Tag Archives: soldering

Putting the ‘United’ in United States

In Ken Burns‘s excellent miniseries The Civil War, Shelby Foote states that the Civil War  made us a country by uniting North and South.  He argues that before the War, its citizens might say the United States are a good place … Continue reading

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Musings on Metals: Copper

It could be argued that civilization began with the smelting of copper.  Although thousands of years before, humans fired clay to make figurines and containers, smelting required several non-obvious steps.  After all, the firing of clay, at some level, can … Continue reading

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Service Life

A reader writes: My company makes an electronic product that requires a 40- year shelf life. We assemble with tin-lead solder on FR-4 PWBs. The product is to replace older technology (i.e. 1960-70s), but has some newer components such as BGAs, SOICs, … Continue reading

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Revelations at ACI

Folks, I’m taking a few moments from Wassail Weekend, held annually in my village, Woodstock, VT (“The prettiest small town in America”), to write a post about the recent workshops at ACI. Indium colleague Ed Briggs and I gave a … Continue reading

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Via Shifting

Here’s an example of what via in pad can do for a small passive component. Other things can happen too, like tombstoning or twisting. But take a close look at this photo. In doing so, you’ll note that both sides … Continue reading

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The Cost of Misunderstanding Standards

An article in the latest issue of Assembly magazine asserts that use of standards, specifically IPC-A-610 and J-STD-001, raises the cost for US manufacturers and has led to the widespread offshoring of assembly. The premise of the article, authored by … Continue reading

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Tin Din

Folks, Many people responded to my recent post on tin whiskers. A few pointed out that the recent NASA report on the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Issue discussed numerous tin whiskers that were found, one implicated in a failure. The tin whiskers were emanating from tin plating. … Continue reading

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BGA Woes

Quite a few of the new chips I see coming out stick to the BGA or QFN form-factor. Sometimes they’ll be referred to as WSP (wafer scale package) or CSP (chip scale package), but those are still just little BGAs. … Continue reading

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Hand to Machine

It’s getting very difficult to hand solder many parts these days. Some people give it a try, but in general, if you’re dealing with the really tiny parts or leadless parts, it’s just not possible, or at least not  practical. … Continue reading

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Follow the BGA

At the Embedded Systems Conference in September, I had a number of folks ask me about mixing leaded and lead-free components on a PCB. It’s a difficult situation for some people — especially when using old and very new BGA … Continue reading

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