Uno: free space around the ATMega socket to make a Textool socket possible

For the next version of the Uno, please leave some free space around the ATMega socket so people can replace it with a Textool socket. Maybe you could even sell a "Textool edition" of the next Uno version.

Currently it's not possible, because mostly the capacitors but also a few other components are in the way. I've browsed through the older boards and I've found two examples how it could look like:

Arduino NG-240

Arduino Diecimila-240

In both examples, the big capacitors are on the edge of the PCB instead of next to the socket and no resistors or other components around. On PC mainboards, CPU manufactureres call this the "keep out area".

Currently, I can only use a Textool socket when I stack it on the original socket plus an additional socket, because the capacitors are a little bit higher than the socket. But that makes using shieds impossible.



Why don't YOU take the reference design, modify it, then get the boards made with a 'Textool socket'

Because I don't have the tools and knowledge to do that. I'm doing electronics on the stripboard level.

I assume you mean a ZIF socket

Yes, I mean a ZIF socket similar to this one:

Textool is a Chinese brand that makes thousands of connectors

Nope. According to the german wikipedia article about ZIF sockets, Textool is a brand name owned by the US company 3M. And AFAIK, they were the first ZIF sockets for DIL package. That's why I used it as synonym.

Though I see little to no reason to do this

Well, YOU see no reason to do this does not mean there is none.

My plan is to use the Uno as prototyping platform together with a breadboard.
After a project is completed, I'll take out the ATMega and put it on a stripboard together with the rest of the needed components. The Uno will then get a new ATMega for the next project. I don't think this is so uncommon.

Another use case:
Multiple projects using different shields, and one programmed (and labelled) ATMega for every project. Swap the shield, swap the ATMega, and ready to go.

I'm not able to spend 20 € + tax + shipping for a new Uno for every project. In that case, I'd rather buy china clones for 5 € (including shipping) each. The 5 € version uses the Mega16U2 as USB bridge, like the original. The ones with the CH340G are even cheaper. And on Linux, even those work very well without any driver issues.
I have bought two original Uno's and that's enough - until there is a new version with a new feature that's valuable for me.

My suggestion about selling a "Textool edition" was just an option to make it even more attractive to some people. See it as an opportunity for selling boards at a higher price. Then I would by another two of them. Of course, I would also be happy with just the "keep out area". Then I would also by two of them, desolder the sockets and solder the ZIF sockets.


When I develop products, I use an UNO with breadboards to create a working prototype. Then I program an ATMEGA328 , using a programmer & a breakoutboard I made with a ZIF socket. I build the final with the programmed chip. I have only ever removed 1 chip from an UNO, and that is due to ME destroying it!

Yes, this will be plan B ... use the second Uno as programmer, because I don't have a dedicated programmer.

But for the people who even don't have a second Uno, this approach means that they often have to switch between the sketch thy develop and the ArduinoISP sketch.
Edit: And also change cabling.
The purpose of the ZIF socket on the Uno is to go without the need of a programmer and without the extra work of switching and re-cabling. The people can stay in one environment and one operating mode. I think this really makes things more simple. And isn't "keep things simple" one of the goals of the Arduino project ?

Furthermore, I really would like to keep my second Uno free for projects. :wink: Maybe I should build a "VUSBTiny" using an ATTiny85 and the VUSB library.


Wouldn't having ZIF socket on there make shield use impossible even if there was space around it?

The ZIF sockets are much higher than the headers, even before you add a chip...

Also Adafruit has this hack built around a proto-board: