Introduction: 5-Min Project: Mini Probe Hooks

Picture of 5-Min Project: Mini Probe Hooks

Breadboard are great! They allow incredible fast prototyping of most small circuits in not time. This is ideal if you just want to get some quick measurements before soldering the final circuit together.

Naturally the workspace gets messy really soon. And it gets worse as soon as you try to attach your multimeter or bench supply. The probes don't fit right into the board so I ended up adding small wires which then plug into the breadboard, risking shorts due to cable movement.
It kinda worked till I got my four-channel scope, but twelve wires at the same time are simply to much to handle.

My solution are these little jumpers, intended to provide a good grip for any kind of probe hooks or alligator clips. Incredible simple, basicly free and made in less than 5 minutes*!


Contents:

  1. Features
  2. Tools
  3. Materials
  4. Desolder
  5. Bend
  6. Use it
  7. Final Words

→Allsteps


*TL:DR: Read the bold printed text only if you want to be as fast as possible!

Step 1: Features

Picture of Features

Still not convinced? They are better than wires because:


Tidy.

All probes and clips will be secured at their place; no moving - no shorts!

Sturdy.

They won't bend, they won't break.

Reliable.

Gold plated pins result for zero corrosion and the least contact resistance.

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools

Tools:

  • soldering iron or hot air rework station

    both work well, pick whatever you have (or are more comfortable with)

  • fine pliers

    required unless you finger a heat resistant to a few hundred degrees

  • round nose pliers

    if you don't have then they can be substituted with a small cylindrical object, eg. the shaft of a screwdriver

Step 3: Materials

Picture of Materials

Materials:

  • some scrap PCB with a header/ gold pins like in the picture (I sadly don't know where this board is from)

    for best results the pins should measure about 2 cm (or longer)
    If you are can't find any the square leads of LEDs are an acceptable replacement (they don't have gold plating, though)

  • solder (optional)

    some solder at the tip of your soldering iron makes it easier to transfer the heat to the solder joint

  • flux (optional)

    helps cleaning up the pins

Step 4: Desolder

Picture of Desolder

Heat up one solder joint at a time as much as you can. Pull hard on the pin from the other side until it rips out of both, the PCB and the connector. Repeat until you got all pins.

If there are some clumps of solder left you can smooth it out by applying some flux and re-heating. After all it should be smooth enough to fit into the breadboard.

Remember to be careful with the high temperatures. I'm not responsible for any damage to you or your environment.

Step 5: Bend

Picture of Bend

Now bend each pin carefully in the middle. It should be easily possible to bend each pin with bare fingers around a round object (eg. screwdriver). You can also use round nose pliers for a little neater result.

The goal is to get the pin spacing exactly 0.1" to match the spacing of the breadboard. If it's slightly off don't worry, I'll most likely still fit.

Step 6: Use It

Picture of Use It

Insert as many hooks as you need into the breadboard and attach your probes.

You're now ready to rock!

Step 7: Final Words

Picture of Final Words

After my recent instructable "'Arduino' Decision 'Box' (BE)" I remembered how much fun this this actually is, so I thought I'd give it another go and share something simpler, but still incredible useful.

I'm not sure if you like these type of "five minute instructables" so please let me know what you think about it in the comments. Also, if you made these, please share a picture and your experience with us. I'd mean a lot to me.

Most likely I won't be able to keep up the rate at which I publish instructables right now, but if you don't mind that, feel free to subscribe for more cool stuff. It's free :)


Happy making

- nqtronix



changelog:

2015.04.01
    1.2.3 fixed some bold text (the editor is slowly getting annoying again)
    1.2.2 fixed layout - again
    1.2.1 fixed layout
    1.1 added everything which required a link
    1.0 release version

Comments

phiaero (author)2016-09-20

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

RLSprouse (author)2016-09-15

I love this idea! I don't have any of the tall headers handy, like the ones you show, but I came up with a variation. I do have a ton of those snap-apart headers you can buy really cheaply. So I pulled a pin and found it to be just a little over 1cm in length. So I tried bending a U-shape at one end, and it works pretty well. One advantage is that it only takes one hole on the breadboard, which can be a good thing. Here are a couple of images to show the idea.

rafununu (author)RLSprouse2016-09-18

Yes, it does the job, but the release force is divided by two and this can be a problem with a scope probe which weight isn't neglictable.

nqtronix (author)RLSprouse2016-09-15

That's actually a neat variation of my version. I was struggling with compact designs on more than one occasion, so I may make a few of these. Thank you :)

electrowiz89 (author)2016-02-04

What a good idea. I would never thought of using headers for this.

Thanks!

amorarun (author)2015-04-01

Simple and effective, would remember to use your technique next time I use breadboard.
Thanks for sharing..

tomatoskins (author)2015-04-01

I've never thought to use header pins for this. I've always just used stripped wire. It looks great!

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