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I am developing a cost sensitive product. The printed circuit boards need to be programmed and tested. It seems like a waste of money to put a programming/test connector on the board just to use it only once.

Ideally, I would just put down some through hole test points spaced 50 mils or 100 mils apart, plug something into it, and then remove that device when I am done programming/testing.

Is there some kind of connector that has little spring contacts that fit in a 30 mil or 50 mil through hole test point? Something like a row of really tiny banana jacks?

Over the years I recall having seen various crimp connector pins with springy contacts that probably would fit into holes on the order of 50 mils or so, but I can't recall what they were called and if I have ever seen them arranged into something like a single row 100 mil connector strip.

I know pogo-pins exist, but those are meant to press against a SMD pad. I would need to build a fixture for that to work, and I want to avoid that unless I have to. Something that just plugs into the holes seems like it would be simpler.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "I know pogo-pins exist, but those are meant to press against a SMD pad." A) They're "test fixture probes" not "Pogo pins". And B) They're meant to press to PCB pads, not just SMD pads. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can use offset pins as discussed in this post. \$\endgroup\$
    – qrk
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 17:25

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One commercial system is called Tag-Connect (https://www.tag-connect.com/). You lay out pads and holes in a specified pattern on your PCB and then a special connector snaps into the holes with pogo-like-pins to connect to the pads.

Note: I have no personal experience with this system.

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There are few options:

  • Clips with test fixture probes that you clip on the PCB.
  • Tag connect ( that @DoxyLover mentioned)
  • Card edge plugs (my site), but you have to provide traces on the edge of the PCB
  • Plain pads with holes on the PCB, into which you insert a pin strip with a cable whose weight forces the pins to lean and make a nice contact with the pads (I believe this is the most common solution)
  • The RedFit SKEDD is great, but not rated for many cycles.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Plus any number of hacks using pogo pins and clothespegs etc, see e.g. three items currently on hackaday.com/blog/?s=programming+pads \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 17:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Plain pads with holes on the PCB, into which you insert a pin strip with a cable whose weight forces the pins to lean and make a nice contact with the pads" a variation of this technique is to stagger the holes, so when you insert a pin strip it presses against the sides of the holes. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 18:57

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