ZIFduino – Arduino Uno with built in ZIF socket
I know what you’re thinking, “Zilla, you can’t just throw ‘duino’ on the end of an acronym to create a new word”. Yes I can. I just did, and it felt great. May I present to you, the ZIFduino. It comes from the Latin root Arduino meaning “open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software” and ZIF meaning zero insertion force. Essentially, the ZIFduino is an Arduino Uno board with a 28-pin ZIF socket soldered in the place of the original DIP socket.
Why would you want to risk destroying your 30 dollar Arduino to put a 3 dollar ZIF socket on it? For the same reason we put a man on the moon, because we can! But if you’re looking for a more practical reason think about this: the Arduino Uno is a very powerful board but at 30 bucks it can be prohibitively expensive if you have multiple projects that require a microprocessor. This realization becomes even more striking when you find that you can use the ‘brains’ of the Arduino, the ATmega328, independently of the Uno board for only a few dollars in passive parts. If the zombie apocalypse doesn’t happen first, I’ll consider doing a post on running a standalone ATmega328. In the mean time, you’ll just have to Google standalone ATmega328.
If you’ve made it this far you deserve a medal. Seriously. But I promise it’s been worth the wait, because I’m going to tell you how to make your own ZIFduino.
What you need…
- Soldering Iron
- Solder Wick
- Diagonal Pliers (aka Diagonal Cutters)
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Small Flat File
- Mini Flathead Screwdriver
- Arduino Uno ( w/ ATmega328 microcontroller)
- 28-pin ZIF (zero insertion force) Socket
What you need to do…
First, remove the ATmega328 microcontroller from the Arduino Uno DIP socket by slowly prying them apart. Be sure to work the ATmega328 from both sides so you don’t bend any of the pins (if you bend them a little bit, don’t worry, I won’t tell). Next, remove the existing DIP socket on the Uno. Use the solder wick to remove the solder securing the DIP socket to the board. I found that by cutting the DIP socket up in to little parts (using diagonal pliers) you could remove it a few pins at a time. Once the DIP socket and the excess solder has been removed, you can fit the ZIF socket pins into the holes on the board. Depending on your ZIF, socket some finish work (or in my case, a great deal of finish work) may be required to fit the ZIF pins into the holes left by the DIP socket. I suggest using a small flat file to do this work. When the ZIF socket fits onto your Arduino Uno board to your satisfaction, you can solder it in place and enjoy!
And now for a few pictures of my completed ZIFduino.
*Big ups to my main man Pete for doing all the work while I stood over his shoulder telling him that if he messed up I would hold him liable. Luckily, the man is like a surgeon with a soldering iron.
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