Author Topic: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder  (Read 2873 times)

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Offline AJ528Topic starter

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PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« on: March 05, 2024, 07:50:09 pm »
Hi All,

Just posting this here since I only heard about it recently and every time I googled "oscilloscope probe holder", this product never came up. I went to a conference this year where PCBite was on the vendor floor, and I was really impressed by their probing system. It's one of those things that I never knew existed, but it's honestly a really elegant solution. Their probes are really balanced, so they'll balance wherever you put them (within reason of course), and the probing needles are really sharp, so they can even stick to tiny test points.

I purchased them for my lab, and so far they're working as well as I hoped! If anyone else frequently needs to probe PCBs, I would definitely suggest you check them out! https://sensepeek.com/

(also, sorry if this sounds like an advertisement, I promise I'm just excited about this :-[)
 

Offline thm_w

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Offline mawyatt

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2024, 12:14:35 am »
We also use the PC Brite holders, they work well and act as 3rd and 4th hands while probing ;)

Best,
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Offline TopQuark

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2024, 02:37:30 am »
I also have the PCBite system, but sometimes it is annoying to squeeze the steel plate underneath the mess on my bench, and one knock on the umbilicals will topple over the probe.

I ended up using these cheap surgical clamps from china, works great for any probes and easy to setup. Sometimes simple is better  ;D
 
 
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Offline trp806mo

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2024, 05:21:56 pm »
I bought a set of 4 "standard SQ10" and its true that it's useful (must have but really not mandatory :-)) .
BTW I made 2 probe holders; one for testec/lecroyPP23 2.5mm and one for PMK/lecroyPP09  5mm as it was a try and didn't want to buy the dedicated oscilloscope probe.

 

Offline thm_w

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2024, 10:20:57 pm »
Mouser carries some of the parts now. Price is not too bad with free shipping.
You can just order the probe and use a steel sheet or steel desk to mount it. The place you mount it to doesn't have to be flat it can be against a wall or above, etc.

Didn't realize they use much smaller than standard pogo pins, very fine tip. Only thing I'd want is some heatshrink around the probe board to prevent it shorting something to ground.

https://www.mouser.ca/manufacturer/sensepeek/
https://www.mouser.ca/ProductDetail/Sensepeek/4011?qs=Imq1NPwxi74L5MfVSx1g%2FQ%3D%3D
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Offline quince

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2024, 01:00:11 am »
I've seen these in a new lab. Not really sure what the appeal is. Someone kicking the table is likely to dislodge any one of the probes. A soldered wire would never come off under minor vibration.
 

Offline trp806mo

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2024, 08:50:32 am »
I can answer for my use case.

It's much faster to place the probes than solder wires. The pogo is so sharp that it doen't move and so you can use them even on very fine pitch (which would have required some soldering)
In debug mode I finaly decrease "a lot" the time of probing even more as in my case i use  two desktops to solder (very fine pitch) and do measurements. But I agree it's a nice to have but not mandatory

« Last Edit: May 02, 2024, 09:00:21 am by trp806mo »
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2024, 10:09:59 pm »
I've seen these in a new lab. Not really sure what the appeal is. Someone kicking the table is likely to dislodge any one of the probes. A soldered wire would never come off under minor vibration.

These are just for a quick measurement, if you are doing multi-day or more troubleshooting you'll probably want to solder on leads.

edit: just tried kicking the table hard with one of these in place and it shows no sign of moving. This is a proper heavy desk though.
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Offline shabaz

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2024, 01:23:09 am »
They are also surprisingly low-cost, so it's almost as if the hands-free functionality of them is for free, if you need to buy a second set of probes for a 'scope anyway. The going rate here is £39 for the 100 MHz version, which is often more than sufficient for capturing various typical serial interfaces on boards as an example. The photo shows I2C being probed on a QFN chip.

The steel base can be DIY'd, to save purchasing that, if desired.

Since they look a bit delicate, storage needs a bit of thought (I didn't wish to disassemble the probes to put them back in the supplied flexible pouches), one possible solution to allow storing them fully assembled, is shown in the attached photo (the plastic case can be placed in any orientation and the tips do not touch anything).
 

Offline H.O

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2024, 04:34:10 am »
They now offer a new version of the probe, available in 200, 350 and 500MHz version:

2159935-0
 

Offline gnuarm

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2024, 05:32:33 am »
I also have the PCBite system, but sometimes it is annoying to squeeze the steel plate underneath the mess on my bench, and one knock on the umbilicals will topple over the probe.

I ended up using these cheap surgical clamps from china, works great for any probes and easy to setup. Sometimes simple is better  ;D

When I need to support a probe, I would grab a roll of magnet wire (insulated) and form a fixture.  18 ga often works fine, but sometimes I need to drop down to 16 or even 14 ga. 
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Online Faranight

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2024, 06:08:50 am »
Oh, yeah! I got the Sensepeek full kit early on with some extras, and later also got two additional 200MHz and one 500MHz probe.
I use them when debugging SMD micros and switching power circuits. The holders are god-sent, would totally recommend.
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Offline woody

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Re: PCBite is a brilliant oscilloscope probe holder
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2024, 10:21:39 am »
I like them a lot; they are so sharp that you can put them on very thin tracks and very small footprints. If set correctly you can easily leave them overnight without them relocating.

And I found another use for them. Every now and them I need to handsolder small components in prototypes. You can do this using solder paste and a heatgun, but then you run the risk of blowing them off. Or use a fine point solder iron and hair-thin solder. Then also you need to fix the component. My solution: These PCBite goosenecks have a hole in them at the end. That hole neatly fits a standard tooth pick (the ones that are also sold to stick in cubes of cheese or other snacks) Then place the other end of this toothpick on top of the component and solder it. Works great. (my desk, being an ex-physiotherapists' table, has a steel plate underneath)
 
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