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static electricity

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by foTONICS, Dec 11, 2013.

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  1. foTONICS


    Sep 30, 2011
    So I'm sitting at my cubicle and I need to work on something, problem is I don't have a connection for my anti-static wristband so I just figured I would connect to the case of my PC. Now I wasn't 100% positive if the case to a PC is grounded so I googled it and came upon this response from someone (attached).

    Now I have personally seen components damaged from ESD but then again I work with sensitive equipment like accelerometers and gyros inside of IMU's. Is what this guy saying true? Do PC's have the ability to withstand ESD because they use beefier components, or is he just really lucky/ignorant

    Attached Files:

  2. GreenGiant


    Feb 9, 2012
    One could go their entire life and build hundreds of computers and have a static shock from their hand to each and every one of them and never see an issue.
    On the other hand you could open your computer one time EVER and shock it and kill it forever.

    I have personally never friend anything this way, but I have seen it done, you are much safer when it is completey off, and more likely to cause damage when it is on, but its really a 1 in a million kind of thing.

    I personally never use static straps/mats, but then my work issued a static shoe strap to be worn at all times that meshes with the ESD paint in certain areas of the warehouse floor.
  3. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    hi fotonics

    that guy is an idiot!! only plain way to describe his total disregard of the static problem

    I have killed a few chips and boards over the years for letting my anti-static protection slip

  4. tryppyr


    Oct 22, 2013
    I must say I'm amused. I came to this thread thinking it was going to be some inane question about using capacitors to save up static electricity as a way of avoiding the use of a battery. It turned out to be funnier than that! ;)
  5. Steve Johnson

    Steve Johnson

    Feb 10, 2012
    I just took a grounded AC plug and stuck a banana jack in it tied to the ground pin:


    You can also buy them but this is cheaper if you have an old banana jack laying around.

    The computer case is most likely grounded but only when it's plugged in.
    Get a DMM and measure the resistance from the case to the AC ground pin when the computer is unplugged. It should only be a couple of ohms. Your wrist strap from the wrist contact to the banana or clip should be at least 1 megohm.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Further to Davenn's point... Once components are built into circuits they are generally less sensitive to static because the circuit they're in helps to protect them.

    But safer does not mean safe. A big enough discharge or bad enough luck will still destroy things.
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