So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?

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The debate about lead free solders seem to be nearly as politically charged as
that about anthropogenic global warming and a casualty seems to be useful data.

I've read plenty of comments to the effect that lead-free is less reliable in
the long term (vibration seems to be a key weakness AIUI - maybe also thermal
cycling) which presumably explains the exemptions for certain categories, yet
I've also seen some studies that claim it can out-perform lead containing
solders.

Is there any real hard and fast information out there that one can rely on ?

Graham



Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?

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If it were better than lead solders there would not be any exemptions
needed, every thing would be required to be lead free.  Critical (Mil,
Aero, etc)equipment gets an exemption though...

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Follow the derogations/exemptions.
Military , aerospace & medical do have derogation from WEEE and RoSH, but
can anyone nail down precisely why they are exempted.
The suggestion from the following would be they are maverics putting
themselves in an awkward position regarding spares etc.

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/iemrc/pdf%20files/Electronics%202015%20Makin
g%20a%20Visible%20Difference%20EIGT%20Report.pdf

"... Much equipment manufactured before the application of RoHS will suffer
premature obsolescence, as component parts which have been modified to meet
the RoHS requirement may not be compatible. Businesses supplying sectors
such as defence, medical, instrumentation and control, currently have a
derogation from the regulation in Europe.
But this poses problems for the future availability of lead-free
components. This issue has product lifetime implications for public sector
purchases as well as business implications to those supplying export markets
where RoHS standards do not yet apply. ..."


The real conspiracy would be if it could be shown what manufacturing
industries deliberately went with lead-free knowing that their products
would fail due to that and not component failure, knowing they would sell
more product.
The engineers I have talked to in UK industry are genuinly unaware of
in-service problems in electronic products, due to their enforced lead-free
soldering. But the ones I know are in scientific/technical kit and
instrumentation production so not subjected to vibrational environments.
Do automotive electronics have a derogation ? as that would be an area that
would soon show up lead-free solder problems.


--
Diverse Devices, Southampton, England
electronic hints and repair briefs , schematics/manuals list on
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Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?



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I agree. I imagine you've seen a number of these then ? Do you tell your
customers about the lead-free thing and its consequences ?

Graham


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I suspect it is because these fields are considered "life-safety"
fields.
Even ordinance, when you think of it in terms of friendly fire
incidents.
They probably just don't want to recertify their processes, or don't
have the time to do it right.

But the "Truth"?
That's much more elusive.
Does RoHS result in a better environment?  I don't know, but I doubt
it.
The sheer number of TV sets that will be obsoleted in the coming years
due to the migration to Digital Television will probably swamp the
RoHS "gains" by orders of magnitude.

Ditto for the batteries used in some electric cars, and the US's
(likely?) ultimate reliance on it's vast coal reserves to power all
this crap.  And that's if Global Warming doesn't get us first...

Bottom line:  I don't think the environment gives a sh^t about RoHS,
or WEEE.
I think we need fewer people, and less "disposable" crap from China.

-mpm


Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?
On a sunny day (Wed, 25 Jul 2007 08:33:12 -0700) it happened  mpm

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Right, I turned in a portable TV last week.
This one was about 30 years old (seventies), and was still working OK,
but no analog transmissions here anymore, all you get is nice equal
distributed noise when tuning in to a digital station.


Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?
On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 15:57:34 GMT, Jan Panteltje

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  There are SEVERAL HDTV set top tuners out there that will pipe the
finished signal into a standard TV.  What is nice about digital
broadcasts is that when you have the signal, you have it all. No snow,
No herringbone patterns.  Crisp and clean, with no caffeine.

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Except when it breaks up.

Graham



Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?
On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 01:41:33 +0100, Eeyore

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 Nope.  If you tune the signal, you get ALL of the data.  You must exceed
more than ten percent bit error rate for a dropout to occur, and it is
bit error rate that matters most for a "tuned" channel.

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I have a cable TV set top box. There's no tuning involved. It still breaks up
occasionally.

Graham



Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?
On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 02:37:53 +0100, Eeyore

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  IT tunes itself, dipshit.

  Do you actually think I meant that you had a knob to turn?

  Get your head out of your twenty year behind the digitally tuned
receiver world ass.

  OK...  I'll spell it out for you.

  If it ACQUIRES the signal, and locks it in, it gets ALL packets from
the HEAVILY FEC coded stream, and can handle up to a 10% bit error rate
before the "tuning" starts to lose, and not be able to repair with the
FEC, data packets.  When that happens, one starts to lose audio and or
video or could see some video artifacts.  It usually results in short
term. low frame count dropouts.

  So it isn't "breaking up".  That is an analog expression. In digital
broadcast streams, the term is "dropout".

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you
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Which part of " There's no tuning involved " didn't you understand ?

You press a button, it gives you the channel. Of course I know it does any
internal
tuning required in firmware.

Graham


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Yes it 'breaks up'. Typically with weird pixellation.

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No it isn't.


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No, a dropout is a momentary LOSS of signal.

Graham



Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?
On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 06:52:25 +0100, Eeyore

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 No.  In HDTV broadcast, "dropout" is when a tuned station has more than
about 10% bit error rate, and the FEC cannot repair the data stream, and
everything from a few picture artifacts appears, to complete frame losses
(dropouts) occur.  The picture artifacts are also dropouts, just not
those that cause the tuning device to display a blank screen for that
given frame, which they do when it gets beyond a certain point.

  If they wanted to, they could show you the frames, and you would see
horrendous amounts of image artifacts, and likely audio problems as well.

 It IS called dropout. Lost packets ARE lost "signal" as the packet would
not have been lost, were it not for the tuner's inability to reconstruct
any missing packet data from the FEC coding.  This has been true from way
back in the early satellite receiver days.

 Videocipher

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videocipher

  Digicipher II (most closely related to the new HDTV broadcast schema).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DigiCipher_2

  The current HDTV broadcast schema is also a General Instrument format,
now owned by Motorola.

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Thanks for playing. It is like taking candy from a baby though.

Graham



Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?
On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 13:24:13 +0100, Eeyore

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  You're an idiot, and have yet again said absolutely nothing.

Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?

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And then just when it gets to the interesting part of the programme you're
watching, outside it start raining.  Then you get a few splutters of choppy
audio and a blue screen, then nothing at all, and you have to wait for it
to be repeated on analogue tomorrow.

Chris

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What are "liters"?  Do you mean "litres"?


--
~ Adrian Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
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Re: So what's the truth about lead-free solder ?
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I get regular breakups on cable, on multiple channels, at all times of day;
picture plus sound, picture only, and sound only. Picture loss includes
pixelization, cessation of action with partial pixelization, full loss of
action for seconds at a time. A visit from the cable company can fix that
for three or four days at a time.

The video reproduction is very reminiscent of the old 16-bit PC video
cards, especially in low-light scenes when it starts to look like the
video has about 16 brightness levels (four-bit video).

I used to get far better picture quality with rabbit ears from stations
a hundred miles or more away. I can take the snow when I don't have to
tolerate all the nasty artifacts in a digital picture.

--
"Liberals used to be the ones who argued that sending U.S. troops abroad
was a small price to pay to stop genocide; now they argue that genocide
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 That is your fault for not calling them and complaining about your
obviously poor strength feed.  That or the dopes actually think they can
send it out that way from the head end to everyone. That would be really
sad, and point toward the need for a class action suit. started at a town
meeting, and including the City Manager.

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