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201-6100 Gold Contact Plating Kit
Special Instructions
  1. This kit is used for replating solder-contaminated or damaged gold edge contacts or contacts that don't meet the minimum thickness specification.

  2. The kit includes a DC power supply and all the tools and materials needed for gold edge contact plating. However, plating solutions are purchased separately.

  3. It is essential that the surface to be plated is free of deep scratches, nicks, pin holes or other defects.

Safety
  1. A thorough review of this method should be made before repairs are attempted. Technicians should become familiar with the tools and should practice on scrap circuit boards.

  2. To expect the best results a clean work environment is essential. A smooth work surface and good lighting are recommended.

  3. Safety glasses and safety gloves should always be worn when handling hazardous chemicals.

  4. The work area should be adequately ventilated. If ventilation is not adequate, use a fan to move fumes away from the operator.

Setup
  1. In order to prevent contamination of probe ends, it is important to label the Plating Probes based on the solution used.

  2. In order to prolong anode life, properly rinse Plating Probes after each use.

  3. Do not rinse hazardous chemicals down the drain. Follow local and federal regulations regarding waste disposal.

Procedure
  1. Clean the rework area.

  2. Apply Plating Tape to the circuit board surface surrounding the area to be reworked. The Plating Tape will protect adjacent components and the circuit board surface from unwanted exposure to stripping and plating solutions.

  3. Flow solder over the entire area of any contacts that have contamination using a soldering iron. This provides a more even surface when plating. Remove the bulk of the solder contamination using desoldering tools or desoldering braid.(See Figure 1)
  4. Clean the area.

  5. Place the circuit board so that the leading edge overhangs a tray to collect runoff solution.

  6. Swab Solder Stripping solution over the solder contamination using a Foam Swab. Swab the surface until all remaining solder has been stripped off.

  7. Thoroughly rinse the entire area with water.

  8. Mildly buff the contacts using an Abrasive Pad. Mild buffing will prepare the surface for plating and remove any remaining solder contamination.

  9. Thoroughly rinse with water to remove any residue.

Preparation - Remove Surface Defects
  1. Clean the rework area.

  2. Apply Plating Tape to the circuit board surface surrounding the area to be reworked. The Plating Tape will protect adjacent components and the circuit board surface from unwanted exposure to stripping and plating solutions.

  3. Clean the area.

  4. Buff the contacts using an Abrasive Pad. Buff the contacts until all defective or poor plating is removed.

  5. Burnish small scratches. Use the tip of a burnisher to work the copper material into the scratch and smooth out the area. Finish by mildly buffing the area to remove any minor burnishing marks. If there are large scratches the contact may need replacement.

  6. Thoroughly rinse the entire area with water to remove any residue.

Busing
  1. A conductive bus must be made to all the contacts that need plating. There are 3 basic connection options. Note: Making a reliable bus connection is the most important step in plating. All sorts of problems will be eliminated by taking the time to make a reliable bus connection.

Busing - Wire Soldered to Edge
  1. Caution: When finished, this method will leave a small unplated line along the inner tip of each contact.

  2. Apply High Temperature Tape to all the contacts to be plated. The High Temperature Tape should cover the entire contact except for a small line along the inboard edge. The High Temperature Tape will prevent further solder contamination.

  3. Solder a 30 Gauge Wire directly to the inboard tip or connecting circuit of each contact to be plated. The smallest amount of solder should be used to prevent further contamination.

Busing - Conductive Ink
  1. Caution: When finished, this method will leave a small unplated line along the inner tip of each contact.

  2. Apply High Temperature Tape to all the contacts to be plated. The High Temperature Tape should cover the entire contact except for a small line along the inboard edge. The High Temperature Tape will prevent the Conductive Ink from contaminating the contact surface.

  3. Apply a thin coating of conductive ink directly to the inboard tip of each contact to be plated using a Conductive Ink Pen. The conductive ink should extend out to one edge so that aclip can be applied to make electrical connection.

Busing - Mechanical Probe
  1. Each contact needing plating can be individually probed using the Plating Probe. Touch the tip of the plating probe to the inboard edge of each contact or to the connecting circuit as each solution is applied during the plating process.

Procedure - Plating Process
  1. Place the circuit board so that the leading edge overhangs a tray to collect runoff solution.

  2. Make the cathode connection (-) to the circuit board by using a Black Plating Probe or Probe Clip. Connect the Probe Clip directly to the wire bus connection or to the edge where conductive ink has been applied. Connect to the (-) or black jack on the Power Supply with a Black Plating Cable.

  3. Connect a Red Plating Probe (Marked for Electroclean) to the Power Supply (+) or red jack using the Red Plating Cable.

  4. Set the voltage on the Power Supply to setting recommended in Table 1.

  5. Dip the Plating Probe into the Electroclean Plating Solution. Wait a few seconds for the solution to saturate the Anode wrapping.

  6. Swab the entire surface to be plated by brushing the surface with the saturated Plating Probe. The Plating Probe should be moved back and forth briskly to prevent burning and to provide even coverage. Swab the area for the time recommended in Table 1.

  7. Thoroughly rinse the entire area with water. Any burning or darkening of the contacts may be removed with an Abrasive Pad. Saturate the Abrasive Pad and the circuit board surface with water and lightly buff the contacts until all evidence of the burning or discoloring is removed.

    Caution: Do not allow the rework area to dry out between steps. The water coating prevents oxidation.

