3D-printable oscilloscope probe to wire adapter

In the lab, a common frustration is supporting an oscilloscope probe for continuous monitoring. There are many probe holders available: some good, some not so good, and some very expensive.  Presented here is an adapter that allows you to solder the probe to the PCB (Figure 1).

Figure 1 This oscilloscope probe to wire adapter allows you to solder the probe to the PCB.

The adapter can be configured with wire ends to connect headers or proto boards. Items such as microclips, grabbers, banana plugs, headers, etc., can also be attached (Figure 2). The best part is that it is almost free, as it can be 3D printed.

Figure 2 The adapter can be configured with wire ends to connect headers or proto boards, and clips and headers can also be attached.

The body of the adapter can be printed on any 3D printer capable of about 0.12mm resolution. The only other parts required are two spring terminals and some wire. The spring terminals are Molex 0008500113, which are readily available from various suppliers. They come attached to each other with a carrier (material between spring terminals).

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To prep the spring terminals, simply cut the carrier in-between each spring terminal. The carrier on each side of the spring terminal slides into a slot on each half of the adapter body. Then, attach a 22-gauge stranded wire to each clip. Make the wire short for low loop inductance or longer for hard-to-reach signals. 

To assemble, attach the spring terminal to the desired wire, make sure the carrier ends on each side of the spring terminal are not bent, and then slide a carrier end into the slot of the one of the printed body halves (Figure 3). 

Figure 3 The spring terminals with wires attached placed in one of the adapter body halves, with a probe showing how the completed adapter will work.

Next, add a few dabs cyanoacrylate glue (super glue) to one of the body halves.  Then attach the two adapter body halves together being careful to work the carriers into the slot into the second body half.

Now you will have a lot more versatility in probing with less frustration, using this very low-cost oscilloscope probe adapter.

The 3D printable “.stl” files, and more details, can be found at, the open-source site, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4935122 (or you can search thingiverse.com for “DamianB2”).

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