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Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:33 am
by DaveSemm
Years ago I came across springy pins that push into PCB through-hole plated connectors, so that you do not need to solder them - each plated-through hole acts as a socket. But I can't find them now. The idea is that instead of soldering pins onto the Pi Zero, I would have these pins on a board that the Pi could then be pushed on to. The closest I've seen is here: http://www.connectortips.com/use-compli ... r-designs/, but I'm looking for an actual product, with 20x2 0.1 inch spaced pins.

This will save the time of soldering pins on the Pi, and should give a lower profile connection, and might even be cheaper.

Does anyone know if such a thing exists, and where I can order them from?

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:22 am
by TheRayTracer
Your post reminds me of this from the '90's when you mentioned springs:

Image

Is that what you were referring to?

Or something a little more modern such as:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/e ... .75.3VLaqH

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:40 am
by rurwin
PiGraham just posted a link to the ones you have found. You can get them from SparkFun.

viewtopic.php?p=854367#p854367

I would think those would be your best bet if the insertion force is reasonable. I'm not sure I fancy pushing in a 40-way header of them without a proper mechanical press.

You might be able to find a plug that fitted but remember that the gold plating is not designed to have things inserted and removed. It would probably wear away quite quickly.

Edit: the SparkFun link is obsolete -- it's been discontinued. :(

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:50 am
by mahjongg
They are called "press fit headers"

I have tried to find dupont wires with press fit ends, but they don't seem to exist.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:19 am
by canyon
Before the advent of the B+, when there was only the Model B and Model A, there was an unpopulated 'P5' header adjacent to the GPIO connector which gave access to the I2S signals for audio.
Some Audio cards (such as the HiFiberry, which I've been happily using on a model B for a very long time) required you to solder pins on to the P5 holes.
Wolfson made an audio DAC card for the Model B that plugged in to the GPIO and used spring pins to connect to the P5 GPIOs.
See here for some discussion about it:
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=69550 (3rd post by leol on 24 Feb 2014 14:56)

So, suitable solder-free components for connecting to unpopulated GPIOs definitely exist.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:26 am
by rurwin
Mouser sell them, but they are significantly expensive. By the time you've populated all 40 ways, you'd be better off buying a Pi2. If you can get away with just a few pins then it might be a practical solution.

http://www.mouser.sg/Connectors/Headers ... er&FS=True
In case that (search) link fails, here's the 10-way strip: http://www.mouser.sg/ProductDetail/TE-C ... i6oHbW8%3d

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:54 pm
by rotwang
DaveSemm wrote:Years ago I came across springy pins that push into PCB through-hole plated connectors, so that you do not need to solder them - each plated-through hole acts as a socket. But I can't find them now. The idea is that instead of soldering pins onto the Pi Zero, I would have these pins on a board that the Pi could then be pushed on to. The closest I've seen is here: http://www.connectortips.com/use-compli ... r-designs/, but I'm looking for an actual product, with 20x2 0.1 inch spaced pins.

This will save the time of soldering pins on the Pi, and should give a lower profile connection, and might even be cheaper.

Does anyone know if such a thing exists, and where I can order them from?
I think the nearest thing would be "pogo pins" google search will throw up all sorts and shapes, but be aware that these are intended for test-jigs not for a permanent connection.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:05 pm
by DaveSemm
I'm not sure I fancy pushing in a 40-way header of them without a proper mechanical press.
True, but what I'm thinking of is a PCB with just the connections needed, so it might only be a few pins. The point is to make it cheap and easy, so instead of soldering 40 pins into the Pi and plugging them into a 40 pin socket, I'd have maybe 10 pins on the PCB that plug straight into the Pi.

I'm also not considering pushing it on and pulling it off multiple times. Ideally it only goes on once. If it needs servicing in future, I'd like to be able to pull it off and push it (or a replacement) back on a few times at most.

With some luck, I'm planning to make a whole lot of these, so saving a few cents and a few minutes on each will count.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:20 pm
by DaveSemm
Is that what you were referring to?
Only if they were really tiny springs :lol:

We're getting closer but still not exactly what I saw maybe 20 years ago... I sent a supplier a diagram that was close to one of their products - they said they will get back to me tomorrow.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:41 pm
by DaveSemm
Mouser sell them, but they are significantly expensive. By the time you've populated all 40 ways, you'd be better off buying a Pi2. If you can get away with just a few pins then it might be a practical solution.
The main aim is to make it cheap and small, so I would probably use just the pins the application requires - typically ground, power, and a few GPIO pins and Rx/Tx, or I2C, etc...

I'm following up on a few leads now and should have some more info tomorrow, and will post it back here.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:25 am
by blindsquirrel289
Any luck tracking down this solderless pin or did tomorrow never come?

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:28 pm
by Ronaldlees
rotwang wrote:
DaveSemm wrote:Years ago I came across springy pins that push into PCB through-hole plated connectors, so that you do not need to solder them - each plated-through hole acts as a socket. But I can't find them now. The idea is that instead of soldering pins onto the Pi Zero, I would have these pins on a board that the Pi could then be pushed on to. The closest I've seen is here: http://www.connectortips.com/use-compli ... r-designs/, but I'm looking for an actual product, with 20x2 0.1 inch spaced pins.

This will save the time of soldering pins on the Pi, and should give a lower profile connection, and might even be cheaper.

Does anyone know if such a thing exists, and where I can order them from?
I think the nearest thing would be "pogo pins" google search will throw up all sorts and shapes, but be aware that these are intended for test-jigs not for a permanent connection.
I looked at the Mill-Max pogo pins, and the cross-sectional diagram shows real coil springs. So - that's probably why they're 80 cents on Mouser (ouch). But, thanks for the link. I always seriously consider the caveat that they're intended for prototypes, but then I realize that the only things I have are prototypes! No Prob!

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:32 pm
by Paul Webster
Pimoroni may well have come up with the solution.
They have just released their "Hammer Header".
There is a new video on their site showing how to do it.
https://shop.pimoroni.com/collections/r ... mer-header

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:01 pm
by bullen
I need a better way to do the GPIO pins... I have hats both below and above the rpi zero... so I have pins going through the board... I could solder them but I wish there was a way to make the connection between the pins and the holes without soldering.

I'm only going to solder the pins I need = 3.3V, 5V, GRD, I2C, SPI and a few other GPIO.

Why are there 8 ground pins? Why is there no documentation on which ground and positive pins a hat uses!?!

They all decidedly take for given that they will be used alone on all pins.

I'm so confused by this header design, since it leaves open the collision of pins by multiple hats!?!?!?!?

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:43 pm
by piglet
bullen wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:01 pm
it leaves open the collision of pins by multiple hats!?!?!?!?
The definition of "HAT" makes that impossible. If you can stack them then they're not HATs.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:21 pm
by bullen
Ok, well I mean "things that you will use with your pi". Sometimes (actually always when making something useful) you'll want to use 2 things at the same time.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:16 am
by flatmax
We have launched a 40 pogo pin clamp connector which may be of interest to you, check it out here :
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12 ... forumpogo0

It is a solderless 40 pin connection option, can be used for Pi Zero headerless systems, or similar.

Matt

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:04 am
by rurwin
At AUS$29, that isn't a solution for take-home projects, but it's a great idea for labs, quick experiments and prototypes. I've backed it.

Re: Solderless connector pins for Pi Zero GPIO

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:12 am
by flatmax
Thank you, greatly honoured to have a moderator on board . It lifts the product's reputation no end !

Matt