iPhone touchscreens on Class 800/801

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Bantamzen

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Had this problem today on an LNER Azuma going to Kings Cross. My Apple iPad went haywire with the keypad inserting untapped letters,etc. when it was charging. Not an issue when I unplugged it. Trouble was that my battery was low. Was told by the train manager that this is a known fault with these new trains.

Will be avoiding LNER Azuma train services for the time being.

Or you could invest in a portable power bank to mitigate against possible power issues on trains, with the added bonus of having a additional source of charge wherever you are. You can pick one up from online retailers for as little as £20-30 that will more than meet your needs.
 

AM9

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It’s not a fault with the train. If anything it’s a design fault with the iPad. I had the same in the office today.
Apple do have form on poor RF and EMC design.
Leakage inductance has been around since double-insulated device standards were introduced back in the mid-'70s. More recently double-insulated devices tensd to use high-frequency switch-mode power supplies which also reduces leakage inductance but increases leakage capacitance that can allow a small ac current to flow out to the device. The fact that the chargers have non-conducting plugs confirms that they are Class II devices, (i.e. double insulated), and as Bantzamen says, conductive surfaces on devices powered under Class II conditions have a strange vibration/tingle feel when stroked. The quick way to check is to grip the surface firmly with one hand and stroke it with the other hand, (preferably with the back rather than the palm or fingers). No tingle will then be felt unless the gripping hand is removed.
The current is quite safe for normal use*, it is normally a few tens of microamps (250 micro Amps max), and the open circuit voltage can be up to 50% of the line voltage (230v ac nominally).
So the touchscreen has to be tolerant of this superimposed voltage which will be present between the nominally grounded human finger and the screen. With most touchscreens now being capacitive, the internal scanning voltages will be swamped by this external voltage unless sufficient immunity is designed in.
* there are much more stringent requirements for medical devices
 

Impey0711

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I had the same problem the other day with my HUAWEI P20 Pro screen would freeze couldn't swipe or anything
 

London bound

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Apple do have form on poor RF and EMC design.
Leakage inductance has been around since double-insulated device standards were introduced back in the mid-'70s. More recently double-insulated devices tensd to use high-frequency switch-mode power supplies which also reduces leakage inductance but increases leakage capacitance that can allow a small ac current to flow out to the device. The fact that the chargers have non-conducting plugs confirms that they are Class II devices, (i.e. double insulated), and as Bantzamen says, conductive surfaces on devices powered under Class II conditions have a strange vibration/tingle feel when stroked. The quick way to check is to grip the surface firmly with one hand and stroke it with the other hand, (preferably with the back rather than the palm or fingers). No tingle will then be felt unless the gripping hand is removed.
The current is quite safe for normal use*, it is normally a few tens of microamps (250 micro Amps max), and the open circuit voltage can be up to 50% of the line voltage (230v ac nominally).
So the touchscreen has to be tolerant of this superimposed voltage which will be present between the nominally grounded human finger and the screen. With most touchscreens now being capacitive, the internal scanning voltages will be swamped by this external voltage unless sufficient immunity is designed in.
* there are much more stringent requirements for medical devices

Thanks for that knowledgeable response AM9 (+ other contributors) however as an ordinary train user I think you are grabbing the wrong end of the stick. There are a large number of Apple product users in this country and reading some of the other contributions on this thread this might also be a problem with other manufacturers products also. I am generally using the trains to head to London and back on LNER but I also go by train elsewhere in the country. At this point in the 21st century I expect to get a decent Wi-Fi and mobile signal wherever I go and to be able to charge up my device, not as an optional extra or only sometimes but every time as part of the standard train service.

Fed up with my experience yesterday and not knowing how to communicate directly with LNER or Hitachi I happened to find this UK rail forum on which to vent my frustration! I was able to do this on board an older LNER train while my iPad was plugged in getting charged with no difficulties. LNER are in the process of modernising their fleet with Azuma trains but as I made clear I shall avoiding these trains in future, while it remains an option, till this issue is dealt with. I do not have it in for LNER or these Hitachi trains. I just want to get a decent travel experience. I’m hoping that in clarifying this here it might hopefully get the attention of the appropriate decision makers in LNER and Hitachi to get this sorted. After all the train manager told me it was a known problem when I reported my difficulties to him. As it happens, earlier this year I went on a group tour around the Hitachi factory in County Durham and was very impressed (my interest was not so much trains but the manufacturing/assembly process). It is providing great jobs in a part of the country that badly needs them and I wish them much success .... but please sort out this glitch!!
 

800001

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The issues only happen when train is operating in electric mode, when in diesel there is no issue.
 

Hadders

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The issues only happen when train is operating in electric mode, when in diesel there is no issue.

This is my experience too. In electric mode there is a problem, in diesel mode everything is ok.

This happens on no other class of train. I’m writing this onboard a Pendolino with my phone charging as I type. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I was on an IEP in electric mode.
 
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800001

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This isn’t my experience. In electric mode there is a problem, in diesel mode everything is ok.

This happens on no other class of train. I’m writing this onboard a Pendolino with my phone charging as I type. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I was on an IEP in electric mode.

