ECT Launches New Probe for High Performance RF Signal Testing of PCBAs

The ECT CSP-30TS-011 has been designed to perfectly mate with PCBA test pads and vias

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) recently added the CSP-30TS-011 to its industry-proven portfolio of high frequency probes for the PCBA test market. This next generation coaxial probe provides instrumentation-quality interface for broadband RF measurements exceeding 20GHz, delivering superior performance while seamlessly mating with pads, vias, and other board features. The CSP-30TS-011 RF probe combines several innovative features to provide a truly reliable and cost-effective testing solution.

The CSP-30TS-011 is compatible with other ECT ICT/FT probes and features an open architecture format that can be configured with up to 4 easy-to-replace ground probes.  With an insertion loss (S21) in excess of 20 GHz @ -1dB and a consistent impedance of 50 Ohm, the CSP-30TS-011 offers outstanding signal integrity and measurement capability. The CSP-30TS-011 provides spring-loaded compliance for both the center signal probe and the outer ground probes, while the knurl housing feature allows for easy and reliable press fit mounting.

Tony DeRosa, Senior Product Manager, explains: “We absolutely see the need for reliable, high performance and cost-efficient RF probe solutions in the PCBA test market. We launched this new probe to support our customers in high speed, high volume testing as well as in engineering labs.”

To learn more details about CPS-30TS-011 please visit https://shop.ect-cpg.com/product/CSP-30TS-011

ECT High Current Probes Leverage over 50 Years of Industry Leading Experience

A comprehensive high current product portfolio provides both technical and commercial advantages to the customer

ECT high current probes are an optimal choice for testing PCBAs and electronic assemblies as well as embedded OEM applications. With multiple options ranging from 10 A up to 150 A DC, ECT offers cost-effective and highly reliable solutions to address the major technical challenges facing high current probes: consistent high current carrying capacity and low heat dissipation.

ECT high current spring probes provide customers with a broad range of proven capabilities. Their rugged design is optimized to ensure solid contact and resistance as low as 5 mOhm, making them ideal for inline applications. The probe tips have been engineered to maximize contact surface area and reduce arcing.

Tony DeRosa, Senior Product Manager, explains:”All ECT high current probes are designed to optimize current carrying capacity and minimize path resistance. Our engineering team utilizes highly conductive materials and platings, ensuring maximum current carrying capacity, wear resistance, and thermal integrity. All high current probes are designed to provide extreme durability while offering high, stable contact force; the ECT 100A probe has a spring force of about 8 lbs. while the flat tip geometry and ECT’s bias ball architecture ensure low resistance.”

ECT high current spring probes are well-suited to a variety of applications, from in-circuit and industrial testing to OEM applications. They offer an ideal solution for both high volume production and engineering test lab environments, and end- users include board test houses, fixture companies, and direct OEM customers.”

To learn more about ECT high current spring probes, visit http://ect-cpg.com/hc-probes

ECT Launches Next Generation Probe for High Performance RF Signal Testing of PCBAs

The ECT CSP-30ES-013 probe brings performance and ease-of-use to the next level

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) recently launched a high frequency test probe for the PCBA test market. The CSP-30ES-013 radio frequency probe mates to standard SMA connectors and combines proven RF performance with ease-of-use to ensure accurate and reliable testing. The CSP-30ES-013 coaxial probe provides an instrumentation-quality interface for broadband RF measurements in excess of 20 GHz, providing a cost-efficient solution for high volume board testing. With the addition of the CSP-30ES-013 high performance radio frequency probe, ECT expands its industry-proven high speed test interface portfolio.

The CSP-30ES-013 offers outstanding signal integrity and is capable of bandwidth measurements in excess of 20 GHz @ -1dB. With the CSP-30ES-013 RF probe, high frequency and functional tests can be performed in both high volume testing and engineering lab environments. Accurate small signal and RF power (50 Watts) measurements provide consistent and repeatable results. The CSP-30ES-013 ensures a consistent impedance of 50 Ohm.

