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Author Topic: Will ROHS affect our ability to get components?  (Read 429 times)
NORTHCOUNTRY
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« on: December 13, 2006, 11:32:11 AM »

Will ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) affect our ability to get components for homebrew projects?

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 11:33:40 AM »

No, why would it?

RoHS components will also solder using conventional Sn/Pb alloy solders, if you wish.  Most components on distributors' shelves already are all lead-free RoHS parts.
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HA5RXZ
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2006, 11:42:46 AM »

It depends on where you live.

There may (and I do mean MAY) be problems importing components which are not ROHS compliant into the EU. I believe that the customs offices of various countries are looking into this but I am not sure if a policy has emerged yet.

Some equipment is no longer manufactured because ROHS compliance would mean too much retooling. The FT-847 and the TS-50 are two examples, this is information direct from the manufacturers obtained earlier this year at Friedrichshafen.

There is however some good news. I recently received thousands of components from a friend who works at an electronic assembly plant. All of these components work quite well but they are not ROHS compliant as they contain lead. In the next few years we may see millions of components appear on the surplus market as they cannot be used in equipment which is to be sold on.

Obtaining components which are ROHS compliant is not a problem. Today I sent an order to Mouser and every component had the ROHS symbol next to it. Component manufacturers are now up to speed with this.

HA5RXZ
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HB9PJT
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2006, 12:01:51 PM »

Yes I think so. Non RHOS components will not sell in same quantities anymore and some of them will not be manufactured because of this. Also distributors will kick them out of there product range. Of course good selling products will be manufactured as RHOS now but many will die.

73, Peter - HB9PJT

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K6AER
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2006, 01:19:27 PM »

“Some equipment is no longer manufactured because ROHS compliance would mean too much retooling. The FT-847 and the TS-50 are two examples, this is information direct from the manufacturers obtained earlier this year at Friedrichshafen.”

If that is what Yaesu and Kenwood said in explanation to the two above models I would say it is a smoke screen. The FT-847 and TS-50 sales have been dead for years. They just died due to obsolesces. Manufactures have been using RoHS manufacturing techniques for years. This worry is much about nothing.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2006, 02:27:15 PM »

I don't know about Kenwood or Yaesu, but I'm in the electronics manufacturing business and although the RoHS directive did require us to make many changes, they went quickly and smoothly and there weren't any obstacles.

Had to change PCB plating and all the components to lead-free, but there are lead-free versions of all the components now, anyway, and they cost the same as the original parts that included lead.  Had to change PCB assembly processes, too, but so did the rest of the industry, so all the providers of the solders, pastes and everything else were all set up to help everybody make the change.  If you asked for help, they were right there to help you do it.

Maybe it's more complicated in Japan with the infrastructure of those companies.  I know, having dealt with Japanese manufacturers for many years, they can suffer analysis paralysis.  It's one of their downfalls.

WB2WIK/6
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2006, 03:21:56 PM »

I've missed some schedules because specialized components were temporarily unavailable during the time that mfgs converted over to RoHS. On the other hand, I've gotten some good deals on close outs of non-RoHS parts. The biggest pain is cross referencing to substitutes for the non-RoHS stuff and making sure it all fits the existing PCB layouts.
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K3LL
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2006, 05:15:43 PM »

Watch out!

Almost all "Pb-Free" plated components have a higher soldering temperatures than Sn-Pb ones (in addition to other attributes like Moisture Sensistivity Level)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RoHS

Good Pb-Free solder joints can look like cold solder joints in the Sn-Pb world.

Over the long term, component manufacturers will not support duplicate Pb and Pb-Free product lines- one will go.  Industries that claim RoHS Exemptions will have to comply anyway because they won't be able to get Pb parts.

Military/Aerospace and Defense customers will be hurt the most (also see tin whiskers).  Aftermarket suppliers and packaging houses will have a good business for quite some time (as will brokers).


K3LL/6
(full disclosure)
CEO PCNAlert
www.PCNAlert.com

 

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W3JJH
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2006, 06:50:46 PM »

Because of reliability issues, medical, automotive, aerospace, and military electronics are exempt from the RoHS standards in the EU.  No one wants an IV pump, an anti-lock brake system, the flight controls on an A310, or the safety circuits on a nuke to fail.  The automotive market alone will keep non-RoHS parts in the system for years to come.  They will become less common, but they'll still be out there.
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KA3CTQ
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2006, 07:16:49 AM »

"Over the long term, component manufacturers will not support duplicate Pb and Pb-Free product lines- one will go. Industries that claim RoHS Exemptions will have to comply anyway because they won't be able to get Pb parts."

I work with purcahsing with an electronics company. We are already seeing this change. They will still make the lead parts, but at an increased price compaired to lead-free.

"Military/Aerospace and Defense customers will be hurt the most (also see tin whiskers). Aftermarket suppliers and packaging houses will have a good business for quite some time (as will brokers)."

If you can prove that lead parts cannot be replaced with lead-free in safety or "mission critical" devices, then the lead parts are acceptable. Our example is not lead but mercury, which is covered under RoHS. After years of testing, we could not find a replacement for a component that has mercury in it. This is a breaking system, so it is considered critial safety equipment.

Also, on the point of brokers, we have made it a mandate to avoid brokers at all cost. They usually have these parts because someone else didn't want them. More that once we have parts that have been way too old to use or were removed off other applications.
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KC8ADU
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2006, 10:41:55 AM »

often the only difference in a part is the tinning of the leads will be lead free.
and these parts solder just fine with good ol kester 44.
several of my suppliers sold me huge quantity of parts that were non rohs for pennies on the dollar just to get them off their books and out of their warehouses.
i repair ham gear and recap motherboards.most are made with pb solder anyway.
several of my industrial customers told me not to use pb free solder when rebuilding their stuff because of the disaster they had.
bottom line is dont worry about it.
i do advise stocking up on your favorite solder as it may get phased out!
i loaded up during a panic selloff and have enough to last my lifetime.
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