bisco industries Blog

Electronics Protection Simplified

Front Panels, PCB Retainers, & More 

The Schroff product line features a full suite of complementary products for electronics protection. If you’re using one of the items in the graphic below then chances are Schroff offers the complimentary item. For example, if you’re working with front panels then you may also be using subracks and cases. 

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What is a Standoff?

Standoff Fastener Description

Standoffs are fasteners used to create space between printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies and are the standard fastener for mounting PCBs to prevent electrical shorts. Standoffs are similar to spacers but differ in that they are threaded.

Standoff Fastener Styles  

Standoffs may be cylindrical, square or hexagonal in shape and come in male, female, male-male, or male-female styles. Standoffs are fabricated from various materials such as aluminum, brass, stainless steel and nylon. In addition, standoffs are often plated to meet application specific requirements.

Standoff Fastener Application Example

One application example for standoffs is the fastening of a motherboard (PCB) to a metal enclosure. In a typical scenario, male-female standoffs are fastened into pre-drilled metal ringed screw holes in the motherboard while the opposite end of the standoff is fastened to the enclosure wall. Mounting the motherboard in this manner prevents it from short circuiting.

Standoff Fastener Manufacturers

  • Accurate Screw Machine (ASM)
  • Amatom
  • Bivar
  • Concord Electronics
  • ITW Fastex
  • Keystone Electronics
  • Lyn-Tron
  • RAF Electronic Hardware

Configuring Standoff Fasteners

Since standoffs come in so many styles, sizes, and materials configuring the correct standoff for your application can be challenging. To aid you in configuring standoffs and other electronic hardware bisco has recently updated it’s RAF product catalog. Users can now browse and filter standoffs by style, material, diameter, length, thread size, and finish. Visit bisco’s online RAF product selector to learn more.

Manufacturer Profile: Zierick

Zierick is a pioneering manufacturer of surface mount connectors, through hole connectors, and interconnect terminals. Throughout its 95+ year history Zierick has developed such innovative products as harsh environment insulation displacement connectors (IDC), odd-form surface mount terminals, and PCB parallel stacking systems. In addition to its reputation for innovation, Zierick is also known for unparalleled quality and offers a one year guarantee on all its products. Zierick products can be found in applications ranging from medical equipment to industrial enclosures and controls.

Zierick Products Include:

  • Surface Mount Pins & Posts
  • Quick Disconnect Terminals
  • Spring Clips
  • Screw Terminals / Binding Posts
  • Surface Mount & Through Hole Wire Connectors

bisco – Authorized Zierick Distributor

bisco industries is a franchised Zierick distributor and offers stock on hundreds of Zierick parts.  View Zierick’s website to configure products, then search the part on biscoind.com to get pricing and availability.

Trending Zierick Parts

1021 – Through Hole PCB Tab

11A-144 – Solder Terminal

A2-680-0 – Solid PCB Pin

6216 – PCB Pins

1286T – Insulation Piercing Crimp Connectors

What is a Test Point?

PCB Test Point Description

A test point is a small metal terminal used as a connection point to test circuitry on printed circuit boards (PCBs).  Typical PCB test points are wire formed loops surrounded by colored insulators. The insulator color allows the test points’ type or location to be mapped on the PCB, thereby streamlining the testing process. Test point loops allow for easy test connections using alligator clips, probes, and test hooks. More sophisticated test points may function as actual connectors allowing test leads to be plugged into the test point.  PCB test points are also known as test terminals, PCB mountable terminals, loop type terminals, and test sockets.

PCB Test Point Uses

  1. Test points are used to test PCB circuitry during manufacturing and assembly to ensure that equipment is working properly
  2. Test points are used to test circuitry during repair to pinpoint equipment failures

Test Point Configurations

Aside from the three primary styles of test points there are many test point configuration options to consider. These options include loop size, socket size, test point height, insulator material, test point material, test point finish, and insulator color.

PCB Test Point Manufacturers

Learn More About PCB Test Points

Learn more about PCB test points by reviewing these catalogs from Components Corp and Mill-Max.  To speak with a bisco product expert simply email us.

What is a PCB Pin?

Printed circuit board (PCB) pins are tubular shaped male connectors used to carry electrical current within PCB assemblies. Printed circuit pins are available loose or grouped together in what are called pin headers.

Mounting PCB Pins

PCB pins are mounted to the board utilizing either through-hole technology (THT) or surface mount technology (SMT). Through hole (THT) mounted pins are inserted in pre-drilled holes in the board and then soldered in place. Surface mounted (SMT) pins on the other hand are soldered directly to the top of the circuit board without any drilling required.

PCB Pin Configurations

In addition to mounting style there are many other PCB pin variations available.  Contact materials range from brass to nickel while common plating materials include gold, tin, and copper.

Popular PCB Pin Styles

  • Nail Head Pins
  • Slotted Terminal Pins
  • Wire Crimp Pins
  • Swage Terminal Pins
  • Double-Tail Header Pins
  • Press-Fit Pins

Top PCB Pin Manufacturers

Learn More About Printed Circuit Pins

To learn more technical information about PCB pins view Mill-Max’s PCB pins catalog. Still have questions? bisco’s product support team is standing by to answer your questions. Just send us an email.

What is a PCB Card Guide?

Printed circuit board (PCB) card guides, also called PCB retainers, are short narrow strips of material formed into shallow tapered troughs. PC boards are inserted into the top of the trough while the bottom is secured to an enclosure wall. Most card guides secure the PCB in place through the use of pressure but some card guides utilize levers or screws to lock the PCB in place. Card guides are fabricated from a variety of materials including nylon, aluminum, beryllium copper, and stainless steel. By securing circuit boards in place, card guides prevent damage to PCBs caused by vibration and movement.

The Top Names in Card Guides

For many years Pentair, under their Schroff, Birtcher, and Calmark brands, has been the leading manufacturer of PCB card guides. In fact, many of their branded products such as Wedge Tainers, Lok Tainers, PCB Tainers, and Card Loks have become synonymous with PCB card guides.  Other top card guide manufacturers include Bivar, Essentra (formerly Richco), and Keystone Electronics.

Learn More About PCB Card Guides

Check out these helpful catalogs from Calmark, Birtcher, and Keystone to learn more about PCB card guides.  As always, bisco representatives are standing by to assist you in configuring products, locating crosses, and finding price and availability information.

Essential Hardware: PCB Card Guides

Card guides are key to the performance and reliability of most electronic devices. Card guides attach to the edges of printed circuit boards (PCBs) securely holding them in place. Since card guides are used in nearly all electronic applications they must meet the demands of many different environments. Card guides can be found in applications ranging from military communication equipment to network servers.

PCB card guides typically come in two primary mounting configurations: vertical and horizontal. Card guides are also available in many different materials, sizes and locking configurations. Other variations include card guides specifically designed for high vibration or static sensitive conditions.

Whatever your specifications chances are bisco industries can offer a PCB card guide that meets your requirements. We are an authorized distributor for several card guide manufacturers including Essentra (formerly Richco). To search Essentra PCB card guides, get pricing and availability, and place orders visit biscoind.com today!

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