Using a ZIF socket for a Nano / female headers / pushbuttons

Hi everyone.

Apologies if this is a rather ignorant question (I don’t have confidence in electronics, soldering etc. - I’m a pure software person).

If I’m building projects using stripboard (I have a mega as well but currently am using nanos for the end product), then can I use a ZIF socket for the nano board itself. I’ve measured the pins of one of my nanos and it seems the pins are a smidgeon over 15mm apart, which surely would fit in a standard ZIF sockeet such as one of these. This mentions arduino in the listing, but doesn’t specifically say that you can put an arduino in it.

The advantages for me in using a ZIF socket would primarily be that I can check for short circuits and continuity without the nano in place. I’ve been told that depending on how much current a continuity tester applies, it may or may not be a good idea to use one with the nano inplace. Also, if I do fire up a board with a short in place (this may have already happened</Peter Jones voice>), then this could damage the nano as well.

BTW: I found advice online that I could effectively make a socket by soldering in female headers onto the stripboard. But looking around, female headers seem to be very expensive, such that a ZIF socket is actually much cheaper. Why is this? And are there cheaper places than ebay to buy female headers?

While I’m here, to avoid making a new thread, can anyone recommend some momentary pushbuttons suitable for use with fingers? (My current project has 10x footswitches, and I’m very pleased with the ones I bought, but they’re too robust to be appropriate for pushing with fingers)

The ZIF socket spacing is 0.1 inch (2.5mm) for a standard DIP package.

I would go with the female header and strip board.

As far as headers go, it depends on what quantity you want to buy. You can buy some from a place like this and use wire cutters to cut into strips of appropriate length. 40 pins for 1.50 is not too bad. but if you needed say 400 pins than you could buy 10 units and of course price goes down as quantity goes up.

You could also buy them from a company like Jameco or Mouser:

And you can find push buttons on any of those same sites too. Tactile switches are going to be very stable and sturdy and last a long time and they can go directly on strip board and be stable, but they aren't very pretty and they do take some force to push down (compared to some momentary push switches which slide easily).

You could buy some easier to push ones but they will need to be mounted somewhere like on a panel of somdkind, and you will need wires coming form them.

The heading on that eBay listing

ZIF Socket - 40 Pin universal DIP IC Arduino By 3M

This is such a crock that I’m going to start another thread about it.

But anyway, ZIF sockets are designed to accept a wide range of widths, usually from .3" to .6" so if your Nano fits and you think that’s an appropriate way to go then do so.

OTOH socket strips are usually pretty cheap and if you don’t plan to remove/replace often that would be the way to go.