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I have to flash several devices and up to now I was soldering pin headers to attach the device to my PC.

I will soon have 20 or so to flash and would like to avoid messing up with the soldering part (soldering is great but I just need the header pins to be available for 30 seconds and never reuse them afterwards).

Is there a device I could use to avoid soldering them? I saw some hacks where people were doing all kind of gymnastics with bent pins and it worked or not -- I was rather thinking of some kind of a prong to reliably touch the contacts during the flashing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Headers are designed for crimp ribbon cables like old floppy cables with 0.1” centres dual row \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Apr 2 '18 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are many types of self-holding connectors, most classically with crimped contacts on the wire and soldered header pins on the board, but also other pairings. There are also spring "pogo" pins either in custom fixtures or in multi-pin harnesses such as the "tag connect" product line. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Apr 2 '18 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Lookup "pogo pins" on google. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Apr 2 '18 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another idea: using a staggered through-hole footprint, each pin being offset a bit, alternatively in one direction or the other (a bit like as described here). If you design it right (it might require multiple design tries, though), you should be able to make a consistent connection for at least the initialization phase. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Apr 2 '18 at 20:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Apart from the spring connectors mentioned, take a look at this: tag-connect.com. This doesn't require extra component (soldering time + component time) \$\endgroup\$ – Andrés Apr 2 '18 at 20:12
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Pogo pins are one method of making a test or programming jigs.

The alternative is another connector like press fit headers. These use friction and sometimes displacement to cut into the pcb. Functionally identical to soldering headers, but without the soldering.

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