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Testing Electronic Components Without Removing Them From The PCB

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At first glance, when you have a non-working electronic device, it may seem nearly impossible to narrow down the search and find the broken components. There are so many, it could take a month to go through and take each and every one out in order the test it. However, there are tricks of the trade that can cut the testing down to just 15-30 minutes in most cases. Plus, there are some other things to look at before you even start testing. Here are some tips on testing electronic circuit components on the circuit board.

Start With A Narrowing Down Of The Affected Board

If it’s a TV, stereo, or computer printed circuit board they are almost always divided into sections. The TV will have an audio and a video section and then each of those is divided into subsections as well. So if the audio out, you don’t need to be checking the video circuit board at all. And in the video circuits, there are different colors that can be examined to narrow the search even further.

In the computer, if your problem is the power supply, leave the mother board alone and only open up the power supply. There will be various circuits of different voltages inside the power supply that can help you know where to start as well. Do lots of internet searches to get some advice on where to start looking based on various troubleshooting techniques.

Visually Inspect The Circuit Board First

Of course, the easiest thing to spot is going to be bad capacitors that have a pushed up top and some leaking electrolyte. Those are know trouble spots that go bad frequently. Even if the part isn’t bad yet, it should be replaced while you’re there because it’s soon going to fail. But remember to test it as well to see if it eliminates your search.

Diodes also can burn out and if they are the clear type, they’re going to be visible burned. Sometimes resistors go bad too, and they’ll usually be burned as well. Scan the entire PCB to see if there are any charred spots and check those components first.

The Best Way To Check Is To Remove The Components

All of the various components are better checked out of the PCB, however, that’s going to take you plenty of hours to do. You’ll need a digital multi-meter that doesn’t emit more than 0.6 volts in order to test all of the resistors without removing them. That’s because the lower voltage output of the meter won’t be enough to trigger any of the surrounding semi-conductors, like transistors. If you check a resistor and get a 0 ohm reading, then it’s shorted out. Or, if you get double the reading it’s changed it’s value and needs to be replaced.

In reality, if you know how to inspect the board carefully, and then read online how to check the different components while still in the board, you can almost always find the bad component in about 15 minutes or so. After that, you should check the surrounding components carefully because they may have been affected by the neighboring component. You can do most types of in circuit board testing with a good quality digital multi-meter. To know more about us visit the website at http://www.directics.com/electronic-components-list/.

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