Introduction: Colorful Double Ended Alligator Electronic Test Lead Cable Jumper Wire Set
A set of multi-colored double ended gator test leads in invaluable for the electronic hobbyist, DIY'er, homeowner, etc. My first set was purchases as a teen from Radio Shack, and used extensively. Over the years they were lost, so I went on Ebay and purchased a set for $5 or so. The problem with those available today is the PVC wire insulation is poor quality, and after a couple of years they got stiff & cracked. I decided I wanted some made with super flexible Silicon insulated wire, but was unable to find any......thus this Instructable for those who have the same need.
Step 1: Gather materials: The cheapest way to get multiple colored Silicon wires was to order twelve pieces of 24AWG 20cm Dupont cables from Aliexpress.com (search: Dupont cables silicon, lowest price, free shipping....$1.29). Next order a clip of your choice. My search was for small alligator clips (aliexpress.com, lowest price, free shipping....20pcs for $1.60). My next set will use mini grabber clips. You can order snappable header pins (search header pins)....see below for my solution.
Step 2: At first I was going to cutoff the female Dupont connector and solder the wire directly to the clip. (Dupont connectors accept accept square pins, about 0.6mm on a side....you see rows of them on computer motherboards to connect perpendicularly mounted daughterboards, or ribbon cables from drives,etc.). Then I decided to solder a header pin to each alligator clip, to mate with the female Dupont connector. This way I could unplug the clip if I wanted to plug the cable on a pin header or replace the clip if it were to break. Here is the easiest way to remove some double row pin header connectors from a old motherboard. To do this, clamp the motherboard in a vise, with the bottom side facing you. Take a propane torch and gently melt the solder of all the header pins while pulling the header off the board. The pins can easily be pulled from the plastic housing with small pliers.
Step3: Bend a small hook in the very end of the header pin (the end that had been soldered). Mount the alligator clip in a vise and put the hook end of the pin through the hole in the alligator clip that you would normally solder a wire into. The hook helps hold the pin in place while it is soldered. I used a USB powered soldering iron, because it was small and easy to get into the place where the pin was soldered. BTW I powered the iron with a USB wall charger. I tried a power bank, but it didn't seem to be able to power the iron that draws 1.25A. Clip the excess part of clip off the back side of the clip. Be sure you have put your insulated clip sleeves on the Dupont cable BEFORE YOU SOLDER the clips on.
Step 4: Connect the pin on the clip to the female Dupont connector. Open the clip and insert small pliers jaws to keep it open as you slide the insulation sleeve in place. See photo above for the various parts of the project.