Don't quite understand your 1st paragraph reply, you agree with what I say?
 

Bald Rick

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Then why did the train manager tell me that it was a known fault with the train when I spoke with him?

Because, I assume, he is not an expert on the intricacies of earthing of power systems on trains.

And I’m not having this problem as I write now on another (older) LNER train??

Because it has different earthing arrangements.

A ‘fault’ implies something is broken and would be fixed. This isn’t the case, as the Azuma isn’t broken and there’s nothing to fix. As I’ve mentioned before on similar threads, my iPad touchscreen doesn’t work properly when plugged in at my office. It’s an issue with how the iPad deals with different earthing arrangements.
 

DenmarkRail

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Certain XC Voyagers have started doing this to me with my iPhone. First noticed it on 800s though. Proper Apple charger (albeit an iPad one) and cable used.

I have had similar issues on Voyagers where the iPhone flickers from charging to not charging every half second or so... Just gives the phone a massive fit.
 

47271

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I get this on Azumas and GWR IETs on my work iPhone but not on my personal Samsung Galaxy.

I don't get it on any other train type on either phone type.

So I think that it's a bad combination between Hitachi charging and iPhones,

Just while I'm on, does anyone have any advice on how to plug in for power on Hitachi seats? How do I find the socket without crawling around on my hands and knees? I'm fed up of it.
 

plugwash

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Capacitive touch screens are notoriously sensitive to conducted EMI. The most common cause is power supplies with inadequate suppression of their own switching noise, but noise on the mains side can also do it, especially for class 2 PSUs.
 

Bantamzen

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Thanks for that knowledgeable response AM9 (+ other contributors) however as an ordinary train user I think you are grabbing the wrong end of the stick. There are a large number of Apple product users in this country and reading some of the other contributions on this thread this might also be a problem with other manufacturers products also. I am generally using the trains to head to London and back on LNER but I also go by train elsewhere in the country. At this point in the 21st century I expect to get a decent Wi-Fi and mobile signal wherever I go and to be able to charge up my device, not as an optional extra or only sometimes but every time as part of the standard train service.

Fed up with my experience yesterday and not knowing how to communicate directly with LNER or Hitachi I happened to find this UK rail forum on which to vent my frustration! I was able to do this on board an older LNER train while my iPad was plugged in getting charged with no difficulties. LNER are in the process of modernising their fleet with Azuma trains but as I made clear I shall avoiding these trains in future, while it remains an option, till this issue is dealt with. I do not have it in for LNER or these Hitachi trains. I just want to get a decent travel experience. I’m hoping that in clarifying this here it might hopefully get the attention of the appropriate decision makers in LNER and Hitachi to get this sorted. After all the train manager told me it was a known problem when I reported my difficulties to him. As it happens, earlier this year I went on a group tour around the Hitachi factory in County Durham and was very impressed (my interest was not so much trains but the manufacturing/assembly process). It is providing great jobs in a part of the country that badly needs them and I wish them much success .... but please sort out this glitch!!

As others have said, this not necessarily a fault with the trains themselves, and very possibly not something very high up on LNER's snag list for the 80x fleet. I know that people these days expect full WiFi connectivity and device charging wherever they go, but the reality is that this is still far from perfect. On-board WiFi still relies on being able to offer enough bandwidth for hundreds of passengers travelling through varying degrees of 3/4G coverage. And whilst TOCs are trying to offer more charging opportunities, as has been very well articulated here there are lots of problems with touch screen devices and different power sources.

Again the best advice I can give you is buy a portable power bank, they don't cost a lot and the one I use (EC Technology 26800mAH - £26.99 via Amazon, but there lots of others) has 3 USB ports and can give 4-5 full charges to my Sony XZ2, or 2-3 full charges to my Samsung A10 tablet, and can obviously charge multiple devices at once. Its a cheap but effective mitigation for keeping my devices powered, instead of hoping that I'll be able to charge on-board. If you are waiting for a 100% guaranteed issue free charge on LNER anytime soon, you'll need to find another operator, or drive / fly in future.
 

Bletchleyite

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So I think that it's a bad combination between Hitachi charging and iPhones,

It's an issue with all iDevices and earthing, but not with most other manufacturers. It happens to me when using an iPhone or iPad on a cheap charger. I originally thought it was a fault when I first bought an iPad and took it to the Apple Store, where they demonstrated that it doesn't happen when using an Apple charger.

I'd personally call it bad design on Apple's part.
 

uvarvu

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It happened with my Pixel 3 as well when using both Pixel or Apple chargers. I'm just going to call it and say the trains have a fault and that's the end of it. Those suppression devices wouldn't have been fitted on the GWR IETs otherwise.
 

option

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It's an issue with all iDevices and earthing, but not with most other manufacturers. It happens to me when using an iPhone or iPad on a cheap charger. I originally thought it was a fault when I first bought an iPad and took it to the Apple Store, where they demonstrated that it doesn't happen when using an Apple charger.

I'd personally call it bad design on Apple's part.

