Browse Prior Art Database

Automatic Thermal Conduction Module Probe-Tester

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111887D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 167K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Barenboim, M: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

An automated, remotely-controlled probe-tester was required for testing of Thermal Conduction Modules (TCMs) used in mainframe computers. Testing of circuits on the back (that is, the side opposite the pin side) of TCMs for open and short circuits must be performed with the TCMs in place and power to the mainframe on.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

Automatic Thermal Conduction Module Probe-Tester

      An automated, remotely-controlled probe-tester was required for
testing of Thermal Conduction Modules (TCMs) used in mainframe
computers.  Testing of circuits on the back (that is, the side
opposite the pin side) of TCMs for open and short circuits must be
performed with the TCMs in place and power to the mainframe on.

      In prior art, TCMs were tested one at a time manually in a
special test frame.  The drawbacks of this method were (1) that it
requires the skill of highly trained technicians, and (2) the great
amount of heat that the TCMs dissipate and the current represent
potentially unsafe conditions for test personnel.

      The Automatic TCM Probe-Tester described below uses an XYZR
robot tester controlled from a remotely-located control panel.  The
operator views the TCM on a video display monitor, and can display
the current location of a probe-tester tip or zoom in for a close-up
view of any area of the TCM.  The operator can select test sites
either with a joystick or by entering the appropriate pin coordinates
from the keyboard, and then initiate the test by issuing the
appropriate keyboard command.  The Automatic TCM Probe-Tester
increases efficiency by automating testing and lessening the reliance
on operator skill level; in addition, since operators select and test
sites from a remotely-controlled test panel, operator exposure to
safety hazards is eliminated.

      The probe-tester comes in two basic frame configurations--a
single probe-tester for testing single pin locations on a single TCM,
and a multiple tester that can simultaneously test two or more test
points on two or more TCMs.

      Fig. 1 shows a single-frame 1 and multiple frame 2
configurations with their respective probe-testers 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Although not shown for clarity, frame 1 holds a single TCM and frame
2 holds four TCMs.  The probe-testers are mounted to their respective
mounting assemblies 7 and 8 which, in turn, are attached to the back
of the frame structures.  Mounting assemblies can pivot the
probe-testers away from the frame structures to permit access to the
back side of the boards.

      Control cabinets 9 house all components required to provide
power to the probe-testers as well as appropriate interfaces between
the probers and surrounding equipment.  A video display monitor 10,
located on top of the operator's console 11, displays images from the
TCMs and probe mechanisms.

      Fig. 2 shows test frame 2 and probe-testers 4, 5, and 6 with
their mounting assembly 8 in open position.

      Fig. 3 shows a typical XYZR probe mechanism 12 in a
fully-retracted or home position.  It consists of the following major
subassemblies and components:  probe-optics subassembly 13, attached
to a motorized XYZR unit 14; a probe's frame 15; a spring-loaded face
plate 16; and three bus latches 17, driven by solenoids (not shown
for clarity).

      Fig...