Category: Informational

Locate Short Circuits using a Milliohmmeter

Locate Short Circuits using a Milliohmmeter

Huntron Automates Short Circuit Location

B+K Precision milliohmmeter

Huntron Technical Support ran some experiments to locate short circuits on printed circuit boards (PCB) recently. The process included a B&K Precision 2841 Milliohm meter connected to a Huntron Access DH2 dual head Prober. The Access DH2 automated the placing of the test probes on PCB components. We created Huntron Workstation test Sequences to control the Prober movement and capture measurements from the milliohmmeter.
We built two tests, the first on a bare board with no components. The second test used a fully populated circuit card with surface mounted components.
If you want skip the read you can watch the video!

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Share your Huntron Experience

Share your Huntron Experience

write a Huntron testimonial

We want to hear from Huntron users about how you use your Huntron system. We are looking for concise and informative testimonials that describe how you use Huntron equipment in your testing environment. Share what your company does and what your testing needs require along with a brief description of how Huntron fits into your PCB test flow. Your submission will be posted on our “Share your Huntron Experience” web page with full credit and a company web link if you wish.

Not all submissions will be published but for those that are posted we will provide you with a nice “Thank You” bonus for your Huntron Workstation software. You will find all of the details on the Share your Huntron Experience submission page.
We are looking for variety so submissions will be selected based on your industry (i.e. avionics, medical, third-party repair, etc.), level of PCB troubleshooting experience and writing style.

Email us at info@huntron.com with any questions. We look forward to you Sharing your Huntron Experience.

Manual versus Automated PCB Testing

Manual versus Automated PCB Testing

automated versus manual test speed

Huntron has been making the Huntron Tracker for 45 years and flying probers to automate electronic test processes for 30 years. Trackers have traditionally used manual probes to interface to test points on printed circuit boards (PCB). Because of the growth of surface mounted electronic devices (SMD), we introduced our first robotic flying prober in 1991. Using a flying probe to test very small SMDs made a technicians job much easier by being faster and more accurate than probing by hand. However, when comparing manual versus automated PCB testing at what point does it make sense to shift to automated testing?
We decided to run some realistic tests to find out.

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Service for Electric Vehicle Electronics

Service for Electric Vehicle Electronics

service of EV electronics
Service for electric vehicle electronics is in the future!


Electric vehicles (EVs) are starting to make up a considerable share of the new vehicle market. There are definite performance and environmental advantages to EVs over vehicles powered by fossil fuels. That being said, support and maintenance for EVs or more specifically the service for electric vehicle electronics is still developing into a mature infrastructure. At the center of this infrastructure will be how to care for the unique components found in these vehicles.

3 MIN. READ

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Quick Tip #5 Added to Huntron YouTube

Quick Tip #5 Added to Huntron YouTube

How to use the Huntron Workstation Multi-pane Layout

Huntron YouTube logos

The latest Huntron YouTube Quick Tip has been added to the Huntron YouTube channel. This Quick tip looks at the multi-pane layout used by Huntron Workstation and how to move, rearrange, dock and re-dock the individual panes. This video is sure to have some useful information for all Huntron Workstation users.

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Safety Best Practices in the PCB Repair Shop

Safety Best Practices in the PCB Repair Shop

4 MIN. READ

Safety using solder equipment

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 1995. 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

PCB problems solder fault

3 MIN. READ

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) can fail for many reasons during manufacture and use. These PCB 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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