- 1 Logic analyzer probes
- 1.1 Low-end probes
- 1.2 Quality probes
- 1.3 High-end probes
- 1.4 Needles
- 1.5 Probe comparison
- 2 Logic analyzer adapters
- 3 Oscilloscope probes
- 4 DIY probes
Logic analyzer probes
There are many logic analyzer probes of varying quality and price on the market (see photo for a small subset).
There are various simple and cheap logic analyzer probes available from various sources. Some logic analyzers are also shipped with this kind of probes out of the box.
They're generally not recommended, if you can avoid them. They're usually of low quality, break/bend/fail relatively quickly, and cannot be easily used to probe finer-pitch devices/pins. Probes 1 and 2 (see photos) also have the additional disadvantage that they're hardwired/soldered directly to a custom logic analyzer cable, which means they cannot be easily replaced, swapped, or removed and used for other purposes (which is possible with the other probes). See below for better alternatives.
Sometimes you can also replace the probes shipped with your device by a better-quality cable/probe set, e.g. in the case of the RockyLogic Ant8 probe cable (see photos).
The better-quality (and minimum recommended, in our opinion) probe type is the EZ-Hook. This type of probe is of sufficient quality, doesn't break too easily, and the grabber is small enough to probe most fine-pitch devices one usually encounters in day-to-day probing.
The Agilent probes (shipped with some Agilent oscilloscopes with integrated logic analyzer) seem to be exactly the same as the EZ-Hooks. They're probably merely rebranded for Agilent (just a guess).
The Tektronix probes are different, but of similarly good quality as the EZ-Hooks.
The ZEROPLUS probes seem to be custom-made by/for ZEROPLUS and are of similarly good quality, too (only one pin where you can attach, though; most other probe types usually have two).
The Pomona Grabber probes seem of similarly good quality (and also have only one pin where you can attach).
Universal-Chip Clip TSOP/MSOP/SSOP/TSSOP/SOIC/SOP
They're slightly better than the ultra-cheap low-end probes and can probe smaller-pitch devices. Opening the hook requires quite a bit of force and gets tedious after a while. They're larger and bulkier than e.g. the EZ-Hook X2015 and cannot probe small-pitch devices as easily as X2015 can (see also photos).
There are of course also various higher-end, special-purpose probes which are much more expensive. They allow for probing much smaller pitch devices, for example.
TPI NC1 series
The Test Products International (TPI) NC1 is a series of micro test clips.
Where to buy:
ElectroPJP 6800 / Pomona 72902
- Electro-PJP 6800: Micro pincer clip w/ 0.8 mm (0.031") (male) pin
- Electro-PJP 6800-6: Kit, 6 clips + 3 holding rods + 6 leads
- Pomona 72902 (various products)
Where to buy:
|Reichelt||Electro-PJP CLIP 6800 RT "Challenger-clip"||One probe, red||€6.55|
|Reichelt||Electro-PJP MS 6800-6||Set of 6 probes, 3 holding rods, 6 cables||€48.95|
|Reichelt||Electro-PJP MS 6800-8||Set of 8 probes, 4 holding rods, 8 cables||€63.85|
|Reichelt||Electro-PJP MS 6800-12||Set of 12 probes, 6 holding rods, 12 cables||€86.45|
|Digikey||Pomona 72902-0||One probe, black||€11.69|
|Digikey||Pomona 72902-2||One probe, red||€11.69|
The E-Z-Hook X2015 micro double-hook.
Mechano Japan FP-2S
The Mechano Japan FP-2S micro test clips (microgrippers) are suitable for ICs with a pitch of 0.50mm—0.20mm. They're available from various vendors under different names.
|ChipQuik||ChipQuik Microgripper FP-2S-2||2 micro-grippers, 2 wires.||$79.00|
|Digikey||ChipQuik SMDFP-2S-2||2 micro-grippers, 2 wires. Datasheet.||€80.56|
|Distrelec||PMK FP-2S-2||2 micro-grippers, 2 wires. Datasheet.||€90.28|
|Emulation Technology||Emulation Technology MicroGripper FP-2S-2||2 micro-grippers, 2 wires. Datasheet.||$74.72|
|PEWA||PMK FP-2S-2 QFP IC-Clip||2 micro-grippers, 2 wires. Datasheet.||€73.00|
|PMK||PMK SMDFP-2S-2||2 micro-grippers, 2 wires||€80.56|
Mechano Japan FP-5 (FP-2B)
The Mechano Japan FP-5 (a.k.a FP-2B) micro test clips (microgrippers) are suitable for ICs with a pitch of 1.00mm—0.30mm. They're available from various vendors under different names.
Hirschmann Mikro-Pruef MPS-2
The Hirschmann Mikro-Pruef MPS-2 spring-loaded needles can be used to easily probe PCB vias.
They're useful for usage with logic analyzers as well as multimeters via certain test leads.
Logic analyzer adapters
Attaching "normal" logic analyzer probes directly to the system you want to analyze is not always the easiest method. For specific use-cases there are also special "sniffer" or "breakout" boards that can be used.
Micro SD sniffer
Nintendo Wii Nunchuk sniffer
There are various cheap oscilloscope probes which are shipped with many PC/USB oscilloscopes and also some standalone bench scopes.
The two major manufacturers seem to be:
- Models: P6020, P6040, P6060, P6100, P6200, ...
- Globaltone AliExpress.com store
- Protek (TODO: URL?)
The SMD probe for multimeter project at the essentialscrap site discusses the construction of a fine pitch probe for multimeters and logic analyzers, some hand held, others kind of self supporting for longer term use of a few probes at the same time without manual attention. The article also contains the How to Build Your Own Oscilloscope Probes link.