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I would like to not solder it in place so I could simply remove it for reprogramming. Is there breadboard-like PCB solderable component which will let me stick the MCU to it and then easily remove it?

I tried Arduino-like headers, but they are way too big and make the PIC wobble without electrical contact.

I'm sure there is such thing but I don't know the name.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is in-circuit programming not an option, in case you haven't heard of that yet? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 4, 2023 at 16:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there breadboard-like PCB solderable component - yes, they're called sockets \$\endgroup\$
    – slebetman
    Oct 5, 2023 at 1:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seriously consider in-circuit programming (as appropriate for your mcu) even if it means a bootloader. Not only more convenient now, but makes firmware upgrades later a breeze compared to 'difficult' or 'impossible' if you have to get at the chip iteself. (I'm guessing this is hobby work, and hobby projects in my experience get lots of firmware upgrades---but maybe you're more diligent about doing a proper development process than I am). If this is a hobby project, consider a bootloader (if required) + usb port for the programming. You may lose your programmer, but you won't lose usb. \$\endgroup\$
    – 2e0byo
    Oct 7, 2023 at 14:39

4 Answers 4

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Use a 8-position DIP socket.

*-DIP socket

{Digikey}

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  • \$\begingroup\$ link Thank you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ri Di
    Oct 4, 2023 at 16:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you are really into it, use three DIP sockets: First one soldered to the board, second one is sacrificial and left in the on-board socket, third one sacrifial as well and left on the PIC. You can do quite a few inserts/removal and once the two sacrifical DIP sockets are worn down, simply change them. \$\endgroup\$
    – ghellquist
    Oct 5, 2023 at 13:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, don't use the type of socket shown? As I understand, the turned-pin style is more durable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthew
    Oct 5, 2023 at 21:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Matthew: Machine-pin sockets are more reliable in situations where chips will be changed very rarely. Well-made dual-leaf sockets remain pretty reliable through hundreds of swaps, though some lesser quality sockets--especially single-leaf ones--may be flaky from the get-go. \$\endgroup\$
    – supercat
    Oct 5, 2023 at 22:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Matthew I don't know which is more reliable, but I developed a pretty good dislike for machine-pin sockets: I was always bending pins in machine-pin sockets, but rarely in leaf sockets. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 6, 2023 at 2:54
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Putting the IC repeatedly in and out of a DIP socket would damage the IC pins too much, so I'd consider that a no. Even levering it out carefully with a tool, I'd say you'd get about 10 insertion/removals before the ICs and sockets aren't what most factories call production standard any more. 8-pin DIPs are short and thick so one-side-other-side gradual levering still noticeably bends the pins. And this is for development where there's plenty of removals and often with much less care than that.

A ZIF socket would be ideal but 8-pin DIP ZIF sockets aren't made. The smallest ones are 16-pin. But you could use a 16-pin ZIF and just use the leftmost or rightmost 8 pins.

Something I did a lot in development was:

  • Put an IC socket on the PCB for the microcontroller (MCU)
  • Solder a ZIF socket onto a turned pin IC socket
  • Plug the resultant ZIF assembly into the socket

I'd use the ZIF socket in the ZIF assembly until the development was over. After that, I'd plug the MCU directly into the board IC socket.

You could do that here, using the 16-pin ZIF and soldering 8 of its pins onto the top of an 8-pin turned-pin IC socket.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ FWIW I've done way more than 10 removal-reinsertion cycles on 8-pin (and larger) mcus when I was too cheap to buy a zif socket. With care---remove by sliding a thin screwdriver under the cenre as a wedge---it can be done. Nowadays I'd go your way, but everything I've done recently was programmable in circuit. \$\endgroup\$
    – 2e0byo
    Oct 6, 2023 at 19:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @2e0byo: Ditto. WAY more than ten. Probably more than 100 in some cases. The thing I found most useful was one of the metal pieces that sat in the ends of unused PC card slots. Those had a notch that was perfectly placed to allow sliding the end under a 0.3" DIP and rocking back slightly. Do that to lift one of the chip a little bit, then the other end to lift almost completely out, and then the first end to lift completely out. Probably about 5 seconds, for consistent removal with no bent pins. \$\endgroup\$
    – supercat
    Oct 6, 2023 at 20:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @2e0byo, I don't mean 10 or so until the IC breaks (I'll reword it to make that clear), I'm mean not many until the ICs get tired pins and aren't anything like production standard any more. That's my experience and I certainly did a lot of IC removal from sockets with this, with 8, 16, 20, 24, and 40-pin packages in decent turned-pin sockets. The longer ones, like 24 and 40-pin, were easier because it could be more gently angled up in a series of lifts. But, even with great care, the short and thick 8-pin was more severe angling so the pins bent more each time. I used a lot of 8-pin EEPROMs. \$\endgroup\$
    – TonyM
    Oct 6, 2023 at 21:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ The point about tired pins is worth making. Also tired sockets. Nothing more annoying than one pin not making electrical contact but looking fine. @supercat I never thought of that, not a bad idea. \$\endgroup\$
    – 2e0byo
    Oct 7, 2023 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Machine-pin sockets require almost perfect IC pins, and pins can't be swapped much before they become unsuitable for machine-pin sockets. When using leaf-spring sockets, however, chips can be good for many dozens of insertions if handled carefully. \$\endgroup\$
    – supercat
    Oct 8, 2023 at 2:25
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Simple, a DIP socket of the same size, or a ZIF socket för programming.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @OP If you use a DIP socket, make sure there is enough space at the ends of the chip to get a lever in to remove it, and if using a ZIF socket make sure there is enough space for the lever. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 4, 2023 at 16:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure they make 8 pin ZIF sockets. \$\endgroup\$
    – GodJihyo
    Oct 4, 2023 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was thinking about ZIF, but they cost too much. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ri Di
    Oct 4, 2023 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GodJihyo I'm not sure either, but the bigger ones could be used. I much doubt OP want that though. \$\endgroup\$
    – MiNiMe
    Oct 4, 2023 at 17:08
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In the past have used something like an Eject-A-DIP:

enter image description here

The features of which the manufacturer says are:

  • Eject-A-DIP™ is a rugged, solderable socket with a unique ejector/latch for fast in-field board maintenance
  • The latch locks in the connector or device, making it ideal for high vibration environments
  • The latch, when used as an ejector, removes DIP packages without pin damage

That was when using a 40 pin DIP PIC which stored it's program in EPROM, and therefore before re-programming had to remove the device to place in a UV eraser.

Not sure if such sockets are available in 8 pin DIP style.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That is not a ZIF socket. And it doesn't come in DIP-8 size. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2023 at 22:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavideAndrea You are correct that it is not available in DIP-8 size, and I omitted to check that before answering. Should I delete this answer as the question specifically specified "PDIP8"? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 6, 2023 at 6:37

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