How To make an MFi Lightning Cable

apple original lightning cable 8

Table of Contents

Do you really know the data cable you are using every day? Why is there a difference in the price charging speed and data transmission speed of the data cable? How is the cable produced? How many steps does it take to produce a Lightning cable? If you are interested in these questions, then this article will give you an answer.

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Data cable composition: wire part

The lightning data cable has three main components: USB connector, wire, Lightning connector, specifically the USB connector is using USB2.0 protocol, the wire is made of TPE, the Lightning connector has a built-in internal MFi certification chip, etc.

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The Lightning cable has three main components

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Lightning Data Cable Structure

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Wire Inner Structure

The outside of the wire is made of TPE, which looks bland, but there are still a lot of things inside. The height depends on how many small wires are wrapped in the big wire and how many cores are wrapped in the small wire. The cores are: iron core < iron core galvanized < iron core copper plated < copper wire. Copper wire is the best. The market is common for 1 wire with 6 cores, 8 cores, 10 cores, 12 cores, in the case of the same material, of course, the more cores the better.

Aluminum foil shield inside the wire

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The Non-Certified Lightning cable has a simple layer of signal shielding on the outside

In addition to the core, both the original cable and the MFI certified cable are wrapped with a silver metallic braided shield on the outside of the wire and an aluminum foil shield underneath the metal shield. The role of the shield is to prevent interference electromagnetic fields from spreading outward, preventing them from being affected by external electromagnetic fields. So why do you need a shield? It is because the power cable through the current is relatively large, or in the high-speed data transfer, the current around the magnetic field, in order not to affect other components, so add shielding. The cottage data cable in the disassembly and no metal mesh wrapped wire, only a simple layer of signal shielding layer. The lack of Apple’s original double shielding process set by the cottage data cable, can not guarantee the stability of signal transmission, for a long time, there may be a break, short circuit, and other problems.

Data cable components: plug part

Lightning data cable plug has a USB plug and Lightning plug at both ends, the USB plug is mainly used to connect the computer USB jack or charging cable jack, the Lightning plug is used to connect the phone charging port.

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USB A Connector
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Lightning Connector

Only through the MFi certification authorized factory, you can get the original Lightning chip, and can be marked on the outer packaging of the product (Made for iPod iPhone iPad)。

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The role of the Lightning plug shielding shell

On the Lightning plug, there is a shielding shell, its role is to

1. protects the Lightning plug.

2. It allows the Lightning plug to withstand the vertical downward pressure of 100N (about 10 kg) after inserting the device.

3. can better protect the wire from the inner mold off, to extend the service life of the wire.

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Comparison of certified MFi Lightning plugs and non-official certified plugs

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The difference between the original, MFi certified, and cottage cable in the wire is not much, but the difference in the plug part is relatively large. First of all, the material at the USB port is very different, the original USB port metal looks very fine, workmanship beyond all products on the market, you have to admire Apple’s first-class workmanship. And in the lightning interface, the difference between the original and the copycat is more obvious. The original is a one-piece molding, the cottage interface looks like a patchwork. You can see many gaps on the top in addition to many sanding traces and is also very dirty.

Although Apple’s original Lightning or MFi certified Lightning cable is not cheap, there is always a reason for the expensive, it is best not to easily use the wire of unknown origin, so as not to damage the phone or tablet.

Data cable manufacturing process (I)

Producing an MFi data cable is actually not as simple as we think. After getting the MFi certification from Apple, the production starts. To produce a Lightning data cable, there are 32 processes, and it takes 45 workers on the assembly line to make it. First is the winding of the wire, the purpose is to facilitate the post-sequence pull-down operation. Set the length of the peeling outer quilt (skin), and then adjust the machine for USB A-end peeling. Then divided into shielding network copper wire, the USB end of the green and white wire wrapped around the copper wire separated and twisted into two strands of copper wire, copper wire is divided into good not to have scattered phenomenon, this step is convenient for the back of the core peeling, aluminum foil peeling, shielding wire welding.

