[Solved] Add pin sockets to RPi Pico design

Hi! I have been using this repo, GitHub - ncarandini/KiCad-RP-Pico: A simple repository of files needed to add a 3D footprint of the Raspberry Pi Pico board to KiCad., to be able to add a Raspberry Pico to KiCad. By looking at the design, it’s clear that through holes are made in the PCB which lines up with the Pico H/WH which has header pins. I am wondering if there is a way to add pin sockets on those holes in KiCad to make an accurate design, but also to make sure that adding pin sockets will work.

Thank you for any help!

Yes… Some options…

If you already have the Footprint and/or 3Dmodel (Step) for the Footprint, then simply place the PinHeader/Socket part you want. Then, Edit the Placed Footprint’s 3D placement (raise it’s Z dimension as needed.

Note: You can also do this for more permanent use by Editing the Library footprint…

Here’s example of mine… which includes SMD pads for Castelation and PinHeader

Not 100% sure what you are asking. You want to make a plugin board? Then just start with the original design and strip everything out but the header footprints.

Symbol would be the same. For 3D model you have two options:

#1 - to edit it yourself (for example in FreeCAD or something similar). There are 3D models of pin headers or pin sockets available online (or even in KiCad 3D models).

#2 - if I’m right you can have more than one 3D model displayed in KiCad for one part. You can add 2.54mm pin headers or pin sockets to the Pico model and offset the Pico itself to sit higher on top of the pins

Would you mind taking a look at the RPi pico repo and see if it’s even possible to had pin sockets? Also, here is my PCB repo if you would like to take a look, GitHub - TFM110/picocolorsensor: Rev V3 Color Sensor Library for Raspberry Pi Pico

The files are .WRL and Sketchup files. Can’t do anything to WRL beyond using for images.

I don’t use Sketchup so, can’t comment.

I’m not clear on exactly what you want - looks like you want to use an existing board with Pico and headers already mounted as shown in the repo-WRL.

You can make a Footprint and use that WRL for the 3D. Can raise it’s Z dim (so it’s above the Kicad PCB) when making the footprint. Then, use it - place the Footprint on PCB and place PinHeaders/Socket Footprints underneath it (results would be the same as if you’d used 3D Step file).

Sorry, let me explain a bit more. The PCB markings that is made from the Pico footprint, can I solder pin sockets to those holes so I can use a pico H

Have you looked for pin sockets to buy? You’ll find that they indeed have solder tags that go into THT pads. But the trick is to find a. pin socket that has the right number of positions. Forget about say butting two 20 lengthwise to get 40, or something like that. You’ll find that they will clash in the middle. You must get a 40 position socket connector. I found out the hard way.

I think I understand.

You want a mother board (green arrow) with sockets (blue arrows) and you want to solder another two 20 hole sockets in the mother board where the red lines are drawn so you can plug in a Pico H instead of soldering the Pico to the mother board.

That idea is good and it would work.
BUT: the mother board project you link does not have holes, it is surface mount, and there is no provision for the outer connectors.

Sandpaper? file? sharp axe? :slightly_smiling_face:

Some connectors do finish 1/20" or 1.27mm from centre of hole.

Yes, that’s exactly what I meant, but my PCB does has the through holes for the pico, so theoretically, I should be able to put the pin sockets, there?

Yes, that is fine.
Sorry, I mistakenly thought you were looking for a motherboard also.

Ah, no worries.
So if I bought 2 of these, https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/sullins-connector-solutions/PPPC201LFBN-RC/810192, and 1 of https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/sullins-connector-solutions/PPPC031LFBN-RC/810175, and I solder them to my PCB, I’m good, right?

Yes, you are good, that will work. :+1:

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Sweet, thank you so much

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As per my post higher up in the thread - use option #2 and add more models to 3D model of your Pico (you can have more than one, so in this case Pico + whatever connectors you prefer).

I use Pico from my RPI library and added pin header or one side and pin socket on the other side just to show the idea:



You may need to tweak their positions.
In my case I raised up the Pico by 2.5mm to make space for the header underneath, then rotate pin header and pin socket.

The result is as below:


Just a note:
If you plan to solder the pico directly to the PCB with the castellations, then put some spacer in between. Maybe a piece of kapton tape, or just paper will work. (Although paper is not ideal because of moisture absorption) Solder mask is not intended to serve as an isolation barrier, and putting PCB’s directly on top of each other sometimes does create shorts.

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Intention (as noted in OP) is to use the pico H which is pre-assembled with pins on the pico board. The whole thread is about whether sockets can be used on his mother board.

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Yes I know, but because the PCB also has added SMT pads to directly mount the Pico PCB I thought is was worth adding a reminder.

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Sort of a Summary:

Choice 1; Solder Pico directly to PCB via soldering the Castellations to the PCB’a SMD Pads (use non-conductive material under the Pico or, make a nearly-full-size cutout under the Pico

Choice 2: Solder Pico directly to PCB via Pin-Headers

Choice 3: Solder Pico_H directly to PCB

Choice 4: Solder Pin-Sockets to PCB and Plug the Pico_H into them
Sounds like this is the Choice you want…

(Regarding the Pin-Sockets: Buy long strips and cut/sand as needed… last image

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