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Extech EX330 Quality issue

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So I posted photos of my meter on twitter where the NCV(Non Contact Voltage Dectector) LEC"s wasn't soldered fully. Extech sent me a new one and it is even worse. See the pictures below along with Extechs response to the second fail.


--- Quote ---Mitch, I have a letter from Gerry Gagnon who is our Supplier Quality Manager:

Your email with photographs was sent to our Supplier Quality Engineer for IPC-A-610 analysis. IPC-A-610 is a worldwide quality acceptance standard that defines quality acceptance for PCBA. From the photographs the items identified, although unsightly, meet form, fit, function and reliability per IPC-A-610 for high volume manufactured PCBAs.
I understand that you are analyzing the meter for craftsmanship, and are looking for a higher build quality. While the photos you have taken, don't show a clean, "perfect" look,  I can assure you, that your Extech meter is manufactured to standard manufacturing requirements. The "dirty" parts that you observed are a result of using lead free (RoHS) solder, and "No Clean Flux." The increased heat of soldering with lead free solder creates more spatter/splashes of flux along with bits of carbonized flux resin particles. The appearance is acceptable because the flux is very low activity and tends to encapsulates anything ionic.  This is why PCB's made using no clean, environmentally safe fluxes, are not designed to be cleaned. The cold solder joints mentioned are more a function of balancing the heat demand to form an acceptable joint on a large part surface using lead free solder against damaging the multilayer PCB.
We are working every day to improve the quality of our products, and we thoroughly appreciate your input, photographs, and criticisms. We guarantee our product, and will gladly replace it under its current warranty.
Thanks and Best regards,

 Gerry Gagnon

Supplier Quality Manager
--- End quote ---


Bad Soldering on input resistor
Bad Soldering on Input Jack
Current Shunt not fully soldered

The question now, does anyone here have any experience with IPC-A-610? Does anyone know if this meets "standards" I still don't think it does. Just wondering if any one elses  :bullshit: is going off

It is difficult to form an opinion about your meter's PCB soldering quality, as your pictures are rather blurry.
I certainly don't see anything alarming, at first glance.
If the meter works, I would accept Extech's explanations and get on with it.
If you're looking for the best workmanship and peace of mind, consider Fluke's or Agilent's meters.

It is indeed difficult to see details on your pictures.

Anyhow, I think you should let it go. Not because you are right or wrong, but because do you really want to waste more time on this?

Extech has done a classic rhetoric move, citing an authority, the IPC inspection document, and an inspector. You would now have to argument against these. The first problem, getting the IPC document, it is expensive. The second problem, going through the document. The third problem, it is for sure a few hundred pages. The forth problem, it likely refers to 10, twenty or even hundred documents of similar size. The fifth problem, they all cost money, too. The sixth problem, all the documents for sure contains parts that are subject to interpretation.The seventh problem, they for sure contain some exemptions hidden somewhere, only known by the experts. The eighths problem, there are for sure optional or alternative parts in it, and you don't know which options or alternatives Extech did chose.

Do you start to get an idea what this harmless citing of an IPC document really means? It is now their expert against your expert. You do have an expert at hand, don't you? And I don't mean some random guys on the Internet.

Do you really want to start arguing that the burns are burns (IMHO not permitted, but I am not an IPC-A 610 expert), or only discoloration (IMHO partly permitted)? Do you want to argue that the dirt and solder splashes can come loose (IMHO not permitted), or are fixed (IMHO partly permitted)? Or do you want to argue that the wetting of some pads is below the required minimum, or just at it? Or that the solder balls are a defect or maybe allowed because of some exception?

Sometimes it is easier to just cut your losses and walk away.

I can't see anything in your photos, but if you are going to get upset over some sloppy soldering, you should stay away from $50 multimeters.  If it works, forget about it.

mitpatterson , like previous posters said your photo’s are not clear enough and at first glance the soldering looks okay, I think you used the camera on your mobile phone, if you have a proper camera we could see more.

Maybe you know or not I had some bad workmanship issues with my]Extech EX570[/url], but unlike your photo’s I could show in my photo’s where the problems where with bad soldering, lead contacts falling off and metal shield laying on the components with a broken solder point.  Extech couldn’t throw anything back at me because everything was clear to see.

EX570 is 4 and half times more expensive than EX330 but unlike grenert says you should expect more from a company as Extech even on lower price range, the thing is if your soldering is bad, which I can’t make out of your photo’s,  this is getting a big problem for Extech, it looks like one of their manufacturers is not meeting their requirements probably they regret to do business with them by now and should take necessary steps for that.

Like grenert says if it works but soldering looks bad but there is no contact issues, you shouldn’t worry about it, bad quality soldering can be only visual like to much solder or like in my case not enough solder and half of the parts making barely contact, if I had the first case like yours I would mumble and whine about it but I wouldn’t make big problem out of it.


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