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Replacing Multimeter Test Lead

Picture of Replacing Multimeter Test Lead
This is my first Instructable...Be kind or not

(Disclaimer: I didn't check every Instructable to determine if this has already been presented (there's just too darn many). If this is a repeat, I apologize.)

Some time ago a test lead on my el cheapo multimeter came off and was subsequently lost. Using the frayed ends of the lead wire worked, but not worth a hoot.

I visited our local Radio Shack and a couple of other shops to find a replacement lead but the cheapest I could find was $6.95 (US) for a pair; I could have replaced the whole thing for that.

Soooooooo
 
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Step 1: Step One

This is a pretty basic job requiring minimal skills, materials and tools.

A 6 penny finish nail, an old pen barrel sans ink "tube," soldering iron and solder (not shown), a bit of heat-shrink tubing, an X-Acto knife (or substitute) (not shown either) and our favorite, a hot glue gun and glue (also not shown).

I measured the ink barrel against the non-broken test lead for length then cut the barrel to length (measured from the tip). Save the cut-off end of the barrel as this will make good filler in your extra parts box.

Step 3: Step C

After the new lead tip cooled, (its now graduated from being a simple nail to an integral part of a precision instrument), I slid on the heat-shrink tubing that will cover the to-be-glued end and then popped the newly tipped wire lead down into the pen barrel letting about 3/4" (1.75 cm) of the once lowly nail protrude through the pen barrel tip.

I then hot glued around the wire end, filling up some of the ink barrel. I also shot a small dab of hot glue around where the lead protruded
beehard443 years ago
i tried this with a pen (i used the writing end as the tip) but it came off. i might try this
eric m5 years ago
This is great. i made one before but it was ghetto and crap. Just wrapped wire around a nail. Radio shack charging that price for a bit of copper and steel is crap. They have us by the balls since few stores sell them. It's all about competition and demand.
worldgnat6 years ago
Awesome! I've got a broken test probe and a lot of cheap pens - I fully intend to test this. Is Radioshack honestly charging $7 for test leads?! That's ridiculous!
I hate radio shack. No good alternative out there yet.
hassi (author)  worldgnat6 years ago
Just got back from an on-line visit to American Science and Surplus (http://www.sciplus.com/) to find three-lead multimeter test leads for $1.95...And once again, its the shipping that gets you...After the minimum $5.95 the leads aren't so cheap at $7.90.

But with some other "necessities" the shipping isn't too big of a load ($5.95 for a $15.00 order; then it jumps to $6.95 for up to a $30.00 order).

Still, "free" is a good price.
hassi (author)  worldgnat6 years ago
Yup...A nickel shy (minus tax)...I thought it was pretty ridiculous too...Thanks for the kind words (to all y'all)...
Great job! Pretty smart, I might try this, +1 rating. (added to favorites)
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