Improving My Technology Skills

Improving My Technology Skills

Essential Tools For Troubleshooting A PCB

Marie Brunet

The great thing about troubleshooting a PCB board is that the tools that are required to troubleshoot a PCB board are not very expensive. The most useful tool to use is the multimeter. However, there are several other tools that can come in handy, including the:

  • Power supply and logic analyzer
  • LCR meter
  • Oscilloscope

Understanding how these tools are used is the first step toward determining whether you need to use one tool or another.

Multimeters And LCR Meters

Multimeters are used to measure an electric current, voltage, and resistance. By measuring these components, it is possible to determine whether a particular component found on the PCB board is receiving enough voltage. You can determine whether you will need to change a fuse, for example. The LCR meter is used to measure inductance, resistance and capacitance for electrical components.


The oscilloscope allows you to observe oscillations in an electrical voltage or current. This can be viewed on a display screen. This device allows you to understand the operation of a circuit and to determine why a problem exists. Like with many of these devices, there are connectors that must be attached to the right components on the PCB in order to generate a voltage. You must also learn how to use these following controls correctly:

  • Vertical gain / signal input sensitivity
  • Timebase
  • Trigger

Logic Analyzer

The logic analyzer is different from the oscilloscope in that it does not measure analog details. Instead, the logic analyzer looks for logic threshold values. When an input is above the logic threshold voltage, it is considered to be high. When the logic is below the threshold voltage, it is considered to be low. It uses advanced triggering that allows for conditions to be specified that determine when the analyzer will acquire data. The captured data can be translated into processor instructions that are correlated into source code.

In addition to using these tools, simply using your eyes can be very helpful. A physical inspection can reveal problems such as evidence of overheating, burned out components and missing components. The key is to know your PCB very well and you will then be able to make quick repairs. You will also be able to identify hot spots simply by touching the PCB. While a visual and physical inspection will help you learn some things about your PCB, you won't be able to properly troubleshoot it without these tools.

For more information or assistance, contact companies like Streamline Circuits.


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About Me
Improving My Technology Skills

As soon as I started a new job, I realized that I should spend a little time honing my technology skills. I wasn't that familiar with the program that the rest of my team was using, but I knew that understanding the jargon would significantly help my career. To sharpen my technology skill set, I started staying after work to practice different aspects of the software. It took me a few months, but eventually I knew the program better than anyone else at work. My blog is all about learning more about technology, so that you can stand out from the crowd.