Computing stuff tied to the physical world

IC socket ≠ IC socket

In Hardware on Jun 3, 2010 at 00:01

Ok, so the JeeNode v4 kit is fine, judging from how many people have ordered them and built them. Cool, that was the whole point – a small Arduino-compatible kit with RF on board that’s easy to build and use.

As was to be expected, I ran out of IC sockets the other day. So I ordered new ones. Except, I picked a different supplier (DigiKey i.s.o. Farnell), because I thought it would simplify my life to obtain everything from as few sources as possible. Silly me…

Here’s what I got, 500 times:

Dsc 1500

Guess where it doesn’t fit?

Dsc 1503

The bent pins won’t fit through the JeeNode v4 PCB, where I used smaller holes to simplify soldering. Grrr…

There’s a solution, but it requires a bit of extra work. Take a set of flat beak pliers and flatten the pins, sort of:

Dsc 1501

Now it will fit, with a bit of juggling, while being careful not to bend any pins:

Dsc 1502

Problem solved. But I’ve learned another lesson: when things work, don’t change … A N Y T H I N G !

FWIW, I only found out about this problem after a handful of JeeNode kits had been sent out with these bent-pin IC sockets. I immediately ordered more suitable ones, which arrived the next day, and switched over to resolve the problem.

(Luckily, these IC sockets fit just fine on the Ether Card, so all it not lost…)

  1. I thought I was just doing it wrong! I got 4 kits with the bent pins from Modern Device and had the hardest time getting them in the PCB holes. 1 was so badly damaged I just soldered the atmega to the board. At least I can use this pin straightening trick on the last I have to assemble. :)

    Baltimore Node

  2. We’ll switch our providers for these sockets at Modern Device too. I built some of these boards myself (and with four students in one of my classes) and we struggled just a bit getting pins straightened out and inserted. We’ll also coordinate with JeeLabs about getting larger holes in the board on the next respin.

  3. When things work don’t even think about changing anything.

    A lesson we all know, but have to relearn once in a while…

  4. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Been there many times as well ;)

    Looking forward to receiving my new toy: The wireless kit

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