Intro: Cheap (as in Free[as in Beer]) Multi-Meter Stand
I've been annoyed at having to crane my neck or precariously balance my cheap $4 multi-meter somewhere I can actually READ the display. So I decided to take matters into my own hands!
This is also my first 'structable, so if anyone has helpful comments or pointers, bring 'em on. And so, without further ado, I bring you...
The Cheap (as in free [as in beer]) Multi-Meter Stand!!!
(Reader beware! In this instructable, you will see gratuitous coat-hanger mangling! This is not for the faint of heart! I am in no way responsible for any sort of coat hanger uprising the mis-use of this instructable may cause!)
Cheap-o Multimeter ... Check!
Wire coat hanger ... Check!
Slip-joint pliers ... Check!
Glue Sticks ... Check!
Glue Gun ... Check!
Brain ... Uhhh... Well, I hope somebody brought theirs!
Step 1: Clean the Workspace!
If your workspace is as messy as mine was, the first step will be to clean that sucker. I accomplished this by shoving things in drawers and tossing little bits of nothing in the trash. Use your own discretion here.
Then I set out my coat hanger, all ready for the sacrifice!
Step 2: Clip and Bend Over!
A more careful soul might have started out with some measurements and a plan.
Honestly, my rulers/measuring devices were off at my computer and I was too lazy to reach over. Hence, I just flew by the seat of my pants, as it were.
Clip off the twisty bits at the top of the coat hanger. Pitch these or save them for re-use.
Make a small, 90 degree bend. This will wrap around the front of the meter. My bend was about the width of the plier jaws.
In a distance slightly larger than the width (or is that depth? Whichever front to back is) of the multimeter, make another 90 degree bend. This creates one side of the "groove" that the meter will sit in.
Make another series of bends, to create the form found in the third photo. I'd guess it to be about a 145 degree bend on the other axis.
The next bend is -145 degrees, which will make the coat hanger head in its original direction, now 3-4 inches from its original location.
After about 4-5 inches, make a new 145 degree bend, and after another 3-4 inches, a new -145 degree bend. This completes the "stand" part, and now you're just left with two bends to make the other side of the groove.
Make these two bends in a mirror image to your first two bends.
Step 3: Fine Tuning
As often happens when you have no plan to follow, it requires a little fine tuning. In my case, the stand was a little "slippery", so I had to add hot glue to create a grip.
Also, my bends were imperfect, so I had to form it up a little by hand to make everything match up.
As well, I found out I needed to trim up the ends because they could get in the way of the dial (though not by much).
Also, I wasn't expecting the glue bit, so I had to wait for my glue gun to heat up, and I took a picture inspired by this instructable.
Then I glued the "arms" or whatever you want to call that bit that holds the meter, as well as the bottom piece.
Step 4: Finish and Enjoy!
Now that we've finished, plop the now-smiling meter in the stand! Flip it on and enjoy not having to crane your neck at weird angles.
Some final notes and other optional designs:
There seems like enough room that if you were so inclined to drill/melt/otherwise maim the housing, rather than have an easily removable (read: easily lost) stand, you could probably put some holes near the top on the sides, and then rather than having the bits on the front, they would just slide into the holes (if you were going the melty route, remember those bits I said you could save? Perfect!)
I didn't completely coat the bits of hanger in glue, and parts have come off... if more than one does, I'll probably go back and "dip" each part.
That's all for now, folks! I hope this helps any of you who are (a) cheap (b) lazy (c) all of the above.
Let me know what you thought, thanks for viewing!