Friday, April 17, 2015

Tweezin’ for Less, No Teasin’: Save on These Excelta Ceramic Tweezers

Save 14% on Excelta’s 5-Star ESD-Safe Ceramic-Tip Tapered Fine Straight 5.25" Tweezers (Q Source SKU: 2-CE-ESD-E003) when you use our FPF041715 Coupon Code. This Featured Product Friday (FPF) promo is valid from today, April 17, 2015 through Sunday, April 19, 2015.

These 2-CE-ESD Excelta Tweezers have replaceable ceramic tips made from a zirconia material that has a working temperature of over 2000°F. They are also non-magnetic, chemically inert, and cleanroom safe. Regularly listed at $104.17, but with our FPF code savings you’ll get it for just $89.99. While this is a 3-day limited-time price, the coupon is unlimited. Use the code as many times as you like while it is valid—and please feel free to share the code with your friends and colleagues.

Each week, we promote our FPF selection on The Q Source Resource Blog, via our email newsletter, and via our social media accounts. We encourage our valued customers to subscribe to those resources and to visit QSource.com on a regular basis for the latest FPF offers (look out for our FPF logo). Please help us spread the word about Featured Product Friday.

For further questions about Featured Product Friday, please read our informational blog post, call us (800-966-6020), or send us an email. Please note: This promo is valid only at QSource.com and expires on April 19, 2015.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Get FREE Bevco Chair Casters & Get Rollin’!


Roll your mouse over the link to our exclusive Bevco Ergonomic Seating FREE Casters offer to get your FREE dual-wheel, hard-floor standard (non-ESD/non-cleanroom) casters with the purchase of a select 7000 Series Chair. This limited-time promo runs from April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015 and is free of restrictions on the quantity of chairs you may order.

The FREE Bevco 7000 Series polyurethane chairs have been manufactured to provide a durable, scratch-/stain-/puncture-resistant, high-comfort seating experience. Featuring contoured seats and backs, their design allows for increased air circulation, support, and easy maintenance. Meeting or exceeding ANSI/BIFMA standards, Bevco 7000 Series Chairs are also LEED-certified and include a 12-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, with lifetime warranty on the cylinder.

When you place a 7000 Series Chair(s) into your shopping cart at QSource.com, the FREE casters will be added to your order automatically. To place your order for Bevco 7000 Series Chairs and get your FREE casters, get that mouse moving to our Bevco 7000 Series Chairs FREE Casters Promo page. For additional info or questions about our promo, you may also contact us by phone (800-966-6020), email, or via our Web site.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about anything on The Q Source Resource or QSource.com please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Shop Our Daylight Magnifier Inventory Clearance for Limited-Time Savings

Q Source's Daylight Company Inventory Clearance offers an extra 10% off on select Daylight Magnifiers for a limited time. Shop now to save, because this offer only runs until May 31, 2015, or until supplies run out.

The following four high-quality magnifiers are eligible for the additional 10% off savings:

Visit our Daylight Co. Magnifier Inventory Clearance Sale page at QSource.com to purchase your eligible lamp and save an extra 10% today. For a complete selection of Daylight products, please check out our Daylight Company manufacturer page. You may also contact us by phone (800-966-6020), email, or via our Web site.


If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about anything on The Q Source Resource or QSource.com please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Flux Cleaning Myths: The Basics - Guest Blog

by Steve Allen, VP Marketing and Innovation, ACL Staticide
 

In Steve’s latest Guest Blog he focuses on a few myths about flux cleaning

There are many myths and misunderstandings about cleaning solder flux from printed circuit boards. Let’s address some of those primary PCB cleaning & preparation myths and concerns for a variety of rework and repair operations.

To begin, we clean and remove most flux residues to prevent metal oxidation and generally poor electronic circuit connections.

Technologists and technicians alike are often advised to clean boards post-soldering processes with isopropyl alcohol (i.e., IPA). But there are proven chemical reasons for not using a hygroscopic solvent like IPA (hygroscopic solvents draw moisture from the air to themselves as an equilibrium mechanism) for basic board cleaning and further process preparation.

In most instances, IPA is too aggressive for most plastics and can intrude into parts and spaces creating undesirable effects. IPA is known to dissolve polystyrene and other types of plastic capacitors. By dissolving various materials, a potential low-ohm and conductive film is spread over the surface of the PCB while the flux itself (typically a very high solids material) is left untouched in a host of board surface areas, and in particular, at the solder joints. Leftover flux materials can be detrimentally conductive in many instances.

A LOOK AT FLUX MATERIALS

Rosin-based flux is generally not conductive unless it is baked on at extremely high temperatures (caramel or black in color). Generally, no-clean flux is just that. It does not always require cleaning and you may leave it on. Many low-solids flux materials, when applied under a correctly controlled process, will completely evaporate with time. Most water-soluble fluxes need to be removed simply because they leave behind a soap-scum-like residue, which is generally conductive.

Additionally, there are some very aggressive fluxes like RA that must be removed as they contain very acidic substances. RMA is the most prevalent rosin flux (RMA rosin = mildly activated and RA rosin = less activated). It is actually not the rosin that performs the flux activity, but another substance in the flux compound, which promotes spreading and adhesion. The basic rosin material is simply a carrying vessel for the active flux ingredient.

