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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > I Kinda Thought Lightning Might Suck: Retraction

I Kinda Thought Lightning Might Suck: Retraction
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Clinically Insane
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Feb 11, 2013, 12:17 AM
 
As satisfying as that first "click" was when I plugged in my iPhone 5 on launch day, the little engineer on my shoulder whispered "there is no way this has a useful duty cycle".

Guess they were right, at least with mine. I get no connection now unless I lever the blade up into the socket contacts.


Edit: see my retraction.

Retraction: Lightning Connector - MacNN Forums
( Last edited by andi*pandi; Feb 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM. )
     
cgc
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Feb 11, 2013, 10:10 AM
 
You sure "your not holding it wrong"?
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
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Feb 11, 2013, 06:00 PM
 
Brilliant electrical design, dismal mechanical design.
     
cgc
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Feb 12, 2013, 12:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Brilliant electrical design, dismal mechanical design.
Isn't that typical Apple? Version 1 of a lot of their products and services debut with some glaring flaw hidden among the brilliant and beautiful facade of something else. Hopefully, they can quickly fix this and offer a swap out program.
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
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Feb 12, 2013, 04:10 PM
 
Two iPad 4s, two iPad minis, and two iPhone 5s. Boatloads of lightning cables, many of them cheap Chinese imports.

Lots of plugging in and unplugging. Satisfying click each time.

Maybe, just maybe, you have a bad connector. Mine have been sat on while plugged in, flipped around in my car while plugged in, and my 10 year old niece regularly steals my devices and works them over.

No lightning connector problems.

Ask me about the TWO broken Mini (Micro?) USB connectors on the Kindle Fires I bought.
     
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Feb 12, 2013, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by growlf View Post
Ask me about the TWO broken Mini (Micro?) USB connectors on the Kindle Fires I bought.

What about the two broken micro USB connectors on the Kindle Fires you bought?!
     
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Feb 12, 2013, 04:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
What about the two broken micro USB connectors on the Kindle Fires you bought?!
They suck

And thank you for asking
     
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Feb 12, 2013, 04:41 PM
 
I've had no problem with Lightning. I daily use a dock (from China) and a charger in the car. No problems.
     
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Feb 12, 2013, 04:45 PM
 
Micro-USB and the older Mini-USB BOTH have two MAJOR flaws:

1) You can't figure out which way to put them in at night (or ANY time you don't want to have to use 2 hands AND 2 eyes to plug them in)

2) The connectors in the devices BREAK LL THE TIME. I've had phones, headphones, battery packs, credit-card readers, etc. and they have had about a 50% failure rate. The little USB Jacks very easily get broken and pushed inside the device (especially when mixed with trying to overcome issue #1 in the dark).
     
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Feb 12, 2013, 05:46 PM
 
Is anyone else having a problem? I've got an iPhone 5 and a Nano and absolutely love the mechanical design of the Lightning connector. In my opinion, it's the best connector for any device I've ever owned. Second best would be MagSafe. Apple just knows how to engineer great connectors. Period.

I can't see any way the connector can wear out. Can anyone explain?
†șn+°N

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Feb 12, 2013, 09:14 PM
 
All connectors wear out eventually. It's actually part of a connector's specs: its "cycle count", meaning the number of times it can be plugged/unplugged before it may (or will fail).

I don't have any lightning connectors yet, but my favorite recent connectors are, of course, Magsafe, and mini Displayport/Thunderbolt. Totally satisfying click that I've had zero problems with.

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subego  (op)
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Feb 12, 2013, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by growlf View Post
Two iPad 4s, two iPad minis, and two iPhone 5s. Boatloads of lightning cables, many of them cheap Chinese imports.

Lots of plugging in and unplugging. Satisfying click each time.

Maybe, just maybe, you have a bad connector. Mine have been sat on while plugged in, flipped around in my car while plugged in, and my 10 year old niece regularly steals my devices and works them over.

No lightning connector problems.

