March 30, 2012
The PicKit 3 has the very nice ‘Programmer To-Go’ feature which allows you to program PIC chips in circuit without the need for a PC. I needed to use this feature for a small production line which will be run in Rwanda for the e.quinox project. We want to produce all future battery boxes using a local team who will build the PCBs, casings and fascias. The circuit that needed to be programmed has a very low component cost and we wanted to avoid having to solder header connections to each board in order to program them. Instead I made this adapter with spring loaded test contacts.
Now the boards will be manufactured, the PicKit will be pressed onto the un-populated pads, the user will press a button and the system will be programmed.
The adapter is very simple, six spring loaded test contacts, a 1×6 right angled header connection and vero-board. We used 1.90mm spring contacts so that they would sit nicely in the holes where we could have soldered a header connection. There is a large piece of vero-board attached to the back of the PicKit and glued to the main part of the adapter; this is to make the whole attachment more ridged and reliable.
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