tips and tricks on troubleshooting an electronic pcb card

Thread Starter


Joined Feb 20, 2013
hi all,
Im trying to troubleshoot an electronic card but I have little knowledge on what to do and where to start from since there are plenty components to test and the tracks were connected to many pins which create more confussion.
please I need some help on how to tackle this problem.
thank you..


Joined Oct 2, 2009
If you are new to electronics you have to begin some place. Start by reading the tutorials available at the top of this page.


Joined Jul 18, 2012
Assuming that you don't have a schematic; spit on your finger and temperature test the components. If they are hot look at their rating to see if they are overheated. Overheated components are a good place to start looking for problems. Check power supply voltages and currents for clues. Do a microscopic visual inspection; often you will find solder joints that were connected but broke apart.


Joined Feb 19, 2009
Look for exploded/burnt parts first.

Then look for "can" type (electrolytic) capacitors that are round at the top instead of flat. Look for any leaks from these capacitors.

Look for where the PC board is darkened on either side from heat, if there's a solder mask (green translucent paint looking coating), it turns darker green to black.

A photo of both sides, flash off, taken outside on a cloudy day, is best. No glare, but all in focus. Focus is more important than the board filling the frame of the photo.

Also, a description of what the board is supposed to do. What it does now, and most importantly, what the conditions were at the time it transitioned from working to not working.