Modern methods for creating electronics have made testing more and more difficult. Increasingly complicated systems are also becoming smaller and smaller, making even the most basic parts of designing more challenging.
The biggest issue in testing is that one must always have state-of-the-art gear, as it must be better than (or at least equal to) the system under test. It’s impossible to measure anything without a faster system possessing a broader acceptance range than what’s being measured. To put it plainly: the lines on your ruler have to be closer together than the features of the things you are measuring.
What’s the upshot? Test points are the unsung heroes in this equation. There is a lot of attention paid to probes and cables, and to ensuring that information gets from the probe tip to the tester with the least amount of noise and interference. But what ensures that the information gets off the board and into the probe? The test point.
Used to monitor the state of circuitry or to inject test signals, test points are primarily used during the manufacturing process to test and proof a newly-assembled device, or to test when troubleshooting or repairing a device. As “one-time-use” components that have no real function during product use, there is a temptation to treat the issue shabbily and choose inferior tools and methods for testing.
In deciding how best to perform testing, important aspects to consider are “where” and “what.” “Where” is sometimes a given, as the most accessible places are typically the best. However, the circuit may not cooperate and the points may be in an awkward position. That’s when the “what” comes into play – the shape and size of the point is an important factor. Another “what” that makes a huge difference is the material the test point is made of, as the solder environment and/or overall environmental needs sometimes change with the application.
For that reason, the TP and ATP Series of printed circuit board (PCB) test points from Components Corporation are offered in Bright Electro Tin or Silver-Plated material options, for application flexibility and compliance with current Directive 2011/65/EU RoHS and EU Regulation EC 1907/2006. The TP and ATP series also offer the ability to color-code test points to ease aftermarket repair and troubleshooting by technicians who may be completely unfamiliar with the system.
Mounting is yet another plus offered by the TP and ATP series. Whether large or miniature, single or multipurpose loop styles, test points like the TP Series are designed to withstand mechanical stress, even when surface mounted. The series offers remarkably versatile options, such as the miniature TP-108, made for miniature test points. Components Corporation offers a wide range of solutions, and are available to help you determine the size, material, and version that will ensure your testing is accurate every time.
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping