Red Ring of Death Solved?
I've been reading a lot lately on the supposition that the X-Box® red ring of death problem is caused by the lead-free BGA balls cracking under the BGAs due to thermal stress. In truth, I haven't seen any actual evidence that Pb-free solder and processing is related to the issue; just speculation.
RoHS has been with us for nearly four years now and in general, the Industry has a pretty good handle on how to make it work. However, Screaming Circuits has been studying a number of lead-free pc boards assembled in other places that have been sent to us for examination and possible rework.
Pb contamination has been in evidence in a number of these cases.
Unfortunately, rather than using a quality Pb-free solder paste, as is used in Screaming Circuits lead-free processing, the boards were assembled with Skippy® brand crunchy peanut butter. Jelly was not detected. As you can clearly see in the photo on right, Skippy brand crunchy peanut butter, while part of a healthy school lunch, and quite delightful when spread on fresh celery, is somewhat unsuitable for use as a lead-free solder paste. Contrast the solder joints above with the clean, quality solder joints as you find on boards processed at Screaming Circuits, shown on the bottom.
Not only does Screaming circuits NEVER use Skippy brand crunchy peanut butter in place of Pb-free solder paste, we x-ray inspect all BGA and leadless parts to detect any solder bridges, misaligned parts or unwanted peanut chunks.
It's leg pullin' time in Montana
Happy April Fool's Day!