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On Whiskers and Dendrites

Bill Marshall
1
Engineer, PhD, lecturer, freelance technical writer, blogger & tweeter interested in robots, AI, planetary explorers and all things electronic. STEM ambassador. Designed, built and programmed my first microcomputer in 1976. Still learning, still building, still coding today.

Comments

February 19, 2020 09:28

Nice article, and sure to get others‘ attention (maybe not like a charged capacitor, lol).

While the eraser-trick was successful on gold-plated connectors from the middle of the 80s onward, I frequently used air and toothbrush-scrubbed all kinds of discrete- and ASIC-/FPGA-electronics boards (and onboard mounted connectors) looking for "bridges" during maintenance and fault-finding. While most of the solder-joints looked good, and heat and cold pointed the way to some faulty areas, some re-soldering proved beneficial. Lastly, in my opinion, levitating hot solder-tips very near to virtually all components rejuvenated the boards (at least got rid of the 'immovable dust'). I often wondered where the ever-so-tiny elongated silvery "wires“ infrequently sticking out from underneath ASICs/FPGAs and recessed near pins of all kinds of components came from.
I am thinking that vast amounts of electronic-boards tested on Marconis suffered from whiskers and dendrites.

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