Circuit Board Grounding Point

Instrument grounding point
Instrument grounding point

When you’re bringing up a new circuit board, you need a place to attach test equipment ground clips.

Take a resistor lead from that pile you’ve been collecting (you do save snipped-off through-hole component leads, don’t you?), bend it into a sort of flattened horseshoe with the ends pointing out, and firmly solder the ends to a convenient point on the board’s ground plane, ideally near the power entry point.

It helps if you leave a nice spot for the thing; tiny boards with all surface-mount parts pose a problem.

Long dangly ground leads clipped to a distant part of the board are definitely not adequate for low-level or high-frequency analog probing, but when you’re just trying to figure out if the mumble thing is alive, this hack will do the trick.

Oscilloscope probe tip ground
Oscilloscope probe tip ground

For detailed stuff, get up close & personal with that odd little scope probe nosepiece you’ve been keeping in a bag for some reason.

The top board is, of course, the one you’ve seen earlier.