Back in September 2020 MMC designed and patented new type of uncommitted PCB connector meant for temporary circuit access, such as ICSP or SWD programming, JTAG scanning, debugging etc. The connection is done through the edge of the PCB using castellated holes located around PCB corner. It’s name EdgeWedge™ comes from the principle of firmly holding connector in place by wedging PCB corner in slanted vertical pins. Spring load action is provided by flexibility of PCB material.
The idea of using castellated holes for this purpose is not new, see for instance edge-connect family of connectors. What’s new is this:
- True zero space required on the PCB surface, no retaining holes, contact pads, nothing. Nevertheless, connector will reliably latch in place with positive click with no chance it will accidentally unplug itself.
- Connector cost. While edge-connect type will run $80-$90, while EdgeWedge™ adapter is $29 ($15 in a kit form).
- DIY style. If desired, EdgeWedge™ connector can be built by anyone from common materials. Plans and drawings presented here and can be downloaded for free. Try this with Edge-connect type!
- Flexibility. EdgeWedge™ can be implemented with any number of contacts. The mating connector fitted on the other side of adapter can be any type to match your programming or debugging tools: the example on this page utilizes two common mating connectors: 6 pin modular jack and 6 pin header as this particular adapter shown here is meant for Microchip’s programming/debugging tools such as ICD2/3/4 or PICKIT2/3/4. Granted, adapter can be used with other tools, as it consists of just straight through uncommitted connections between both ends.
Here below are few photos what the EdgeWedge™ connector looks like:
|ISO Front||Top View||Front View||ISO Rear||Side View||Corner Connect||Edge Connect||PCB Kit|
Connecting EdgeWedge to a PCB. insert the corner and press down, it will snap in:
Disconnecting EdgeWedge from a PCB. Hold the adapter and simply lift up your board:
You can download Gerber files to make your own adapter here. This set of Gerbers represent a PCB kit with sample board to connect to, and can easily be modified with your CAD tools.
Complete adapters or DIY assembly kits are available from Metric Mind Corporation.