Old 01-16-2014, 12:02 AM #1
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Default Tin whiskers

See the following photos of my defunct Lazerer 650nm, formerly 260mW. I can't prove that is what killed the laser, but who knows?

How weird is that though, it's a solid-state process in which the metal "grows" in a hair-like fashion. Apparently it's been implicated in all sorts of electronics-related problems, due to shorting components and whatnot. I guess this is due to RoHS/government BS about lead and other toxic metals, all I can say is thank goodness I have a few big rolls of leaded solder in my basement.

Do you see the whiskers? Very interesting indeed. Has anyone run into this in their builds?

Tin whiskers #1


Tin whiskers #2


Tin whiskers #3


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Old 01-16-2014, 12:04 AM #2
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Default Re: Tin whiskers

Whoa . Never seen this before . Very weird.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:07 AM #3
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Default Re: Tin whiskers

I have never seen that before.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:58 AM #4
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Default Re: Tin whiskers

It's not the first time these mysterious growths have been blamed for electronics failures. In 1998 the Galaxy IV communications satellite sputtered out after just five years; engineers diagnosed its failure as due to "whiskers".
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:58 AM #5
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Default Re: Tin whiskers

Those are definitely not tin whiskers. They are WAY too big. Looks to me like they're metal shavings (from the threads perhaps?) that collected around the solder blob because of residual flux or something.

That solder ball also looks too shiny to be tin, but I can't say for sure.
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:25 AM #6
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Default Re: Tin whiskers

Gotta agree with Cyp, tin whiskers are much smaller.

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