Bootloading an Arduino with a ZIF socket allows you to easily program a lot of chips at once without worrying about mangling the pins. The reason for this is that ZIF stands for "zero insertion force," and as the name implies, ZIF sockets don't require any force to take the chip in or out. This means that you do not have to worry about any of the pins bending when you take the chip in and out of the socket. This is particularly useful if you need to bootload a lot of Arduino chips at once for inclusion in an electronics kit or if you need to repeatedly program a chip and transfer it back and forth between a separate circuit board.
Step 1: Go get stuff
You will need:
(as many as you want to program)
- An Arduino board
- A ZIF socket
- A breadboard
- 10K resistor
- (x2) 22pF capacitor
- 16mhz crystal
- Solid core wire
Step 2: Microcontroller pins
Microcontrollers typically ship with the pins bent slightly outwards. This makes them wider than a normal DIP socket like the one used on an Arduino. The chip on the left is an example of this.
A chip that has been properly inserted into an Arduino socket will have pins which are straight (at a right angle to the body of the chip). The chip in the middle is an example of this.
Unfortunately, chips that have been through the process of being forcibly inserted and removed from a normal socket sometimes end up looking like the chip on the right. Notice the pins are bent in every which direction.