SMT Test Points
Eliminating damage and extra operations with fixed location test points
How Testing can cause Damage
Testing fully populated PCBs is a tricky process, and typically one of two methods is used:
- Spike probes to dig into an existing track, which requires the test engineer to hold the probe in place, and can cause track damage;
- Clips or hooks to latch onto a component tail, which can cause component damage.
This can also cause inconsistent test results, as different engineers could choose different points to take their test readings.
Throughboard Test Points are High-Profile
The existing solution is the addition of a test point into the circuit design - traditionally a piece of bent wire (with or without insulation), or a stamped tab with a hole in the upper section. These solutions are through-board soldered - and on a surface mount PCB that means an additional soldering operation. The height of these contact can also cause design issues on an otherwise low-profile PCB.
SMT Test Points: Surface Mount and Low Profile
Harwin’s SMT Test Points are fully auto-placeable to PCBs, minimizing installation costs. Available in three sizes:
- S1751-46R - largest size, suitable for standard test clips and hooks;
- S2751-46R - 2012 metric footprint (0805 imperial), suitable for micro test clips;
- S2761-46R - 1608 metric footprint (0603 imperial), also suitable for micro test clips.
These components are specific targets for test engineers to use, permitting a clip-on facility and allowing hands-free testing. The test points are also effectively sacrificial - any damage to them during testing does not affect the final PCB function, as they are additional circuit elements.
Many markets will find these components useful: medical, aerospace, industrial, instrumentation, control systems, etc. Anywhere a PCB will need to be tested with test probes, clips or hooks, SMT Test Points provide an advantage.