Thermal/visible microscope makes a powerful circuit board repair tool

21-08-2019 | Saelig | Test & Measurement

Saelig Company now offers the QianLi LC-IRP01 Thermal Imaging Camera, a diagnostic tool for PCBs which displays heat images to help recognise damaged or malfunctioning components or short-circuits. The microscope comprises two imagers, one for visible wavelengths and one for infrared heat images. These images can be merged on a PC display to swiftly identify problem areas. Exploring for missing, incorrect or charred components, bad solder joints, and solder bridges is much simpler with this thermal microscope.

Visual inspection with the device's sensor is a helpful tool in PCB debug activities, but the addition of 160x120 thermal imaging is particularly effective in finding overheating issues. Rather than utilising a thermocouple to find the temperature of an individual component, the device displays all of the board temperatures at once. Scanning for solder whiskers or bridges between pads or solder joints is particularly challenging between the pins of fine-pitch SMD chips with no significant magnification, and this device provides 800x digital zooming. If the problem is a short circuit, it will be clearly visible on the PC as an anomalous heat spot when power is momentarily applied.

Using a normal/test board comparison analysis, the powerful, intelligent PC analysis software supplied can swiftly and accurately distinguish problem chips or short-circuits, which considerably speeds up fault detection, and enhances operational efficiency and maintenance accuracy. Finding short-circuits on a PCB can be extremely difficult by other means. The PC software's algorithms can identify and highlight thermal anomalies in a wide area. By comparing normal and abnormal boards, it can assist in promptly and accurately identifying circuit board faults. The software provided can save images or video to preserve maintenance records, video evidence of faults, and give dated reference comparisons for future maintenance or reports.

By Natasha Shek