I got a PCB fabricated from a board-house. The PCB contains:

  • DC-DC power circuit
  • protection diodes
  • Atmel ATtiny microcontroller
  • LED's
  • USB hub and interface to a RPi

I want to conduct a stress test to understand the limits of operation of my assembled PCB.

What are some general guidelines to conduct this systematically and what parameters should I keep track of?

I have access to equipment like DC power supply, oscillopscope, Soldering station, hot air gun and a hot plate.

I would appreciate any help.


  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Presumably you want to test the assembly, not just the PCB. Try to rephrase your question to be more specific. Maybe pick on of those bullet items, and talk about how you think it should be tested. \$\endgroup\$ – Aaron Oct 1 at 20:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You need to start with it's intended use, and extrapolate from there. I used to work at a place that made stuff to go on helicopters, so we had a lot of hot/cold/vibration requirements. I met people who built stuff that went inside of ammunition -- they had to make boards that would stand up to 50g's. I used PCs that would just stop working if they got down to freezing. Nothing designed for one of these uses would be acceptable in another -- it'd either be too wimpy, or too expensive. \$\endgroup\$ – TimWescott Oct 1 at 23:48

You probably also need an oven that can maintain a high humidity, a device to generate ESD pulses, and a shaker table. Maybe a hi-pot tester, and facilities for EMI/RFI testing (an anechoic chamber and some antennas?).

Actually, you need to first write a very detailed and specific description of the range of environments where the board will be used. It's your board and you are the only one who can know this. If your board will become a commercial product there may be government regulations to be added to your list.

Then write a detailed and specific list of every characteristic of the board that you care about and can be measured. It's your board, you are the only one who can know this.

After you have these documents the rest becomes obvious.


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