Speaking for the people that two years from now that have to figure out why your product suddenly stopped working, you should never rely on soldermask for insulation (been there done that). Or are you giving someone else an opportunity for a future 'Sherlock Ohms' submission.
On a tangent; I once was asked to help when a car would not shift out of Park when the brake pedal was pressed. And also, the brake lights were not lighting when the brake pedal was pressed. It turned out to be a loose wire at the switch. The brake lights turned out to be a troubleshooting test.
Isn't that always the case-? Diagnostics taking longer than the corrective action-? Makes me think of a recent issue I had on the product I was designing. I had hand-assembled the very first (10) working prototypes, but every time I tightened down the outer housing screws, the display blanked-out. I spent literally 2 solid weeks of assembly evaluations and diagnostic trouble shooting before I narrowed the cause to the lack of insulated solder-resist on the PCB top layer. Tightening the housing screws simply squeezed the metal modem casing onto exposed circuitry which should have been insulated during the PCB fabrication process. Corrective action was a 1c piece of Kapton tape under the module. Two week investigation; 10 second fix. Of course that is a natural part of development and this type of issue must be completely resolved months before production. I hate to see silly issues like this affect the consumer end-user.
John, I will bet you that the time you spent diagnosing the problem was longer than the time you spent fixing it. This is the problem with many automotive systems. With the advent of very inexpensive microcontrollers, this should be the next wave of automotive improvements.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.