Ask me about the TWO broken Mini (Micro?) USB connectors on the Kindle Fires I bought.
What's your iPhone usage pattern? How many times a day do you plug it in to charge?
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 12, 2013, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by tonton View Post
I can't see any way the connector can wear out. Can anyone explain?
Basically, every aspect of a connector has some capacity to fail.

Working from the butt-end backwards:

The strain relief can fail, loosening a wire from a contact.

The contact itself can fail (this is usually grot or something)

The locking mechanism can fail on a locking system.

The springs can fail if the contacts are spring-loaded.

If the socket expands a bit (which is what tends to happen after poking a cable in it a few thousand times), it's not going to hold the blade tightly enough, likewise, if the blade has worn down a bit after a few thousand plugs, it's going to no longer fit snugly in the socket.
     
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Feb 13, 2013, 05:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by BigJayhawk View Post
Micro-USB and the older Mini-USB BOTH have two MAJOR flaws:

1) You can't figure out which way to put them in at night (or ANY time you don't want to have to use 2 hands AND 2 eyes to plug them in)

2) The connectors in the devices BREAK LL THE TIME. I've had phones, headphones, battery packs, credit-card readers, etc. and they have had about a 50% failure rate. The little USB Jacks very easily get broken and pushed inside the device (especially when mixed with trying to overcome issue #1 in the dark).
Mini-USB is terrible - that's why they replaced it with Micro-USB. I was of the impression that Micro-USB was better. Part of the design specs for Micro-USB is that the connector on the cable (which is easy to replace) should take the strain and fail first. One of the flaws of Lightning is that the connector on the cable seems to be much more robust and stiff that that in the device.

Regular USB plugs usually have to be tried in both directions before you can fit them. Micro is actually slightly better, as the chamfered-off corners should always be up by design. Mini-USB is of course the opposite way around, with the "horns" going up, contributing to the confusion. Strictly speaking, all USB plugs should have the USB logo on the top, but not all manufacturers follow this.
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Feb 13, 2013, 11:48 AM
 
Two iPads, wife has had hers since a couple of weeks after the release. Still using the original lightning cable. I have had my iPad for a few weeks, no issues with mine either, I can even find the hole in the dark and get her in.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 13, 2013, 12:08 PM
 
Way different use. I have to plug in my iPhone one or more times a day. It averaged three until I got iCloud to stop sucking off the LTE.

That phrasing didn't quite come out like I intended.
     
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Feb 13, 2013, 06:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Isn't that typical Apple? Version 1 of a lot of their products and services debut with some glaring flaw hidden among the brilliant and beautiful facade of something else. Hopefully, they can quickly fix this and offer a swap out program.
Lightning is v2, v1 was the dock.
     
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Feb 16, 2013, 11:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That phrasing didn't quite come out like I intended.
Pretty sure localnet is thinking the same thing.
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 05:05 AM
 
I shall eat crow. Working the socket over with canned air fixed it.
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 08:43 AM
 
You might want to append the initial post in the original thread...
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 20, 2013, 09:02 AM
 
If they didn't read it already I'm not going to push them to it.

Christ. Y'all are out for blood.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 20, 2013, 11:15 AM
 
Let it be noted my attempt to put the retraction on equal footing with the allegation was vetoed by the staff.

It's likely there are people who are no longer reading this thread, so they'll never read the retraction or notice the thread title edit. They aren't being well served IMO.
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 11:52 AM
 
That makes zero sense whatsoever.

People are exactly as likely to see this thread bumped back to the top as they are a new one, and the title is now different. (In fact, I clicked this thinking it was the new thread, but I couldn't figure out how it would have arrived at 21 replies and wanted to know what had happened.)

And people who happen upon this thread through a search are unlikely to ever see the other one.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 20, 2013, 12:54 PM
 
The issue isn't people seeing the bump, it's that they've stopped paying attention after the first few posts. If they're not reading a thread anymore, the amount of times it's bumped is irrelevant. If there's no other thread, they never see the retraction.

You posted in the other thread, and this one, so I don't think you're the ideal candidate to test whether the group I'm concerned with sees the title change.

