Introduction: Multimeter Tweezer Probes From Thermoplastic
Another thermoplastic, Macgyver-esque instructable!
Tweezer probes are a very useful tool to add to your electronics workshop, especially if you work with hard to grab surface mount components.
Is it worth making these? Well, it is probably true that cheap and pretty good quality tweezer probes can be had, but why buy when you can make? And these probes have the benefit of being used as chopsticks, and they can be used to easily interface with Arduino header connections, making them very useful for debugging.
What you'll need:
- Dupont Jumpers (2x Male 10cm, 2x Male/Female 20cm, 1x Female 10cm)
- Soldering Iron and wire
- Hand tools
- Thermoplastic Beads (or better...black thermoplastic)
- Crocodile Clips (1x black, 1x red)
Step 1: The Tweezers
The basic idea was to make a chopstick like contraption, with the crossbar in the middle taking advantage of the flexibility of thermoplastic. A pair of Dupont jumpers would be embedded inside each arm, providing connections and rigidity to each arm.
- Start with a largish blob of heated thermoplastic (black thermoplastic? Over here!)
- Divide it into two large pieces, and a smaller piece.
- Reheat each of the larger blobs, and wrap it over each Male/Male Dupont wire. Reheat in water if need be.
- While still warm, roll each arm on a silicone mat or clean wooden table to make them perfectly straight.
- Heat up the smaller left-over blob, and shape into an arch.
- Attach to the two arms, and submerge in hot water to ensure a proper bond.
- Rework the arch to firmly attach to the two arms.
Tada! You have tweezer probes!
You can now eat thermoplastic pellets like rice (don't know why...but you can if you wanted to.)
Step 2: The Wiring
It is a pity that I din't have banana clips, or some dead probe leads to cannibalize, so I made a plan B with DuPont probes and crocodile clips. The end result means that between the probe and multimeter sits 4x metal-to-metal connections, plus one soldered point. Not ideal stuff, in terms of resistance. But again, it works well enough for day-to-day work.
- Behead the crocodile clips, and split the Female/Female wire in two.
- Gaze upon my cool lighter.
- Slip the heatshrink over the crocodile clip wires. You should really do it now. Later is a bit...late.
- Splice the crocodile clip/ female DuPont wires together, and solder.
- Wrap back, slip the heatshrink over, and burn!
You now have a useful interface for your tweezers.
Step 3: Multimeter Tweezer Probes
I hope you enjoyed this instructable, and hope you vote for me for the contest!
If you didn't like it, you should vote anyway, because what better way to let me know you didn't like it by means of sarcastic voting? Right? Right.
Please send me pictures if you make this!