IC squisher from skate bearings, acrylic scraps

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design Technology
IC squisher from skate bearings, acrylic scraps

ICsquisher.jpgSpotted in the MAKE Flickr pool, this handy homebrew jig from the UK’s oomlout:

We’ve recently grown annoyed with the slightly bow legged stance DIP ICs ship with (it makes inserting them into sockets ever so frustrating). Rather than continue to spend longer than we liked on less than perfect results we decided to make ourselves a little jig to help out.

Details and laser-cutter files are available at the link above. This post from EMSL is cited by way of inspiration.

6 thoughts on “IC squisher from skate bearings, acrylic scraps

  1. Mike Hord says:

    I worry about this damaging parts with static electricity.

    You’re basically taking one plastic (the IC) and rubbing it over another plastic (the acrylic)- there WILL be a static charge built up.

    Whether it is to a damaging level or not, I can’t say- but MOS structures (such as those found in most modern microcontrollers, like the Atmel part in the pic) start to get antsy at a few hundred volts. Something like this moves from the human-body model to the charged device model- which usually increases susceptibility by a factor of 10.

    On your home bench, this may not be a problem- you have only yourself to hurt. If you’re going to be running dozens or hundreds of parts through this, and selling them, that’s a different story.

  2. Aud1073cH says:

    I like the ingenuity of building the tool out of what is at hand. That’s the Maker spirit. :)

    @Mike – You could use some ESD safe plastic packaging instead of the acrylic. I’ve seen a sturdy black ESD plastic but I can’t remember the name of it. Or a DIP rail package could be cut apart to cover the acrylic with the lower part of the rail. Then use some spare wire or solder braid to connect the components to ground.

    Jameco and a few others sell a pre-made IC pin straightner.
    Just an alternative.

  3. Darkcobra says:

    I do like the device, it’s elegantly built.

    But having the IC pins at a slight angle gives them a spring action that helps keep them securely in the socket. You really shouldn’t make them perfectly straight as this device appears to do, because ICs may work loose from sockets in projects subjected to vibration over time. Or they may suffer from intermittent contact in cheap sockets if the project receives a knock. Just something to consider if you want your projects to last a long time. I found working on my insertion technique usually made pin straightening unnecessary, except for cases when IC pins were bent beyond factory spec.

    I also share the ESD concerns.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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