DIY ESP8266 ESP-12 Socket - Snap Fit, Breadboard Friendly, No Soldering

24,641

347

40

Introduction: DIY ESP8266 ESP-12 Socket - Snap Fit, Breadboard Friendly, No Soldering

I've been looking for an ESP8266 (ESP-12) socket for a long time, and the way I see it, It had to have all of these properties:

  • 100% Breadboard Friendly
  • No soldering required
  • Snap Fit and snugly hold the ESP8266
  • DIY from everyday household items
  • Easy to print
  • Easy to build

I found a few solution on Thingiverse.com, But non of them met all my prerequisite, so I designed my own socket.

The socket turned out very good and the design met all my expectations and conditions, in addition it has a cool 'Spaceship' look.

Supplies

  1. 3D Printer (I used my Creality Ender 3 V2)
  2. Pliers
  3. Cutter
  4. #2 Paper Clips

Step 1: 3D Print

I designed the Socket using Autodesk Fusion 360 Personal and I highly recommended it - About 4 hours.

I 3D printed the model using my Creality Ender V2 - About an hour.

Slicing for the Ender 3 V2 was done using Cura with the basic settings, nothing special:

  • 20% Infill
  • 0.2mm Layer Height
  • No Raft
  • No Support

Step 2: Assemble the Pins

My biggest challenge was to make the pins stay in place between uses, while inserting and removing the ESP8266 and while connecting the socket to breadboards, in addition I didn't want to use glue or more 3D parts (casing and brackets) to keep the pins in place.

After several designs I came up with the solution - a tiny groove at bottom to fix the pin, together with the upper bridge, this design keep the pin in place by countering the upward\downward motion while using with breadboards and fitting the ESP.

The assembly is quite easy and straight forward once you get it, take a look at the animation and the video above to get a better idea.

For each pin:

  1. Open a paper clip to a straight wire
  2. Insert the wire to the inner hole (the short one)
  3. Leave enough wire for the bottom grove (don't bend it yet)
  4. Bend the upper part, use the top groove as guidance
  5. Use a marker to mark the outer hole (the long one) position on the wire
  6. Take out the wire and bend accordingly
  7. Insert the U shaped wire all the way down
  8. Flip the socket on a table or a flat surface
  9. Pull the outer pin to make it flash with the top part
  10. While pulling the inner pin, bend it half way through toward it's grove
  11. Cut any excessive material (Be carful, it can shot out - USE eye protection and pay attention to the cutting direction and projectile)
  12. Bend it all the way and fix it inside the groove

For ease of assembly, start from the left side, the nose of the 'spaceship' and work your way to it's engines.

Finally, trim all the pins to about 10mm.

Step 3: Quality Check and Usage

Plug an ESP8266 to the socket and using a multimeter perform a continuity test for each pin, touch the pin with one end and the gold headers on the ESP with the other end, make sure you don't accidently touching the pin wire.

When you plug the socket to a breadboard, apply force evenly and make sure you press down on the pins for added stability and to keep them from bending out.

My entire motivation for this project was to be able to program the ESP-12 module using a NodeMCU and doing so without any soldering, you can find more about this method here, now I can easily achieve this using my new socket.

Step 4: What's Next?

The first thing I've noticed is that the paper clip wire is a bit thick (0.8mm), I believe using a 0.6mm copper wire will be easier on your breadboard and make it less tight when plugin in the ESP.

I hope I can test it soon and upload my results.

Anything Goes Contest

Runner Up in the
Anything Goes Contest

4 People Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Back to School: Student Design Challenge

    Back to School: Student Design Challenge
  • Cheese Challenge

    Cheese Challenge
  • Fandom Contest

    Fandom Contest

40 Comments

0
manudmaker
manudmaker

1 year ago

very thoughtful , unfortunately I need to think of some other way as I don't have a 3D printer.

1
ndunks
ndunks

Reply 1 year ago

that not a problem, many 3d print services out there.. you just need to take the STL file when you order..

1
e.ma.niak
e.ma.niak

1 year ago

Nice, now i can test tham before soldering them onto pcb. If you want programing and autoreset, just wire it like in this schematic: nRST and GPIO0 goes to ESP, DTR and RTS to USB TTL programmer. Dont forget to add propper power suply, mine is LD1117AV33 and two capacitors. S8050 is BC548 on my breadboard.

esp_autorst.png20210514_132714.jpg
0
karlt1
karlt1

1 year ago

Very nice idea.
you have to do the same for the : raspberry pi pico ;)

0
tweeto
tweeto

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you I really appreciate it

1
gcai_fwb
gcai_fwb

1 year ago

darn good idea! thanks for sharing.

0
tweeto
tweeto

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you I really appreciate it

1
Makerming
Makerming

1 year ago on Step 4

Love your design, very elegant!

0
tweeto
tweeto

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you I really appreciate it

1
banman11
banman11

Question 1 year ago

Great instructable very creative!
Have you thought about making a 3d printed design for say a PLCC 44 style ic?
I do know:PLCC44 to DIP40 EZ Programmer Adapter Sockets are available for sale on the internet.... it's not always what's currently available but what is about to be.
Keep up the good work....

1
banman11
banman11

Reply 1 year ago

I had seen this article on hackaday.

https://hackaday.com/tag/epm7032/
A very good article actually.

The method you have is more elegant than these
https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_AWarGL

One can get the PLCC sockets in 2 formats however they are not breadboard friendly. I have tried with no success at all.

I would like to see a 3d printed breadboard friendly 44 pin PLCC socket. You are almost there with this great design.


1
banman11
banman11

Reply 1 year ago

If you design one I'll test it out. I have these EPM7032 PLCC IC's.

2
Ghloo
Ghloo

1 year ago

In a way, you are beating the small form factor of the board. :D But I love thie idea. And as I will be having a new printer on its way...

0
tweeto
tweeto

Reply 1 year ago

Actually, the entire idea was to preserve the form factor, and being able to program it without soldering, my main use for this socket is for development not for production.
once the ESP is program, you can integrate it directly with your project.

1
Ghloo
Ghloo

Reply 1 year ago

I was not being mean, I realy like that rig. The castelated contacts are not too convenient for me so I generally stick to a 8266 module or Wemos mini, but would certainly find a good use for this too.

2
YohannN
YohannN

1 year ago

Very, very smart.

Thanks a lot :)

0
tweeto
tweeto

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks, I really appreciate it.