Can I use a socket for my 3pi MCU chip?

I volunteered to help my friend repair his 3pi robot. While doing isp programming, he lost battery power and killed his micro-controller chip. I have limited smt soldering skills, here’s my question: Rather than replacing the micro-controller chip with another chip, i’d like to replace it with a socket, so if there are any future mishaps, he can simply remove the chip from the socket and replace it if need be. Is replacing the microcontroller chip with a socket feasible, practical for this robot?


If you know how to make the necessary connections to the correct pads, then using a socket should be okay. The AVR is on the bottom of the 3pi. Are you going to mount the socket on the bottom? Is your socket short enough to not hit the ground? A socket on the bottom will almost certainly reduce your friend’s 3pi’s clearance.

You can usually avoid this problem of breaking the AVR while programming by making all of your programs show the battery voltage on the LCD and not programming them unless the number is safe.

If you aren’t set up to do SMT soldering, you can send the 3pi back to Pololu to have the MCU replaced. Please let me know if you’re interested in this.