Production of an MFi cable, a total of 32 processes

1. Wires Winding

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2. Stripping USB A Connector Wire outer Jacket

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3. Divide Copper Wire

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4. Cut Off Aluminum Foil

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5. Wire Stripping

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6. Tinning of Wire Ends

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7. Solder USB A Connector

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8. Visual Inspection for Welding

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9. Forming USB Connector Inner Mold

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10. Semi-product Test

Wire tinning, soldering USB plug, after the semi-finished test, as shown above, the right hand holding the wire tail core, the left hand to take the probe point pen according to the test order were contacted Text1 red, Text2 white, Text3 green Text4 black, Text5 ground core wire part. Test machine screen shows “PASS” for good products, the screen shows “FALL” for bad products.

Data cable manufacturing process (II)

After the semi-finished product is tested, a series of complex processes are carried out, as shown in the figure below. After the finished product is completed, voltage testing and load testing will be carried out, where unqualified products will be eliminated.

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11. Stripping IP5 Connector Side Outer Jacket

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12. Tinning of IP5 Ends

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13. Cut IP5 End Core Wire

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14. Solder Apple Lightning Original Chip

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15. Visual inspection of lightning connector welding

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16. Semi-finished product voltage test

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17. Lightning Connector Glue Dripping

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18 Assembly of shielding shells.

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Remember what shielding shells are for?

19. Laser Welding Iron Shell

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20. Riveted and pressed shield shell (IP5 connector side)

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21 Shield Wire Soldering

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22. Semi-finished product voltage test

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23. Forming USB Outer Mold

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24. Forming IP5 Connector Inner Mold

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25.IP5 Trimming Burrs for Inner Mold

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26. Forming IP5 Side Outer Mold

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27. Finish Product  Voltage Test

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The finished voltage test process: the USB end of the main body straight into the test female chassis, inserted straight into the straight pull, does not scratch the main body phenomenon. Insert the C48 main body straight into the test female chassis, insert the main body end flat not bend, need to straight plug and pull, do not scratch the main body, the main PCB board fracture phenomenon. Observe the three tables, Table 1 D+ test value between 2.5~2.85V, Table 2 D- test value between 1.84~2.12V, Table 3 output voltage between 4.75~5.25V. Each test voltage within the test value is good, otherwise, it is defective.

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28. Finished Product With Load Test

The finished product with load test process: the main body of the USB end flat test fixture female base, and then insert C48 into the fixture female base, when inserted, need to straight plug and pull, not to have the main body scratch phenomenon. Press the load machine option 1 by hand, observe whether the load machine display no-load voltage value is within 4.75~5.25V, if it is, it is a good product, otherwise, it is a defective product. After testing on one side of C48, turn to the other side for testing.

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29. Finished product outlook testing

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30. Lightning connector outer part size measurement

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31. Organizing Wires

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32. Product Packaging

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MFi Logo on Carton Box

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Consumers can not see the internal material of the data cable when buying, but you can see the exquisite workmanship through the interface of the product or not. Genuine data cables are stronger and more solid at the interface, the number of pins is proportional and thicker, the transmission speed is faster, making the power easier to fill, and data can be better transmitted. You can also observe the box with or without the MFi certification mark, the cottage is mostly no MFi certification mark, if you see the MFi certification mark, and is able to see the regular brand, you can rest assured that the purchase.


Production of an MFi data line is far from what we think is so simple, from production to sale, to go through many complex processes, in the production process if the use of better wire materials, the cost will be higher, but also add not cheap labor costs, the cost of applying for MFi certification, so that the price of the production of the data line to be higher than the cottage products, but the quality will be more guaranteed. If you are not bad money, you can choose the original Apple data line, if you pay attention to the cost, you can choose the MFi certified data line, as for 10 yuan a data line, it is best not to buy and use, and charging, data transmission-related accessories, it is best to be cautious.


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