Simple Multimeter Test Leads Organizers

Introduction: Simple Multimeter Test Leads Organizers

Are you tired of unraveling tangled test lead wires? I was. Here's a simple trick I discovered to store mine. With this method, you can tidy up your leads and get rid of some pipe scraps lying around the workshop at the same time!

Step 1: Materials

I had two sets of leads, an alligator clip set and straight points. I made 4 organizers, one for each lead. The materials and tools list is fairly short.
You Will Need:
- 2 or 3 feet of 1" PVC pipe
- A drill and a drill bit slightly larger than the plug (meter end) of your test lead - probably a 3/8"
- A hacksaw or some other means of cutting pvc pipe

Step 2: Construction

Feel free to measure and make everything exact, but since I cared more about function than form I just eyeballed everything and so this instructable has no exact measurements.
Take the probe end of your test lead, and cut a length of PVC about 1/2" longer than the stiff part of the probe end. Now you need to drill a hole near one end. the plug on your test lead must fit in. mine are 3/8". You'll find that unless you have a drill press, it is very difficult to drill a hole in a pipe without the bit wandering. One quick trick is to drill a hole in a scrap of wood and hold it tightly against the pipe where you want the hole in the pipe. The wood will keep the bit from wandering as you drill.
In the other end, cut a notch as wide as your wire. Look at the picture of how I cut mine and cut yours deeper. Mine are a tad shallow. There! Now you're done. stick the plug in the hole you drilled and wrap the wire around the pipe, working toward the opposite end. when you have the wire almost all wound, stick the probe end down the center of the pipe, then finish wrapping the wire until tight. Insert the wire in the notch to keep it from unraveling, and you can put your leads in a drawer without fear of them twisting. Happy Making!

P. S. Feel free to comment below if you have any suggestions as to how this could be better. If you liked this instructable and / or found it helpful please vote for me in the Leftovers contest. Thanks!

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    The stress on the cables from the PVC reel will eventually break your leads. Even if you're careful, the cables will make contact and be pushed/pulled by other items, and eventually a twist, fray, or break will occur. I find it much easier and "stress-free" to attach a Velcro loop to my cords to prevent tangling. First, I glue or tape the velcro with the hook and tape facing opposite sides. Since my positive jack is in the middle, I've glued the Velcro (semi) permanently wrapped around each cable, leaving a enough space between them to move the connections to their respective ports as needed. I left about 3 1/2 inches of velcro on the loop to wrap around the cables to keep after winding, keeping them together (and untangled) without putting stress on them. This method requires only velcro, contact cement, and scissors, and should take less than half the time of cutting or modifying any shop made reels. Be sure to close the extra Velcro lengh around the leads during use to keep it out of the way!


    Reply 4 years ago

    I've used this method for a while and so far it hasn't caused any problems except that it does tend to put a curve in your test lead. I used to use a method similar to yours, but I found this to be faster and more convenient as my job has me constantly unravelling / repacking my leads and I have multiple sets and like to mix and match. However, as they say, to each his own. If you feel you have a good method, I'd recommend you publish an instructable and tell the world about it. That's bound to give you more coverage than the comments section here. I see there's currently a first time author contest you could enter.

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Good way to keep the leads from becoming a tangled mess (the usual state of my tool box)