After browsing Thingiverse for some printable PCB probe designs, [Henry York] looked around and found a wooden clothespin on his desk. After some collaboration between his 3D printer and his CNC, Henry graced us with a nifty helper tool design that many of us might want to make in a pinch – a small, cheap and easy to make PCB probe, for circuits where soldering and headers are out of the question. Small magnets are glued to the clothespin, holding it flush to a magnetizable work surface (aka a toaster tray), and the probing itself is done by an extruder cleaning needle end. 3D printer and Edge.Cuts files are shared with us – thanks to Henry’s helpfulness, it should be easy to repeat if ever needed!
[Tyler Rosonke] (@zonksec) was programming a batch of badges and needed a reliable way to attach to a 6-pin ISP header – without actually soldering to the badges before they’re handed out to participants! A clothespin materialized nearby yet again – most likely, channeled from a different dimension by the spirit of numerous acrylic-cast pogopin-toothed clip-on tools we scroll by on Aliexpress. With a small perfboard piece and a bunch of pogopins jumping out of their respective drawers, it became no longer necessary to hold a bundle of male-ended pin header wires at a weird angle while nervously looking at the
avrdude progress bar. This ended up saving a whole lot of time, something that’s always best spent on adding insidious bugs to the badge firmware (as well as, perhaps, easter eggs).
We’d love to hear about all the small hacks and improvements that you, hackers in our audience, invent. Whether it’s reusing a SOIC flashing clip for ISP programming or printing yourself an octopus-like contraption with needle probes, you should share it with us!
9 thoughts on “Need To Probe Circuits? Remember About Clothespins!”
Wooden clothespins are also a great soldering aid if you reverse the spring so that the flat ends press together. Cut one side shorter and it works well to keep through-hole pin headers and connectors in place.
Were those pogo pins meant to appear in the recent “What’s Your Worst Soldering Job?” article?
Meh, I’ve soldered worse. :)
I used watch band pins as low profile pogo pin recently. (I bought some as spares when I bought a metal band.)
I pinched one in the middle before cutting it in halves. The pins are solderable and works well enough.
paperclip wire on a breadboard works a treat.
Clothespin and pogopins:
Oh! …oh that’s niiice! Wish you’d shared that with us, I’d happily add this to the collection! =D
“it became no longer necessary to hold a bundle of male-ended pin header wires at a weird angle while nervously looking at the avrdude progress bar”
This! So much! And then you flash the fuses to work at 16MHz and it refuses to flash with the poor contact your grubby fingers can muster.
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