AVR ISP connector with pogo pins

Handful of older generation AVR MCUs needs ISP (In System Programming) connector to flash your own firmware. Usually if you design your own PCB, you will place somewhere 6 pin header (2×3 pins) as ISP connection. Most of the time it makes sense, unless PCB needs to be small especially in its height. In these situations, it is useful to use a pogo connection.

What are pogo pins? As you can see in photo, pogo pin is spring loaded pin of which one part is soldered to a PCB and the other part (which moves a bit as it is connected to a spring) makes a connection to a flat metallic surface.

There were some circumstances, that a PCB needs to be as thin as possible (including thickness of the PCB and components height). So, in such occasions I use my self-made pogo ISP connector. Upsides of such connection are: there is no additional height to a PCB, there is no need of soldering an extra header, so the PCB looks nicer than one with physical header soldered in. There is one downside – the connection is quite flimsy, so it is easy to accidentally disconnect a connected device.

The PCB was made by me at home. I have written a tutorial how it can be done either etching with chemicals or with a CNC router.

AVR ISP Pogo Connector 2

You can see an adapter shown in the photos for replacing a regular ISP to the one with pogo pins. On one end of the adapter you can see six pogo pins which connect to a board. Those pins are also connected to a regular six pin header used for connecting a standard 2×3 IDC connector – to this header one connects ISP programmer. Whole PCB with pogo pins is screwed to a 3D printed holder-clip which clips onto a targets PCB. Such adapter makes it easy to connect it to a board, program a MCU and disconnect the adapter from the board. As I have mentioned, such solution is handy working with space restricted PCBs.

AVR ISP Pogo Connector 3

The links for the project files on my GitHub and Thingiverse are below:



Subscribe to a newsletter!

Was this page helpful?