Philips’ apparent love for overly complex molding turns pure evil here. As if having clips all around the cover isn’t troublesome enough, some of the sides have both the outside lip and clip on the same side piece, trapping the hook in-between and making separation nearly impossible. How did I manage to open the housing without breaking them? Thankfully, the back side has its clips on the opposite mold from the overlap lip, allowing me to successfully pry that side off first. Then I was able to pry the other clips off from within. With such a challenging enclosure design, the so-called security screw seems even more pointless.
From the USB adapter function's seemingly unnecessary dual-board construction with date codes seven months apart, it seems reasonable to assume that the AC-DC converter board is a generic high-volume building block shared by multiple products, while the output board is merely a patch job. Churn rate on the converter is so high that its date code is even a month later than the housing’s own.
As expected, the outlets are indeed provided by three strips ready to accept a full complement of four outlets, though only three are open for use. The power cord’s wires are welded to their respective metal strips, while the USB adapter’s wires are attached to the strips with sizable solder blobs.
Also unsurprising is the flappy ground strip design, which does not age particularly well in my experience, and the moderately common pinch-type connections for live and neutral.
From this angle, you can’t really tell that the third outlet from the left is condemned; they all look the same.
In every power bar I can remember looking at where bare copper wires were directly attached to metal strips by welding, individual strands were visibly crushed together by pressure and heat, sometimes to the point of being barely distinguishable. Here, though, individual strands appear to remain fully intact and unmarred (aside from the circular bundle getting slightly flattened).
On the bottom cover piece that supports the outlet strips, we only find support pillars for the three usable outlets’ ground pin strips. Looking at the cord’s strain relief, the cable enters almost exactly where the omitted outlet’s support would have been. It may have been skipped partly to facilitate assembly.
Near the bottom of the left and right edges, next to the rising clips, you can see marks left behind by the mold inserts used to form them.
An extra 330µF CapXon capacitor provides some local decoupling for wiring inductance between the AC-DC board and the ports board. As for the magic switches, they don’t really do anything important aside from selecting charging standard identification resistors.
Main Board – Top
In the through-hole component department, we find a 1A input fuse, a DB107 (1A, 1000Vrrm) diode bridge, a pair of 10µF, 400V CapXon KM capacitors, a pair of inductors for line noise filtering, an On-Bright OB2538A monolithic 15W switching regulator with primary-side sensing, and its auxiliary supply capacitor on the primary side. On the secondary side, only the Shottky diode and a pair of 1000µF, 10V CapXon KF capacitors are visible.
Philips' sleeved secondary winding connects to the circuit board by bringing wires out of the transformer and soldering them directly to the board instead of using coil form pins for ease of automated board assembly. In order to identify the transformer wire that goes positive during the secondary-side energy dump, it's left with only normal sleeving on. Meanwhile, the negative gets extra black tube around it.
The transformer's other noteworthy details include a small solder bead and a cropped component lead stuck on top of its core. Did these get there during manufacturing, or were they loose within the enclosure and settle on the tape at some point? While the solder ball may be too small to pose any threat, the cropped lead is certainly long enough to be a hazard almost anywhere.
More Loose Bits
Further to the right of the previous picture, there is a large solder flake, a piece of lint, and a second piece of cropped lead. Was this transformer dropped on a carpeted factory floor? That would explain all of the dust and other stuff stuck on its tape.