SOIC to DIL Adaptor Part I

OK, so (I think) I needed one. There is a reason in this. In some cases, it is not easy to fit a normal sized IC chip into a small cramped space. A normal IC chip would be very bulky. Add an IC socket to it, its even worse. And so, the only solution would be to use a SMT (Surface Mount) version. A SMT device offers the advantage of small size and also, comsumes less power compared to a normal IC. But in this case, I am looking at its amazing size. (Look down below this pic)

(L to R) A typical SMT IC chip, a normal 20-pin DIL
IC chip and the usual 18-pin IC chip I normally use.

You see, when you stick a normal IC onto the surface of a circuit board, its already taken up quite a bit of space. And when you add an IC socket to it, you'd have in crease its height was well. So, you can see where I'm going to. But there is aother problem with SMT devices. Since the IC chip I am going to use is programmable, I cannot just unplug it from the circuit board and then to the programmer like I'd always do with a normal IC. Because it does not have a normal "leg" like an IC, I would have to solder it to the circuit board in order to make connections. And if I want to program and re-program as often as I like, just just by desoldering the chip from the circuit board is as good as destroying it. And if I want it to be portable, I would need to solder that SMT chip onto a circuit board which converts it to a normal chip. Which also means going back to square one.

And so, this adaptor is the only solution. But of course, I would still need to use a normal IC when prototyping. Once its confirmed, I would use the adaptor to program the SMD version before soldering it. Good idea? Yes and No. For you see, this adaptor can only solve part of the problem, which is to program the SMD IC without any soldering. But if I need to program it again and again AFTER it has been soldered, I would be in deep trouble and the only way to do this is to sacrifice some of its I/O pins to become programming pins for in-circuit programming. This is the train of thought at the moment as I have not researched deeper into this. But if there is a solution to do in-circuit programming without sacrificing some I/O pins, then this RM65.00 adaptor would be useless. Heh.

Actually, this was the cheapest adaptor I could find on the Net. Their prices actually ranged from USD70 onwards. But then again, I guess I just got lucky and found this supplier which sells ONE item instead of the "Our minimum order is 1000 pieces"crap.

Surprisingly, the seller delivered the adaptor to me
in record time. Just when I least expect it!

This is how the SOIC to DIP adaptor looks like. Its very
tiny and the connectors looked very fragile.

I am not sure how it works at the moment, but since
this is a ZIF version, my best guess is to push the
adaptor down to reveal the connectors, insert the
chip there and then release your fingers where
the adaptor would lock the IC into place.