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Re: lead free solder again


Hello Frank,

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How do you know that?

FYI, I work in medical and there are areas where lead is not allowed. My
exposure to conductive bonding processes of such devices is about twelve
years by now. And we are talking mass production here. Ok, maybe that's
not enough by your standards.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: lead free solder again


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Does that involve lead-free solder too? What is the trick to
prevent whiskers? Fill us in, with your 12 years experience
you must be able to give some advice, other than just complaining.

--
Thanks, Frank.
(remove 'q' and '.invalid' when replying by email)



Re: lead free solder again



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   I second that.

Re: lead free solder again


Hello Frank,

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Yes, it does but not the stuff that is sold in the stores now. Can't
reveal details as that would seriously damage a few companies'
competitive edge and I would be in breach of contract. Also, these
approaches would be far too expensive and cumbersome in "normal"
electronics assembly anyway. IOW, it would not help the cause here.

What I am complaining about is this: A legislative body has made a
decision and as far as I can tell there is no clear alternative path
they could point industry to. That's wrong. Before you make a law you
need to show your constituents how they are supposed to comply with it.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: lead free solder again


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Okay, so back then a solution was found, be it expensive and
cumbersome. If this secret only gives a few companies a competive
edge, all your telling us that this still have competitors that
are still able to sell their products. It still isn't clear to
me what your 12 years experience is worth. As far as I can see,
it only lulled you into believing there is no other solution,
because you didn't look for anything else, for 12 years. It
certainly doesn't make you sound like some general expert on lead
free soldering.

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Large companies didn't seem to have much difficulties with it. They
are all ready, all on schedule. How is that possible?

You sound like an old French wine maker, complaining about lead
bottle capsules being banned, back in 1994. 12 years ago. Yes,
they had to invest in new equipment to seal their bottles, and
yes, the legislative bodies didn't gave them a step-by-step
foolproof guide how to do it exactly.

--
Thanks, Frank.
(remove 'q' and '.invalid' when replying by email)








Re: lead free solder again


Hello Frank,

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You are drawing conclusions a bit too fast. There are competitors but
they offer totally different (to a large extent non-electronic)
technology. If they knew how we'd done it they would embark onto the
same bandwagon. Naturally, that is not desired.


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We did look for other solutions. We found them. But as I said they are
pretty must cost-prohibitive for consumer gear and we did not find
something less expensive.

Oh, and BTW we were told by a few top notch (European) robot makers that
"you cannot do this". We did it.


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Are you? Let me turn this around and repeat the question I already asked
you: Where is the proof that lead-free solder works well under normal
wear and tear conditions and for the long term? With long term I do not
mean a few months or so.

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Examples? Publications? Detailed report? Links?


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Sometimes I wish I was a French wine maker. But not an old one ;-)

BTW, this is different because there were already established
alternative procedures with a long history. Wax seals and so on. And
yes, also the, gasp, beer bottle cap that certainly works and has a
history of probably a hundred years or so.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: lead free solder again



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That's the spirit.

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I'm no expert, in fact I know nothing about the subject. In 2002
we had already 5-10% lead free soldered consumer electronics. I would
expect to have heard more horror stories other than some complaining
here at SED. SED is not the place where it all happens.

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Well, if you google for "ROHS motherboard" you will see that plenty
is available. I call that "on schedule". A PC's motherboard is an
extremely complicated piece of electronics that can't be thrown
together just like that. Apperently these guys were all able to
solve their soldering jobs. If it had been next to impossible, we
would have heard them yelling and bitching.

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My main point was that the law makers didn't provide the solution.
Wine makers had to solve it themselves. In your example, with the
medical gadget, the restriction of not using lead was probably dictated
by the customer, and your customer didn't give the solution either.

You have a tendency to complain about everything. About component
prices, about websites that don't work, about laptops running out
of juice, salesmen without a clue, non-dos software that doesn't work,
while, OTH, everybody else seems to manage those problems pretty well.

BTW, Philips Medical Systems goes ROHS too, even though medical gear
is exempted from ROHS.

--
Thanks, Frank.
(remove 'q' and '.invalid' when replying by email)








Re: lead free solder again



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Most of the big manufacturers of motherboards, TVs and other consumer
electronics are absolutely delighted that "through no fault of their own" -
their products will have drastically shorter life expectancy due to lead
free solder joints failing prematurely and so increasing throughput of
replacement products!

Also the intermittent nature of lead-free's failure mode (often involving
arcing in CRT displays and other HV gear!) has created a consumer mindset
that any equipment that fails will continue to be "nothing but trouble" no
matter how competently repaired. Some consumers are actually terrified when
their TV or monitor starts arcing and dropping burning embers out the grill
at the bottom and throw equipment in the trash for even the slightest
hiccup!



Re: lead free solder again


Hello Frank,

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s.e.d.? T'is the place where a lot of experts on electronics hang out.
People who design stuff that is produced by the truck load.