The CSP-30ES-013 provides spring-loaded compliance for both the center signal probe and outer housing that provides ground contact. The articulated contact allows for targeting errors. The CSP-30ES-013 features a rugged design for inline applications and an easy to replace center conductor probe (SPL-30E-030). The knurl housing feature ensures easy and reliable press fit mounting.

Tony DeRosa, Senior Product Manager, confirms: “The CSP-30ES-013 probe meets the need for cost effective, high performance functional testing at high speed.  Our engineers designed this probe to mate with SMA connectors and to provide excellent performance for our board test customers in both engineering characterization and high volume applications. It leverages Xcerra’s extensive knowledge in providing solutions for signal integrity sensitive applications, and we have over 15 years experience simulating complex test structures including probes, PCBA’s and launches. We build and test many structures to validate our products and corresponding models.”

To learn more details about CSP-30ES-013, please visit https://shop.ect-cpg.com/product/csp-30es-013

 

Finding the ECT Equivalent to an Existing Spring Probe Solution

Everett Charles Technologies Introduces the new online part conversion tool

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) has recently launched a new online parts conversion tool, which converts most industry or competitors’ part numbers to a functionally equivalent ECT solution.

ECT has implemented a new online tool to convert non-ECT spring probe part numbers into ECT equivalent part numbers. The new cross-reference tool provides customers with a quick and easy way of determining if an ECT equivalent probe is available for their application.

When a customer enters a competitor’s part number into the cross-reference tool, it will provide an exact match to an existing ECT part number if available or to a “functional” equivalent when a perfect match does not exist. The conversion result includes a link to the product page on the ECT website, where detailed specifications allow customers to engage in more in-depth analysis of the ECT alternative. This lets the customer instantly check the electrical and mechanical specification of ECT’s recommended probe match and to compare critical parameters to verify compatibility.

Tony DeRosa, Product Manager, explains: “Our proficient engineers compiled the data for this tool, which leverages ECT’s extensive knowledge of spring probes along with our applications experience to allow us to accurately recommend conversion to ECT probes.”

Test the new online conversion tool here: http://ect-cpg.com/cross-reference-tool

 

Custom Spring Probes Tailored to Demanding Requirements

Everett Charles Technologies leverages decades of expertise to optimize electrical and mechanical performance of custom spring probe solutions

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) has the experience and knowhow to provide custom spring probes for just about every application. ECT’s custom tailored probe solutions are designed taking into account all mechanical, electrical, and environmental customer requirements, which result in an optimized solution.

Beyond a comprehensive portfolio of off-the-shelf spring probe solutions for a wide range of applications, ECT offers solutions fully designed to customer specifications when standard products don’t meet an entire set of requirements. Whether a requirement  is as simple as special tip geometry or as complex as a custom coax RF probe, ECT’s engineers combine state-of-the-art design, materials and production know-how, with ECT’s long-term experience in spring probe technology to deliver results that truly meet customers’ expectations.

ECT custom projects begin with direct engineer to engineer dialog with the customer to ensure design requirements are fully understood and that all design work leads to a solution fully aligned with their needs.

Electrical and mechanical analysis prior to hardware build, including proficient RF simulation when needed, increases design integrity. ECT’s well-defined process ensures a smooth release to production and on-time delivery to support the customer’s time-to-market targets.

Tony DeRosa, Product Manager, commented: “We keep expanding our probe portfolio while we are open for customer specific requests. By constantly expanding our understanding of innovative and reliable designs, materials, and production processes, we are able to meet advanced requirements that go beyond today’s standard applications.”

To learn more about how easy it is to start a special probe project at ECT, click here: visit https://shop.ect-cpg.com/support/special-probe-request/

ECT’s ZIP™ Z0-040 Spring Probe Increased Life by 500% in Head to Head Comparison

Z0-040RHJ High Performance Spring Probe for semiconductor test out performs the competition in a challenging application contacting NiPd pads

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) successfully won a head-to-head evaluation using Z0-040 probes made with HyperCore™ material in a high volume production environment at a large Asian OSAT. The Z0 probes reached 250k insertions, more than a 500% increase of the probe life compared to the competitor’s spring probe while exceeding first pass yield expectations.