Apple have previous on not fully/properly implementing standards


There may also be an issue with the power draw these devices are attempting, as it appears from what's mentioned in this thread to be newer, more power hungry, devices.
 

td97

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This is well and truly a train fault. Have been on various TPE 802 services this week, with the train on both electric and diesel. No issues with phone charging whatsoever.
Today, on a LNER 800, on electric, the touchscreen issued occured, being prominent in the Photos app and randomly zooming in and out.
Huawei P30 Pro with the in-box 40W Supercharger
 

43096

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It's an issue with all iDevices and earthing, but not with most other manufacturers. It happens to me when using an iPhone or iPad on a cheap charger. I originally thought it was a fault when I first bought an iPad and took it to the Apple Store, where they demonstrated that it doesn't happen when using an Apple charger.

I'd personally call it bad design on Apple's part.
Way too simplistic. I use a "proper" Apple charger and have this happen on IETs. Never on anything, or anywhere, else. I'd put that down as firmly Hitachi's fault. Just something else I hate about the infernal boxes of rubbish they have inflicted on us, and one more reason to not use the train for long distance journeys.
 

jopsuk

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Had my first trip on an Azuma, Edinburgh-London, on Sunday. Huawei Honor 9, touch screen was not enjoying it. An effect I've only had with phones before at Tesla Fest, a convention of tesla coil enthusiasts I visted at a local tech museum.
 

Lozzy0603

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This is also an issue on the Class 395 Javlins on South eastern high speed.

But curiosity: not on 750DC third rail after Ashford (to Dover in this case.) Only on the 25kV OHLE from Ashford to London.
Is the power source running through a different transformer to the pax 230v sockets when on 750DC?
I'd assume the earth arrangements for the train don't change between the two sources, still back to the running rails?

Apart from power bank, is there any other user solution?
The OnePlus range uses quite a specific charger and cable to provide the fast charging capability (not Qualcomm) so most other off-the-shelf chargers won't charge a OnePlus very quickly. This isn't a feature I'm keen to give up.
Like others have said, I've never had a problem on Electrostars, Pendolinos, Desiros. (All European brand trains.) I'd be willing to bet there is no issue on the Stadler Flirts on GA under electric. Looking forward to confirming this.
Dissapointed that Hitachi have come into the market with a budget product product range and presented this EMI hickup.
And the rattle and squeak testing?! Do they even bother with any?? I thought this morning's 395 was going to shake the bulkheads off it was going so good.
Since the 800 series is about to be everywhere, with Avanti, EMR, Hull and others joining the club this is going to be a widespread annoyance for users soon.

Should I wrap my phone in a wire coat hanger and poke it through the heating grill? * DONT do this!
Perhaps we need to rip up the OHLE and install third rail all over the country. Someone make it an election pledge!
 

ashkeba

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Why do people plug their devices into random public USB sockets? Do they want their devices to be attacked? Charge a trusted charger and charge off that.
 

Bletchleyite

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Apart from power bank, is there any other user solution?

I can't really see any flaw in that solution, so why is one needed?

If I've got a bag, my power bank is in it. If I haven't, I've not got a cable anyway so what's the point in a socket?

The mains socket is useful for my laptop, the USB isn't really useful for anything.
 

Bletchleyite

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Why do people plug their devices into random public USB sockets? Do they want their devices to be attacked? Charge a trusted charger and charge off that.

Attacking random devices via on-train USB sockets, while possible[1], is not a likely threat.

[1] Though most modern devices ask you what to do when you connect, and you can easily get "charge only" cables that only connect up the +5V and ground lines and not the data lines in any case.
 

Randomer

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Yep, far too many examples at Defcom and other conferences of attacks using public USB chargers (popping off wall plate and putting attack device behind mostly.) If you absolutely must use a public USB use a charge only cable (this can be a problem if you want to use USB power delivery or quick charge) or go through a power bank which doesn't pass data.

From a purely device protection point of view I'd also be wary. Certainly I've seen reports from overseas of some public USB charging points damaging devices due to poor isolation between the 5v and high voltage* side. Most devices nowadays have some protection against this but a lot of the time it is sacrificial and will require opening up to replace a component.

*Yes I know its actually low voltage and USB is extra low voltage.
 

hwl

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This is also an issue on the Class 395 Javlins on South eastern high speed.

But curiosity: not on 750DC third rail after Ashford (to Dover in this case.) Only on the 25kV OHLE from Ashford to London.
Is the power source running through a different transformer to the pax 230v sockets when on 750DC?
I'd assume the earth arrangements for the train don't change between the two sources, still back to the running rails?
With both the current is return to the running rails, but the earthing arrangements are different:
On OHLE the running rails are locally earthed to prevent excessive (unsafe) voltage on the running rails
where as on 3rd rail they aren't earthed (e.g. neutral).
Overall this suggest the issue is on the AC rectification side e.g. in the 4 quadrant converter...
 

43096

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Why do people plug their devices into random public USB sockets? Do they want their devices to be attacked? Charge a trusted charger and charge off that.
I do. Screen still doesn’t work on Hitachi’s rubbish when I’m plugged in.
 
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