How to build a SOIC programming clip

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JackCY
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How to build a SOIC programming clip

Since I want to reprogram my 2 Nanjg 105C I got a USBASP programmer from eBay. Unfortunately reading about those clips and their prices, did not make me really happy, there has to be a cheaper way apart from soldering contacts or desoldering the chip.

And so it is!

There is a guide made by Pyra on a Polish forum about lights.
Google translated version.
Original Polish version.

I’ll skip the first guide that shows you how to make a clip to program off the PCB chips, unsoldered ones, that’s a bit easier but no so useful.

Reused some images since my final clip is attached now and I don’t want to fiddle with it unnecessarily.

It worked on a first try, no need to adjust, file anything. So it just depends how precise you are and how well you can make it.

Part 1:

You will need to make the connector:

  • PCI/CNR slot with pins – old computer motherboard
  • dremel to cut/thin saw/saw
  • small pliers
  • soldering iron/iron
  • exacto knife/sharp thin knife
  • smaller flat head screw driver
  • small shaped files

Cut a PCI or CNR slot from an old useless motherboard:

Cut 4 pin length = 2 rows by 4, (for a 8 pin SOIC chip clip / ATtiny13).
Carefully pull the pins out of the small soon to be clip cut out.
Especially pay attention to not damage the pins the bent ends near the board, pull it straight and slowly work them out. A screwdriver helps with that, put it between PCB and the plastic and on each side wiggle and work the pins out.

I used a dremel and cut from the top to remove the solid part to expose the way to pins, cut down to about 50%.

Clean the pin area from debris. You can file the outside of the clip a little so it has smaller profile on the board.

File it on the inside near the top so it makes a profile that has space for the chip when attached. I used a triangular file to begin with and make a ridge, then progressed with a round one.
Try to get as close to the top as possible.

Now carefully and precisely make a cut with an exacto knife in the middle of the plastic.
For me, I placed it there and pressed it harder and harder until it snapped then I stopped not to cut all the way through, be careful. Maybe you could do this at the beginning if it is hard to do and make a mistake, or just don’t want to deal with a split clip. But I think it is fine even if it splits when you use a PCB.

Desolder pins from old PCB.
Reshape them like the pin on top. You want to have a little hook at the tip, then bent the pin carefully 2 times to make a trapezoid bump. From my experience it is good when the top part is shorter (does not go as down as the bottom part). The hook stays above the red line I made so it can spring a little when in the clip and pressed.
I’ve bent it by eye and used the picture as reference, place the pin far from screen and align it with the object on screen, focus on the object in hand and see how well it resembles the object on screen as you should see a dark thin line over the object on screen. Just a little trick 0:)

Fit 6 pins to the clip all the way to the front, make sure the pins are in the ridges, yes that is right, just 6 pins. Like this so your clip matches your chip.
The wiki is correct for ATtiny13, you can check Atmel PDF if you want, I did.

Solder cables on before inserting pins if you want to use cables.

Part 2:

To make a PCB for the connector:

  • rubber gloves
  • eye protection/face protection
  • plastic container
  • two sided PCB
  • safe and ventilated place to work with etchant
  • small drill with 0.5-1.0mm drill bit
  • water/tap with non metallic sink
  • 10P connector/dual row header 2*5pins
  • HCl/Muriatic acid ~30%
  • hydrogen peroxide ~3%

This my own design for the PCB, it is for ATtiny13 and a USBASP programmer as described on wiki, link above. Mine has the same exact connections, got it from eBay for less than $4.

Layout:
Clip goes down, pins solder with top layer, 2 vias = insert small piece of wire/pin and solder on both sides, connector is with key up, Vcc and GND are on bottom layer.
For some odd reason Vcc is not bold on wiki, but it must be needed, also USBASP has ground on pins 10 and 8, so I’ve made a trace to pin 10 and added an option to solder additional to other ones if desired. Pins 6 and 4 are not ground, see here so that’s a mistake on wiki and on online shop pictures. I don’t know what they are but GND is safely on pins 10 and 8.

Top:

Bottom:

The board is two sided due to the need to cross traces to get to the connector.
You will have to somehow manage to drill holes for the tiny clip that has pins 1.25mm apart. That is half the standard pitch. The holes are not in the design I’ve put SOIC ship there so it has the correct spacing and also show the orientation.

I hand draw the board with a pen, you can also print and iron it, search instructables for that.

I found a board that has standard pitch and made 2 additional holes close to them, closer than on the old PCI/CNR PCB board, you can reuse that one if you want as a guide for drilling holes. I drill holes first and then paint the board with a pen. Disconnect with a small flat screw driver or a needle any undesirable connections that are impossible to draw without overlap, like around the holes for pins.

Etch your PCB, clean etc., add vias, solder connector, bent pins so the match your drilled holes, 6 pins is enough that’s what I used as well. Insert pins to a clip and attach clip to PCB and solder all pins in place. If you manage to solder all pins together, remove solder with a vacuum desolder pump and carefully repeat soldering.

And voilà we have a functional SOIC clip to program ATtiny13 and other chips that fit the pin layout.

Connect ribbon cable and here we go.
I’ve added 2 header pins to the USBASP (JP2 and 3), and also set it to 3.3V instead of default 5V. Dunno if it makes a difference, the ATtiny13 can handle both I think.