Z0-040RHJ went head to head in an evaluation with another industry leading probe. The customer was in search of a longer lasting probe that would lower total cost of test.  The application required reliable and repeatable contacting of NiPd pads, which are known to be very challenging due to their hardness and abrasiveness. The primary goal of the evaluation was to increase probe life and lower cost of test. The target parameters for success were to exceed 200k insertions while maintaining consistent 1st pass yield performance.

ZIP Z0 probes built from HyperCore present a new level of accuracy, scalability and performance. The proprietary non-plated, homogenous probe material possesses properties that prevent oxidation, ensuring premium performance throughout high volume production cycles. With 600 Knoop hardness, the probe is inert to common wear related to contacting hard, rough surfaces and abrasive cleaning. Additionally, ECT’s patented ZIP Z0 probes feature a number of innovative design features that provide superior contact capability. ZIP Z0 probes have a large internal contact area resulting in low contact resistance, superior bandwidth and excellent conductance.

Tony DeRosa, Senior Product Manager explains: “In applications like this one, our proprietary Hypercore material provides a substantial advantage due to its extraordinary hardness. We are proud that based on the evaluation performance the customer qualified ZIP Z0 for their most challenging applications where DUT pads are comprised of NiPd.  Customer’s production has begun to transfer contactor designs to Z0.

To learn more about ZIP™, please visit http://ect-cpg.com/semiconductor-probes

 

 

ECT’s BTP/BTLP Series Supports Bead Probe Testing of PCBs

Leveraging ECT’s Expertise and Innovation for this Advanced PCB Test Approach

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) has developed a series of spring probes, BTP and BPLT, specifically for bead probe test. Combining well-established design and plating principles with an innovative tip design to fully support the special requirements for contacting bead probes.

Spring probes used for bead probe test must be capable of reliable and repeatable positional accuracy to contact the hemi-ellipsoid target shape. Since bead probe structures are sensitive to contamination from solder and other materials, the test probe tip geometry must be sharp to minimize transfer.  Sharp tips also allow for lower spring force probes which can increase mechanical reliability of the test fixture.

ECT has developed an innovative flat and “micro-textured” tip that is optimized for contact to the hemi-ellipsoid shape of bead probes as small as 0.004”.  The textured surface is formed by closely spaced triangular pyramid shapes.  This geometry ensures highly accurate contact of the typical bead probe which is long, but also small in width when placed on a PCB trace.

ECT’s BTP and BTLP probe series leverage the proprietary POGO Plus® design applying the bias ball technology to maintain an excellent internal contact between the barrel and plunger even at the low forces required for bead probe applications.

ECT’s LFRE plating, which is a proven solution for lead-free contacting based on its extreme hardness of 550 to 650 Knoop, ensures a less porous and more durable surface that is less susceptible to solder and material transfer from bead probes.

Tony DeRosa, Product Manager, explains: “With the BTP/BTLP probe series, ECT enables our PCB Test customers applying bead probe technology to significantly improve their first pass yield in high volume applications. We support this technology with OEM’s, contract manufacturers, and test fixture partners.

To learn more, visit http://ect-cpg.com/bead-target-probes

Choosing the Right ECT Spring Probe for ICT and FCT Testing

How do I select Base Material / Plating, Spring Force, and Tip Selection?

In the world of spring probes, choices abound when it comes to selecting materials and platings for plungers, barrels and springs. Choosing the right options can greatly impact yield, probe life and cleaning frequency.

Base Materials

BeCu is a popular choice for both plungers and barrels and has outstanding mechanical properties with high electrical conductivity. Steel is significantly harder and is typically used for plungers with aggressive tip styles. Nickel Silver is very resistant to corrosion and is well suited for barrels. Bronze has good wear resistance, cold formability and high electrical conductivity. Lastly, brass is a high quality material with high electrical conductivity and good wear resistance.

Plating Choices

Choosing the right plating depends on the application and customer preference.  Gold is widely used and provides excellent electrical performance and good corrosion resistance. To address lead free solder challenges, ECT has developed a proprietary plating material called LFRE which is approximately 5 times harder than gold.  LFRE plated tips are much more durable and wear resistive than gold and have proven to last more than twice as long as gold plated probes. LFRE probes are also less susceptible to solder and material transfer and require less cleaning than gold plated probes.

