Cable Wrangler for the DM6000AR multimeter

Cable wrangler in actionConsumer products have to be designed for the typical user. It’s the only way manufacturers can hope to sell them by the millions. But if you find yourself using them in an atypical way, your experience can often be frustrating. Take the thing out, use it, chafe once again at some irritating detail of how it works, put it away, grumble to friends and neighbors, repeat as necessary. For most of my life, that has been the shape of the story told by a number of different products.

Case in point: multimeters.

I don’t know how other people use theirs, but I keep mine in a drawer and pull it out when I need it. Maybe for 30 seconds to test continuity in a cable, or maybe for a week while I’m designing some new gadget. But every time it emerges from that drawer, it brings six or eight victims along with it, strangled in the tentacles of its snarled probes and still dangling from them, like desiccated corpses of its recent meals.

I’ve tried just wrapping those cables around the body before putting it away, but without some way to secure the probes at the end, they always seem to come unraveled and revert to their treacherous ways.

For years, I’ve been getting by with a cheap Radio Shack meter that I bought in the 80s. But with a slate of new projects on the horizon, I decided to treat myself to a modest upgrade. Nothing excessive. I just wanted to get the benefit of some of the more modern features. Things like auto scaling, audible continuity testing, transistor testing, etc. And I found everything I wanted in the DM6000AR from Astro AI.

To my dismay, however, even after 30 years of steady advancement in the field, these things are still ravenous drawer kraken, with their insatiable, untamed cables. Some features, it seems, will never change. But this time, I refused to repeat the cycle of despair I’ve been trapped by the past. So instead of complaining, I just designed a solution that seems to tame this beast once and for all.

the cable wranglerAnd here it is. A simple cable wrangler to keep that pesky drawer kraken at bay. It’s just a winding post (with two built-in probe clips) that snap-fits around the waist of the meter. It isn’t fancy, but it does the job. Now when I’m ready to consign the meter back into its darkened lair, I just wind the cords around the post and snap the probes handles into the clips. Voila! No more kraken. The next time I pull it out, it’s still the same meek and mild instrument that I put away. No dangling victims. No headaches. And no neighbors complaining about all the angry grumbling coming from my lab.

The only caveat is that the waist clip that attaches the wrangler to the meter does so in a way that obstructs the built-in stand from being opened. I’ve never seen the point of standing these meters up, myself. In my view, that only makes them more unstable and more likely to fall over if the cables get tugged. So this limitation is just fine by me.

If that’s a problem for you, then I guess that makes you an atypical user of the wrangler. My apologies to your neighbors. :-)

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About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.