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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

ICSP Pogo Pin Adapter Kit for Easy AVR Programming – Hackster.io

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When using most Arduino development boards and the like, you plug in a USB cable, set up your software, hit upload, and off it goes, blinking away or doing whatever else you commanded it to. However, having USB capabilities onboard can mean another chip and wasted power. At some point you'll want to hook up to your chip directly, potentially using a standard 2×3 six-pin AVR ICSP programming header.
If your PCB has only the ICSP footprint, with no actual header pins, a quick option for is to use a set of pogo pins, which when properly arranged can connect to each individual unpopulated position. Since you can't hold all six pins in place by yourself, I designed a pair of helper boards to facilitate these connections.
While it's not the fist such jig kit on the market, what sets it apart from some others is that it positions the ICSP connector in-line with the pogo pins. This makes it easy to determine where each pin is going, and allows you to swap the single standoff/screws to the other side if needed.
The device can be ordered with a 3D-printed assembly jig, which helps with the soldering process. This was constructed using KiCad's ability to export the board as a solid model, which was then imported into Fusion 360 to build the jig around.
Although a simple device, the tools we have available to design, perfect, and ultimately make something like this are truly amazing! You can see the device being assembled/used in the video below, and they're available on Tindie for purchase.


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