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Blog entries by mhoulroyd

mhoulroyd
1 min read
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Small is a relative term. In the 1990's a small PC socket was a leaded device on 2,54mm pin centers, and miniature was a staggered 2,54mm grid. In the past 10 years, small was considered 2mm pitch and miniature was 1,27mm pitch. During my time as a product designer of small precision...
mhoulroyd
2 min read
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2K
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Introduction: Specifying the correct printed circuit board pad, land and, hole sizes are critical to the device mechanical attachment of a machined pin or socket. Through-hole PCB designs come in two flavors: plated and unplanted. A plated hole provides a path for solder wicking due to...
mhoulroyd
3 min read
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919
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Introduction: For round pins with precision critical diameters, multiple barrel diameter variations, and drilled holes, CNC machining is the ticket. For the other one-billion-part applications, metal forming, and fabrication processes offer the best solutions. Consider the following...
mhoulroyd
2 min read
5.00 star(s) 1 ratings
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2K
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Introduction: One of the most overlooked, least thought-out components assembled to a PCB is the pin terminal. Although they’re not exciting like logic devices, they can present complications to those who disregard their correct application. Consider the profit loss of fully populated PCBs...
mhoulroyd
2 min read
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1K
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Introduction: Reducing height and space is always a goal in new product design. Reducing module space translates into cost savings. For rackmount assemblies, space is limited between printed circuit boards. Low-profile carriers eliminate permanent onboard insulators minimizing socket...
mhoulroyd
2 min read
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2K
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Hand assembly and soldering of individual pin arrays to a PCB is inefficient, costly, and results in poor product quality. Yet, some manufacturers are still doing this. One old-school production soldering method employed for thru-hole PCB assemblies is called wave-soldering. To accomplish...
mhoulroyd
4 min read
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1K
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Introduction: Which quagmire have you experienced lately? Case 1: Your production assembly schedule goes off the rails due to QA finding random misaligned surface mount connectors due to migration during reflow. Case 2: You’re taking returns due to field failures; fatigued surface mount...
mhoulroyd
4 min read
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899
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Introduction: Manually placing fields of discrete pins upon a printed circuit board is a poor production PCB assembly strategy. This action is not only tedious and prone to errors but extremely cost-ineffective too. Vertically unstable pins tilt, creating harmful soldering rework. Misaligned...
Have you ever had this experience? After placing a purchase order, the supplier discovers they cannot manufacture the promised part. Because you did not plan properly, you have no choice but to buy an expensive, unproven custom product. With no prior reference history, you are the...
mhoulroyd
2 min read
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11K
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Back in the early 1990's, I accompanied our chief engineer to visit Intel. My company had just designed a new high-density pin grid array socket for Intel's new Pentium family. The Intel engineers loved our product and used it in their laboratories for testing. But later during that visit...
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mhoulroyd
3 min read
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4K
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Spring-loaded pins are rapidly finding new applications in modular product design. Also referred to as SLCs (spring-loaded connectors), this product resolves many of the manufacturing issues like misalignment, coplanarity, and tolerance stack up that can plague traditional pins and sockets...
mhoulroyd
1 min read
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1K
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It's been 4 years since I last posted on the EDAboard. There have been so many changes in the electronics industry. Spring pins are still one of the fastest growing forms of interconnecting two PCBs. The advantages for a designer to use spring pins are numerous: 1) The ability to blind mate two...

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