1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Other Anti-static mat

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by JunkersUK, 10 Aug 2010.

  1. JunkersUK

    JunkersUK Great chieftan o' the puddin race

    Joined:
    1 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    Right well I'm awaiting the delivery of a Samsung Spinpoint 1TB HDD to replace my current and cramped 250GB Seagate. My PC is one of 'em spacesaving microATX bollocks with only one place for my HDD. Anyways, would it be wise of me to buy an anti-static mat considering my HDD is pratically at the top of my case (see me for pix)? And would I require a mat AND a wristband?
     
  2. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

    Joined:
    24 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    172
    as long as you earth yourself before touching any vital components, dont waste your money on mats, or wristbands

    a lot of components are better designed nowadays, and aren't easily fried by static anymore.

    obviously, dont go rubbing your feet on a nylon carpet with wooly socks on, and then touch a component.
     
  3. JunkersUK

    JunkersUK Great chieftan o' the puddin race

    Joined:
    1 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    Would maybe wellie boots with their rubber soles do the trick?
     
  4. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

    Joined:
    24 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    172
    seriously you dont need to worry to much about static, just touch the metal part of your case, before touching components.

    wellies, hmmm, might just keep the static in you till you touch summat you shouldn't
     
  5. JunkersUK

    JunkersUK Great chieftan o' the puddin race

    Joined:
    1 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    If I can find any metal parts amongst all this crap cramped into this wee case! Thanks anyways mate.
     
  6. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

    Joined:
    24 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    172
    or a radiator nearby
     
  7. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    If you're working on one PC, no it definately isn't worth buying an anti static mat or strap. Just exercise care when handling components like your CPU, motherboard, memory modules and graphics card. When you are working with PCBs like these you should ground/earth yourself before handling them, and hold them by the endges of the PCB, not touching any of the components.

    Anti-static products can be very expensive, and I definately wouldn't waste your money for working on just one PC. The new conductive motherboard racks that I just placed on order with the company who supplies our ESD products are going to cost in excess of £150 each, and the new ESD grounded covering that's going on the benches comes in a variation which can cost £50 per meter :/

    That doesn't discharge static electricity. To effectively remove a static charge from your skin, you have to come in contact with an earthing point, like an exposed copper radiator pipe or earthed sink pipes.
     
  8. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    3,186
    Likes Received:
    61
    Not sure how things are in the UK, but on this side of the ponds, 110vac mains power has an earth ground prong. Every PC I've ever worked in has had this earth ground attached to the metal PSU case, which in turn is connected to the metal PC case with screws.

    So, as long as it is plugged in, the bare metal in the case is an earthing point, which is why I never unplug my PC while working on it.

    When dealing with electronics on the workbench, I try to discharge any static I may have built up by touching the bare metal on the outside of the mains outlet junction boxes, as that is also an earthing point.

    However, I have been concerned recently, as my PSU and case are both painted or powdercoated black from the factory, as well as the screws connecting them, so I am not sure if it is conductive enough, and have been using the outlet junction boxes instead.
     
  9. Publ!c Enemy

    Publ!c Enemy or Richard for short

    Joined:
    4 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    176
    Likes Received:
    5
    Good Thread:) I have wondered this a few times, can you take out the motherboard and put it on the box, and earthing your self and everything like that?
     
  10. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

    Joined:
    24 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    172
    it has to be pointed out that health and safety in the uk suggests unplugging the mains lead, when working inside a pc.

    uk leads do have an earth connection also.

    but as i have already stated, static isnt as much of a killer as it once was.


    i have built a large amount of machines without using antistatic devices, with no problems. its good practice to discharge first
     
  11. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    That's an acceptable method, but it is different here. We use a 3-pin mains outlet plug, one of which is the earth. And PC chassis, for the most part, have no visible connection to that earth because the components are isolated from the chassis, but the PSU being screwed to the chassis and the PSU being earthed at the wall creates the "safe earth" that UK legislation requires for all electrical devices with conductive enclosures. The grounding points for my workbenches and ESD strap points on the bench run to the mains socket earth, just like many of the ones on the production and testing lines in work (I work for an electronic assembly specialist).
     
