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iteadstudio false electrical test

I recently had a batch of 10 pcb’s for an ongoing project fabricated with iteadstudio pcb prototyping service. They guarantee 100% electrical test on their product page. One month later I receive the pcb’s and decided to watch them under a microscope for inspection. I wasn’t particularly checking for the e-test, I was more interested in seeing if the small pads and vias  look good. I was however surprised when I did not find the small marks on each pad which are a good indicator if the e-test has been performed or not. From my knowledge in low volume production e-test is being made with a flying-probe type machine and as the name suggests the flying probes would leave small marks in each pad where they touched to make electrical contact. In my case as it can be seen in the picture above the pads show no marks so I suspect itead is lying about their 100% e-test. I checked all 10 pcb’s that I received and none had the marks that an e-test would leave behind. They were however all marked with a stripe on the edge as it is usually the case with pcb’s that have been e-tested just as a reference to differentiate tested from non-tested pcb’s. My guess is that they are trying to lower their cost of production by visually inspecting small pcb’s instead of passing them through a real e-test which would cost money and would take time to setup. I reached out to iteadstudio and asked if the black line marked on the edge of the PCB’s means they’ve been tested electrically although the meaning of the line has no significance since the product is advertised as 100% e-test. Will be updated when I get a reply from them....

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Source: Youritronics - Monday, 26 March, 2012


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