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I've decided to bite the bullet and build a prototype ZIFduino board.  I used the through-hole version the folks at http://www.freeduino.org/freeduino_open_designs.html released as a template.  After quite a bit of tweaking to get the monstrous ZIF socket in there, it ended up being about 25% wider.  The board and parts are on order, and I should be able to assemble it in a couple weeks.  In the meantime, if you want to check it out and critique (please do, this is my first real project in Eagle) the .brd and .sch files can be downloaded at http://bitgood.org/blogfiles/ZIFduino.zip.  If this works out and there's enough interest I'll make a bunch of boards and sell them at cost.

Since the vast majority of the work was done by others, I left all documentation intact and just added my name to the list.  If your name is on there and you don't want it to be, let me know and it'll be removed right away.
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Looks cool!  I'm guessing the ZIF socket is too tall to be able to use shields with the board. Is that true?  Otherwise, you might want to keep the pin location the same as the other boards.

Also, do you think people will be using this board to prototype with, and then removing the chip to use in a permanent version of the circuit?  Or will it be more a tool for people looking to, say, burn the bootloader onto a bunch of chips.  If the latter, you might consider making it without any of the USB circuitry, to keep the cost down.  

This is just a question for my own education: how are you handling GND on the board?  It looks like the whole PCB is a big ground plane (since none of the GND pins are connected to anything), but how can you tell that?  What makes it so that the ground plane touches the GND pins but not other pins or traces?
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Yeah, it's going to be way too tall.  The socket I plan to use is the Aries 28-6554-10.  The specs are at http://www.arieselec.com/Web_Data_Sheets/10001/10001.htm (scroll down to the bottom).

It's strictly for prototyping.  The plan is to mount it on a larger board along with a breadboard.  The USB will be facing left with the breadboard to the right.  The whole assembly will be named Frankenduino in honor of the Halloween projects I'll be building with it.  smiley-razz

When you look at the .brd file, you'll see a red and a blue rectangle.  Those are top and bottom pours for GND.  Eagle doesn't draw it properly when you re-open the file, I'm guessing to make it easier to read.  Use Autoroute to see what it'll actually look like.
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 The whole assembly will be named Frankenduino in honor of the Halloween projects I'll be building with it.  smiley-razz

I think you should call it 'bigfootduino'  smiley
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I have a Bare Bones Board that I made into a "slant 28" with header pins for this purpose. A few of my customers have done the same thing. It looks a little homebrew but works fine. The dedicated board sounds like a good idea though. Brian Riley at wulfden.org burned some little converters for the the wide 28 zifs that seem to be all that's available for 28 pin, and made me another zif that is slicker and similarly functional. He was talking about making them available but I don't know if he has.

Paul
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Thanks for the plug, Paul ... I finally got a dozen or so adapter boards made and put together some units for sale ... basically here is what I did ...

I took a BBB Rev D board, an replaced the 28 pin socket with two 1x14 socket headers. I then assembled the board in the normal fashion, leaving out the 1x18 pin header along the front row and the 3x7 headers for the Analog connections and the 2 pin header for power. I installed a green LED in the power and ground of Analog 0 to serve as a power indicator and a red LED from Digital 13 to ground as a progress indicator. (Digital 13 has its Arduino meanings and is the SCK of the ISP ) I then assembled my adapter board placing 1x14 pin headers in the two inner rows and soldered, then inserted  the ZIF socket  into the outer rows of my adapter and soldered. I replaced  the 1.3 mm coaxial power connector with a pigtail and an inline 2.1mm female connector.  the webpage with more detailed photos and ordering can be found at http://www.wulfden.org/freeduino/Burner/ ... cheers ... BBR



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Just an update since a couple people have asked.

I'm still waiting for the board to arrive.  It shipped out on the 15th, so I'd imagine it'll be here in the next day or two.  I have all the parts on hand, so if all goes well I'll find the time to put it together by the weekend for its maiden voyage.
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Great!  I'm looking forward to this - I'm not enough of a programmer to feel comfortable with the idea of buying an AVRISP and learning how to create Arduino chips, but I really want to use Boarduinos in my bots, and the ZIFduino solves the problem of getting the chips ready.
(I realize I could do this with my Arduino, but I've already experienced the joys of IC pin destruction through ham-handed handling.)
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As predicted, it arrived today.  I see a few minor issues like the mounting holes being ridiculously close to the edge, but nothing too serious so far.

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Cool!
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It's together, but something's not quite right.  I'll have to do a bit of troubleshooting in the morning.

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I'll have to do a bit of troubleshooting in the morning.

Ah, so you've entered the phase of the project where I envy you the least.  Good luck.
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It looks like I have a bad crystal.  Of course, that's the only part I don't have on hand...  >smiley-sad
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Can you get it going with the internal resonator?
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Of course I can.  I was just waiting for someone to come in here and tell me that I was forgetting to do something painfully obvious.  I just burned a new bootloader, and now I get my blinky blinky.  smiley
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