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Sure, Tyan and the others have no choice. They must produce RoHS
motherboards if they want to continue to ship to Europe. Other vendors
might decide to cut Europe off (I happen to know one).

If RoHS really backfires this may put an additional crimp into the
European economy. There might develop a market for non-RoHS gear,
commanding top Dollar. Since EU companies most likely won't be allowed
to produce that they might hear a loud flushing sound (money flowing out
instead of in).

We do not know whether they solved the lead-free solder issue. Absent
long term tests prior to enacting RoHS we won't know until a few years
down the road. Best case it's all hunky-dory, worst case you guys won't
have reliable computers anymore. Then you could send your files to the
US and the guys over here compute them for ya :-)

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No, as I had pointed out there already were solutions. Very different
scenario.


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Customers never give solutions. That why there are engineers ;-)


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If you look closely I usually complain under two circumstances:

a. When there is clearly a tried and true alternative and some companies
have just lost the ability to do it, or don't care. Take the laptop: I
have one that did 6 hours on an old-technology NiCd (until a very rough
airplane ride cracked its enclosure). So, it clearly can be done. There
is proof. But the younger lads can't seem to figure it out anymore. My
advice: Hire some older lads to teach the young lads how it's done :-))

b. When something is done willy-nilly, without prior due diligence. Such
as RoHS.

Am I the only one? Nope. Read this:

http://mae.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ARTCL&ARTICLE_ID25%9749&VERSION_NUM=2&p32 %

Quote: "Today, no quantifiable means of predicting tin-whisker-related
problems exist."

If that is indeed true (and I haven't heard from anyone including you
that it ain't) you might still say you don't care about what the mil
guys think but we might be in for a very rude awakening. Well, not "we"
per se but the Europeans.


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I wish them good luck. They may need it.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: lead free solder again


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http://mae.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ARTCL&ARTICLE_ID25%9749&VERSION_NUM=2&p32 %
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   Is till say that we should not allow the importation of anything made
under ROHS guidelines.  While we're at it, the law should require
service data and repair parts be available, BEFORE an item can be
imported.  Sure, not every item is worth troubleshooting, but if someone
has a couple hundred or thousand returned items let them take a chance
if they want to try.


--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
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Re: lead free solder again


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Yes, 24 out of +100000 designers ;)

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Top dollar niche market. Not a big loss.

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http://mae.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ARTCL&ARTICLE_ID25%9749&VERSION_NUM=2&p32 %
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Isn't that "ein holle Frase" ? What I indeed find most interesting is
that nobody gives any figures for the likelyhood that tin whiskers
are to be expected. Do they grow on 10% of the number of solder joints,
or 1%, or 0,1% or... or 0,00000000000001% ? But time will tell,
and in 10 years we know more.

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I doubt they are playing Russian roulette this time.

--
Thanks, Frank.
(remove 'q' and '.invalid' when replying by email)



Re: lead free solder again


Hello Frank,

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http://mae.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ARTCL&ARTICLE_ID25%9749&VERSION_NUM=2&p32 %
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That would be "hohle Phrase" in German (a statement without content
behind it). Not so. They asked themselves the almost same question that
I had asked you: Is there a quantifiable means of predicting? Ok, you
admitted you aren't an expert on mainstream lead-free solder and neither
am I. Fact is, during this whole thread as well as on the web the is an
eerie absence of such data. Everybody just seems to hope that it won't
be that bad. Now that is a wonderful base for legislative action as we
have just seen it with RoHS.

It's not that hasty legislation only happens in Europe although it does
seem to fester there. In California some politicians went ahead and
mandated an oxygenator in our gasoline to reduce smog. Noble cause, just
as reducing lead is. Our gasoline became less efficient, making my car
burn about 10% more per mile than with Nevada gas. But the nightmare
came only years later. It was found that the chosen oxygenator MTBE had
leached into the ground water and was now contaminating one well after
the other.


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You are preaching to the choir here. That's exactly the point: Maybe
there aren't any figures.


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But then it may be too late for some industries, mainly in Europe.

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Let's hope so.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: lead free solder again



Joerg wrote:
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http://mae.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ARTCL&ARTICLE_ID25%9749&VERSION_NUM=2&p32 %
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  Hi Joerg,
  AIUI, the legislation to require 10% oxygenator in gasoline was
promoted by farmers.  In response--and eager to promote social goodness
and progress in general--the legislature reasoned impeccably "Gee, who
doesn't love farmers?,"  and so it was happily agreed to.

  The intended oxygenator was ethanol, it just turned out that this was
kind of inconvenient, as ethanol was expensive, and enough would've
been needed to make up 10% of CA's gasoline.  Darn, details can be
annoying, can't they?

  Some genius then figured out MTBE could be synthesized from butane or
methane or some such, which was plentiful, and cheaper.

  The fuel burns cleaner but contains less energy, so you have to burn
proportionally more of it.  And, MTBE is nasty--it's a potent
carcinogen, and gets into the groundwater.

