Tindie Blog | Pogo Pin Programmer for ATtiny85

As the seller notes in the listing for this pogo pin programmer for ATtiny chips, one of the prime motivations for using surface mount chips is to decrease board size and simplify the layout. Having to route the programming signals to a 6-pin 0.1″ header breakout not only takes up more room on the board but also makes the layout more complex.

Their answer? Ditch the programming header and create an adapter that presses directly onto the soldered chip. Pogo pins create a solid connection, and the 3D-printed adapter fits snugly over the SOIC-8W chips. Then just program the chip as usual!

The adapter works with all AVRISP programmers. One end of the adapter has the pins to accept the standard 2×3 header, which is included with most programmers by default. Even if you don’t have an AVRISP-style programmer, you can rig one up using an Arduino or Raspberry Pi. The creator also notes that you can program loose chips with this adapter by simply placing it on a hard surface and pressing the adapter down.

Pin 1 is clearly marked, so no need to worry about getting the adapter reversed. If you find yourself working with ATtiny45/85 chips (or any chips with compatible pinouts), this can be a great way to save space on your board layouts and make firmware updates quick and easy. Batch programming is also simplified, as there’s no need to plug and unplug the header in between each board. Keep an eye out for upcoming PIC adapters in the same style!