Hook-up wire for alligator clip leads - diyAudio
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Old 5th March 2017, 05:41 AM   #1
peterlo is offline peterlo  Australia
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Default Hook-up wire for alligator clip leads

Recently bought a 10 set of coloured leads.
About half failed continuity.
So this time I will make my own.
The standard hook-wire I have is a bit stiff, nowhere near as flexible as say DMM lest leads.
Any recommendations.
I have of course had a good look on Ebay, nothing for DIY!
Thanks
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Old 5th March 2017, 07:29 AM   #2
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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silicone wire from a recognized brand. Say Pomona or Alpha Wire from an industrial electronic parts distribution chain.
they usually have ridiculously high strand counts too. http://www.mouser.co.uk/Wire-Cable/H...yzp04tZ1yx79kq
or you can take your luck with no name china i'd buy a gauge or two lower to make up for lack of copper.
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Last edited by infinia; 5th March 2017 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 5th March 2017, 08:27 AM   #3
peterlo is offline peterlo  Australia
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OK & thanks,
I don't need 50 or 100 foot spools!
Ebay lists silicone insulated hook up wire & Alpha wire whatever that is.
I am not so confident when it comes to judging wire gauges, but I note that breadboard wire is 22 AMG & 7 amp capacity which is much more that alligator clip wire assemblies need.
So if the Chinese cheat (when do they not?) it probably wont matter. So long as the wire is flexible.
Should I specify the no of strands?
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Old 5th March 2017, 09:02 AM   #4
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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7 by 0.2mm strands would do. (1.3A)
Better would be 19 by 0.15mm strands. (2A)
Better still 42 by 0.1mm strands. (2A)
Don't use single strand (solid core) it will fatigue and break, eventually. (0.6mm = 1.7A)
Don't use CAT5e, the cores are hard drawn and more likely to fatique quickly. (0.5mm = 1.2A) The flexible CAT5e with multi-strand would probably be OK but limit to 1A
Solder the wire ends to the nickel plated crocs. If you can be bothered solder a flexible link across the two croc halves to help with current rating.

PVC insulation is OK, silicone or similar high temp would be better.
At least three colours to allow pairs to be differentiated and for three lead dual polarity supply leads.
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Last edited by AndrewT; 5th March 2017 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 5th March 2017, 09:46 AM   #5
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Instead of "hookup" wire, search "test lead wire". When I made my own, I bought a roll of small size - for like hook clip types - black, and the clips themselves I got in all colors. For alligator clips I got the rubber shrouds in various colors. Yes one 50 foot roll lasted a long time.

Alpha wire is a brand name. Just like Belden wire.
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Old 5th March 2017, 03:32 PM   #6
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterlo View Post
So if the Chinese cheat (when do they not?) it probably wont matter. So long as the wire is flexible.
Should I specify the no of strands?
I bought a few 1 meter lengths of silicone wire from 'HobbyKing' (Turnigy brand). Don't worry about strand counts it's very flexible. Q. Would I buy it again? A. IDK maybe their premium grade only.
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Old 5th March 2017, 03:42 PM   #7
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My cheap eBay alligator clip test leads from China, had a different failure mechanism: the actuator handles were rounded instead of flat. So when you grip them and attempt to squeeze (to open the jaws), they rotate in your fingers and YOU CAN NOT MAKE THE FWORDING JAWS OPEN. I bought six packages of ten leads each, and only got five that I could actually open and close (out of sixty). Not such a great bargain.
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Old 5th March 2017, 04:15 PM   #8
rif is online now rif  United States
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Looks like digikey sells some by the foot/5 foot increments
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Old 6th March 2017, 07:55 AM   #9
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
My cheap eBay alligator clip test leads from China, had a different failure mechanism: the actuator handles were rounded instead of flat. So when you grip them and attempt to squeeze (to open the jaws), they rotate in your fingers and YOU CAN NOT MAKE THE FWORDING JAWS OPEN. I bought six packages of ten leads each, and only got five that I could actually open and close (out of sixty). Not such a great bargain.
I had a 12 pack of 400mm long coloured croc leads.
Saw some more at a very cheap price. Ordered them up.
No problem till I started getting some weird voltage measurements. Bah, humbug !
the new cheap leads were dropping significant volts along their length.
Measured resistance croc to croc. ~ 0r5 !!!!!
Makes me wonder what kind of copper they use in China?
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Old 6th March 2017, 10:40 AM   #10
peterlo is offline peterlo  Australia
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Just spent a couple of hours stripping the croc ends of the test wires. Then refitting with soldered connections
Lousy continuity caused by:
Failure to solder wire to croc
Copper conductors not tinned (always gets you in near seashore situations).
Crimps used for low cost & convenience, just plainly a very poor "solution".
Bit surprised to note that all the leads now measure about 1 Ohm which is higher than I expected (wire was very thin though). Still they pass the continuity test & should stay that way now.
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