Using Over 3000A to Rapidly Charge an iPhone

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of doing something very stupid with another YouTuber. We wanted to see what would happen if you push over 3000A through an iPhone. The result? Fire. You get fire.

To perform this experiment we prepared a few different setups for maximum electrocution. The first was with the tried and true technique of re-wrapping a transformer to put out low volts at high current — essentially, a DIY spot welder. Now while most of those use a little transformer taken out of a microwave, I happened to have an industrial transformer about four times the size. Once re-wrapped to become a step-down transformer, it can produce approximately 1000A @ 1V … Or if you plug it into a 240V outlet, upwards of 2000A @ 2V — all depending on the resistance of whatever you’re putting in-between the contacts.

During the actual test we read about 1400A going through the iPhone with an ammeter. Which puts an iPhone 6 at a resistance of about 0.0014 ohms.

Now while running 1400A through an iPhone was quite spectacular, we were not yet satisfied. So we hooked up half a dozen marine-grade deep cycle lead acid batteries in parallel. Each battery is capable of outputting around 1000 cranking amps at a time. Which puts our theoretical output (before things go south) at 12V and 6000A. Or 72kW. The equivalent of three US households entire mains supply.

This time, we read over 3000A going into the phone. Take a look.

In addition, we also hooked up the phones to a 20,000V transformer to turn them into a mini Apple branded Jacob’s Ladder. No real point to doing this (the phones actually worked afterwards as well!) but it did make for a pretty cool picture.

So, stupidity aside, it is rather wasteful to destroy an iPhone for people’s entertainment — but… it was pretty entertaining, wasn’t it? [EverythingApplePro] likes to spice things up once, departing from his normal jail breaking, reviews, leaks, rumors to destroying an iPhone in a spectacular fashion. I was happy to lend a hand.

Hackaday does not endorse the destruction of high-value electronics for the enjoyment of the masses… but we do love to see a good explosion. 

62 thoughts on “Using Over 3000A to Rapidly Charge an iPhone

    1. +120k views in barely 2 days. Here’s a grown-up conclusion: he’s probably monetizing the youtube traffic, which will very likely cover the cost of the iPhone, and then some.

  1. Some days I’m not really into gratuitous hardware destruction. On the other hand, there are days (like when I have been working on stuff designed to be compatible with the latest generation of IPhone), when this sort of video cheers me right up. I think today was one of the later sort of days.

  2. Ummm. When did the DC voltage from batteries become compatible with transformers? Wouldn’t DC voltage applied to a transformer only melt a transformer winding? Perhaps there was an AC/DC circuit in there? However., that would limit the claimed 3000 amps…

  3. Glorious HaD article. Very detailed, very informative, by the best writer on HaD here. We all learned a great stuff. Crazy interesting hack. Thanks you for this FRICKING flashlight Youtube video. Mission accomplished, there are two links to other HaD articles. Hurrah Mr Hobson, keep on watching youtube for us!

  4. Aw, this isn’t that douchebag who destroys Iphones on Youtube is it? All his comments are either “why?” or “what a waste of money”.

    Does he just buy phones with the money he makes from Youtube? What a dick.

    1. Wow, someone that pays attention to YouTube comments… I guess you read the Enquirer as well?

      If destroying iPhones is what gets this guy off, who are we to say otherwise. It’s his time and money, its his to waste if he wants to.

  5. This is in no way a hack, or even remotely related to the content loosely dished up by the writers of HaD. This article is garbage. What’s next, stories about sticking forks into an outlet to see if your circuit breaker works?

    Absolutely worthless writing.

    1. It may not be a hack in the slightest sense, but it is quite entertaining. On a side note, its worse to complain about the waste than the waste it self.they aren’t hurtting anyone, and its their own money being spent.

  6. I feel like I accidentally tripped into some temporal rift and was thrown back many months. Not just because the super dated iphone destruction thing but the news too, I see tons of items on various locations that are months/years old being dug up and made ‘news’again.

      1. In other news a man named Thomas passed an extremity high electrical current through a strip of tungsten that was in a glass tube that the air had been removed from and it made indoor sun even in the dark.

        Sorry … couldn’t resist. No offence intended to the author. I like projects where you have to “tune for maximum smoke”.

          1. Some would argue that Thomas and Joseph and many others had the same idea that couldn’t be made to work until Hermann came along with a crucial piece of technology.

    1. For safety he put it on a cardboard box.
      And when the connecting wires glow bright red I’m sure that in the wall the wires and connections are cool and fresh and it’s all OK, is no problem.

      1. That is the exact same thought I had. :) Seriously, they think they’re taking “precautions” but if it’s doing that to the wires in open air what’s happening inside the wall?

        1. They are thin wires compared to those running in the wall so mains sees them as a low reistance rather than a short, much like an electrical heater. Also the dangers of setting the house on fire are rather limited, if the whole process is attended of course: synthetic window cloths, etc are really fast to catch fire, but carboard and thick wood aren’t. I would have died many times before getting 15 years old if they were :)

          1. I once connected two mains wires with a standard 2-pair mains screw terminal type of connector when i was in a pinch, but when I ran a heater through it the thing started to melt, the issue was that I inserted the wires on two sides and use the two screws to tighten them down, but apparently the metal of the (meant for mains) part had too much resistance for the load, so only after I unscrewed them and then pushed the wires in further so they overlapped and re-tightened it it worked OK (until I had a chance to go get replacement parts).

            The point I’m making is that even if you have good wire the connections in the wall between the internal wiring and between the wiring and the powerplugs etcetera are a risk.
            And if you think it can’t create a fire you should talk to a firefighter and see what he has to say from his experience.

          2. True. Bad or insufficient wiring can be very dangerous, even the right thick connectors if badly fixed can generate electric arcs which at very least produce overvoltages capable of destroying the applicance power supply, let alone much more dangerous sparks.
            My point is that the above example is a time constrained and attended experiment, I’m 100% sure his house will never catch fire even if he repeat the experiment a thousand times in that spot (no synthetic textiles etc in sight).
            A badly wired (loose contacts) plug would be a lot more dangerous: think about a spark that slowly sets on fire the plastic insulator while everybody is sleeping.

    1. More words… Youtube ad revenue. If you make a few thousand bucks for every million views you generate, it’s kinda simple to see how he tryes to make clickbait videos by including iDevices and destroying them.

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