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I'm looking for a connector for an ICSP programmer that is not the 6 pin female.  Because that requires a 6 pin male on the other side, and its a lot of board space.  I found a PC-card style "card edge" connector, but its pretty expensive and also has a good sized footprint that needs to protrude out of the board.  I was also thinking of re-purposing a micro-SD connector, but it may not work because the microSD card is thinner then a standard PCB. 

Any other ideas for a 6 circuit connector that is very small and really cheap (preferably just pads) on one side?

Thanks!
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I'm not sure I understand exactly what you are asking for, but if you are wanting to connect 6 wires, one thing you might think of is a RJ-45 connector that is used for ethernet cables.  You can buy the female plugs that you can attach wires to at places like Radio Shack or Home Depot.  For example here is Radio Shack's version: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102539#
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Something like this?
http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-DIY-SD-card-breadboard-socket/step4/Attach-second-row-temporarily/
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You could look into JST 1.5mm pitch connector
http://www.jst-mfg.com/product/detail_e.php?series=287
Surface mount, top or side entry.
Digikey carries them
ZH series

Crimp male pins onto the mating cable to go into a 2x3 housing from pololu.com to plug the ISP cable end  onto.
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1931
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1911
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To clarify, the ICSP (chip programmer) header is used very rarely on many boards (just a few times to program the chip/fuses), once you give up being footprint compatible with the Arduino. 

I'm trying to make a really simple, cheap, and flat breakout for some AVR chips.  So I'm looking for something that is ideally zero (or pennies) cost on the breakout board side -- for example, SMT pads only cost the extra board real-estate.  But there can be a much more expensive connector on the programmer side like $1 to $2.  Ideally would be nice to support both the "dev" paradigm, where the programmer and breakout are firmly connected, and also "one-shot", where I'm just programming fuses and bootloaders one (for example) and then shipping the board.

@Lakes:  That's really interesting.  Not quite what I want but the idea to bend the pins to make little springs is great idea.  I could to it with a RA connector and trap the breakout board between the programmer's PCB and these pins.  But 2 issues. 1. I'd prefer to buy something pre-bent 2. Even smaller would be better (6 .1" spacing is actually pretty wide).
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JST makes even tighter spaced parts as well.
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The usual method is to provide pads on the board, then use Pogo Pins ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogo_pin ) to connect the board to the programmer for the factory burning.  They are also used extensively for testing.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 08:14:13 am by majenko » Logged

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I'm not sure I understand exactly what you are asking for, but if you are wanting to connect 6 wires, one thing you might think of is a RJ-45 connector that is used for ethernet cables.  You can buy the female plugs that you can attach wires to at places like Radio Shack or Home Depot.  For example here is Radio Shack's version: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102539#
I use network adaptors and cables for my project. They are almost perfect but I do have a little problem.
They are often very stiff and if I take them out in cold winters day they just stay folded for a long time.
I found a flat type of network cable on the internet but nobody can tell me if they are stiff or not.

Is there anyone who's tried one of those?
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They are very similar to the type of cable used by Cisco for their console ports.

They are fairly flexible - about the same as a proper patch cable¹.  They are designed to be carried around by an engineer in their Bag-o-Bits™



¹ Network cables come it 2 types - patch and hard-wired.  Hard-wired uses solid core cable and is stiff.  Patch cables use stranded core cable and are considerably more flexible.
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Thanks for the info!
I can live with that! Fortunately I never used them outside so once I get
inside, they soften up after a while and I can unfold them.
Still, I would like them more if they were more flexible.



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Maybe check out:  http://www.omnetics.com/products/


I love the small footprint (an circular) connectors they offer here..

they have a pretty big selection there too..
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@xl97: thanks for that link.  That seems like a great source.

@majenko:  I use pogo pins now and while they are great for one offs I was hoping for something that works both for one-offs and repeated use, AND is denser then typical pogo pins (which I can't get much denser then .1", do they sell maybe a pogo "multi-pin" with a grid of dense pins?).

I found this microSD card holder http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/0473092851/WM6701CT-ND/3044150.  It seems like it will in fact take "thin" (1mm) PCBs which are pretty easy to get made.  I think I may put a footprint for this and another one for a normal thickness 6 position card-edge connector (digikey a101966-ND) on the programmer and let the breakout boards use either.

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These any good?

http://www.samtec.com/microedgecard/HS_Edge_Card.aspx

There's a mini one about halfway down that looks like it'll fit your application quite nicely.

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Interesting... not sure if they support FEW enough contacts.  I was able to configure one with 10 "positions", but does that mean 5 on each side or 10 in a row (20 total)?
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It looks like the minimum is 5 per row, judging from this:

http://www.samtec.com/documents/webfiles/pdf/mecf.pdf

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