Pogo Pins: The Aging of Technology
The large pogo pins are one the oldest and used contacts that established an image of being a reliable and trustworthy technology for many applications. The golden spring-loaded contacts played an important role in making temporary connections most often used for electronic testing ever since it was first created. Pogo pins nowadays are being used for more permanent connections in digital devices such as cell phones, laptops, computers, and other electronic devices. Due to the pogo pins’ durability, small size, and their ability to absorb large vertical mismatches between the connectors in which they are being embedded, a lot of people among engineers and manufacturers rely on them. These pogo pins provided the crowd with a very flexible solution for a world that wants to make quick connections with batteries, laptop screens, and I/O ports. The pogo pins design got challenged due to mobile devices that began using the USB 3.1 Type C and USB SS. These spring-loaded contacts although said to operate at these higher speeds are not made to operate at higher speeds.
What the pogo pins were never intended to do
Pogo pins were never designed with high-speed data transfer meaning having 5.0 Gbps or higher in mind. How the pogo pin works are as follows:
- The mating end of the contact is being plated with gold and is often a sharp point.
- When the sharp point is being pressed against the softer mating contact which is a gold plated pad, the connection is then made.
- Since no wiping action is being made, a standard pin and socket contact, the design of a pogo pin is more subjected to contamination and corrosion increasing the contact resistance through the connection which makes it more difficult for low voltage and high-speed signal to get transmitted.
- The second source of design issues is from the internal spring. This must make good contact with the pogo pin’s plunger and base which most often can get problematic. This spring brings inductance into the contact because of its spiral design.
- Last but not the least, the issues of using these spring-loaded contacts in matched-impedance systems are overcome with each signal circuit surrounded by several ground circuits to isolate the contact’s signal path from the surrounding signal paths.
Pog pins create a great job with lower frequencies and power transmission, although it shows its inherent design weakness when it comes to high-speed circuits. There are several limiting variables at play which makes and affects a pogo pin’s capacity to function at higher speeds. What may cause high levels of contact resistance are the poor quality metal, shoddy structural integrity, and cheap construction. But despite all these downsides of pogo pins, there are a lot of manufacturers emerging in the market that provide you the best and minimizes the issues of the old pogo pins.