The Power Probe is a logic analyzer meant for automotive use. It is extremely useful for tracing and testing wiring.
The Power Probe consists of a handheld unit with a sharp, pointed probe that can be poked through insulated wires. It comes with a very long power leads that connect to the position and negative terminals of the battery (in the DeLorean, it is usually easier to use the jumper cable points in the engine compartment), or it can be plugged into the cigarette lighter.
When the probe touches a live wire, it lights up the world like the 4th of July an LED either red or green and sounds one of two tones, depending on if the wire is carrying ground or 12v. This makes it very easy to test wires to see if they are connected properly. The buzzer can be turned off via a button on the unit.
Beyond simply testing for connectivity, a rocker switch on the unit can be used to apply 12v or ground through the tip of the probe. This makes it very easy to test parts of a circuit, although care should be taken to avoid short circuits.
There are a few models of Power Probe.
- The Power Probe I does not have a buzzer, but otherwise operates as described above.
- The Power Probe II has a buzzer and all of the features described above, as well as two LED flashlights aimed down the probe to help illuminate the wires.
- The Power Probe II includes all the features above, as well as an LCD display, which allows the probe to act as a voltmeter, a voltage drop detector, bad ground indicator, positive and negative peak voltage tests, check difference between the high and low voltage, and can monitor AC voltages.
Power Probes can be found for as little as $50 USD online for the Power Probe I and II, and range up beyond $170 USD for the Power Probe III, although $90 USD to $120 USD is a more common price range.