California Failure Analysis lab performed an electronic failure analysis on Pogo pin spring loaded contacts (Pogo connector pins) to determine the cause of intermittent open circuits. Electronic testing had detected that there were times when the spring loaded pin was depressed, the circuit would open and there would be an interruption of the signal. The cross section of a single Pogo (upper left) showed that the the structure was entirely made of gold plated parts (pin, spring and outer
case). However, there was some concern that the inner wall of the casewas defective. For additional failure analysis, a sample case was split open (photomicrograph on the right) and the inner surface was found to have horizontal machining marks, not be plated, to be corroded and contaminated with plating salts. These plating defects indicate that the intermittent contact problem will worsen with time. These results are not surprising since the case is really a deep blind hole, and this makes it impossible to properly clean and plate the interior. The vendor being analyzed is an overseas vendor that was to replace a reliable US supplier. These parts are unusable.