New video by Michael; The Factory | Optimising a Prototype Display Module

New video!

This week in The Factory we’re showing off a new OLED display prototype! These will be a challenging board to assemble in quantity, but a well worth addition to PiicoDev.

Graphic displays are such a powerful addition to any MicroPython project - in this short demo, the Raspberry Pi Pico is displaying uptime, text, and a few graphic lines. We’ve also worked on the mechanical jig from last week, improving the sliding mechanism and refining the dimensions.

This video can also be viewed here


Hi Michael
Good one. I can see that being a handy little gizmo.
Like your test jig. I designed something similar some years ago to test, measure and categorise Sidac devices used in the high voltage generation in starting mercury vapour high power lamps. What interested me here is the connection method. My device used pogo pins as there were only 2 contacts.

I note your jig is using generally available small connectors. This is just a reminder that these will have a useable life time when you may see erroneous results. The connectors on the board will only be used once by you during testing but the jig connectors will be used many times over. I don’t know what the expected mating cycle maximum is for those particular connectors or if it will be even published but please be aware that they may have to be renewed on a regular basis dependant of course on your production quantities.

You are probably aware of all this and have everything in hand but I thought a little reminder may not go astray.

For interest here is a paragraph from an Amphenol article on this subject.
“The material used for connector contact, plating type and thickness is a major factor that determines the mating cycles of a connector. Cheaper connector pins made of copper alloy with tin plating will lose its effectiveness after 10-15 mating cycles. Whereas, a connector made with quality contacts like beryllium copper or phosphor bronze with thick gold plating can last for 500-1000 cycles.”

For instance the common Dsub connector is quoted by Canon as 50 to 500 mating cycles depending on connector grade, pin type and material and plating. McMurdo quote a bit better than this for some reason. USB connectors on the other hand quote a remarkable 1500 to 5000. Whether you can believe it or not only time can tell.
Cheers Bob
PS keep up the interesting videos.


Hey thanks for the heads-up @Robert93820 Rob :slight_smile:

True to form, the cables here are the same PiicoDev cables available for purchase on the front page - so this jigging is also a bit of a life-cycle test for these cables. I’m happy to report that so far every PiicoDev module has been tested on a single production jig (this one!) sporting two such cables. We’ve made our way through at least a couple thousand so far without having to replace the cables.
The nice thing about using our own PiicoDev cables in testing is that we stock the spare parts :wink: Once the connector does wear out it’s be super easy to replace the cable.

I think as well there’s a balance to be struck in partially engaging the connector during testing. I found that when using the original jig I would only partially engage the test connector - for speed and reduced operator strain. It was easier to get into a rhythm. I’d expect that reduces wear on the connector too, since the contacts do less sliding and flexing.

In any case, thanks for your thoughts. Conversations like this are exactly why we make these videos.

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