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68 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 very difficult. The dead bug component is not mechanically robust. While this may be a way to attach an electronic component for proto- typing or experimentation in any real end- use operating environment, vibration, heat or physical handling may cause a disconnec- tion to occur. For RF or capacitive sensitive circuits, it is difficult to repeat exactly how a dead bug attachment was made. This attach- ment technique will get you by in the moment, but it will be difficult to exactly replicate with the same length of jumpers or glue. Finally, the dead bug technique is one that takes a highly-skilled soldering technician many hours, and in some cases (like the example presented in the embedded photos) it may only be able to be completed by the most skilled people. As the complexity for the circuit or compo- nents increase it makes it more and more diffi- cult to keep all the connections straight and separated. There are several things to keep in mind when performing a dead bug attachment of an electronic component. Solid wires should be used as they tend to keep their shape and bend more consistently than stranded wire. Make sure to stake the component so as not to break the small jumper wires found in the dead bug attachment. Usually this involves some form of gluing the component and/or jumper wires to the PCB. This will help to stabilize the connections during the testing phase of the development. In addition, make sure that the person completing the soldering is working from some type of print. This might include pin out information of the component package as well as pad definitions on the PCB. This will assist in any debugging and later troubleshooting. Dead bug soldering of a component to another component or to a PCB is challeng- ing work, but it may be a fast answer to the question of whether the circuit or the PCB functions according to the circuit designer's wishes. SMT007 Bob Wettermann is the principal of BEST Inc., a contract rework and repair facility in Chicago. Figure 2: The dead bug technique may only be able to be completed by the most skilled people.

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