  Net environmental result: more toxic gasoline you have to burn more
of, the spawning of an industry-plus-infrastructure for large-scale
manufacture, transport, and distribution of an unpleasant poison, and
large-scale contaminations from the inevitable spills & accidents
involving it.

  Moral:  There's nothing high-minded politicians can't do when they
just put their thinking cap[sic] on.

  Cheers,
  James Arthur


Re: lead free solder again


Hello James,


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Plus most of the affected farmers weren't in California but in the mid
west so it wouldn't benefit their constituents much. That would also
mean increased pollution because the stuff would need to be hauled. But
I guess this is too complicated of a thinking process for some of the
decision makers. Those darn details.


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Well, it did get into the ground water. It was one of those "oh s..t"
scenarios. Europe might be in for one of those as well with their RoHS.
I hope not but if they do it'll be very nasty.


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Sadly, that is true. However, in America we have a rather well
functioning democratic process that allows anybody to take part. So if
there is an issue and a sufficient number of constituents aren't happy
and make that known, then usually something is done about it. And when
they get really unhappy their can even recall governors directly.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: lead free solder again


[....]
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California tried to get a waver from the federal government and was turned
down.   MTBE was imposed on CA from Washington.

For slightly more cost, the oil companies were willing to make fuel
without the MTBE but that, in fact, burned cleaner.  It was a question of
which hydrocarbons were in the fuel.  I think the trick was that the
longer and shorter chains are the trouble makers but the middle length
ones less so.  By a bit of refinery tuning, the cleaner gas could be made.

[....]

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Unfortunately, on the down side, there is a lack of information for the
voters to work with.  Democracy requires an informed public to function
well.  American TV "news" programs are shallow enough that you could wade
through them without getting your ankles wet.

On technical matters, news programs are just horrid.  The best example I
have is from several years back.  The news tease said that someone had
invented a new more efficient electric motor.  I stayed up and watched
because I was interested.  They showed you his wife, his dog, and his
workshop but not the motor.  The only technical detail given was that the
capacitor was larger.  There was nothing about how much better or whether
it was larger or cost more or anything like that.  Imagine that a ballot
measure was put forward requiring the state to use these motors.  Chances
are it would pass.  After all, his dog *was* cute.

--
--
snipped-for-privacy@rahul.net   forging knowledge


Re: lead free solder again


Hello Ken,

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Well, no matter where the decision was made it was made by bureaucrats
and that is not a guarantee that it's safe. But even in cases we are
unhappy with something in Washington we can write and (usually) receive
a response or even some action. Seen it happen a few times. Try that in
other Western countries and often all you get is some form letter. Try
it in non-Western countries and the goons might come after you.

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Sure but we do have a free and often pretty aggressive press. I strongly
believe there is no lack of information in the US. There is, however,
often a lack of interest on the part of the voters to get to the ground
of something that irks them. It ain't enough to read uncle Leroy's
political rant in the local paper.

Yes, it's work, but so far the Internet has delivered for me every
single time. Sometimes it cost a lot of effort, like when they wanted to
have us over the barrel (BIG $$) for an airport "safety" program that
they wanted to sock the residents with. That took more than eight hours
of research but considering that thousands of Dollars were at stake just
for us it was well worth it. Didn't even have to use FOIA this time
(what other country has FOIA?). Found the facts, wrote a rather pointed
attorney-style letter (after that one guy actually thought I was
one...), mailed it certified, presented the facts to a supervisor and
got him on our side, and boy did they become defensive at the next board
meeting. You could almost see the goose pimples come up when our agenda
item was called up. Since the meeting had to be public they had to hear
us and it had to be recorded. We still wanted to be good citizens
despite of what they'd tried to pull off but they paid. Every single
nickel. IOW the democratic process worked.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: lead free solder again




Joerg wrote:

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How do you rate ABC's nightly ( I think that's what they call it ) news ?

BBC features it on its 24 hour news service BBC24. I like to watch it from time
to time to get a US perspective. It seems reasonably good but certainly not as
in depth as the specialist news programmes we get here like Channel 4's
excellent hour long evening slot at 7pm.
http://www.channel4.com/news /

Indeed is there any hour long news programme in the US ?

Graham


Re: lead free solder again


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Where I sit, it's like nothing but news and TV preachers from about 4 AM
to about 9 AM. It gets boring, switching from station to station, seeing
rehashes of each other's "stories". There is some in-depth stuff on weekly
shows like Meet the Press and stuff, but that's not so much "News" as
watching a sort of loose debate.

Hope This Helps!
Rich



Re: lead free solder again


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   Don't you think that we have 24 hour news services out here in the
wild?  CNN, for starters.  Fox News and I'm sure there are others that I
can't get on basic cable.


--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
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Re: lead free solder again


Hello Graham,

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I can't really rate it because we barely watch TV. Just the local news
and maybe an old movie now and then. We get most our information from
newspapers and the web.


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I used to like "Letter from America" on BBC but unfortunately Alistair
Cooke has passed away.


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Yes, the Jim Lehrer news on PBS.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

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