Cipher Engineering LLC: Home of the ShortSniffer Short Circuit Finders.
The newly assembled prototype gizmo wouldn't start up. It took
a while, but you finally found the problem with your scope, after noticing
some signals had compromised logic levels. The continuity beeper
confirmed the diagnosis that D7 is shorted to D6, somewhere on the PC board.
All you have to do is find where the short is located. It
shouldn't be too hard, since those two lines are only parallel for 15
inches, and only 4 of those inches are under chips or on inner layers . .
No problem . . . Now, where did you put that ShortSniffer?
The ShortSniffer locates short circuits in electronics circuits, projects, and
and is specifically designed for working with fine-pitch surface mount PC
injects an audio current into a conductive circuit, allowing the current Path to
be followed with the non-contact inductive pick-up Probe. The basic short
circuit locating principle can be reproduced with a signal generator, an
inductive pick-up coil, an amplifier, and a speaker. The ShortSniffer SS3 has
been designed for convenience and optimized for PC board short circuit locating
The ShortSniffer is
not a short circuit detector, but a short circuit locator. You'll have to
rely on your troubleshooting techniques to determine that you have a short
circuit. You can check out the
video presentation for
some steps to determine which nets are shorted. Once you know which nets
are shorted together, connect the ShortSniffer, and "follow the Sound to the
The original design was produced in the early 90s and has been used successfully ever
since. I compliment myself for making it, every time I rapidly
pinpoint a short.
I have even fixed shorts on inner layers of PC boards, after first verifying the location
to 1mm (radius), then drilling at that location. The newest design is
the ShortSniffer SS3, which senses the direction of the current flow to help
with some of the trickiest shorts. The inductive pick-up probe has an
LED that lights to indicate direction, and the stereo headphone jack provide
stereo imaging to indicate direction. Together, with the increased
gain and drive features, the SS3 is your best PC Board short circuit
diode clamped current drive, won't harm your circuitry
edge-slope control to reduce effects of parallel path components
stereo audio imaging to reduce confusion on complicated short circuit
Please note: Sales of the ShortSniffer products are handled by
Cipher Engineering LLC. Clicking on the purchase links will open a new
window on the Cipher Engineering website for the purchasing process.
Price (w/o shipping)
ShortSniffer SS3 Basic
- includes Probe Cable and Normal Probe,
Test Clip Cable, Headphones*, Practice Board