Pogo Pins Make Light Work Of IoT Switches

Living in a condo with inadequate opportunity for fresh light wiring presented a problem for [Raphael Luckom], which he solved by taking a few off-the-shelf ESP8266-based IoT mains switches. That in itself is nothing particularly new these days, but what makes his switches special is that when faced with fiddly soldering to reprogram them, instead he fabricated a pogo pin jig to make the required contacts.

He took inspiration for his work from a Hackaday.io project hacking some Chinese switched outlets. They contain a standard ESP-12 module, so identifying the correct pins to program them was easy enough. He simply had to create a jig for his pogo pins, which he did with his 3D printer. Of course, “simply” is not an appropriate word, because along the way he had to pass through many iterations of the print, but eventually he had his jig secured to the boards with a clamp.

The result: a successful relay, and without the tricky soldering. We know many of our readers will have no problems with a bit of solder, but for those of you that don’t there might be a bit of interest here.

We’ve shown you many ESP8266 switches over the years. This all-in-one socket system was rather clever, but we’ve had some simple switches too.

7 thoughts on “Pogo Pins Make Light Work Of IoT Switches

  1. Rather than iterating over multiple time consuming 3D prints, consider layout out the design and printing a paper copy and using that to verify spacing.

    I’ve been known to use a flatbed scanner to scan a device and then trace an outline of it for making tool holders (in my case, with a laser cutter). IN that case, a quick cut of a piece of scrap cardboard nets a nearly zero cost and pretty quick template to validate with – but printing the design on a piece of paper first is even quicker. Do the same thing with PCB designs (esp where the PCB needs to fit into an enclosure – you can set SMD parts on the paper to verify that the pad sizes are correct for the parts you have, and can push through hold leaded devices through the paper with ease (hint: set the paper on a piece of rigid foam).

    I use pogo pins on a shop-built ICSP adapter for programming my own PCBs, and the total contact time is minimal enough that I don’t need a special clamp mount – it’s sufficient to hold it steady for a few seconds.

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