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I have read many application/design notes, data sheets and lectures and other stuff about electronics. But when I come to real application I find many components that I don't why they are used(e.g phone charger).

I am working for 2 years, in a new product development department, we have no seniors to give us much information. The products we are developing are commercial. We have not copy other products circuits, but we want to gain the knowledge.

So if I did a reverse engineering and obtain the schematics then want to ask a question (in forum like this one) I have to include the detailed schematics as not to get no answer or negative votes.

Isn't this violate the proprietary/patent rights?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @DoxyLover, Do I need to ask it again there? or you already did by your flag? \$\endgroup\$ – Ashraf Almubarak Jul 30 '17 at 6:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ A moderator must respond to my flag. If you want to speed it up, you can delete this question and then repost there. \$\endgroup\$ – DoxyLover Jul 30 '17 at 6:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ What about posting on the Reverse Engineering stack site? \$\endgroup\$ – Solar Mike Jul 30 '17 at 6:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DoxyLover, Ok I will wait for the response. \$\endgroup\$ – Ashraf Almubarak Jul 30 '17 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SolarMike, I didn't know there is a one, most of the time I use this site for my questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Ashraf Almubarak Jul 30 '17 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is in the list of sites .... \$\endgroup\$ – Solar Mike Jul 30 '17 at 6:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SolarMike, I found it, but I will wait for couple hours for moderator response, if I didn't get one, I will ask it there. Thank you \$\endgroup\$ – Ashraf Almubarak Jul 30 '17 at 6:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ (1) Properly done it should be able to be legitimate. (2) Seems unlikely to be required for a phone charger. Circuits abound and it's generally not 'rocket science'. (3) Hire me :-) - your target market sounds dear to my heart. Rates start at $0/hour for suitable causes (somewhat more usually desired :-) ). - Some of my "Orange children" in Africa - bit.ly/SL2MINIAFRICA - Scroll with Up/Down keys or mouse wheel. See my profile for my email address. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Jul 30 '17 at 9:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Phone chargers will be switching power supplies, probably buck converters. Have you read about buck converters? Have you a scope to examine the waveforms? Be careful. Some nodes will be non-isolated, and destroy the scope or shock you. \$\endgroup\$ – analogsystemsrf Jul 30 '17 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pasabaporaqui, Most of the devices are imported from different countries. The other thing, if I share it, in forum to learn the purpose of specific component, will it be ethical? \$\endgroup\$ – Ashraf Almubarak Jul 31 '17 at 5:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RussellMcMahon, Thank you for your offer, I am working in electricity energy measurement. It is not a rocket science, but I had take a course in Power electronics and I found that is a little bit different to know all the details, I have known the topology. \$\endgroup\$ – Ashraf Almubarak Jul 31 '17 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @analogsystemsrf, I mentioned it as an example and because I have completed a 6 months power electronics specialization in Coursera and I still miss some knowledge about real circuits design, it is different from what we do in simulation. I know it is probably be a resistor/capacitor to protect something, but I don't know what is that some thing need to be protected and from what it should be protected and so on. \$\endgroup\$ – Ashraf Almubarak Jul 31 '17 at 5:33
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There are a lot of ways this type of question can go wrong. I think it needs to meet these qualifications:

  1. The schematic must be clearly drawn. When tracing the connections on a board, the first pass is usually a messy ratsnest. We don't want to see that. Clean it up and present it properly before asking others to spend their volunteer time looking at it.

  2. Don't just dump a circuit on us. "What does this circuit do?" or "Tell me all about this circuit?" are not good questions here. You have to show some effort, what you've found, and demonstrate the ability to understand answers. Ask about specific things you are unclear about. "What's the purpose of R1, between the emitter of Q7 and ground?" might be OK. "I see that R1 creates higher input impedance at the base, but why does it need to be 100 kΩ? From what's driving the base, and what's connected to the collector, it seems 2 kΩ would be sufficient." would be better.

  3. Explain what you are trying to accomplish, and where the circuit came from. The answer could be quite different if it came from a textbook, the manual of a HP instrument from the 1980s, or what you think is embodied by a board you are trying to reverse engineer.

  4. Tell us what you know about what the circuit is supposed to do, or that you have observed it do. In other words, tell us the specs you do know. It can often be useful to tell us what you don't know but you suspect could be relevant.

  5. Stick around, especially in the first couple of hours, to answer questions. Some things will be unclear, and there will likely be parameters that you didn't realize are relevant.

    I vote to close a question immediately when information is missing. That starts the process, so you have to respond quickly before too many others see it and agree there is missing information.

  6. When answering questions, never take the attitude that the answer is not relevant. If you knew what was relevant, you wouldn't be here having to ask.

  7. No matter how good any one answer seems, give everyone at least 24 hours to see the question and respond before you accept one.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That is very clear. And about the proprietary rights from the reversed engineered schematics, is it a problem ? from a legal or ethical prospective? \$\endgroup\$ – Ashraf Almubarak Aug 1 '17 at 5:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ash: As long as you didn't obtain the device you traced the schematic of under a agreement not to reverse engineer it, no. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Aug 1 '17 at 10:39

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