Author Topic: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect  (Read 4070 times)

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Offline jmw

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Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« on: September 29, 2018, 11:54:23 pm »
Has anyone used this hands-on? While expensive, it looks promising by offering a locking connection while also being low profile like their no-leg connectors. OTOH, lack of actual in-situ product photographs, sparse info on datasheet (covering only one of the three models), and no stocking distributors are setting off my vaporware alarms.

http://www.tag-connect.com/EdgeConnectIntro
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 12:05:39 am »
If I understand the pictures correctly, this will require castellated vias, increasing the price of the board if they will be there only for the purpose of programming.

This may be fine for programming modules. But then again, there are those Chinese board mounted loops that can hold the module.

Edit: Yes, the text explicitly calls out castellated vias and Wi-Fi and BLE modules.
Alex
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 12:11:07 am »
I have been using their original design for years and really like it. So easy and my customers have not yet figured out what it is which discourages hacking.

This one could be very interesting, but the castellated vias. Wondering if the low-cost PCB houses will support them or at least how much extra it will cost.
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Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2018, 07:23:13 am »
Obviously, it makes sense for people already using castellated connectors. Our house rules don't allow copper at the board edge, so any sort of edge connectors are out.

You can read more about it in their patent application. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20180261940A1/en?assignee=tag-connect&oq=tag-connect I'm struggling to see what the inventive step is, people have been using edge connectors for decades. I am sure there is prior art.
Bob
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Offline KL27x

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2018, 11:31:47 am »
Quote
  people have been using edge connectors for decades.
It seems to me that most people doing this are making their own equipment, for in house use. I don't imagine this being a huge $$ patent or commercial thing. In house, I flash my chips before the assembly, and I don't have to clip/unclip connectors to every pcb to do it. I don't touch the chips.

Other have the chips preflashed with a bootloader, and they gang program panels of pcb with mousebites.

This seems like it's mostly good for JTAG debugging/testing for pcb ... but without the need for larger number of test points/jigs.

So... I don't see a huge commercial market. Most this stuff is done in China, and they aren't paying for this when they make stuff at least as better.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 11:38:32 am by KL27x »
 

Offline bson

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2018, 11:44:57 pm »
Looks great for designs that need the full JTAG, or want it through an opening in a rear panel.  But I can find no info on what's at the other end - RJ plug?  100mil IDC?

I've asked them about it.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 11:51:27 pm by bson »
 

Online Gribo

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2018, 03:11:55 pm »
Their other end depends on your debugger/JTAG device. I don't think it is a good design. Automated fixtures favor bottom side pogo pins. Side or top connections add costs.
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Offline jmw

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2018, 05:21:26 pm »
Looks great for designs that need the full JTAG, or want it through an opening in a rear panel.  But I can find no info on what's at the other end - RJ plug?  100mil IDC?

I've asked them about it.
They told me it's a female .1" IDC connector, with same pin assignment as their other designs.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2018, 05:31:13 pm »
I have a XMC100 dev board from Infineon which appears to use castellations with index hole to program the debug chip. I wonder it they are using "edge-connect technology"?

Bob
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Offline jmw

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2018, 06:30:08 pm »
Not the exact same thing - if you look at the footprint there are unplated holes to either side of the castellations for keying and also an unplated hole in the middle to hold the connector in place. Maybe they're doing the same idea though.
 

Offline Dubbie

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2018, 09:23:39 pm »
Someone in this forum told me a few years back about tag connect. I use them on all my boards. They are great!
I hadn't seen edge connect. will have to check it out.
 

Offline bson

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2018, 11:09:10 pm »
They told me it's a female .1" IDC connector, with same pin assignment as their other designs.
Yup, me too.  That should work nicely.
 

Offline bson

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2018, 11:33:32 pm »
Here's my current project using a TC-2030-NL with an MSP430F5510PT.  I can easily see using EC for projects in the future!  :-+

 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2018, 07:40:40 am »
Not the exact same thing - if you look at the footprint there are unplated holes to either side of the castellations for keying and also an unplated hole in the middle to hold the connector in place. Maybe they're doing the same idea though.

