Test Leads

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by merriar, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. merriar

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    I am starting my students doing breadboard work to learn diodes, transistors, etc. I have several different digital meters. I am looking for an inexpensive way to allow them to connect to the leads of the components rather than try and hold the end of the probes on them while making measurements.

    I am thinking of buying alligator clip leads (Jameco $4.39 pkt of 10). The mini-clip to banana look nice but I would need them to 20+ meters which would be a little costly.

    Any suggestions?

  2. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    just plain alligator clips work best for that environment, that's what I used all through college.

    banana to alligator for power supply connections
    bnc to alligator for signal generator, oscilloscope

  3. Danielsix-five


    Dec 6, 2005
    There's another type of alligator clip you can use. It's very small and has a flat contact (Radio Shack Calls them Micro Smooth Clips). This can be useful for small leads in tight places. Even better are hook clips. They are spring loaded hooks that retract into the sleeve, so that insulation is at a premium. You can get just the ends or pre-wired at Radio Shack (listed as: 'Mini-Clip Jumper Wires, Mini Test Clip Adapters, Mini Hook Clips, etc). I've found these type to be THE MOST useful for your type of application. Alligator clips, although they work well, are fairly bulky and can pose a shorting problem, and the only way to prevent this is by buying the rubber shrouded type, which increases the bulkiness of them even more.

  4. techroomt

    Senior Member

    May 19, 2004
    as mentioned the spring loaded ball clips, mini clips, etc. are the most useful for small lead (IC type or discrete component) connections. when longer leads are required, simply use a piece of wire as your extension. remember to wrap the "ball clip to wire junction" so it doesn't short out on anything as it gets moved around. buy quality clips, the cheaper ones are not fun to use. you can buy them in qty of ten all different colors - nice.