Power Supply Connector Paper Clip Hack

Written on June 11, 2010 – 2:56 pm | by bluehash |

Ever come across a power supply where you had to needle in your power cables into tiny terminal holes – and all you had were IC and alligator clips? What if you wanted to power a number of boards from the same supply?

Here is a simple hack which will allow you to connect, wrap , group quite a few power cables in parallel… and all you need is a paper clip. Two paper clips to be precise to connect to the positive and negative terminals.

Get the jumbo size clip if you can. Its much sturdier and does not flex easily.

Now bend the clip to around 45 degrees. You may need to adjust the angle depending on your power supply.

That’s all there is to it. The hack in all its glory. Leave a comment if you like it!

And if your interested in buying a power supply:

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12 Responses to “Power Supply Connector Paper Clip Hack”

  1. [...] MachineGrid::Robots at Work » Blog Archive » Power Supply … [...]

  2. [...] shows us a way to connect multiple cables in parallel: Ever come across a power supply where you had to needle in your power cables into tiny terminal [...]

  3. Gareth says:

    Am I the only person who is seeing flashing warning lights about doing such a thing?

    There is a reason to shroud terminals.

  4. bluehash says:

    @Gareth: This is a DC voltage power supply with current limiting, and not the mains. This is especially useful for hobbyists who work in the low voltage range to power LEDs or micro-controllers.

  5. Ben says:

    Count me on the shuddering. C’mon, if u have pets or toddlers you don’t want exposed wiring. Am I missing something? Is it because it’s very low voltage and wouldn’t hurt a moth? Also, what’s the deal with the alligator clips?

  6. Ben says:

    I see my comment overlapped your reply, bluehash. If it’s that low voltage, OK, I guess. But what about the alligator clips. U mean your post is primarily for people who fiddle with electronics and have alligator clips around for testing? I guess I am bit disappointed because I am always accumulating power supplies and was hoping to cut down on the number of black boxes around my desk…

  7. Ben says:

    Ugh. I clicked on this from lifehacker.com and didn’t bother to see where u posted the original…a site for robotics enthusiasts. My apologies. Dear lifehacker, confusing special purpose post linked as general purpose. Thank u. Good-day.

  8. bluehash says:

    @Ben: Yes, this is for power supplies found on a common DIY bench. Sorry about the confusion, but thanks for your comments.

  9. Steve says:

    Why not just use pass-thru banana plugs? That way you can easily have 3 or 4 things connected to the same connector.

    I can’t really do the Paperclip thing as my PSU is all metal, with the case being the ground, so I don’t really want the +ve terminal being shorted to it via a paperclip (plus I’m not really a big fan of wrapping wires or croc clips)

    • bluehash says:

      Steve, agree with what you say, but I had no banana plugs available with me when I did this.

    • FeRD says:

      Passthru banana plugs don’t allow you to unplug only one connected device without disturbing the others, tho. (Unless it happens to be the last one plugged in. Murphy’s Law is only one of the principles that tells us that’s pretty unlikely.)

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the Shack has some sort of multi-connector terminal block that takes banana plugs, tho — a couple of those might be useful in constructing a more permanent setup.

  10. [...] if the motherboard has one. Check out our user posted comments/solutions, or post your own! Jon asks, I am concerned with the power supply connectors, and if the motherboard has the correct ty…sted comments/solutions, or post your own! WordPress › [...]


Welcome to my place on the web. I note down anything interesting most of them relating to my experiences, Tech, To-dos, How-tos and various hacks. Most of my time is spent in tinkering around with hardware, building robots and working with DSPs.More

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