The cost and how to build a PCBA Tester

The cost and how to build a PCBA Tester

Publish Date:2019-08-20 14:27:26 Clicks: 251

PCBA Tester is used to check the quality of PCBA manufacturing, including: soldering connected, electric test, PCBA’s voltage, PCBA’s function, the quality of components and etc; How to build a PCBA tester and evaluate the cost of PCBA functional testing fixtures?

How to build a PCBA tester ?

Firstly, Preparing:


  1. Structural sheet (Bakelite), including: Red Bakelite, Black Bakelite, Acrylic Plate, etc;

  2. Thimble: there are many different types, including: PAL50, PAL75, PAL100 , and etc; And different type of thimble needs different drill, below detail information for your reference:













  3. Others: Carving Machine, electric drill, screw( general used: 3*16,4*16,3*5), small voltmeter(46*27), Rocker Switch(22*30), Power Socket(27*19), and etc; 

2. Files:

  1. PCB gerber file: it is provided by customer, but needs to make sure the PCB gerber file is the same as the files used for PCBA manufacturing; The purpose is to indentify the testing points from the PCB gerber file;

  2. Testing requirement document;

Second, The manufacturing steps of PCBA Tester:

1.According to the PCB gerber file & the customer’s testing requirement,design a suitable size and shape for the testing fixtures;

  1. Use the CAM350 to open a PCB gerber file;

    To remain the layers with testing points and delete other layers;.

    The remain layers file needs to be exported in DX formats;

    After exported, rename the file and save in your computer;

  2. To open the carving machine software: JD Paint software; open the saved DXF file and starting to design the outside size and shape;  (below photo for your reference)


2. To use the carving machine to produce the parts you designed and assemble the basic parts;


3. Connecting the inside wire to realize the testing fixtures function;

4. To finish the whole tester assembly; generally, tester’s types divided into two types, one is manual operation, the other is automatic operation; the only difference is the operation method;

Third, Attention points during the PCBA tester manufacturing;

  1. Reasonable PCBA design; it’s not good to design a testing point on a solder pad;

  2. Clear testing points on the board;

  3. Right direction of testing holder;

  4. Assemble all tester assembly parts with a stable holder to avoid the assembly hole becoming looser after long time used;

  5. Design the tester small and portable; 

How to evaluate the cost of testing fixtures?

You can evaluate the tester’s cost from those side : tester’s assembly materials, testing points of the boards , operation method, thimble and etc; Reference price as below:


Hand Operation for a board within 20 test pointsAutomatic Operation for a board with test points above than 20points

Tester’s price is influenced by following reason:

  1. Materials, you choose for the whole tester’s design;

  2. Test points;

  3. Test step, basically according to customer’s request;

  4. Operation method, handed operation or automatic operation;

  5. Thimble, different types, different price, such as : silver thimble is expensive than cooper thimble;

To make a good and suitable tester , you need a very experienced factory and engineer to support you, because if there is any slight wrong connection of the tester, you may on the wrong direction to test all your boards, but you can not find out the problem; 

label: PCBA tester

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