#103 Dangerous BK-357 USB charger teardown
While looking for a new multi port USB charger I came across the Model BK-357 sold on Takealot by OQ Trading. This charger had many positive reviews with a 4.1 star rating at the time of writing this article and for the low price of R149.00 I had to give this device a try.
Once I received my charger I noticed That the fast charge USB port was working flawlessly but the 3 normal charging USB ports seemed to have current divided between them.
So I decided to open the charger to investigate further. I noticed the bottom part was glued into place and could be pried open carefully with a small screwdriver and spudger.
Once opened the PCB was in good condition and contains 2 small switching transformers and a nice fusible resistor that also acts as an inrush limiter but that’s where to positives end. The interference capacitor was skimped on also the electrolytic capacitors are all different colours and brands It’s possible that they have been taken off old junk and re-purposed which is okey but they may have a diminished quality which is almost as alarming as the gap between the primary and secondary sides of the transformers. The biggest gap is around 4.8mm which is not to bad but right in the middle the gap closes all the way to 1.3mm!!!
This is very dangerous since there is 1.3mm of PCB space between you and mains voltage!!!
I will be posting my findings as a review on Takealot.
When purchasing multiple socketed USB chargers go for the larger more expensive ones.. As you can see in this case the tiny transformers just can’t output enough current on the cheapies.
The article from Europe’s Safety Gate Alerts can be found here. They identified the problems and measured the charger all the way back in December 2021 in Ireland and here in SA we are happily selling these.
I have also included an article from a Russian review back in March 2021. where The charger was also analysed and determined to be a potential hazard the article can be found here.