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making extra long multimeter probe cables

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Ratzz, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I have a cheap multimeter, not fancy but does a reasonable job for what I use it for.

    Simple question.. well several of them really. If the probe cables are too short for my purposes (I want to test continuity from a rear mounted amp to front mounted speakers in my car.. to check polarity without stripping the interior and tracing the wiring basically), and if I simply spice in some extra cable to make the length, will the extra cable length cause any issues?

    More resistance I assume? Will this cause any problems for a simple continuity test? And, should I keep the cables at that length, would that affect voltage readings if I want to keep using it as a basic voltage meter, which is my usual main use for it? Extreme accuracy is not necessary on a $20 multimeter, but an approximate value would be nice if I can get it.

    I'm thinking of extending my current ~500mm long (.5mm thick core?) to 2m long cables on either probe, using the same gauge wire as the original probes by simply splicing in some more wire... or even better, leaving one probe at 500mm and making the other one 3m, so I can have the multimeter close to the terminal I'm testing. Would a difference in length make any difference to readings?

    Also, would converting one of the probes to an alligator clip for convenience make a difference to readings? IE: leaving one probe as is, and making the other probe a long one with an alligator clip instead of a probe?

    Also, when splicing in the extra length, would soldering them affect readings or should I simply twist and heatshrink to save adding any potential resistance? Or would I be better off simply buying connectors and probes and using new contiguous cable for the job?

    Thanks in advance :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  2. Symon

    Symon (Plugging your Socket)

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    If you are only using it for continuity and voltage measurements in a car nothing you are suggesting will be an issue.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Awesome. Thanks for the confirmation and speedy response mate. :thumbup:
     
  4. fredhoon

    fredhoon Member

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    You don't need to mangle the existing leads either, it should be less work to grab some suitably sized plugs and alligator clips from Jaycar or similar to terminate the ends of your 3m lead.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Yeah the original leads are pretty flimsy, so now that I know nothing is critical, I might slip down to Jaycar, 500m from me, for materials and make 3 entirely new leads.. a pair of standard 500mm leads and a 3m one with an alligator clip for those rare times I might need one. Cheers.
     
  6. fredhoon

    fredhoon Member

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    You can go banana plug to banana plug to use as a coarse probe and the slide an alligator clip on the end, might even be able to find a fine probe with a female end to suit the banana plug.

    Alternatively knock up a less flexible male/female extension lead for your existing probes and make a short alligator lead to suit.
     
  7. paulvk

    paulvk Member

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    Jaycar has long leads for meters cheap ones for $4.95
     

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