EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

Electronics => Microcontrollers => Topic started by: JamesAus on December 12, 2013, 12:31:31 am

Title: Tag-Connect or other PCB footprint based programming solution
Post by: JamesAus on December 12, 2013, 12:31:31 am
Hello all

I'm looking at a PCB footprint based programming solution and naturally came accross the Tag-Connect "Plug of nails". Looks nice, options for a locking connection or just press on. I went to order a cable or two from from the Tag-Connect website, and whilst I don't mind spending thirty odd dollars per cable I think the $120 fedex shipping is a tad steep and I've had issues with the standard old USPS not delivering very quickly, or at all. Digikey, Mouser, E14 etc only have a very limited range of their products. Does anyone know of an easily accessible supply in Australia, in particular the TC2030-IDC variants? Or is there a better solution available? I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks in Advance
James
Title: Re: Tag-Connect or other PCB footprint based programming solution
Post by: Rufus on December 12, 2013, 03:12:43 am
Or is there a better solution available? I'm open to suggestions.

For programming which is going to take a few seconds I don't see much problem with 5 0.1" pitch holes and a pin header with long pins which can flex a bit on the programmer. A bit of sideways pressure makes flex in the pins take up the slack and the square pin corners bite into the hole sides. I have a customer who has programmed thousands of boards like that without complaint or request for anything different/better.

You can solder in a pin header for a permanent connection for development or whatever. Don't think the board area ends up much different from the Tag-connect things.

You can also stagger the holes side to side so the pin header jams itself in place but don't really see the need and haven't tried it.

I may have a particularly tiny board coming up and have been considering pads along one edge and a jig with a DIMM socket or something similar. I haven't started looking at sockets yet, maybe someone here has suggestions. I wanted the type with spring loaded point contacts where you insert the board at an angle then tilt it against the contact springs.
Title: Re: Tag-Connect or other PCB footprint based programming solution
Post by: JamesAus on December 12, 2013, 04:47:45 am
Thanks Rufus

i have been using .1" headers (or in some cases just open pads or the headers) for a long time. this has served me well, however I like the idea of being able to clip on a cable for in field programming, or just press it on for production. I have wrecked plenty of IDC plugs / cables from constant plugging / unplugging, in a production setting. For field work it is not very practical to hold a pin header in vacant pads on the board and juggle a laptop in the other hand, plus about 1 in 7 or so I'll move and break contact while programming, no big deal but frustrating at best. this is probably because using a two row layout instead of single makes it harder to make proper contact all of the time. I use a two row layout because it is standard (Atmel).
Title: Re: Tag-Connect or other PCB footprint based programming solution
Post by: webgiorgio on December 13, 2013, 08:44:42 pm
I've got it shipped at reasonable price Denmark trough Microchip direct.
This is what Tag-connect pepole suggested me. So, ask them for a good way of getting it to australia :)
Title: Re: Tag-Connect or other PCB footprint based programming solution
Post by: NANDBlog on December 14, 2013, 11:39:47 am
For various ISP headers which are 4-5 pin, one row, you can just use the blank holes. It works.
But meeting with the founder Neil last year at embedded world, he seemed like an enthusiastic guy. Handing over development boards for his product. If it were only up to me, I would use it for every design I make and which rolls out in high quantity.