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Teaching In Circuit Test (Ict) Techniques In Electrical Engineering Technology

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.482.1 - 4.482.5

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Glenn Blackwell

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2548

Teaching In-Circuit Test (ICT) Techniques in Electrical Engineering Technology Glenn R. Blackwell Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN


This paper describes the teaching and use of an industry-standard electronic test technique in a EET program. In-circuit test (ICT) is used in industry to perform tests on printed circuit assemblies during their assembly phase. Its purpose is to find both component and manufacturing problems before the assembly is completed. In a EET program, ICT can be used for the same purpose especially in an electronics project course. This teaches the student the basics of performing a test that is used throughout the electronics industry as well as introducing the student to the concept of testing an assembly before power is applied.

Introduction In-circuit test (ICT) is considered in industry to be a manufacturing verification tool. It tests individual components and the components’ interconnections to a substrate, usually a printed circuit board. ICT fits into an overall test scheme that includes both bare board and incoming parts testing, ICT, and final functional tests.

Bare Board Test Final ICT Functional Tests Incoming Parts Testing

Figure 1. Overall electronic test scheme.

In applying this scheme within a freshman EET projects course, the students are provided a circuit board and parts kit for a triple-output power supply. They then check the bare board for trace continuity, shorts between traces, and proper drilled-hole count prior to assembly. In a similar fashion they check the parts which can be tested with an ohmmeter, such as resistor values, diode verification, and ability of capacitors to accept a charge.

Generally, ICT has two parts, tests performed before power is applied, and tests performed after power is applied. The basics of these tests are described below. If the power-off tests are performed on a separate test system, the power-off test system is generally known as either an In-circuit Analyzer (ICA) or a Manufacturing Defects Analyzer (MDA). Access to components

Blackwell, G. (1999, June), Teaching In Circuit Test (Ict) Techniques In Electrical Engineering Technology Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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