Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Pogo pogo

In Hardware on Sep 7, 2010 at 00:01

Until now, I’ve always been testing plugs with an Extension Cable:

Dsc 1903

Works ok, but with two hands, it’s a bit limiting for more complex cases, such as this Input Plug test rig.

Looks like people seem to be using spring-loaded “pogo” test pins more and more. Here’s one, which comes as a small 6-pin wide SMD “header”:

Dsc 1902

I mounted it on an obsolete I2C plug, simply to have a better grip on it. Not a big step up from the Extension Cables, but it’s slightly better because of the spring-loaded pins. No need to press as hard.

But to really make it simpler, you need to place the pins in all the places you want to test at once. Here’s one adapter which works for several plugs:

Dsc 1900

Once soldered on both sides, it’s actually quite sturdy.

Now, all you need to do is place the board under test on top, and press down slightly:

Dsc 1901

This was the trivial part. It’ll be a bit more work to create custom pin arrangements for the different plugs with I/O headers on the side. But it’s a great step forwards, and will let me do a better job of testing the more elaborate plugs as well.

Right now, all I2C-type plugs are verified to work from the bus side, but connections to other headers are a matter of visual inspection still. There’s “room for improvement” as they say…

  1. And where did you buy your pogo pins?

  2. Thanks. I checked Farnell, Mouser and EBay but they didn’t have anything interesting. :)

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