Friday, May 23, 2014

Clip Leads

For the last several days I have struggled with toubleshooting some very small circuits (see previous post). Thanks to my friend Jeff - KO7M, troubleshooting was successful.

A part of troubleshooting is; measuring, stimulating, and configuring the Device Under Test (DUT), to do that jumper wires and clip leads are needed.  Over the years I have collected a "rag-tag" set of clip leads, but most are only useful for larger circuits. The few small clip leads that I have were enlisted in the recent troubleshooting effort, where only a few of those clip leads were from a matched sets.
BusPirate Prob Set

For the BusPirate I use an Probe Set with 10 hooked clips on one end, which is very handy to make connections to the DTU.

Even though Jeff did not have difficulty, I found trying to clip the additional external Pullup Resistors, and test equipment on to my small board was a challenge, some of the header pins required more than one clip lead and the spacing between pins made the it even more challenging.

Pomona 5790-0 Micrograbber
By chance, one of the clip leads that I had was a Pomona Micrograbber, it seems like I have had this clip lead forever. but I had never really used it.

In the tangled mess of wires and clip leads around my DOT I found the Micrograbber most useful. It has two ports for removable wires and its claw seems to require much less space on and around the Header Pins.
Adafruit Jumper Wires

These clips can be connect with jumper wire that have square female ends. This type of jumper wires are available in several lengths from

I now really like these clips.

At the time, I did NOT know the manufactures name or a source to obtain additional Micrograbbers, they are only embossed with the letters "dli".  Google search did not provide any clues.  Additional search for "micro clips" put me onto the right path to Pomona, where I found the name and part number. They are available in Black (5790-0) or Red (5790-2). A quick check with and gave me the order number and the PRICE! They are about $9.00 each. Yikes ! A few are available on but they were even more expensive (go figure?).

Yes, I know, very small "hooked clips" are available that are very useful (I have a few), but they are not as configuration flexible, and they are typically connected (soldered) to wires and at a fixed length. With hooked clips, connecting more than one wire generally means a second (or more) clips on the same pin. With 5790 Micrograbbers, two wires can be connected on each.

I now have four (4) Pomona 5790-0 Micrograbbers on order, . . . but I really wished they were a little cheaper!

A local group-order could save a few bucks on each and the shared postage, . . . anyone?

Note: The above Images were obtained without permission from their respective web sites, hopefully the owners will not mind the inclusion here for this endorsement.



  1. You might try the Pomona 5360 model which in single unit quantities is just over $4 at Digikey.

  2. Those type of clips always used to be supplied with the early HP Logic analysers