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Q: Using a Magnetised Screwdriver on a Computer Motherboard

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Eyman, Jul 11, 2003.

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  1. Eyman

    Eyman Guest


    Im about to remove my motherboard from my computer case to install a
    heatsink fan.

    Ive typically been using a standard non magnetised screwdriver in the past,
    but am thinking about using a magnetised screwdriver to remove and install
    the motherboard in and out of the case.

    I know static electricity is a danger but will the manget effect of the
    screwdriver stuff up my motherboard?

    thanks in advance

  2. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    No problem.

  3. Chesucat

    Chesucat Guest

    Actually, static is really not a problem if you touch some metal to
    discharge your self. My brother-in-law has been building 'puters for
    several years now and he never "straps up". Hell, he even put the
    motherboard on the carpet or sometimes a towel to work on it. He says he
    hasn't had any problems with that. I think the ESD FUD is just the
    electronics industries trying to get newbies tech to buy expensive
    grounding straps, mats, and bags!

  4. Bob Myers

    Bob Myers Guest

    He's been lucky, maybe. ESD is a very real concern, and the damage
    doesn't always show up immediately. I hate to think how many
    boards your brother-in-law has caused to have problems
    somewhere down the line. Or do you think all of the electronics
    manufacturers in the world take pains to control ESD simply
    because we don't know any better?

    Bob M.
  5. Neil

    Neil Guest

    I saw my first static-damaged chip many years ago. Since the industry I'm
    in (avionics) has to test and soak its products before delivery, and support
    repairs for about 20 years, we've seen many failures with the hallmarks of
    static damage. The general consensus is that the damage may not manifest
    itself imediately, but be a weakening of the chips so that they fail later -
    days/months/years - dependig on other stresses.
    Even resistors are labeled as static sensitive now because of the small
    physical geometries involved.
    My approach is better safe than sorry, so use cheap but effective
    protection - leaving the case grounded, touching it to discharge before
    removing things from packaging etc. Aluminium foil is a pretty good cheap
    substitute for anti-static packaging.
    The best demo we showed one of our disbelieving bosses - again many years
    ago - was to get him to hold one leg of a wire-ended neon (the tiny
    indicator thingies) with the other end touching the metal door frame
    (earthed via the building), and shuffle his feet on the nylon carpet tiles.
    The neon glowed quite brightly. They breakover at 90V, so it was a good
    demo that there are quite a few volts generated.
  6. This may well depend on the sort of carpet and towels he has. Synthetics
    can lead to considerable voltages when walked upon, while cotton is much
  7. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    If you're wearing leather shoes, you can build up quite a charge by
    rubbing your feet against a cat.

  8. David Smith

    David Smith Guest

    Apple Computer factory training says "Nope, no effect whatsoever." - I
    asked the same question also.
  9. Bob Myers

    Bob Myers Guest

    Would you mind providing just a LITTLE more context? WHAT has
    "no effect whatsoever"? If you're claiming that Apple trains its factory
    workers that ESD is not a concern, I seriously suspect you're
    the training.

    Bob M.
  10. Chris1

    Chris1 Guest

    From the thread title, I assume it had to do with magnetized screwdrivers
    and their effects. Reminds me of the urban legend about refrigerator
    magnets and floppies. Turns out that a fridge magnet is nowhere near
    powerful enough to effect the data on a floppy. So the smartass telling the
    UL is really a dumbass for assuming the floppy would be damaged.

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