  8. Connect a Red Plating Probe (Marked for Nickel) to the Power Supply (+) or red jack using the Red Plating Cable.

  9. Set the voltage on the Power Supply to setting recommended in Table 1.

  10. Dip the Plating Probe into the Nickel Plating Solution. Wait a few seconds for the solution to saturate the Anode wrapping.

  11. Swab the entire surface to be plated by brushing the surface with the saturated Plating Probe. The Plating Probe should be moved back and forth briskly to prevent burning and to provide even coverage. Swab the area for the time recommended in Table 1. Before rinsing, lightly buff the contacts with an abrasive pad.

  12. Thoroughly rinse the entire area with water.

  13. Connect a Red Plating Probe (Marked for Gold) to the Power Supply (+) or red jack using the Red Plating Cable.

  14. Set the voltage on the Power Supply to setting recommended in Table 1.

  15. Dip the Plating Probe into the Gold Plating Solution. Wait a few seconds for the solution to saturate the Anode wrapping.

  16. Swab the entire surface to be plated by brushing the surface with the saturated Plating Probe. The Plating Probe should be moved back and forth briskly to prevent burning and to provide even coverage. Swab the area for the time recommended in Table 1.

  17. Swab the entire surface to be plated by brushing the surface with the saturated plating probe. The plating probe should be moved back and forth briskly to prevent burning and to provide even coverage. Swab the area for the time recommended by the equipment manufacturer. Refer to Table 1 for general voltage/time settings.

  18. Thoroughly rinse the entire area with water.

  19. Remove and discard all Plating Tape and thoroughly rinse the area with water. Dry the area using wipes.

  20. If a wire was used to buss the contacts remove it using a Soldering Iron. Apply Hight Temperature Tape to protect the contacts from further contamination while removing the bus connection.

  21. If conductive ink was used to buss the contacts remove it using a the Conformal Coating Remover Pen.

  22. Thoroughly rinse the entire area with water or rinse the circuit board in an aqueous water cleaning system.

Table 1 - Typical Voltage/Time Settings
Surface Area Electroclean Nickel Gold
Volts Time Volts Time Volts Time
<.01 in2 4.5 VDC 5 seconds 3.0 VDC 5 seconds 3.0 VDC 5 seconds
.01 - .05 in2 4.5 VDC 15 seconds 3.0 VDC 15 seconds 3.0 VDC 15 seconds
.05 - .10 in2 6.0 VDC 30 seconds 4.5 VDC 30 seconds 3.0 VDC 30 seconds
.10 - .20 in2 6.0 VDC 60 seconds 4.5 VDC 60 seconds 3.0 VDC 60 seconds

Notes
  1. Surface Area is the total area being plated during each swab plating operation.

  2. Voltage and Time setting shown in Table 1 are for a minimum of .000100" Nickel and .000050" Gold.

  3. Settings are a guide, for precise thickness requirements the final thickness should be verified with measuring equipment.

Instruction Guides
The tools and materials included with the 201-6100 Gold Contact Plating Kit are used to complete the following.

4.6.3 Edge Contact Repair, Plating
4.6.3 Edge Contact Repair, Plating
Covers how to replate damaged or solder contaminated edge contacts.
Gold Contact Plating Kit Includes

CircuitMedic Part
Abrader
Mild abrasive for removing oxides and contaminates from conductive surfaces.
CircuitMedic Part
Abrasive Pads
Light duty abrasive scrubbing pads to remove contamination and blend surfaces.
CircuitMedic Part
Alcohol Swab
Self-saturating Isopropyl alcohol swab. Squeeze handle to release alcohol.
CircuitMedic Part
Alligator Clip
Use to provide ground connection.
CircuitMedic Part
Buss Wire, 30 AWG
Used to create an electrical connection across conductive surfaces during plating.
CircuitMedic Part
Conductive Pen
Pen dispenser for creating conductive silver traces.
CircuitMedic Part
Coating Remover Pen
For precise removal of silicone, acrylic and urethane coatings from circuit boards.
CircuitMedic Part
Foam Swab
Ideal for absorbing cleaning solvents, and applying color agents and epoxies.
CircuitMedic Part
Knife with #16 Blades
A must-have tool for precise cutting, scraping and trimming.
CircuitMedic Part
Plastic Cup
Small disposable cup for mixing epoxies and holding small items.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Cables, Black/Red
Standard test lead cables with stackable banana plugs.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Probe, Black
Nylon plating probe used for ground connection during plating.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Probe, Red
Nylon plating probe for use with plating anodes.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Anode, Standard
Pre-wrapped, screw-on plating anode designed for circuit board plating.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Anode, Small
Small plating anode designed for circuit board plating.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Anode Tip
Absorbent foam tip used with small plating anode.
CircuitMedic Part
Power Supply
Multi Voltage Regulated Power Supply
CircuitMedic Part
Peel Test Tape
This tape is specifically designed to test plating adhesion.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating and Masking Tape
Ideal for masking during plating, coating removal and microblasting.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Solution, Gold, 1 oz (.03 liter)
Electroplating solution for gold surfaces and gold edge contacts.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Solution, Nickel, 1 oz (.03 liter)
Electroplating solution for nickel surfaces and nickel edge contacts.
CircuitMedic Part
Plating Solution, Electroclean, 1 oz (.03 liter)
Solution for preparation prior to electroplating.
CircuitMedic Part
Rinse Bottle
4 ounce rinse bottle made from low-density polyethylene.
CircuitMedic Part
Rinse Tray
Polypropylene container to catch runoff plating solutions.