Solved ways of preventing antistatic shock

December 30, 2013 at 12:57:12
Specs: Windows 7
I'm about to build my first computer and is currently searching for the most cheap and efficient way to ground myself. I have heard of ways as ankle/wrist straps and antistatic gloves and keeping a hand in contact with the case at all times. but do i have to be attached to the case or is it enough to stand barefooted on a floor build directly unto the ground?

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#1
December 30, 2013 at 13:14:07
✔ Best Answer
The key is to remove static discharge from your body to earth ground (thus zero-potential voltage). You can ground yourself by holding onto the chassis while it's plugged into the wall outlet (but obviously this isn't too safe if you need to work on the power supply or any other part of the machine while it's on). Static straps are relatively cheap (see link below), and you could substitute by using a string of bare wire wrapped around your wrist and alligator-clipped to the chassis of the computer--but again, work on the machine only when the power is off and not around the power-supply...

http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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#2
December 30, 2013 at 13:44:04
mmm - I have to say that I have built/rebuilt assorted computers over the years - and never used any kind of ant-static straps etc...

Possibly I've been (very) fortunate; but then so it would appear have all my various colleagues too - they have not used anti-static straps either...

And if they're not too outrageously expensive (often items like these are marked up some...) then go for one. If it allows you to feel a little more secure - no harm at all in using one.

If in doubt - use one!

Important item to be aware of...

When going inside "any" computer - fully remove "all" power sources; which in the case of a laptop means also removing the battery as well as the mains power cord.

Do not install/remove etc. anything physically - until you "know" all power has been disabled//removed.

On most/all modern laptops if the battery is still in place (and charged) even with the mains input removed... there are still active volts running around inside - even when the laptop its switched off on the laptop itself. So remove the battery if going inside.

On most/all modern computers even when switched off on the computer itself - again there are volts running around inside - if active mains is still applied. (This applies equally to laptops - with the battery removed - but with active mains still going in.)

Historical... Pre ATX boards (upto the late 90s) "off" usually meant it was OFF; the on/off switch/button was a mains-switch - at least for desktop systems... But then it all changed...


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#3
December 30, 2013 at 14:22:37
I typically touch the screw on a light switch plate or a metal water faucet which grounds me and then I proceed to work. It is important to avoid walking on carpet after grounding yourself and even some synthetic clothing can create static potential. Of course it is safest to purchase a grounding strap made for the purpose and use that. Ultimately, your choice.
Look at Bench Testing Procedure:
http://www.techsupportforum.com/for...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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Related Solutions

#4
December 30, 2013 at 15:12:29
No shoes has worked well for me and gets rid of static, but the methods given have got to be the best and proper advice.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
December 30, 2013 at 15:19:06
One could stand in a metal bowl/trough of water... with a wire going connecting it to a copper rod inserted into the ground...; or a plastic trough/bowl of water with a copper rod in there too - and that rod connected to another inserted into the ground... Not very convenient but...?

Just long as one does NOT have any active mains anywhere near one or the kit under construction... Udderwzye... mmm

message edited by trvlr


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#6
December 30, 2013 at 22:40:12
You might check this previous lengthy discussion on the matter:

http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...


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#7
December 31, 2013 at 03:35:49
I'm not saying it as a recommendation. To my mind, static presents only a theoretical risk.
My experience is similar to trvlr's, in that I've built/rebuilt/repaired PCs for a good few years all without incident (other than occasional clumsiness/carelessness) and all without recourse to any antistatic measures .

Maybe if I dressed entirely in nylon, walked about all day on nylon carpets in a super-dry environment, with a nearby Van de Graaf generator running at full belt, I might take precautions, otherwise I'll carry on as usual.

Likewise the tech guy in my local PC shop where I buy stuff occasionally. He's worked there nigh on 10-yrs and never bothered with Antistatic protection.

Good sense prevails of course, re the presence of power, whether mains or battery. None of it will hurt you (unless you poke metallic objects directly into an ATX PSU), though low voltages in the wrong place will fry delicates chips and other components. So be careful poking around a powered up PC with metal tools.

If in doubt, take whatever precautions you think are necessary.
A belt and braces approach never hurt anybody, though you might become a bit tangled up in 'em. ;o)


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#8
December 31, 2013 at 14:02:01
I hate getting technical or ruffling feathers on these forums, but for the "non-believers":

http://www.esda.org/documents/Funda...

There's also "parts 1 thru 6" as well (just change the url to reflect)...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#9
December 31, 2013 at 14:09:45
... Hey, I'm sure that's exactly what I said.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#10
December 31, 2013 at 14:16:33
Derek - You forgot to mention/warn about working with Christmas crackers and other seasonal bang-bang/explosive devices...

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#11
January 1, 2014 at 01:05:55
Static protection is designed into all chips and associated circuitry.
That's not to say such devices are 100% proof. Hence sensible precautions.
No doubt, you can still be unlucky with a whack of static at the wrong time in the wrong place, but it's mainly theoretical.

I remember in the early days, when touch tuning was first introduced into TV sets etc (late 1970s?). Not sure, but these may have been early CMOS devices.
The technology back then wasn't too reliable and chip failures were all too common. Replacements came wrapped in metal foil and 'plugged' into conductive foam.
Handling and fitting these definitely required antistatic precautions be taken.
Never mind static; simply looking at them the wrong way would kill 'em. LOL

Thankfully, technology has advanced in leaps and bounds and micro-electronic devices are much more reliable and robust. I still can't get over what they pack into a CPU. Nothing short of miraculous!

But now, a short experiment.
Warning: Don't try this at home!!

Ok. Hang on a mo', while I polish up the contacts on this 1GB stick of RAM on the front of my polyester shirt.... Rub-rub-rub.
Reinsert into PC... Switch on...
Yup! Still working. Just lucky I guess. ;o)


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#12
January 1, 2014 at 02:30:33
Mmm I can recall all manner of "stuff" arriving in "foil" - often with dire warnings etc. about how not to handle it. I think some HD come in similar "foil" even today...

As Peet observes though - things are much more robust overall. But i would agree that if "in doubt" take precautions when "playing with critical solid state bits, not the least RAM, cpu and most cmos kit...

Still the golden rule not to handle quartz halogen bulbs mit little sticky fingers... Cos it will shorten their life. Often they will "blow/pop the envelope" where they came into direct/physical contact with us humans...


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#13
January 1, 2014 at 04:19:45
*NOT* wearing frilly nylon undies helps! :-)

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#14
January 1, 2014 at 08:05:33
Aw schucks - there is always a spoil sport. I'll just have to cut the frills off.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#15
January 1, 2014 at 09:25:08
but keep your nylons on… to compensate… and keep warm at the same time...

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