I am looking for spare scope collar clips (which attach the ground lead to the scope probe), so that I can make some custom ground attachments for connecting probes to some PCBs. The current crocodile clip damages the PCB and pops off sometimes, but it is still useful for other devices. A lead which is permanently attached to the PCB that could be unclipped at the collar would be more useful.

I am looking for just the clip, which is a flat metal part: I will attach my own wire to it. Does anyone know if such a thing can be bought separately to the probe, if they are standardised or what the canonical name is for such an item?

Assembled clip with wire

Clip on neck of oscilloscope probe

Edit I found the manufacturer's range of probe accessories: the alligator clip-wire-collar assembly is part #196-3120-01, is named "Clip-on Ground Lead" and costs about $12 (but looks to be hard to get in the UK). The clip by itself does not seem to be part of the range, however.

Tektronix 5mm probe accessoriess

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would a spade fork terminal do? \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 21 '13 at 13:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably not - it holds onto the neck of the probe (which is a smooth cylinder - see extra photo) by being a bit more that half a circle. A spade fork terminal has straight sides, so it would either not fit or if a bit tight, damage the probe. \$\endgroup\$ – Inductiveload Oct 21 '13 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ i think another name is called a tail \$\endgroup\$ – user30736 Oct 21 '13 at 15:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ you could use just the clip itself 196-3198-01 the end is a swagged solid connector that could be soldered to or removed ... \$\endgroup\$ – placeholder Oct 21 '13 at 16:49

Depending upon your scope probe maker it may be possible to order replacement parts from the manufacturer. This usually gets you the short GND lead with the probe GND lug on oneside and the alligator clip on the other end.

When you receive the spare parts you cut off the alligator clip end and solder the wire to your new custom end fixing.

Advantages of using the original probe manufactures GND lead assembly include that lug end is known to be correct for attachment to the probe. I have seen variation from manufacturer to manifacturer and there is little certainty that Mfg A's parts will work in Mfg B's probes. Another factor is that decent GND probe leads are made of very flexible stranded wire that may be difficult to source without purchasing a whole roll. Regular wire you find in a lab is typically a bad choice for these GND clips because it can break with a small amount of usage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I found the manufacturer's (Tektronix) range of probe accessories. They do indeed have the clip-on (and pin-end) lead, but not the clip by itself. For $12 + some huge shipping from the US, I think I'd better go with a hack-up! Doesn't look like there is an easy source for just the clip :-( \$\endgroup\$ – Inductiveload Oct 21 '13 at 17:00

The most common alternative attachment I've seen for the ground wire on a scope probe are short prongs that slip on to the front part of the probe. The idea is to be able to probe fast signals on the board with a lower inductance ground lead. They're easy enough to improvise in the lab with some hookup wire, though it's better if you have stiff brass wire and a mandrel slightly smaller than your scope probe.

Another option is to put a few test points on the PCB and continue using the scope's clip. You can buy them either as bare wire in a "U" shape, or as little loops with color coded insulators at the base. Homemade is also easy.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If I can't get hold of "real" clips (for a sensible price!), then this is what I will do. Thanks for the brass wire tip. \$\endgroup\$ – Inductiveload Oct 21 '13 at 16:57

It is called as lug; you can get it from any electrical or electronics shop we use the same to make connection with bind post connectors,battery terminal connection enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not a single one of those connectors in the picture you posted could possibly be used in the application noted (scope probe). A scope probe ground lug expands open and closes again as part of a retention mechanism. \$\endgroup\$ – placeholder Oct 21 '13 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ The typical terminals as shown above are made from copper and would not offer the suitable amount of springiness for scope probe usage. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Karas Oct 21 '13 at 15:50

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