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10 Things NOT To Do While Holding a Soldering Iron

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Avoiding Grief and Pain When Using Your Soldering Iron

In a recent blog post, we discussed soldering safety tips. Our team brings over 100 years of experience with soldering circuit boards. Over the years, we have learned the best practices on how to efficiently and safely solder a variety of electrical products, particularly printed circuit boards. Through our vast experience, we have also gained a clear grasp on what NOT to do while holding a Soldering Iron. 

10 Things NOT to Do While Holding a Soldering Iron

Below is a helpful list that may spare you lots of grief and pain when using a Soldering Iron:

  1. EYE SPY PAIN
    Something in your eye? Please put the soldering iron down first. Thankfully your safety goggles are in place for absentminded events such as this. Singed eyelashes will be the least of your problems without your safety glasses securely fastened. 
  2. NEW NOSE RING 
    Scratching an itchy nose with a soldering iron in your hand is typically not a good idea. Unless you are eager to add that new nose ring that you have been putting off. If that is the case, then the soldering iron will cut right through the victimized or targeted area. Viola! A new hole available for your new nose ring. 
  3. OUCH!
    Absolutely under no circumstance should you zip up you fly if you notice it is down. No adjustments, fixing, or any other engagement in that general area while holding a soldering iron. Results could be disastrous. Plus you will have an extremely difficult time trying to explain this accident to the emergency room staff. 
  4. USE Q-TIPS INSTEAD
    Feel water floating in your ears from the early morning swim? This is not the time to clean out your ears. Set down your soldering iron and grab a few Q-tips. 
  5. NO KNEE-SLAPPERS
    Tell everyone around you no jokes if you are one to slap your knee when laughing. Yelling, “Hey Johnny, that’s a knee-slapper” can turn painful real quick once the soldering iron hits your knee. 
  6. SEE #1
    Soldering is not a time to apply mascara or eyeliner. Please refer to rule #1. 
  7. WORSE THAN A ROOT CANAL
    If you suddenly feel a piece of popcorn stuck in your teeth from that movie you watched three nights ago, please do not try removing the kernel while soldering. A soldering iron is not a replacement for a toothpick and this could quite easily be more painful than a root canal without Novocain. 
  8. NO SELFIES
    Holding or using your cell phone while soldering typically falls under the category of a “Bad Idea”. If you find it necessary to Facetime or Go Live on Facebook while soldering, please have someone else hold the phone to film your activities. You will be glad you played it safe. 
  9. HOLY SMOKES BATMAN 
    Please under no circumstance do you want to apply lipstick or Chap Stick while holding a soldering iron.  You may end up looking like the Joker from Batman….permanently. 
  10. NO STRETCHING 
    Last but not least, if you are sitting next to someone while soldering, please keep them beyond arm’s length. Especially if you like to speak with your hands, point when making a point, flail your arms when emotional, stretch frequently or tend to smack people on the shoulder when speaking. All of the above can cost you a friendship real quick. 

Soldering Iron

We had fun putting together this list even though burns and injuries are a very serious matter. Please use extreme care and caution when using a soldering iron. Hopefully, these tongue-in-cheek comments convey the message. We use the safest measures possible when soldering printed circuit boards at our facility. Falconer Electronics has proudly participated in the SHARP program since 2005 to proactively maintain a healthy and safe workplace.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post. Continue looking for our series on soldering circuit boards.  

Also, to learn more about wire harness assemblies, check out our weekly “Wire Harness Wednesday” blog posts. 

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

 

The History of Circuit Boards

History of Circuit Boards

The Beginning of the Twentieth Century

           The History of Circuit Boards dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century. Albert Hanson, a German scientist, and inventor, first described the use of multiple layers of foil conductors laminated to an insulating board in 1903.

In 1927, Charles Ducas’s circuit method placed an electronic path directly onto an insulated surface. The wires were printed onto the board through a stencil, and the ink applied could conduct electricity. This process is an early version of electroplating.

Next came Paul Eisler. He invented the first printed circuit in England in 1936 while working on a radio set. Eisler’s early PCBs were first used in small radio sets intended for use by the British and American military during World War II. The US military ended up incorporating PCBs into anti-aircraft shells.  In 1947, the First double sided PCB’s with plated through holes were produced.

The Middle of the Twentieth Century

           In the middle of the Twentieth century, the types of materials used for the board was shifting to different resins and other materials. The only problem with this was they could only be printed on one side. However, the wiring would be printed on one side and the electrical components would be on the other.