Anyone who found it by search would see my link, which is now 404.
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 01:05 PM
 
Isn't it awesome how this thread now has a new title? Incorporating the one you created to draw attention? People don't need to click the thread to see that it's different. No need to even follow through.

Well done, despite your worst efforts!
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 20, 2013, 01:44 PM
 
Well, even though I know people don't commit my thread titles to memory, nor are they on constant vigilance to see if they've changed, it's nice someone thinks I get that sort of attention.
     
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Feb 20, 2013, 11:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Brilliant electrical design, dismal mechanical design.
I reckon you were talking about subego's outlet

-t
     
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Feb 21, 2013, 03:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Well, even though I know people don't commit my thread titles to memory, nor are they on constant vigilance to see if they've changed, it's nice someone thinks I get that sort of attention.
Worked for me. And that's kind of what I need to go by.

Why the hell didn't you just edit the initial post here to mention that your problem was lint, and that you solved it by using some compressed air?

Now, it makes absolutely NO sense at all!
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 21, 2013, 04:54 AM
 
As I said, for the benefit of the people who started reading this thread and then stopped. Likewise, I believe the retraction should get equal play. The ass-end of a thread isn't equal play.

As I also said, people who have posted directly in the thread (me, you) aren't the best candidates to test whether the title change is noticeable enough. Regardless, I have a hard time believing a title change is more noticeable than an entirely new thread.

As for the lack of comprehensibility, do you think that may have something to do with content getting deleted? It almost comes off like you're blaming me for not writing with an eye towards getting my thread vaped.
     
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Feb 21, 2013, 09:32 AM
 
The advantage to a title change is for future searchers, who now see the retraction as the first thing they see. These forums have quite a bit of googlejuice, and I frequently find threads from these forms when I search for answers. A second thread could easily be lost.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 21, 2013, 09:42 AM
 
I see no reason these solutions need be mutually exclusive.
     
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Feb 21, 2013, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I shall eat crow. Working the socket over with canned air fixed it.
Why does this prompt a retraction? Have you ever needed to take a can of air to your dock connectors or USB?
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 21, 2013, 03:12 PM
 
Not after I publicly excoriated the connector design for causing the problem.
     
subego  (op)
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Feb 21, 2013, 03:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
subego's outlet
Where you'll find deals! Deals! DEALS!
     
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Feb 21, 2013, 05:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Worked for me. And that's kind of what I need to go by.
As an aside, when did you start thinking like an American?
     
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Feb 21, 2013, 05:34 PM
 
Now now, Americans are just people too, you know.
     
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Feb 21, 2013, 05:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As an aside, when did you start thinking like an American?
Shots fired
     
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Feb 21, 2013, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Now now, Americans are just people too, you know.
Only too well.
     
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Feb 25, 2013, 08:03 AM
 
Double complete retraction. It's acting up again.
     
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Feb 25, 2013, 09:54 PM
 
Nobody takes you seriously anymore

-t
     
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Mar 4, 2013, 06:55 PM
 
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 10:44 AM
 
Is anyone even remotely bothered by the fact that Lighting is literally nothing but USB 2.0 with an extra authentication component added to prevent "unauthorized" third-party accessories?

The 30-pin dock connector provided direct connection to audio and video output. Lightning is exclusively a low-bandwidth serial data connection. All the logic has to be in the accessory, which means much more expensive and complex accessories.

I can't find the link right now, but someone figured out pretty quickly that the iPad Mini can't actually output full HD video. It's upscaling a compressed signal to 1080p, and it looks like crap compared to real HD. I realize that you're not necessarily buying an iOS device for the video output, but Lightning serves no real technological purpose other than to keep things proprietary. At least the original dock connector had some extra features over plain USB.
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 11:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Is anyone even remotely bothered by the fact that Lighting is literally nothing but USB 2.0 with an extra authentication component added to prevent "unauthorized" third-party accessories?
Little bit - although it should be noted that it also supports a higher charging amperage than USB 2.0 micro USB. I think the point is that it's mainly for charging and the other features are secondary and can be handled through Wifi.

Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
The 30-pin dock connector provided direct connection to audio and video output. Lightning is exclusively a low-bandwidth serial data connection. All the logic has to be in the accessory, which means much more expensive and complex accessories.
And hopefully cheaper iPhones.

Yeah, I don't think so either.

Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I can't find the link right now, but someone figured out pretty quickly that the iPad Mini can't actually output full HD video. It's upscaling a compressed signal to 1080p, and it looks like crap compared to real HD. I realize that you're not necessarily buying an iOS device for the video output, but Lightning serves no real technological purpose other than to keep things proprietary. At least the original dock connector had some extra features over plain USB.
Here's the link. Basically, the point is that Lightning does not have the bandwidth to transmit raw HDMI, so what happens is that the iDevice transmits H.264 video, and then the adapter decodes the H.264 to HDMI. If the source is H.264 video to begin with, the iDevice will just output it raw to the Lightning adapter (that is not in the piece above, but it has been confirmed in discussion threads. If the source is something else, the iDevice will first have to encode it into H.264. For some reason, the one they tested can't encode at 1080p, so it's doing what it can and outputs at 1600*900. Panic doesn't say what device they use to test this, but 1600*900 is more than any device with Lightning except the iPad 4.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 09:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Is anyone even remotely bothered by the fact that Lighting is literally nothing but USB 2.0 with an extra authentication component added to prevent "unauthorized" third-party accessories?
Where'd you see that the Lightning wire protocol is USB2? All I've seen is that it's a serial bus.
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 10:31 PM
 
I thought it was absolutely better than 2. The beef was it wasn't as fast as 3.
     
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Mar 6, 2013, 02:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Is anyone even remotely bothered by the fact that Lighting is literally nothing but USB 2.0 with an extra authentication component added to prevent "unauthorized" third-party accessories?
From what I understand, Apple's Lightning connector is more like a »metaconnector« which means Apple can send all sorts of protocols over Lightning cables and not just USB 2.0 signals. The chips (one of them is built into the Apple device, e. g. your iPad mini or iPhone 5) while the other is on the other side of the plug. These chips convert the signal on, say, the host side to »Lightning« where on the other side, the signals are converted into possibly something else (e. g. iPhone-to-AV or iPad mini-to-USB).

The standard USB cable is quite boring, here the chips just negotiate the pin layout, because (1) Lightning connectors can be inserted both ways while USB cannot and (2) Lightning can send additional juice if you connect the USB-Lightning cable to a charger. Things get more complicated if you look at Apple's AV adapter: this thing has its own SoC and 256 MB RAM built in! So essentially Apple can easily use Lightning as a bridge for other protocols, e. g. USB3 (as long as Lightning has enough bandwidth, of course).

Overall, I'm just saying that Lightning isn't just a USB plug with a differently-shape plug on the other end, and the chips in the cable have a clear technical purpose (negotiating the pin layout and establishing the protocol used to transmit the data). For instance, Apple should be able to implement USB3 connections over Lightning even though Lightning is missing one pin (USB3 has 9 while Lightning has 8).

For the consumer on the other hand, the added complexity means cables and accessories will be more expensive, at least initially.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Mar 6, 2013 at 02:47 AM. )
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Mar 6, 2013, 02:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I thought it was absolutely better than 2. The beef was it wasn't as fast as 3.
USB3 isn't currently needed with iOS devices since the flash storage used there reaches transfer rates of ~20 MB/s. This is lower than the theoretical limit of USB2.
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Mar 6, 2013, 02:03 PM
 
Makes sense.

As an aside, why is no one laughing at me about the pocket lint thing? That was pretty damn stupid.
     
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Mar 6, 2013, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Makes sense.

As an aside, why is no one laughing at me about the pocket lint thing? That was pretty damn stupid.
Real world conditions, bro. I don't think it's unreasonable.
     
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Mar 6, 2013, 03:42 PM
 
I should have caught that though.
     
 
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