SparkFun ISP Pogo Adapter

Pogo pins make life so much easier when you are trying to program without having to solder a single thing, and when you attach them to an In-system programming (ISP) adapter they become instantly better, this simple kit allows you to do just that. Introducing the ISP Pogo Adapter, a simple and easy way to adapt pogo pins to a 6-pin ISP header allowing you to program an IC still without soldering a header to do so.

We've also included a labeled SIP header row and a 6-pin molex cable for you to be able to use your Arduino (or other single-board microcontroller) as an ISP device!

This adapter does come as a kit and assembly will be required.

  • 1x ISP Pogo Adapter PCB
  • 1x Molex Jumper 6 Wire Assembly
  • 1x JST Right Angle Connector
  • 1x Male ISP Header
  • 2x 3/8" Plastic Standoff
  • 4x 1/4" Phillips Head Screw
  • 6x Pogo Pin with Pointed Tip

SparkFun ISP Pogo Adapter Product Help and Resources

Pocket AVR Programmer Hookup Guide

July 7, 2014

Skip the bootloader and load your program directly onto an AVR with the AVR Pocket Programmer.

Installing an Arduino Bootloader

December 4, 2013

This tutorial will teach you what a bootloader is and why you would need to install or reinstall it. We will also go over the process of burning a bootloader by flashing a hex file to an Arduino microcontroller.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

2 Soldering

Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
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Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #134773 / about 3 years ago / 1

    Really wish there was a version of this that was "in-line" for the boards programmed with an FTDI Breakout boards (or this one or this one). I ended up having to build my own, which took a LOT longer than assembling a kit would have taken.

    BTW, if you do add a kit for the "in-line", please be sure to include a two-pin "header", or a switch, to allow for selection of an external power supply for the "target" or have the FTDI Breakout power it. (I used two pins of right angle headers, and a "shunt" of the type used to "program" old-style hard disk drives. I also used the right angle headers to connect to the FTDI Breakout boards.)

  • Member #265905 / about 3 years ago / 1

    I use it in combination with this board so I don't have to mess with wires: Arduino Nano as ISP

  • meekthegeek / about 8 years ago / 1

    I would like to know if the MOLEX connector has the same pin spacing as a standard breadboard/arduino pro mini.

    If it does then I am ordering 3 of them.
    a) One (1) for standard/intended use b) Two (2) boards being re-purposed for use with an FTDI connector for programming arduino pro minis.

    Please let me know if this is the wrong way to re-purpose the boards to make a pogo interface between an FTDI serial interface & an arduino pro mini. Biggest pain here is my lack of a drill-press.

      a) I need two (2) boards, one for the top, one for the bottom.  I will be throwing away the small board that gets snapped off, as well as the extra spacers an the extra molex connector.
      b) I use a 0.040" drill bit to widen the holes where the molex connector was originally intended to be attached.  I do this for both boards. (can it be done manually, or do I need a power drill)
       c) I use the "tape trick" on the top board (see assembly instructions) to serve as a stopper for the pogo pins.  I then assemble the top and bottom boards using the 3/8" plastic standoffs with screws.  If necessary, as a source of temporary stability, place another 3/8" spacer near the spot where the pogo pins will be placed to act as a temporary support.
       d) now I insert the pogo pins and solder them in place on the bottom board.
       e) now I remove the tape and solder the pogo pins to the top board.  Remove any temporary spacers.
       f) now I connect my cable assembly however I see fit.  This is the one that plugs into my FTDI device
       g) program arduino pro mini.

    Please let me know if this is the right way to make an FTDI pogo interface for an arduino pro mini.

    • Member #1664967 / about 3 years ago / 1

      I use this adapter to program a pro mini. It's much more efficient than trying to re-purpose this kit.

  • JohnnyD / about 11 years ago / 3

    Best product ever. EVER. Buying two right now.

    • JohnnyD / about 11 years ago / 1

      Is there any hope for a 10-pin JTAG programmer in the future?

      • SFUptownMaker / about 11 years ago / 1

        Not at the moment, I'm afraid. You could put your own together for a few bucks- the little protoboards we sell fit the pogo pins quite well.

  • urjaman / about 10 years ago / 2

    Suggestion: sell the kit without the PCB. eg. I have a ... special... piece of hardware that needs a different layout of pogo pins but still 6 pins AVR. I just ordered a modified version of the PCB from osh park and then tried to just order the 6-pin (2x3) header, standoffs, pogo pins and screws, but that combination was more expensive than the kit, so i got one of these kits, but it'll be half wasted because i dont need the molex things or the jst thing or the pcb...