In 1956, the U.S. Patent Office granted a patent to a small group of scientists representing the U.S. Army for the “Process of Assembling Electrical Circuits.” The process involved drawing the wiring pattern and then photographing it onto a zinc plate. This plate could then be used to create a printing plate for an offset printing press. This is what was used to print the wire in acid resistant ink on the copper foil, which could then be etched by an acid solution. This was a giant leap forward. In 1960, a multilayer PCB design begins production.

The End of the Twentieth Century

         In the 1970s, the circuitry and overall size of the boards were starting to get a lot smaller and hot air soldering methods began to be used. Durning the 1980s, Surface mount parts became the preferred option over through-hole components. This led to further size reductions while maintaining the same level of functionality.

In the 1990s, while the complexity of modern circuit boards continued to go up. But the size of the boards and costs of materials has generally been able to go down. Once developers were able to start using multi-layer circuit boards they were able to minimize the size and incorporate combinations of rigid and flexible PCBs in a range of devices. In 1995, the use of micro-via technology in PCB production starts, ushering in the era of HDI (High-Density Interconnect) PCB’s.

History of Circuit Boards

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post on the History of Circuit Boards. Continue looking for our series on soldering circuit boards.  

Also, to learn more about wire harness assemblies, check out our weekly “Wire Harness Wednesday” blog posts. 

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

Source:

 http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Printed_circuit_board

 

Producing Printed Circuit Boards at Falconer Electronics

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Having a Blast Producing Printed Circuit Boards

We find Producing Printed Circuit Boards a blast here at Falconer Electronics. Is it the actual placing parts that we find so much fun? Or is it the amazing people we work with on a daily basis? Or is the incredible customers that we are blessed to build product for?  ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Could it be the cool products that we produce for our customers that keeps our workplace so energized? It is a true privilege that we are able to see our finished goods in action.

For example, we find it extremely exciting seeing our work on roads and highways in vehicle lighting fixtures. Many of our products find their way in major retail stores such as Walmart and Lowe’s, working as electrical display units. Our products also find homes in the health care industry, industrial heating systems,  locomotives, vehicle mobility units as well as in national defense projects. 

Producing Printed Circuit Boards for over 30 years allows the opportunity to see trends come and go. What holds true through all of those years is delivering high-quality product, on-time and with a smile for our customers. 

Producing Printed Circuit Boards on a Pick and Place Machine

Producing Printed Circuit Boards

This past year, Falconer Electronics invested in DDM Novastar LE40V Benchtop Automated Pick and Place Machine. This fantastic piece of machinery drastically increased our productivity. Especially for larger orders requiring surface mount components.

The Pick and Place Machine delivers a wonderful competitive edge by offering speed, accuracy, and flexibility. This fits perfectly with our customers who primarily require prototypes as well as low to mid-level volume. 

 

Common Components Placed When Producing Printed Circuit Boards:
  • Resistors 
  • Capacitors
  • Diodes
  • LED Lights 
  •  Wires 
  • Integrated Circuits 
Several key steps when Producing Printed Circuit Boards:
  • Make sure to place parts properly
  • Parts and lights in place
  • Parts pushed up
  • Look for parts missing
  • Check for parts missing solder
  • Always wear safety glasses

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post on Producing Printed Circuit Boards. Continue looking for our series on soldering circuit boards.  

Also, to learn more about wire harness manufacturing and wire harness assemblies, check out our weekly “Wire Harness Wednesday” blog posts. 

Lastly, let’s get social! Please connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

5 Things That You Didn’t Know Contain PCBs

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How often do we really think about the electric makeup of everyday objects? We use things every single day that contain printed circuit boards and we don’t realize it. We’ve collected a list of everyday objects that may surprise you by containing PCBs.

PCB is short for Printed Circuit Board. These boards are the object within electrical devices that connect all of the internal electrical components to each other. These boards contain electrical lines that conduct electricity, components, and solder. All of these things work together to make everyday items that we see and use run correctly.

5: PCBs in Digital Watches and Clocks

How many times a day do you check a clock or your watch to see the time? Think about the days that you look at a clock and think it must be lunch time only to discover it is only eight O’clock which is just five minutes after the last time you checked. On the days that you are checking your digital watch or clock multiple times do you think about what’s inside them to make them work? That watch you looked at at-least one hundred times today hoping it was lunch time has a tiny circuit board in it. The idea that inside a small sized watch is an entire circuit board with even smaller components is an incredible thought. With their smaller size, watches have even smaller components making them function the way that we have become accustomed to.