Spring Force

Spring force selection is mainly dependent upon the application. It provides the required compliant force at the plunger tip and the contact force between the barrel and the plunger. Higher spring forces provide more effective penetration through contamination contact points, but leave heavier witness marks on the test point. Lower spring forces should be used where no witness marks are welcome or to prevent board flexing on higher pin count applications.  Stainless steel must be used for springs when test temperatures exceed 100°C.

Tip Selection

Most tip styles can be used for a variety of different applications. However, some test targets are better suited for unique tip styles. Some applications require a non-aggressive tip to be used on pads, such as radius, crown, or flat.  These tips leave little to no witness marks on test pads. For through-hole vias ECT offers: blade, star, or pyramid tip styles. These are well suited for contact through the outer ring of the via surface. Over time solder builds up oxide layers, therefore medium to very aggressive tips like the serrated, crown, blade, pyramid and point are used. Posts, pins or screws are more unpredictable and therefore more challenging. For these applications, tip styles like the cup, serrated and crown are best suited. Other applications may require more unique tip styles depending on test target material, size, shape, access and cleanliness.   With over 50 years of making high quality spring probes, ECT has developed a vast library of probe options for all your testing needs.

Product Selection Made Easy on shop.ect-cpg.com

The new e-shop provides sophisticated filters to make your product selection as convenient as possible. To learn more about the ECT offerings for ICT / FCT test, click here.

To learn more, visit http://ect-cpg.com

 

 

Everett Charles Technologies to exhibit at BIOMEDevice Show 2016

Leading Contacting and Connector Solutions to Meet Challenging Requirements

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) will exhibit its leading Contacting and Compliant Connector Solutions at the upcoming BIOMEDevice Show scheduled to take place December 7 – 8, 2016 at the San Jose Exhibition Center, California.

ECT offers a comprehensive portfolio of contacting and compliant connectors including customized solutions.

ECT’s offering of contacting products includes highly reliable battery probes for mission critical connections and proven RF probes to ensure accurate, consistent and repeatable contacts.

ECT’s “standard connectors” are based on a highly flexible architecture, which facilitates cost-efficient configurations for customer requirements. ECT compliant connectors meet the highest quality standards and have shown superior durability in high life cycle applications.

In addition to the off-the-shelf ‘catalog connectors’, which can be configured to customer requirements, ECT offers solutions fully designed to customer specifications. These custom solutions are needed, when standard products can’t meet the entire set of requirements. ECT’s in-house expertise in RF simulation is a unique and valuable asset for this capability. With the RF simulation and validation capabilities ECT is able to optimize the design prior to production. This process ensures the best performance of the connector and fastest project completion.

For more information, please visit http://ect-cpg.com/compliant-connectors or http://ect-cpg.com/accordion

 

Lifesaving Device Relying on Everett Charles Technology’s Probe Expertise

Chest Compression Device Deploys ECTs Pylon E-S series probe

Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) developed a custom version of the well-established Pylon E-S series spring probe, which is deployed in new generation chest compression devices for Emergency Medical Services and hospitals. The slightly modified Pylon E-S Series probe suits the harsh requirements for the lifesaving mission to assure the battery pack is continuously transferring power to the system.

The application requires a 100% reliable, no fail contact under all operating conditions.  In case of a low battery level the emergency team needs to replace the battery pack within seconds and make reliable contact instantly. The probe is air and liquid tight for hygiene and cleaning reasons and is capable of withstanding shock and vibe that occur during helicopter missions. The application requires an uninterrupted, continuous current of 4.0 A.

ECT and the customer jointly developed a robust solution by leveraging a well-established probe and thorough knowhow of precision machining of metals and plastics. In-depth electrical and mechanical analysis prior to hardware build validated the design and reduced development time.

Thomas Frenzel, Sales Manager Northern Europe, explains: “Based on this high-end and lifesaving application, the requirements have been one of the harshest we ever had to meet. Our solution replaces a competitive one, which failed at vibe test.”

To learn more about the ECT spring probes, please visit http://ect-cpg.com/spring-probes