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To be more specific, let's say I have SOP16 SMD chips that have been purchased from overseas. I have several PCBs that they need to be soldered to, but I don't want to risk paying for assembly and also wasting a PCB if the chip (for whatever reason, pretend that I am overly paranoid) is faulty.

I have seen those SMD test clips, but they look like they are intended to attach to a chip that's already soldered in. I want to use something like that, but also something that prevents damage to the leads. I can think of a custom solution, like a jig that holds the ICs in place and allows me to clip onto their leads, but was hoping for something OTS.

Can anyone here please provide me with some suggestions?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would a socket suffice? If you don't have high speeds/high current, seems like a socket would be the easiest. \$\endgroup\$ – uint128_t Jan 4 '16 at 4:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually didn't know they had sockets for SOP16. I'll go look! \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Jan 4 '16 at 4:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yup, sockets exist for most common IC packages. However, they can cause problems in sensitive circuits; use with care! \$\endgroup\$ – uint128_t Jan 4 '16 at 4:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found a couple, but not any information about how they work. Some look like they won't release the component without damaging it. Can you suggest a video from a brand you've used or are familiar with? And also maybe post your response as an answer, because it might really be what I'm looking for and I'd like to mark it as an answer if it works for me. Sounds promising. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Jan 4 '16 at 4:59
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This is the second result in a Google Image search for "SOP16":

SOP16 socket

I believe for this style you press down and drop the part in the hole. When you release, arms swing in and capture the pins of the chip.

You need a pair of tweezers or a suction grabber to pick the chip back up after you've tested or programmed it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the details. I saw those via Google, but since I've never used one of these before, it was not immediately clear that the chip could be extracted very easily. Thanks for the details on how it works! \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Jan 4 '16 at 6:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, by far the best (and only) video I have seen of one of these sockets: youtube.com/watch?v=XixbJe8b-Qw \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Jan 4 '16 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've got this on order and it should be here next week. I'll post an update then! Need to build a pick and place robot to automate my parts testing next. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Jan 5 '16 at 23:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Neat! Don't forget to make provisions for an actuator to push the socket release down! \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Jan 5 '16 at 23:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Haha, yes, definitely need that. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Jan 6 '16 at 5:45

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