4: Washers and Dryers Using PCBs

If you didn’t have to wash your clothing by hand to have clean clothes for today you can thank a circuit board! Well, technically a few circuit boards because you used both a washer and dryer. Washers and Dryers are a convenience that very near everyone uses. They make our lives easier and take the hard work out of scrubbing those tough stains. Grandparents everywhere are forgetting the days of hand washing and having to scrub stains without fancy stain removers that we know and love. None of this would be possible without PCBs.  

3:  Fans, AC units, and Heaters 

                                        Related image  

Fans, AC units, and Heaters are very helpful with changing seasons. Who hasn’t gone to the movies on a hot summer day just to suck up some free air conditioning? Think of how different life would be without heaters in our homes and office. Furthermore, who hasn’t been grateful to hear the heating system kick on when temperatures drop to single digits.  No matter the temperature these helpful units of air adjustment keep us comfortable all year round and all because they have PCBs. 

2: Stereos

No one goes through an entire day without listening to music on some type of device. This includes home stereo systems, iPods, or CD players. Every day we set the tone for our mood by what we hear on the radio or what we plug our headphones into. All of these devices wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for PCBs. We would all be living in a very quiet place if it weren’t for the small circuit boards. These boards make them function the way we need them to.        

1:  Electronic Kid Toys

                                                  

Kids love toys that make noise, the louder the better. Parents around the world have had to learn to tolerate listening to the same three versions of the wheels on the bus. The newer kids movies and shows circulate around songs. There is more chance of parents “misplacing” a child’s toy just to get some peace and quiet. These delightful moments of listening to the same song over and over again wouldn’t be possible without a PCB.

Check out our other blogs and our website to learn more!

 

14 Soldering Safety Tips

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Soldering Safety Tips

Hand soldering printed circuit boards takes tremendous skill, patience, and expertise. As we discussed in a previous blog post, our team at Falconer Electronics has over 100 years of soldering printed circuit board experience. Below includes a list of Soldering Safety Tips that helps keep our staff safe. 

Soldering Safety Tips

14 Helpful Soldering Safety Tips

  1. First, if the soldering iron happens to slip out of your hand, PLEASE DO NOT GRAB IT! The soldering iron is extremely HOT. Let it fall, keep your cool and pick it up by the handle. Wearing gloves or having a dry cloth nearby will come in handy (yes, the pun was intended).  
     
  2.  Solder runs. It can seep through a hole in a printed circuit board. Ouch! After doing that a time or two, you will wisely consider wearing gloves. Using tweezers to hold the wire works great as well.
     
  3. Always return the soldering iron to the stand when not in use.  
     
  4. Safety Glasses, Safety Glasses, Safety Glasses. By the way, did we mention Safety Glasses? Safety Glasses probably serve as the most important tool and resource that you will use when soldering.
     
  5. Keep the cleaning sponge wet.
     
  6. Wash hands thoroughly when finished soldering. Especially if you are grabbing a meal afterward. Lingering solder on your fingers typically does not add value to the tastiness of a meal.
     
  7. Wear long sleeves and gloves. Our team has observed that solder plays “Dodgeball”. Solder likes to toss or launch little specs of heat at you. Unfortunately there is little time to “dodge” these bundles of joy. Protect your skin as much as possible. By the way, did we mention to make sure you are wearing safety glasses?
     
  8. Keep the work station clean and free of clutter. Cords from the soldering iron can easily become entangled with other objects on your workstation. The soldering iron can quickly fall. As we mentioned, NEVER grab a falling soldering iron. An even worse result would be finding the soldering iron in your lap.
     
  9. Place ice or cold water on accidental solder burns immediately. For serious injuries seek medical assistance ASAP!
     
  10. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Also, make sure it is current and up to code.
     
  11. Extract Fumes! Preferably a ventilation system that vents out of the building. For home use or hobbyist, there are many options including fans with filter boxes. 
     
  12. Avoid dirt or particles when soldering.
     
  13. Keep soldering iron turned off and unplugged when not in use. 
     
  14. Never solder live circuits or wires. This could be an Electrifying experience! 
       

 

Thank you for reading our blog post on Soldering Safety Tips. Look for continued blog posts on Soldering Circuit Boards this month.

Also, check out our weekly “Wire Harness Wednesday” blog posts to learn more about Wire Harness Assembly and Wire Harness Manufacturing

Lastly, Let’s get social! Connect on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.