What’s new in the latest Huntron Workstation 4.3 Release

What’s new in the latest Huntron Workstation 4.3 Release

The latest Huntron Workstation version has some interesting new Features for All Users

Version 4.3.7632 has been released and can be downloaded from the Software page on the Huntron website. So what is new in this release besides the usual maintenance updates (bug fixes)? Read on!

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Safety Best Practices in the PCB Repair Shop

Safety Best Practices in the PCB Repair Shop

4 MIN. READ

In more recent times, printed circuit boards (PCBs) are often repaired rather than replaced due to the lower expense. Medical imaging devices, for example, along with office equipment and manufacturing robotics can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace. Repairing the equipment is often the preferred solution.
Not just anyone can set up a PCB repair shop and a great deal of technical knowledge is required. An important consideration is setting a high standard for safety measures that must be put in place to protect technicians from the workplace hazards associated with PCB testing and repair.

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The Power of Huntron Workstation – Capture, Store and Compare Electronic Measurements

The Power of Huntron Workstation – Capture, Store and Compare Electronic Measurements

The Huntron Workstation software has had a long life in various forms since its introduction in the mid 1990’s. Along the way it has matured and grown into more than simply a way to control a Huntron Tracker with a PC. Let’s take a look at how Huntron Workstation started, where it is now and also look a bit into its future.

Capture, Store and Compare

Workstation for Windows
Huntron Workstation for Windows, circa 1997. Microsoft Windows was still new to some users so we felt the need to point out all of the parts of a “Window”.
We have come a long way… The multi-pane, flexible layout of Huntron Workstation version 4.3

In the beginning, the primary goal of Huntron Workstation was to control a Huntron Tracker so you could capture the analog signatures (V/I waveforms) of electronic circuits and store them on a computer. Having the signatures stored on a PC allowed you to use them later for comparison. This allowed you to compare the signatures of good circuit boards to those of bad circuit boards hoping that the differences would lead you to the problem. Your classic good vs. bad troubleshooting method.
As a side benefit to this capture/store capability was having the information organized in a database that provided a repeatable test process. A test for a circuit board would be created and used the same way by all of the technicians and engineers who accessed it. This essentially provided a way to “share the knowledge” rather than having to remember it in your head or write it down in some logbook. Capturing and storing test data is the first level in test automation that makes our job a lot easier than having to document information by hand.
The first versions of Huntron Workstation were created for Microsoft Windows 3.1 and as operating systems, PC specs and the electronics industry changed, Huntron Workstation did as well.

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The Three-Dimensional PCBs of the Future

The Three-Dimensional PCBs of the Future

3 MIN. READ

3D wire frame

What could possibly be better for electronics than 3D printing? If you guessed using its capabilities to print circuit boards (the foundation of most electronic devices), you are exactly right.

3D printing is well on its way to revolutionizing the printed circuit board (PCB) industry. It is almost single-handedly responsible for the newfound ability to manufacture these devices at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. This approach also conserves resources, time and manpower to greatly improve operational efficiency.

Best of all, additive manufacturing enables PCB makers to test ideas for prototypes much quicker and easier than they previously could to significantly reduce time to market for new products. By pairing this approach with modern methods for automating the testing of PCBs, organizations get the best of both worlds to boost their productivity and revenues from making these products.

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Most Common PCB Problems and Possible Solutions

Most Common PCB Problems and Possible Solutions

solder fault

3 MIN. READ

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) can fail for many reasons during manufacture and use. These problems must be detected and repaired to minimize waste and reduce costly product recalls.

Good testing equipment and sound testing protocols are necessary to detect these PCB problems at the factory before assembly or after the product malfunctions in the field. Your protocol and testing equipment must be designed to detect the most common PCB problems that your products could encounter.

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Comparing lead vs. lead-free solder for PCBs

Comparing lead vs. lead-free solder for PCBs


3 MIN. READ

complex PCB

For electricians and plumbers trained as recently as the 1970s, lead solder might have been the only option for joining pipes and connecting electronic components. In 1974, U.S. federal law began to target lead solder in plumbing, and by 1986, the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments effectively banned it in all plumbing used for potable water.

Bans on lead solder came to the electronics industry in 2006, when a European Union (EU) directive banned its use in most consumer electronics devices, with a few limited exceptions. Although the directive only applied to devices sold in the EU, most businesses determined that producing separate products for sale in the EU was impractical.

As a result, these businesses changed the solder used throughout their production lines. Although products using lead solder can still be sold legally in the U.S., more and more products reaching U.S. markets use lead-free solder.

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How to Best Utilize Your Senior Electrical Engineers During PCB Testing

How to Best Utilize Your Senior Electrical Engineers During PCB Testing

test results

3 MIN. READ

Testing printed circuit boards (PCBs) is largely automated. However, the testing process still requires expertise to collect, sort and cleanse data for statistical analysis. Moreover, some test procedures are still better conducted manually.

As a result, even PCB manufacturers that use automated PCB testing still need test engineers and technicians to support them. Here is an overview of what these experts do and how to utilize them.

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Why PCB repair is more environmentally friendly than replacement

Why PCB repair is more environmentally friendly than replacement

Looking for faults on a PCB

3 MIN. READ

Electronics are often viewed as a “cleaner” industry than transportation, industrial chemicals and mining. This may be true after the electronics are manufactured and assembled. However, to reach that point, electronic devices such as printed circuit boards (PCBs) rely on all those “dirty” industries. This impacts the environment, and as a result, many PCB customers are turning to repair or recycling to minimize their reliance on newly manufactured PCBs.

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Small Business Opportunities in Electronics

Small Business Opportunities in Electronics

3 MIN. READ

The diversity of the electronics industry, combined with the enormous demand for electronics products, creates numerous small business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Broadly, these opportunities allow a small business to break into a seemingly impenetrable industry and carve out a sizable niche.

Opportunities in the electronics business can arise from products you develop or others’ products that you support. Here are a few examples of small business opportunities in electronics:

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The PCB Troubleshooting Flowchart

The PCB Troubleshooting Flowchart

6 MINUTE READ

This PCB Troubleshooting Flowchart was first developed by Huntron Technical Support 25+ years ago and looking at it now is still pertinent to today’s PCB repair environment. It provides a fairly accurate window into the process many technicians and engineers follow when looking to diagnose and repair a printed circuit board (PCB).
In this article we take a closer look each step in the process and offers some suggestions that may help you with your PCB repair procedures.

Troubleshooting flowchart
The Troubleshooting Flowchart
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