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Jig: quick-attach wire clamp

Wire clamp

Testing of a boost converter necessitated a way to rapidly attach different coils to the circuit. A spring-loaded clamp with two contacts was chosen as a solution. A plastic clamp used for holding window curtains was selected on the basis of size, cost and availability.

Sharp teeth were filed away from the clamp's "mouth". A hole was drilled into the back of the clamp to affix the cable. Two strips of self-adhesive copper were attached to the clamp's front.

A thin two-wire cable got header pins attached to its end, covered with heat-shrink tube to facilitate easier manipulation on a solderless breadboard and to alleviate mechanical strain on the weak point where the stranded wire is not reinforced by its insulation nor by being soldered to the pin.

As it was found that the rigid plastic does not sufficiently press both wires of the tested part when the wires are deformed, a piece of silicone tubing was attached to the other side and affixed with two pieces of iron wire. The silicone provides a soft springy surface that transfers pressure force more evenly to both wires against the contacts.


Unmodified clamp

Unmodified clamp, open

Unmodified clamp, back

Hole for wire

Attached contacts

Contacts with wires

Wire attachment

Breadboard-compatible pins

Silicone holder

Silicone holder, other view

Clamp holding a coil under test

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