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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Circuit Board Tools



There are two types of tools that can be used to create and repair circuit boards: soldering tools and hand tools.
Circuit boards require their own tools mainly due to the size of most circuit boards. The components of the boards are very small and cannot be put into place and connected using standard tools.

Micro Drill
The micro drill performs many functions when repairing or making a circuit board. The micro droll can cut circuits, slots, holes, leads and shapes. The main functions of the drill include sanding, cutting, grinding, drilling and milling. The micro drill performs all drilling needs without damaging any other part of the circuit board. The drill comes with different tips. The type of tip you use depends on the application.

Stencil
Stencils are used to apply solder paste onto the circuit board. Solder paste is the glue that mounts the external parts onto the circuit board.
Applying the solder paste by hand can be difficult as the lines are very small and must be accurate. A stencil ensures that the solder paste is applied at the right spots. The paste adheres to the board in the spots where the stencil is open. The stencil is then removed and the resulting circuit board will have a solder paste pattern on the surface in the exact spots needed to mount external components.

Solder Iron
A solder iron is used to attach components and wire onto the circuit board. A soldering iron looks like a pen with a metal tip. The tip of the iron becomes very hot and can melt solder. This solder is then applied to the circuit board to connect wires and other electronic components so electricity can freely flow throughout the surface. This soldering creates joints on the boards. The spot where solder connects two wires or electronic components is known as the joint. When soldering parts onto a circuit board it is important that they are placed in the correct direction.

Tweezers
Tweezers are used to place the external components onto the solder paste located on the circuit board. Many circuit board parts are too small to pick up by hand. Tweezers, specifically those with bent ends or tapered tips, can grip each piece and correctly place it onto the solder paste. Some parts of circuit boards are so tiny that a microscope is needed to ensure proper positioning while using the tweezers.

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