The newest model of world-renowned Smart Tweezers ST5 has been released by Canadian Siborg Systems Inc. The ingenious must have tool for testing and troubleshooting Surface Mount Technology.
Constructing electronic equipment is an industry largely dominated by using Surface Mount Technology (SMT). The components, referred to as Surface Mount Devices (SMDs) are mounted directly to the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). These SMD components are slowly taking over the older through-hole devices, in which a wire lead is threaded through a hole on the PCB.
Both SMD and through-hole components are usually found on PCBs alongside one another allowing components not suited for mounting, such as transformers or heat-sinked semiconductor devices to be placed on the PCB.
SMT components are very small, and may or may not have wire leads. One of the main problems with these tiny components is the size makes them very hard to label, making keeping track of the values, and components themselves, hard to keep track of.
Smart Tweezers are the simple solution to these problems. The lightweight device is easily held with one hand, and quickly evaluates all kinds of SMT components, such as Capacitors, Inductors, and Resistors.
The LCR-meter in the unit is capable of automatically determining the type of component (resistor, capacitor, and inductor), and then selects the proper test range and frequency for the most accurate results. The LCD screen in Smart Tweezers can then relay measurement results, component type and test conditions used.
"The main advantage of Smart Tweezers is virtually instantaneous and highly accurate evaluation of SMT components as small as 0.3 mm," says Michael Obrecht, Research and Development Director at Siborg. "This accuracy level of about 0.2% is only available from expensive bench-type LCR-meters that require significant efforts in setting-up the measurements."
Smart Tweezers' design is simple, take a highly accurate LCR-meter, add a pair of ultra-precise tweezers acting as probes, and insert an LCD screen into the handle. Designed for production line component evaluation, on-board impedance testing, and SMD components sorting. With an automatic measurement mode recognition feature, Smart Tweezers is especially suitable for identifying surface mount components.
Created for efficiency, Smart Tweezers boasts fully-automatic LCR-measurements, including automatically recognizing the best measurement mode (L, C, or R) and the best range for measurement. This allows the operator to focus solely on the component being evaluated, thus testing, evaluating, and sorting components is cost-effective.
The 5 digit LCD display on Smart Tweezers is sectioned into three main parts. The largest of the three is the primary display where the main impedance reading is displayed. The second is the top of the screen where the readings of additional parameters, such as parasitic resistance, is displayed. For example, the capacitor value is displayed on the primary display, while the ESR value appears in the secondary display. A bar graph along the bottom of the screen, the third display, shows an analog view of the measured input.
Smart Tweezers also features a continuity and diode test function. This function utilizes the internal 'beeper' in which is sounded if a reading is below threshold or if an open circuit is present.
Compared to other devices on the market, Smart Tweezers is unrivalled. It offers significantly higher accuracy and more features, but most importantly Inductance measurement capabilities. Here are some details of Smart Tweezers ST5:
- Automatic LCR, and Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) measurements
- Basic accuracy of 0.2%
- Li-Ion battery, and USB charger
- Diode and Continuity tests
- Adjustable test signals
- Component sorting with 1%, 5% 10% and 20% Tolerance
- Semi-automatic Offset Subtraction
- Ideal for small components, as small as 0201 size (about 0.3 mm)
- Displays active and reactive impedance components
- Just 2 oz. weight and ergonomic, ambidextrous design
- Long battery life.
"If you do any work on a PCB, Smart Tweezers, once used, become indispensable," says Obrecht at Siborg. "Users says: 'I don't use them every day, or even every week. But when I need them, I really need them!"
Established in 1994, Siborg Systems Inc. (siborg.com) is a source of engineering software and hardware tools for semiconductor and electronics industry. Located in the city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, it enjoys being part of the local world-renowned high-tech community.
For more information: Siborg Systems Inc, 24 Combermere Crescent, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 5B1, Canada