ETextile Clip Probe

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Introduction: ETextile Clip Probe

The Clip Probe is a test lead to connect to conductive fabrics or threads. The probe consists of a clip made conductive to make temporary but firm electric contact with textile materials without harming them. It work especially well with thin threads or wires, or non-woven fabrics where other probes might leave a mark. The probe is connected through a thin, flexible, textile cable.

At the other side of the cable a clip probe or any other probe, such as a connector tu a multimeter, an alligator clip, a safety pin, or Pin Probe can be mounted.

(This is a copy of the instructions on http://www.ireneposch.net/clipprobe-diy/, 2017)

Step 1: Materials

  • conductive thread (I am using a 7×5 copper thread from Karl Grimm. if you have a thinner or less conductive material bread it together or use several strands to increase the conductivity. you can also use a flexible cable)
  • paracord (or an other flexible cord that lets you puush through a thread in the middle)
  • shrink tube (3:1 shrink ratio is ideal)
  • patchwork clips (the one used here: Clover Mini Wonderclip, depending on size preferences you can also use bigger ones)
  • conductive tape (the one used here: Conductive Fabric Tape)

Step 2: Tools

  • scissors, cutter knife, glue gun, lighter, tweezers, needle, multimeter

Step 3: Preperations

  • cut off the disired lenght of your cord from the paracord
  • pull out the inner nylon cord

Step 4: Making Textile Cable

  • thread a (stump) needle with the conductive thread (or cable)
  • push it through lengthwise through the paracord until it comes out at the other end
  • when pushed through, remove the needle
  • spread the paracord coating evenly across the conductive core

Step 5: Preparing Clip Probe

  • cut 4 cm of the conductive tape
  • and then cut the tape in half along the length (that is for the clips linked above, and the conductive tape linked above) adjust length and width according to the material you are using
  • peel off the protective paper on the back

Step 6: Making the Clip Conductive

  • stick the tape on the clip to make the clip conductive
  • start at the front, sticking the tape around the inner side of the clip where the top and the bottom touch
  • go around to the back, and to the same thing on the bottom part

Step 7: Connecting the Clip Probe

  • cut the fraying ends of the cord and cut the conductive thread 1 cm longer than the cord
  • thread the cord through the cut shrink tube (it is important not to forget that - this can not be done later!)
  • stick the conductive thread in between the two conductive tape ends, and squeeze them together

Step 8: Finishing

  • to hold the clip, tape and cord better together, fix them with a drop of glue gun before
  • move the shrink tube over the connection of the tape with the cord
  • heating the shrink tube around it
  • careful heat the shrink tube with a lighter (or hot air gun, or candle)
  • be careful it does not get too hot, as the clip might melt

Step 9: Clip Probe

  • the Clip probe is now finished
  • on the other end of the textile cable an other clip probe can be mounted, or any other probe
  • the connection should be tested with a multimeter

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