Oh yeah Infineon use a plated hole for keying and to hold the connector which makes it COMPLETELY different  :-DD
Bob
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Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2018, 08:35:31 am »
I think it looks good. Very nearly picked it for a project that's currently out being built, but the normal/old tag connect suited the mechanical details of the product better this time, so it got used instead.
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2018, 03:38:03 am »
Its cheap enough that i'm tempted.  I've bene using the their products for a while and they have been really good for saving time.    This is a little bit of a solution looking for a problem for me though.
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Offline drussell

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2018, 10:02:05 am »
A re-invention of the card-edge connector, only smaller for the SMT age.  :)
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2018, 09:45:55 pm »
I've tested the TC2030 - not bad but not ideal either. Still bigger than I'd like for some small boards.

This edge connector? Why not, but getting castellated edges can add significant cost to a PCB in my experience. They say it's cheap - well, depends on the manufacturer. Some chinese ones can do that almost for no added cost, but if you're using an higher-end one, it can be expensive because of yield and quality issues. Also depends on the number of layers.

Still looking for the ideal JTAG connector here.
 

Offline jwr

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2019, 08:40:36 pm »
I'm a big fan of the Tag-Connect no-legs footprint (see the "Choosing a debug/programming connector" article I wrote at https://partsbox.io/blog/choosing-a-debug-programming-connector-2019.html) — but these look useful only in very specific cases, where either you already have a castellated edge, or you are extremely space-constrained.

That said, I might consider it in the future. See for example the picture (in the article linked above) of a board where I had to place components on the other side of the Tag-Connect footprint, because of space constraints. A castellated edge might have been possible on that board (it is not always the case, mechanical design might interfere) and could potentially be a better solution.
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Online ataradov

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2019, 08:44:05 pm »
I had a chance to play with them at a couple trade shows now. They are very bad. The people in the booth have to give you a lecture on how not to break them before giving you a try.

It is extremely easy to break something, it just does not feel good and solid. Every time you try to insert or disconnect it, it feels like you are about to break the PCB.
Alex
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2019, 03:50:29 pm »
I had a chance to play with them at a couple trade shows now. They are very bad. The people in the booth have to give you a lecture on how not to break them before giving you a try.

It is extremely easy to break something, it just does not feel good and solid. Every time you try to insert or disconnect it, it feels like you are about to break the PCB.

Practical insight. Glad to hear from someone that has actually seen and handled it.
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Offline dgtl

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2019, 08:25:02 pm »
I got a sample on my desk and havent found a reason to use it.
1) In addition to SWD/JTAG, I use a debug serial port as well. Solving half of the problem is not enough.
2) I have no problems soldering my own SMD 1.27mm/2.0mm headers on my development boards. In schematics, these are set as no-load and only devel boards get  them soldered on.
3) Too flimsy to use for manufacturing
4) Most of the modern microcontrollers and application processors have built-in bootloaders. In most cases, it can be arranged, that an already present external port (mostly USB, sometimes serial or others) can be used for programming in manufacturing, if it's a small run and constructing test jig is not justified. For larger runs, the test jig handles connections.

I've been keeping my eyes open for no-solder debug connectors. So far, incorporating a card edge connector would make the most sense, but it does not have large enough advantage to start using it and create additional adapters and cables. For now, I've used the same serial port footprint for over 10 years and a big number of boards; the same JTAG for all Cortex-M projects and so on. Keeping things uniform is a good thing as well.
 

Offline andyturk

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2019, 08:41:31 pm »
The people in the booth have to give you a lecture on how not to break them before giving you a try.
Yep. Even after their instructions, I managed to break their demo.  :-[

I'll skip the edge connect, but I use the TC- series frequently.
 

Offline bson

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2019, 12:21:12 am »
Good to see some hands on discussion.  The problem I see is the form factor doesn't have any advantage over the TC2030, but requires castellation which is a bit of a complication.  To be honest I think an edge mounted 50mil 10/14/20 pin header is preferable even though it does require populating a header, for large boards or boards where surface access is limited (like in a cage).
 

Offline OwO

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Re: Tag-Connect Edge-Connect
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2019, 04:44:27 am »
Why use overpriced tag-connect crap when you can just:

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