Bring up the mighty command line and test, no connection at first, attach the clip and we have a connection, first try.

I like that the ribbon cable attaches directly and there is no additional mess of cables and pins to match.
Yes you need that clip for drying clothes, it makes pressure over the clip so it stays pressed and attached.

Indeed my connector is 14P not 10P, I pulled 4 pins out to make it fit the ribbon cable, I just use what I have at home.

So forget those tidly fidly Promona and 3M clips worth $12 – $30 that sometimes work and sometimes don’t anyway and make one yourself at home from old junk.

Edited by: JackCY on 06/19/2013 - 10:02
PilotPTK
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Jaw; Meet Floor. I’m all about budget, but I think I’ll buy the SOIC clamp Smile

Thanks for sharing your creation – that’s some awesome engineering..

PPtk

I am currently extremely busy with work. Please do not expect a response from me quickly. I will be dropping in as time permits, but the amount of time I can dedicate to responding to topics and PMs is very limited.

JackCY
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Thank you.

I wasn’t sure how using the cables will hold the pins in the plastic so I decided to make a PCB and spare myself the horrible cable soldering. Will try to reprogram my Keygos M10 today.

You can make a lot of these clips just from one PCI slot, I cut out 2 blocks, made it just from the first one in the end, so I still have a spare cut out to work with if anything goes wrong.

One needs patience and a bit of precision for sure.

I don’t know what other connectors might have the same pitch and possibility to be modified to be attachable to the SOIC chip.

The AGP will not work IMHO, it seems even smaller pitch and different pins.

MRsDNF
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I dont understand electronics but this looks orsm. Well done.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

Werner
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Looks nice. I haven’t bought one of the clips because I ever hear people complaining about them. Sadly I have no ambition to make one by myself.
I am tidying up my work table this weekend and after that I will probably make some fasttech orders so that i can play around with programming drivers in 3 weeks..
I have some pogo pins laying around for DIY programming adapters, but until now
I have programmed any controller with soldering connectors on them, I am fast with that and I get 100% connection.

JackCY
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Pogo pins should work, as long as they are small/thin enough.
Yes I read quite few complaints about the clips being sold and the price tag?

I would solder it otherwise as well if I didn’t find the DIY guide for it.
Having all the parts already at home, it was hard to resist not to make one Smile

FlashPilot
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Thats some great creativity JackCY. Thanks for the excellent DIY. I havent had a need to reprogram any of my drivers yet since I usually run most of my lights in medium or high mode, but your mod takes most of the pain out of reprogramming. I might have to give this a try.

JohnnyMac
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Nice job, Jack!  I already have the needed connector but if it gives me crap I can always do what you did and get around it.  I've been sitting on all the components needed to reprogram these drivers but haven't done it yet.  I really need to get on it.  You've inspired me enough to push me closer to that point. Wink

Major
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Ha ha that’s just awesome talk about ingenious. Gonna build one myself have a junked motherboard in the scrap box.

Manual Man
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Just purchased one of these: https://www.fasttech.com/products/1002900

Never could understand why the SOIC clips cost so much? ($20 for a piece of plastic and some wires?). Defiantly going to have to try this one out.

JackCY
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Manual Man wrote:
Just purchased one of these: https://www.fasttech.com/products/1002900

Never could understand why the SOIC clips cost so much? ($20 for a piece of plastic and some wires?). Defiantly going to have to try this one out.


I have the same, just cheaper $0.5 from eBay Big Smile

I thought I might make a case for it from a broken flash but I think I threw it away already.

Pulsar13
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Wow…

I’ll skip the acid and etching stuff, you could really just solder it directly to some CAT5 cable (got 8 wire colors in there) but the clip is a great idea! Thanks for sharing this.

This may sound anti-climactic, but I’m also just sharing ideas here… for under $5, with some careful manual placement, these would also work:

http://dx.com/p/plastic-multimeter-flat-test-hook-clip-grabbers-for-pcb-...

You get 20, LOTS of extras Smile

JackCY
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I doubt they are small enough, plus a huge hassle to attach all of them in such a small space.

I prefer to solder to PCB than to solder wires to 2 connectors. That’s all.

Now I’m etching another board for a flashlight switch, I use flux from a brush pen as a mask, works hell better than permanent marker.

Sirius9
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nice job there, I must subscribe to this topic Big Smile

 

PilotPTK
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So much work to save 8 bucks..

It’s cool and all, but It’s just so much easier to pay the 8 bucks.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/EEprom-CLIP-SOIC-8pin-8-pin-1pcs-with-cable-/170975592869?pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item27cef081a5&vxp=mtr

PPtk

I am currently extremely busy with work. Please do not expect a response from me quickly. I will be dropping in as time permits, but the amount of time I can dedicate to responding to topics and PMs is very limited.

Sirius9
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Actually it’s $11.88 (you forgot shipping) and even more annoying it needs about 3 weeks to deliver.
OR, it can be made in 30 minutes with some improvisation Smile
Also, this could be interesting to someone:

 

JackCY
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The clip unattached to the board.

Yes Sirius9 is right as I said the prices were about I noted with shipping. Don’t look just at some cheap clone clip for $8 without shipping. That’s not your final price.

Yes that’s a neat board too, but $2.30 for one piece of small PCB? Thank you no.