNC. The opening of the interface.
Since the back panel of the iPhone X is made of glass, it is easy to break the glass if it is clamped directly with a CNC fixture. Ken Pillonel also needs to 3D print two brackets to fix the back panel before opening the hole successfully.
After the installation, the "world's first iPhone with a USB-C interface" was finally completed. Ken Pillonel demonstrated charging and data transfer separately, and everything worked normally.
Ken Pillonel put the circuit diagrams, CAD drawings and other designs used in this project on Github. If you also have the same excellent software and hardware hands-on ability, you can also make a major transformation for your iPhone.
This prototype has been put up for auction on EBay by Ken Pillonel, and its auction price has reached 3950 US dollars.
Ken Pillonel said that he will continue to do some interesting transformation projects. Maybe the next Apple product that "uses the USB-C interface" will be AirPods.
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