How do I use this test socket ?

Thread Starter

Seanm1

Joined Feb 9, 2024
6
Hi - I'm a student looking to build a test board for an IC. All the test sockets that I found at ARROW and Digikey look like this and I have mounting problems. The test sockets open and close nicely but that's all it can do. I need to affix the test socket to a something . There are no mounting holes on either side of the test socket. If I only solder it to the board, then I risk compromising the solder joint and weaken the wiring. I've tried to disassemble the test socket but the screws are too short to go to a PCB and if I tighten the screws on a board, the socket doesn't spring open.
How do you use this style of test socket and how does one screw it down to substrate or something ? How do I work with this ?? It seems like a dumb design if someone is constantly testing and ICs and needs to open and close the contacts . Much thanks in advance to those of you read this and help me.
Screen Shot 2024-03-09 at 7.13.21 PM.pngScreen Shot 2024-03-09 at 7.13.21 PM.png
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,988
It seems like a dumb design if someone is constantly testing and ICs and needs to open and close the contacts .
That's the whole point of a ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket. You open, insert an IC, close, test, open, remove the IC, repeat.

Instead of badmouthing a brilliant design, why don't you explain what you're trying to do.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,392
Hi - I'm a student looking to build a test board for an IC. All the test sockets that I found at ARROW and Digikey look like this and I have mounting problems. The test sockets open and close nicely but that's all it can do. I need to affix the test socket to a something . There are no mounting holes on either side of the test socket. If I only solder it to the board, then I risk compromising the solder joint and weaken the wiring. I've tried to disassemble the test socket but the screws are too short to go to a PCB and if I tighten the screws on a board, the socket doesn't spring open.
How do you use this style of test socket and how does one screw it down to substrate or something ? How do I work with this ?? It seems like a dumb design if someone is constantly testing and ICs and needs to open and close the contacts . Much thanks in advance to those of you read this and help me.
View attachment 317294View attachment 317294
I've used dozens and dozens of ZIF sockets and never needed to screw one down to the PCB or vector board but these types do have mounting holes for screws.
1710032924708.png1710032987985.png
 

Thread Starter

Seanm1

Joined Feb 9, 2024
6
You solder it to a PCB.
I realize that it needs to be soldered to the PCB, but after opening can closing the socket about 30 or more times, the lever on the arm slides the contact where the solder meets the leads and cracks the solder joint. I need to mount or drill a whole into the zif socket so it doesn’t wiggle within the PCB holes. I thought this could use these zif sockets as a test socket, but maybe there is something different out there in the market ?
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,392
I realize that it needs to be soldered to the PCB, but after opening can closing the socket about 30 or more times, the lever on the arm slides the contact where the solder meets the leads and cracks the solder joint. I need to mount or drill a whole into the zif socket so it doesn’t wiggle within the PCB holes. I thought this could use these zif sockets as a test socket, but maybe there is something different out there in the market ?
I don't know that brand you have but your real problem is a cheap ZIF socket (that will likely still fail if bolted to a board) if that's happening after only 30 cycles. I've used good ones (like pictured above) that were just soldered on a board for years without failure.
https://www.arieselec.com/product/10002-high-temp-universal-dip-zif-test-socket/
 
Last edited:

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,988
I realize that it needs to be soldered to the PCB
They don't.

I have DIY EPROM programmers where I install them in dual wipe sockets. It usually takes some fiddling to get the socket to open/close correctly, but it can be done. I also have wire wrap sockets for Textool ZIF sockets.

I have programmers with Textool ZIF sockets soldered on PCBs and none of them have problems with solder joints breaking after a few dozen uses.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,392
These sockets are Zero Insertion Force. So where’s the force coming from that’s breaking good solder joints?
They are likely super cheap Chinese knockoffs of good brands. With bad metal, bad plastic, bad design and maybe bad solder, you don't need much force.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
30,920
I have used ZIF sockets of different sizes many times in the past when they were much more expensive than what they cost now. I could not afford to have them soldered in a permanent location.

So what I did was solder regular DIP sockets to the programmer board. Then I soldered a DIP pin header to the ZIF socket. Now I was able to reuse the ZIF socket when and where ever needed. I never had a problem with it coming loose.
 

Thread Starter

Seanm1

Joined Feb 9, 2024
6
I have used ZIF sockets of different sizes many times in the past when they were much more expensive than what they cost now. I could not afford to have them soldered in a permanent location.

So what I did was solder regular DIP sockets to the programmer board. Then I soldered a DIP pin header to the ZIF socket. Now I was able to reuse the ZIF socket when and where ever needed. I never had a problem with it coming loose.
thanks, I'm still studying this for my EE class so I appreciate all the feedback... Can you explain how you were able to control the "DIP PIN HEADER' from experiencing the opening and closing stress on the wired pins that have solder ? Did you solder to a stand off pin and then put the other side to the pin into the DIP SOCKET ? Maybe I'm pulling the lever too hard when I open the ZIF socket?? I just located a ZIP socket that opens while pushing down on the ARIES website. I was wondering if the DIP PIN HEADER acts a kind of shim that absorbs the force of the lever ? BIG THANKS for helping!
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
30,920
I don't see this as being a huge problem. Just hold on to the test socket as you activate the lever when closing and opening.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,988
The pins will flex when you open and close the socket regardless of whether or not you hold the socket. I have boards with ZIF sockets soldered to them that have gone through many hundreds of open/close cycles and not one has broken a solder joint.

I'd inspect the solder joints for issues.

I install the ZIF sockets in dual wipe sockets on boards I assemble so I can remove the ZIF sockets if I want to use them elsewhere.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,781
I honestly cannot understand what problem you are having. Or are you just guessing, expecting problems where none exists?

"It seems like a dumb design if someone is constantly testing and ICs and needs to open and close the contacts"

Not a professional myself, far from that, used them in tens of designs, intensively and for long periods. And, good I did. No IC was damaged (I managed to destroy some but not with ZIF sockets).

Could you show a really good picture showing how the ZIF is assembled and one showing the pins side?
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,392
I honestly cannot understand what problem you are having. Or are you just guessing, expecting problems where none exists?

"It seems like a dumb design if someone is constantly testing and ICs and needs to open and close the contacts"

Not a professional myself, far from that, used them in tens of designs, intensively and for long periods. And, good I did. No IC was damaged (I managed to destroy some but not with ZIF sockets).

Could you show a really good picture showing how the ZIF is assembled and one showing the pins side?
The OP just needs to buy quality parts or at least something better than the rock-bottom clone junk from China. One quality ZIF from a place like ARIES is all he needs IMO.

 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
3,970
Some solutions to the 'breaking joint' problem - assuming its the casing thats moving to break the joint and not bad design of the jaws:
1. Use some component fixation glue - either a high-hardness neutral-cure silicone rubber or a 2-part epoxy
2. Retain the case with a bracket glued to it
3. 3D print a retaining piece.
 

Thread Starter

Seanm1

Joined Feb 9, 2024
6
The OP just needs to buy quality parts or at least something better than the rock-bottom clone junk from China. One quality ZIF from a place like ARIES is all he needs IMO.

This explains it nicely.... the pressure is distributed to the socket for the ZIF . THANK YOU. I'm going to buy this kit.
 

Thread Starter

Seanm1

Joined Feb 9, 2024
6
Some solutions to the 'breaking joint' problem - assuming its the casing thats moving to break the joint and not bad design of the jaws:
1. Use some component fixation glue - either a high-hardness neutral-cure silicone rubber or a 2-part epoxy
2. Retain the case with a bracket glued to it
3. 3D print a retaining piece.
I will try it.
 
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