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In-Circuit Test Probe with Integral Wiping Feature

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020399D
Publication Date: 2003-Nov-19
Document File: 3 page(s) / 80K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that uses an angle-tipped, in-circuit test (ICT) probe that facilitates a wiping action. Benefits include improved electrical contact and longer probe life.

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In-Circuit Test Probe with Integral Wiping Feature

Disclosed is a method that uses an angle-tipped, in-circuit test (ICT) probe that facilitates a wiping action. Benefits include improved electrical contact and longer probe life.

Background

ICT testing has historically produced a large number of alpha-type open joint failures (i.e. false failures). False failure rates as high as 7% are typical for PC motherboards. Many of these failures are the result of incomplete electrical contact between the probe tip and the PCB test point (see Figure 1). Some reasons for incomplete contact are: non-conductive oxidation, dirt and foreign substances, or flux residue on the test point or on the probe tip.

Currently, ICT fixtures require constant maintenance to get optimal performance, yet even with this maintenance high false failure rates are expected. When false failures occur, testing is repeated a second or third time until the subject board passes.

General Description

The disclosed method includes an angled probe point that promotes a wiping or sliding motion as the probe is driven deeper into the surface of the board (see Figure 2). Also, a tapered or “necked” section of the probe near the tip also allows some flex to promote the wiping action across the test point surface. The design of the probe is compact enough so that its general orientation stays directly above the test point.

Note. ICT probes must maneuver between tightly spaced components mounted to a PCB.

Figures 3 and...