Pogo Pin Test Fixture For Breakout Boards

I’ve been busy producing my new Memory LCD Breakout Boards this week and in the course of production, I have arrived at the point where the boards I’ve made all need testing before I seal them up in anti-static bags with the extra, loose components that accompany them – of which their 0.1″ header strip is one.

I had noticed some months ago that Adafruit stock pogo pins and had ordered a packet of them in preparation for this day. They’re a great item for Adafruit to stock as you can’t buy them at Farnell or Mouser. So equipped with the pogo pins, some header and a little bit of stripboard, I set out to make a little test rig that would enable me to quickly and easily test all the boards I needed.

Pogo Pins and Header

I cut the stripboard slightly oversize so that I’d be able to get a good grip when inserting and extracting it from breadboards and lined up all the pogo pins where I wanted them. As you can see, they’re a bit loose in the holes and don’t stand up particularly well in the stripboard.

Pogo pins loose in stripboard

I managed to bring the pogo pins into line by stacking a couple of layers of unused stripboard underneath and pushing the pogo pins through those too, so that they were held by a total of 3 stripboard layers prior to soldering.

Pogo pins lined up

I was worried that the pins and the stripboard would conduct too much heat away from the soldering iron, but I turned the temperature up a little and they all soldered very nicely.

Pogo pins soldered into stripboard

After pulling the pogo pins free of the extra layers of stripboard, I quickly soldered the header strip and cleaned off all the flux residue.

Pogo pin test header complete

Given my method of lining them all up, the pogo pins do protrude through the base of the stripboard, but their ends are barely lower than the black plastic housing that holds all the standard header pins together and the little test fixture fits very nicely into a breadboard.

Pogo pin test fixture in breadboard

And it was immediately pressed into use – with very satisfying results.

Pogo pin test fixture and board under test
Pogo pin test fixture and board under test
Pogo pin test fixture and board under test

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