10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2020 7:36 AM by msbettyhunt

    Probe and Lead Storage


      How does everyone store their Probes and Leads to Test Equipment. In the past I have tried using Paper Rolls, Rubber bands, ziplock bags and currently tried using PVC pipe glued together but it is still a mess.


      messy drawer

      Kinda debating on hanging them on the Wall but it kinda looks bad. Any tips or ideas would be awesome.

        • Re: Probe and Lead Storage

          The last time I had this problem was working in a shop that had over 40 technicians. The wall mounted cable rack tray was our solution.


          This is going to should chintzy but it actually worked really well. Cut one side off a cable tray. The back has hole for screw mounting. The fingers are fairly flexible. For larger cables you can remove fingers.



          Now the shop I worked in populated equipment racks so the cable trays were in ready supply.


          We also found this kept the cable cords straight. I only have one set of probe cables for my VOM. I keep them coiled in the case. They are always twisted when I go to use them. I don't have shop space or even a shop to have a tray. I would love to have one for my USB cables.

          5 of 5 people found this helpful
          • Re: Probe and Lead Storage

            Hi Leland,


            I like to hang my cords. This keeps them organized and accessible. On cords like those for a power supply I also like to pair them with a wire hanger so I always get a matched set for testing and prototyping.




            Here is a blog I did back in 2015 with more detail on how I store the wires.





            8 of 8 people found this helpful
            • Re: Probe and Lead Storage

              I too agree with Sean and John, hanging them is a really excellent way since it's almost tangle-free. I do the same, and most labs do this too. Regarding not looking attractive on a wall (subjective I guess! depends what kind of style you're going for), another option could be to still hang them, but inside a cabinet, or behind some screen or on the edge of a bookcase so it's not mostly visible unless you're looking around the side of it (as an example).

              As well as the cable tray idea, they do come as off-the-shelf fingers, and for music studios (for their patch cables etc) they have them cut from fancy wood : ) so they look nice.

              For a few instruments I have a small cloth bag and put the dedicated cables for it inside there. Short RF cables in a shallow drawer, so they don't get damaged by other stuff.


              Also, if you make your own test cables : ) then you can make them look good - fancy colored/patterned braid etc exists. I recently saw some mylar silver braid - looked really fantastic, I was tempted, but in the end decided I'd better spend the money on components : (

              • Re: Probe and Lead Storage

                I guess hanging them would be the best option. Now I get to figure out where to hang them. I got a blank wall in a corner spot that has a Media Rack holding some Test Equipment.

                wall for test leads and probes.


                I made a few Test Leads a while back for my Power Supplies but I hardly use them since they're way too long. My old Lab setup had most of my test equipment on a Book Shelf. When I redid the Layout I put the most common use Equipment on my Benchtop and put the rest on a spare Media Rack.


                Very nice Lab you got there John.

                • Re: Probe and Lead Storage

                  I have too many leads to hang them all. I do hang most of my test leads, but some are stored in cases with their instrument, and I have a plastic bin for less used leads. I have separate plastic bins for USB cables, power cables, audio cables, video cables, ethernet cables, BNC cables, and I have bins for hook-up wire etc. Plus a big bin for scrap wire and cable. And special bin for breadboard jumpers and related items.

                  I keep trying to think of better ways to organize it all, but then I start thinking about organizing everything and it just devolves into a dream of the mythical perfect lab.

                  I think John should hire out as a consultant, he always has phenomenal organization.

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Probe and Lead Storage

                      Last week I went through six boxes of Cables and condensed them all to a Foot Locker. I attend to use CAT6 cable as Hookup Wire. I got a plastic bin with all of the jumpers I use for Bread Boarding and another bin for Wire Wrapping.

                      The picture of the Drawer I posted has a mixture of Test Leads, Probes, USB Cables, 9pin DIN, BNC and a couple of RCA video/audio Cables.

                      I spent the better half of my Vacation cleaning up the Lab. Sorted a bunch of boxes and such since my Lab is the Garage and the rest of the Family thinks the Garage is the place to drop off crap. I put a quite a bit of stuff in the Attic to clear up space. Mostly empty project boxes, RG11 Cable, extra light fixtures and such.

                    • Re: Probe and Lead Storage

                      I subscribe to the dougw method of putting them in plastic bins.  I have the bins in a plastic foot locker.  My son refers to the footlocker as "The Chest of Despair" for the amount of effort it takes to find a cable in it.

                      GREAT QUESTION!  I will definitely try the colporteur solution.  When I try to drape them over something, I always manage to knock them down.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful