Monthly Archives: October 2020

A $2 Development Board Test/Programming Jig

I’ve been using LoRa (Long Distance Radio) boards for a few recent projects. At $20 a pop, these aren’t exactly cheap. I didn’t want to dedicate one to breadboard prototyping by soldering headers to it and sought a commercial solution that would allow me to easily make a reliable temporary connection. I did not find anything like that on the market (please leave a comment if you know of such a device).

I did a bit of research and learned that pogo pins are commonly used for constructing test jigs. The downside to all the designs I saw is that they required either 3D printing parts or drilling.

I found this P75-E2 pogo pin with a diameter that can fit into a standard breadboard. But the problem is that the pins are too long and don’t stay in alignment. As you can see in the photo, my solution is to sacrifice a second breadboard by removing all of its metal clips (pry them out from the bottom) and then stacking it on top of an unmodified breadboard. Mini breadboards like these are cheap enough to devote a pair to each development board format you use.

I find that a piece of rubber electrical tape (the kind without adhesive) or a rubber band is sufficient to keep the part in contact with the board. Here is a jig for Adafruit Feather format boards with a LoRa card on top: