The majority of issues with using clips in-circuit are from power issues, bus contention, and the clips making poor contact with the flash memory. Unfortunately with so many variables, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what the problem is.

First Steps

I recommend watching the troubleshooting video along with the more in depth tutorial video to get an idea of what to look for. It might also be helpful to watch the FlashcatUSB Mach1 and XPORT 2.0 Clip Adapters video if you have the newer FCCA adapters.

Power Problems

The wires in the clip flat flex cable are really thin and are often unable to supply adequate power to the flash while it is still soldered to a device. In my experience, an external power supply connected to the device is always necessary.



If you have the power supply adapter
If you’re using an external power supply

Bus Contention

If the CPU/MCU/FPGA connected to the flash is powered on it may try to access the flash at the same time as the FlashcatUSB, which will cause issues. If that is the case then you’ll have to figure out how to prevent the CPU/MCU/FPGA from doing that, usually by putting it into a reset state.


Reset State

If you find that the CPU/MCU/FPGA is accessing the flash memory you can try putting it into a reset state.

Poor Clip Contact

Even though the flash memory is in a standard package there will always be some variation in size between each specific chip, the same goes for each clip. This is generally the main cause of poor clip contact.


Examples of Trimmed Clips


If you need to trim the clips because of components around the flash be careful, it’s easy to mess up the pins doing this.

Matching Dots


Applying Pressure