Bus Pirate probe cable prototypes and giveaway


Prototype Bus Pirate probe cables with heat shrink labels arrived today. We sent professionally printed heat shrink tubes to the cable people (white) and they attached them to 100 cables. We printed our own shrink labels on the L-Mark LK320P and attached them to 100 cables in-house (yellow).

Results and cable giveaway below!


The cables look great, and the factory did a great job applying the professionally printed shrink tubes. The manufacturer complained though that it took 8 hours to apply the labels to 100 cables. Not great, that’s just over ten per hour. Yikes. We offered extra money, but they refused it. We’ll see how willing they are next time.


We also fired up the L-Mark and printed shrink tubes for 100 cables. Applying them is indeed a nightmare job. Each probe wire has to be peeled back, then the tubes applied and aligned before shrinking. We didn’t even do as well as the factory – maybe 10 hours total to get 100 cables done.

Get one!

There’s still the question of yellow or white. We’ll leave it up to a popularity contest. Mention your preference in a comment below, tomorrow we’ll send a coupon code good for one probe cable to 20 random commentors. You choose your favorite, yellow or white, from the free PCB drawer. The most popular color will go into the first batch of Bus Pirate education kits and be available at Seeed Studio.

Join the Conversation


  1. Oooh, white for me, please!
    I do wonder how much these would go for, retail. At 1/10th hour of time, probably quite expensive!

  2. Neat! This is a handy improvement over the basic- hope you can work out a solution with the manufacturer. If I’m a lucky fellow, white looks best to me!

  3. I don’t need one but the white look easier to read. Did you ever look at custom printed wires/ribbon cable?

  4. They look great!! Especially the white ones with respect to clarity. I really could use a probe cable for my nerd-shack!

  5. I think the white are higher contrast, but the yellow follow the DP logo color scheme…..tough choice. I think I’d go for the yellow in the end.

  6. yellow yellow yellow! Gotta be yellow! White is so,,,,white….

    Just my $0.20 worth.

    And, yes, I would love one of whatever color but I prefer YELLOW!

    already got the buspirate.

  7. White. Are you going to have any sets of labeled heat shrink not on the cable already? I find the female cable version get used more and would not mind making a labeled one.

  8. Alo.

    Nice cables, though if i was the manufacturer i’d not do to such job anymore, low profit ;) I hope you don’t have problems with that and they will continue doing them.

    mmh color? yellow is ok.

  9. I think this is (assuming assembly can be facilitated) a great way to make IDing the pins while “in-circuit” [the human, I mean] that much more certain. And I like white.

  10. Wait, so you’re sending me the Bus Pirate PCB but I have to get the cables separately? You tease! :-)

    Anyway, white, without any really strong argument. And if white were out of stock and yellow were the only option, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up anyway.

  11. Oh Yeeah, that’s a very nice idea, it will make the live with Buspirate easier …

    White look really great !

    It seems that contrast between the black ink and the white background is really good mainly for ” Mr Magoo like” people as me …

    That will definitively be WHITE !

    Thanks you for the opportunity !

  12. Contrast is king; I like the white best as this looks to be the most readable. I sometimes struggle to read black on yellow when in bad light conditions.

  13. Although I like the idea of the yellow/black to match DP’s color scheme, with the fully colored wires the white looks cleaner.

  14. Would-be great to have a yellow one to acompany my Bus Pirate to mAke THE correct connection Every time!

  15. I like the yellow.

    **** How about selling the printed heat shrink pieces for those of us who want to apply them to our own probes?

    I have a logic analyzer from another vendor that could benefit from a probe set with labels!

    Even better would be labels that say “A0”, “A1″… “A7”, “B0”..”B7″, GND

    But even using the labels you’ve already made would be an improvement.


    1. THIS. I agree wholeheartedly! When I saw that heat shrink printer I was thinking “Oh, man, I need to get me one of those!” And then I saw the price, and said “Oh, man, I need to find someone who has one of those!” Seriously, this is a great idea — I would pay for this.

  16. Yellow is the right way. Think about the dust and dirt on a workbench… White will not last long white..

  17. White would be easier to read, the printing would probably disappear before the white gets all that dirty?

  18. White labels look better to me. But when debugging difficult problems it doesn’t really matter now does it?

  19. Tough to decide… I’d go for WHITE because I’d be able to use sharpies to color code the leads more.

  20. I think white looks better.
    It will complicate things but maybe power lines and data lines in different colors can be more convenient. (eg: power/ground white, data yellow)

  21. Yellow, because I don’t want to confuse this cable with my FPGA programmers’ labeled probe cable (which I think is also 2×5) and because it looks more DANGEROUS.

  22. Yellow! I have few yellow wires and lots of white ones. The yellow will make them easier to find me thinks. Definitely Dangeresk.

  23. Yellow – But I opt out of the competiton, as I already used a coupon to get a set thankyou :) I would prefer female ends though, male aren’t as much use to me.

  24. Love my BPv4. The white looks absolutely stunning on these cables and IMO gives the entire setup that official “stand back im doing science” look.

    Had no idea I could use my BP as an AVR programming device. I’ve had this for over a year and am constantly amazed at all that it offers. I can’t help but to recommend the BP to fellow hackers everywhere because it is such a versatile tool I find new uses for weekly.

  25. I would definitely go with white because of the fact that the black on white is a much bolder contrast and easier to see.

  26. White is the way to go. It is much easier to read. (particularly for us “older” folks)
    Maybe you could sell a kit of labels to allow users to shrink on to the leads them selves?
    Also, a set of female to female adapters as lots of times one needs to connect to a male header.

  27. Im too late for this, right? Damn!
    I didnt even care for any particular color (if paisley wasnt available).

  28. I prefer the look of the white, but I think the yellow is most likely to stand out in use, so I pick yellow.

    I’ll probably buy one either way when I get around to it.

  29. White seems the cleanest – I do see why the yellow is of interest because of the brand. White is just clean and clear.

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