August 15, 2011 AT 12:00 am

Programming in a ZIF!

Programming in a ZIF! @ The Custom Geek. Jeremy writes –

This is just a quick post about a board I made to program a whole bunch of ATmega 328′s for some kits I’m making. I am ordering the 328′s in bulk, so they are brand new and do not have an Arduino bootloader on them. One of the ways you can get an Arduino bootloader on a factory fresh 328 is use an Arduino Uno and a USBTiny. Sure, I could pop about 100 of these into an Uno, but that would be a lot of work as well as wear and tear on the 28 DIP socket on my Uno.

The answer? A ZIF socket! These are fantastic! Anyone who has installed/upgraded a CPU in a computer knows what these are. ZIF stands for Zero Instillation Force. That means you drop the chip in the socket very easy, then pull a lever down to secure the contacts and prevent the chip from bouncing out of there. Making swapping out a bunch of chips to program them a lot easier, faster, and less prone to damage to the pins or chips!

You can get these 28 Pin ZIF sockets at Adafruit, and for cheep! There is also a 40 pin version if your heart or project so desires.

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  1. When using the adafuit dip zif, does it block the programming header? I found this pic, but couldn’t see if it blocked access to the 3×2 header:


  2. @George – The ZIF socket dosn’t touch the pins, but there is no way to plug the 6 pin cable in with the amount of clearance left from squeezing the ZIF socket in there. Maybe you could dremel the ZIF socket and/or the 6 pin connector and get it to work, but by default it is too tight of a squeeze. It also will stand off the board a little bit due to the bussed resistor on the Uno, or the Op Amp on the Duemilanove, ending up underneath it. It’s also a very tight squeeze for the reset switch and the crystal, but should go in ok. Hope this helps. 🙂

  3. How hard would it be to put 100 (or any number) of sockets in a parallel sort of fashion to flash a lot of chips all at once?

  4. +1 for messing with an arduino at the hospital the day your daughter is born, +100 for video blogging it.

    My 2cents though is in circuit programming is better in most cases, plus lets you change/rescue a mis-programmed or corrupted chip.

  5. Thanks for the +101, and just for the record, that was done at night when mama was recovering and sleeping. No feelings or marriages were hurt during the making of this video. I love my tronix, but I love my wife more. 🙂

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