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I have a goofy idea: a user is given a PCB and a pack of surface mount metal film resistors. To configure the board's settings, the user places various combinations of resistors into several 'sockets' or little clips on the board which surface mount resistors fit in in the same fashion as batteries in a battery holder.

Are there any current components that could make such a 'socket'? If not, how could this effect be achieved? I have thought about soldering two small spongy-like conductive blocks with grooves in them to the board and inserting the resistor between them and using tin foil or even a solid block and an oval wheel that rotates and locks the resistor in place but all seem a little complicated compared to two memory-metal contacts.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why wouldn't you just use through-hole components and sockets for that? The size of such sockets are going to be at least as big as through-hole sockets and they are going to be a lot more expensive, fragile, and less reliable than through-hole sockets. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Jul 2 at 6:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ What's wrong with DIP switches? It is reliable and robust. Some sort of sockets for SMD resistors seems to be unreliable and unusual. \$\endgroup\$ – Chupacabras Jul 2 at 6:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Select on test in my book could equal test points and a resistor decade box and three sets of pads for 0805s \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jul 2 at 7:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ It may sound 'goofy', but that's only probably because of existing technology and processes. So, thank you for sharing! Perhaps creating a new "configuration" component - which combines a DIP switch and resistors, is a natural progression from your idea. \$\endgroup\$ – John Go-Soco Jul 2 at 8:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chupa I agree, this is not suitable for all applications, but in my specific case, I need to work with only SMD resistors. I may post the finished product on this site. \$\endgroup\$ – Judson Hudson Jul 2 at 15:52
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A similar system to what you describe exists for fuses made by litelfuse. I don't see any reason why a similar socket couldn't be used for resistors

littelfuse 2A SMT clip system

You can also get test sockets for resistors and caps if thats more what youre looking for

Test Sockets

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is exactly what I am looking for! Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Judson Hudson Jul 2 at 15:41
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Surface mount resistors and capacitors are little ceramic plates with microns of film deposited on them. They cannot withstand a lot of mechanical force, and squeezing them in a socket will not improve their functional life.

It could be possible to use a pogo pin like socket, but that would probably be prohibitive in cost.
If the goal is to have binary board configuration, see DIP switches and solder jumpers.
If the goal is to have resistive board configuration, see potentiometers and test points.

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