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I need around 8 connections in a PCB I'm designing for debug and on board programming. Originally I had this debug connection's footprint as a simple single in line with headers: http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/Products/ProdImag/164822.jpg

This port is going to be used just one time, so is a huge waste of material, space and money if I decide to mass produce this PCB. I was looking for some commercial solutions to get inspire and I found this: http://www.telexsus.com/products/tag-connect/tc2050-idc-nl

enter image description here

The idea is very smart, no components on the PCB, just an SMD footprint and 3 holes to keep align the cable contacts to the pcb. I will like to know if there are other component less solutions, specially DIY.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately the question is off topic on EE.SE. As explained in the help centre, questions about recommendations on specific products and/or where to buy them are off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 23, 2015 at 17:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ you could build a work-alike of that from pogo pins and other ordinary hardware. the question then becomes "can telexus patent alignment holes in a pcb " \$\endgroup\$
    – Jasen
    Nov 23, 2015 at 17:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've encountered boards designed like this, and I hate it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eugene Sh.
    Nov 23, 2015 at 18:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EugeneSh.: Can you elaborate a bit on this? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tom L.
    Nov 23, 2015 at 19:01

2 Answers 2

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I've designed two boards including this connector and would highly recommend it, yet the "original" design seems to be this one.

Advantages:

  • Zero parts cost
  • Boards can be programmed using a Flying Probe or ICT system for mass production and testing
  • For low quantity programming, you do not need to fully plug the key in. It's enough to tap it onto the board and keep it there until programmed & verified.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited cycle count of the needle adapter when you attach it multiple times to the board and detach it during debugging (the plastic things which stick it to the board might break some time)
  • It may require a litle more board space than a really small connector

Yes, I'm a hardware/software engineer so I also do debugging and can recommend it as well from a software engineer's point of view.

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I might argue that it wouldn't be a complete waste of space and material. If you need the port for debugging, then you are going to need it for the testing process and additionally for any future debugging. This isn't something for anyone on here to decide, though. You must research what is actually more cost effective or provide more information. Many products that are mass produced have these ports. Simply put, if you need them you need them. If by componentless you mean no connectors then this solution you have presented seems to be a pretty good option. I also don't think you're going to get any other options that aren't similar to these two without the cost of the port being more than it's worth.

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