One of the more difficult types of electronic repair tasks is troubleshooting bus structures on complex digital microprocessor based circuit boards. Many identical address and data bus lines share the same electrical characteristics and make the fault finding process a challenge. However, you can use the repeating nature of this digital structure to your advantage. When […]
Look Close then look CLOSER! The Importance of good Circuit Board Inspection.
One of the first steps in troubleshooting an electronic circuit board is to perform a visual inspection. We did this with a recent stepper motor driver that had failed and did not see any issues. The next step involved building a signature analysis test to perform some power-off diagnostics. This process took about a half-hour […]
Troubleshooting a Switching Power Supply – Part 2
In Troubleshooting a Switching Power Supply – Part 1, we had replaced U1 and CR12 based on the analog signatures from the Huntron Tracker showing them as bad. On the rescan, the unit (for practical purposes) passed when compared against our known good reference signatures. There were no catastrophic problems indicated that would make us […]
Troubleshooting a Switching Power Supply – Part 1
We recently received a switching power supply that failed in the field so we took the opportunity to do some troubleshooting and discuss the process here on CircuitBoardProblems.com! Of course, like any good troubleshooters (and according to the PCB Troubleshooting Flowchart) we gave the power supply a good visual inspection. On the bottom side of […]
Electronic Parts Sources
You have discovered a bad component on a PCB and now you need to replace it. Where do you go to get electronic replacement parts? A quick Google or Bing search will likely find you many of the major resellers of electronic parts but we thought we would list some of them here. This list […]
Finding Bad Electrolytic Capacitors
As many of you may already know, electrolytic capacitors are one of the more common failures on electronic circuit boards. They have a hard life filtering all of the AC noise out of the DC voltage lines on the PCB. Over time they degrade and eventually the equivalent series resistance or ESR becomes too high […]
PCB Troubleshooting – Start with the Connectors!
If you have been troubleshooting circuit boards for a length of time then it may come as no surprise that many printed circuit boards (PCB) are damaged by surges, spikes and torrents of nasty over-current eruptions coming from the outside. Of course, the connectors on the PCB are the interface to that dangerous outside world […]
Circuit Board Troubleshooting Flowchart
Question: Does the world need another blog cluttering up the internet cyberspace! Answer: Absolutely! Especially if your interest is troubleshooting electronic circuit boards and all of the subjects that revolve around it. Question: What will you find on this site? Answer: Tips, tricks, white papers, technical bulletins, web site links and more all dealing with […]