FLUX WORKS ON TWO FRONTS

When activated (and temperature controls this; most fluxes kick in around 100° C or 212° F), flux is a very reactive element that wants to bind with oxygen molecules. It is so reactive it can strip oxygen molecules that have already bonded with copper. So, it converts copper oxide back into basic copper. The second thing flux does is lower the surface tension of the solder. This lets the solder flow over the soldered surface, spread, and adhere.

Under a correctly controlled process, the flux is given some time to activate and do its work before solder is applied. Wave solder machines apply warm flux to the board first, then let it soak for a few seconds as the conveyer moves over a warming plate, and finally the flux is fully activated. The board then passes through the solder wave where the flux totally evaporates and essential leaves behind a clean board.

Solder paste works in a similar way. When conducting reflow processes, you have a ramp up to flux activation, a hold phase to let the flux do its work and evaporate, and finally, a ramp up to liquid phase where the solder melts and flows on the remaining flux. In theory, if reflow operations are done correctly, there should be minimal flux residue and board washing is simple or may not be required at all.

Boards that have been reworked (e.g., manually touching one individual component) will have residue and require washing with flux removers. The flux in solder wire is a different composition than the flux found in pens or liquid form. The flux in solder wire is dry powder and is more aggressive than paste as it has a shorter time to do its work.

Plus, there are specially formulated fluxes like the gel fluxes or tacky fluxes. These are formulated for the rework process, and the practice is to use a lot of it; so much of it that there is excessive residue and you need to remove it. The same goes for pen fluxes, which are also for rework. Most fluxes for wave soldering come in a 55-gallon drum, which is not something most end-users keep on the workbench!

In general, when performing handwork, you will need to clean the board unless no-clean is used, when doing reflow or wave soldering. If aesthetics are key, it’s important to clean. And, every kind of flux has its own specific flux remover. Some flux removers are broad spectrum. Most flux removers require flood cleaning; you need to use a substantial amount to effectively clean and wash a board. Simply squirting a tiny bit on does not work. It just leaves goop all over the board like a sticky film. You need to flood it on, let it soak for a few seconds, and in many cases, scrub with a brush. Then repeat the spray process to wash the “spent” material off the board. As a final process, let the board drip out and spray once more. If needed, apply warm air to dry. Never blow air using your mouth (human breath actually contains saliva, which is acidic). As the flux evaporates, it cools down the board which pulls moisture out of the air. Always use your reflow hot air gun for any type of final finishing and drying.

When it comes to technical cleaning, ACL Staticide manufactures top-quality rework and repair cleaning products and compliments, and QSource.com is your resource for all of them.

Thank you Steve, for that informative Guest Blog and for clearing up those flux cleaning myths. We look forward to your next blog submission.

For information about ACL Staticide and their related products, please visit our ACL Staticide Department at QSource.com. You may also contact us via email or phone at 800-966-6020 and one of our associates will be happy to assist you.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments for Steve about this, or any of his Guest Blogs, please leave him a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Steve Allen's Previous Guest Blogs

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Social Rewind for April 13, 2015

Are you subscribed to multiple social media networks like we are? Do you find it difficult it to keep up with all of the updates from the people you follow? Do you feel like you’re missing a lot of good information?

“The Social Rewind,” is a weekly compilation of what we thought were the most interesting, funny, or informational social media posts of the previous week. Q Source follows a variety of really fascinating companies and individuals on Twitter, Facebook & Google+ and we want to share the best of what they have to say.

Leading off this edition, what do zombies have to do with your business? This post by Wasp Barcode reveals lessons your Inventory Manager can learn from the Walking Dead.

Robot Plaza’s post about a robotic glove technology, SCRIPT, (Supervised Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics) could offer hope for stroke survivors.

Can borrowing the design of fish scales lead to a more flexible body armor for soldiers? 3D Printing Industry’s post looks at scaly 3D-printed body armor that copies natural materials in a process called biomimicry.

#SorryBoutIt, Aquaman. #3dprinting

Posted by 3D Printing Industry on Friday, April 10, 2015

Laughing Squid, always finding humor in technology, shared this post about the Apple II Watch, a retro solution for the nostalgic technofile. We’re gonna hold out for the ENIAC Watch.

Announcing the Apple II Watch, A Retro Wearable for the Nostalgic Technophile

Posted by Laughing Squid on Thursday, April 9, 2015

In this EE Times post, we learn just who Alexander Graham Bell would call after the first permanent telephone installation.

And we close out this week’s column with our post requesting you roll on over to QSource.com for more info about our Bevco Free Casters promotion.

There you have it…another quick look at a few of last week’s most interesting social media posts. We hope you enjoyed this week’s Social Rewind. We’d love it if you shared other interesting blog posts with us.

DON’T FORGET THE BEST OF LAST YEAR
Check out our selections for the Top Ten Posts of the column’s first year. Thank you for reading it and for your comments and suggestions. We enjoy bringing you this fun and informative column each week. We hope you’ll keep on reading and enjoying it every Monday.


If there's topic you'd like to see us write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you’d share our blog posts with your friends and colleagues and leave us your questions or comments, when applicable.

For additional Q Source news, product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter and to The Q Source Resource Blog.