  • darrylh / about 10 years ago / 2

    This definitely beats my "extra-long pins in a 6-pin IDC connector & hope it works" solution. I'd love to see an FTDI version of this for the Pro Mini and similar boards, too.

    • Member #591085 / about 9 years ago / 1

      I agree, I'm also waiting for a FTDI version with pogo pins in a straight line...

    • Member #474015 / about 10 years ago / 1

      I agree. I'm going to try to program some pro minis this way and see how well it works.

  • Hmm... Too bad SparkFun doesn't carry the 2x3 ISP cable with this or by itself...

    • SFUptownMaker / about 10 years ago / 2

      Well, most programmers that one might like to use with this already come with the 2x3 cable; we included the 1x6 cable to make it easy to interface this with an Arduino by fitting the wires into the appropriate headers.

      We do carry the 2x3 IDC connectors and the 6-conductor ribbon cable one would need to make a cable; it would be difficult for us to offer the completed cable for less than the $1.45 that two connectors and a 3' piece of cable costs.

  • Ed Hartnett / about 11 years ago / 1

    OK, got it, built it, now how to I use it to reprogram a LilyTiny?

  • Member #241991 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    For those that want another solution or need a different pin configuration, you can just use a 0.040 drill bit to drill out a standard female IDC connector (6pin, 10pin, inline, etc. - whatever ISP footprint you use there is a connector with the right pattern assuming a 0.1" spacing) and then press the pogo pins in. This is a 15 minute project assuming you have the cable you want to modify and including time to find your tools and put them away.

    I used the bit in a pin vise and just turned it by hand. You can feel when the bit hits the metal contacts. Very little plastic is removed and you may be able to skip the drilling step. Drilling made pressing the pins in easier and they are held very tightly. You may need to bend them a bit afterward to get them nice and straight but it is really easy. I also used polymorph to make a nice comfy finger pad for pressing the new connector onto the board. If you are using a non-standard spacing then you can bend the pins to, e.g., the smaller footprint. Here are some pictures of one I made tonight.

    Picture Album

  • ohararp / about 11 years ago / 1

    This video should be on the product links!

  • good idea, I had made one of these handmade

  • Chiel / about 11 years ago / 1

    Heh. i built myself a pogo isp header last year using some of your pogo-pins and a pair of ISP Breakout/converter boards. i made it to upgrade the firmware of the large serial LCD screen backpack which really needed the upgrade (was not one of the better works). its nice to see a old idea made into a kit. i still use mine to save on header pins...i go trough them like crazy!

    awesome that you are carrying a kit for those.that haven't tought of it. its very easy to make a pogo header by using 2 PCBs for allignement which you do.

    • SFUptownMaker / about 11 years ago / 1

      You might also be pleased to know that I just finished re-writing the Graphic LCD backpack code. Should be something up about that in the near future- I'd guess on a Friday project post, maybe?

  • SK Pang Electronics / about 11 years ago / 1

    Good product idea but the holes for the pogo pin on the PCB is too big. Its making pins out of alignment. Can you please make the holes smaller on the next revision.

  • Member #117147 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Tag Connect is a much more compact solution IMHO, and they come in JTAG flavors too. We've been using them for a few years now, and they work great. Maybe SFE should consider carrying them...

  • Member #394026 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Ok, 10 bucks more is the price to bring back to live my LilyTiny without getting crazy. Anyway, nice longterm solution. Complete set of usage options.

  • dizot / about 11 years ago / 1

    This is a great way to program boards with no additional cost per PCB. I've been doing this on my own boards for a few years, and it works great. My adapter board uses the standard ISP header as input, and spits-out the pogos in the same arrangement :

  • Did you guys get the idea for this from the guy who made LED cards for his wedding?

    • SFUptownMaker / about 11 years ago / 1

      No, I just found myself making basically this exact thing about once every six months (as you might imagine, being an engineer at SparkFun entails programming a lot of boards), and figured people might find it useful.

      It's especially nice for boards that you don't want a header sticking out of, like LilyPad boards.

  • Kamiquasi / about 11 years ago / 1

    Nice! There's been various questions in the past about how to reprogram a particular board, which usually leads to pointing out the ISP pins and then explanations of how you might hook something up to them (especially when it should be a temporary connection) - this will be a great product to link to.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5

Based on 4 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

Best programming tool ever!

This device makes programming many boards in a hurry a piece of cake! And it's so easy to build!

Works well

Using this service in productions of a very small product line. Works well as intended.

Note: We're using this with an Atmel AVRISO mkii programmer, and sometimes the programmer gets confused about the power connections and flashes an amber warning light to indicate something is connected wrong. Programming works fine anyway.


Easy to assemble and works great.

Nice and reliable

I use it in combination with this board so I don't have to mess with wires: Arduino Nano as ISP