  12. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    3,186
    Likes Received:
    61
    Interesting. Every US PSU I've seen just had a big bolt in the metal enclosure, and a thick green wire from the earth ground on the IEC socket to that bolt. Metal case is bolted to metal PSU enclosure. Hmmm, maybe next time I unplug my PC I will take a multimeter and check for continuity between some random point of bare metal on the case, and the earth conductor on the mains cord. I didn't think you guys had PSUs that were any different from ours, which have the earth ground to the enclosure.
     
  13. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    3,186
    Likes Received:
    61
    That's silly. Every wire and connector is insulated. You're far more likely to cut yourself on the edge of a piece of metal than you are to electrocute yourself. It's just a bunch of insulated low voltage connectors.

    I've only gotten an electrical shock from my PC once.

    I had the PSU board completely removed from its enclosure, plugged in, and on the top of my case while running, with a piece of plastic between the case and the PSU. Everything was working fine, but then I absentmindedly picked up the PSU to move it while it was on, and got a bit of a shock from the heatsinks.
     
  14. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

    Joined:
    24 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    172
    ahh it may well be silly, and it is something that a magazine got a wrap on the knuckles for, so much so in the next magazine, they actually printed that they had been advised that you should unplug from the mains socket before working inside the machine.

    we all know that all the high voltage stuff is inside that rectangular metal box called a power supply unit. and that the low voltage stuff isn't really going to do much harm, unless we lick that 16 amp 12v rail.

    i just wanted to point it out before someone else did.

    i dont unplug from mains normally, just make sure its switched off.
     
  15. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    Yeah, it's completely different here then. Our PSUs don't have that external earth wire, because our earth is included as one of the 3 pins on the outlet socket. The only computer equipment I've seen that on over here is data cabinets/racks. The US and Canadian electrical standards are very old-hat compared to over here. I know from having visited both Canada and the US that some of the stuff you see in building wiring over there wouldn't have a chance of getting passed here in the UK or other parts of Europe. Building regulations and BS (British Standards) are a lot tighter and more strictly enforced.
     
    Last edited: 11 Aug 2010
  16. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

    Joined:
    21 Apr 2007
    Posts:
    7,379
    Likes Received:
    164
    HDD aren't that sensitive to static shock, just try to hold the HDD by the sides and avoid touching the circuit board on the bottom.


    And for good measure just touch your case
     
  17. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    Oh, and I forgot to mention - not everything in your PC is as low voltage as you might think. a 110/240V supply can induce voltages in excess of 20 kV, like on the hot end of a CCFL inverter. It's considered good, safe practice to switch off and unplug a computer system, then remove residual charge from the PSU before working on it internally. It only takes one slip of a screwdriver or one dropped screw to short a couple of pins on a DIL on your motherboard or graphics card and blow it.
     
  18. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    3,186
    Likes Received:
    61
    Ours isn't external. The stuff I'm talking about is inside the PSU.

    We use a 3-prong 110vac mains... the two A/C lines, and an earth ground.

    Our PSUs just have a standard 15A IEC connector, and are switchable between 110v and 220v, just like every picture of UK PSUs that I've seen.

    Inside the PSU enclosure, the earth ground is connected to the metal PSU enclosure, and this the metal case.
     
  19. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules New Member

    Joined:
    14 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    2,464
    Likes Received:
    29
    Not that I have anything constructive to add, but seeing this thread on the main forum index out of the corner of my eye looked like "anti-static meat." :rock:
     
  20. neil_b

    neil_b Member

    Joined:
    20 Jun 2009
    Posts:
    288
    Likes Received:
    1
    Common sense needs to be applied to this situation.

    If you are going to be working on stuff like cable routing, or fitting of caddies etc, then simply make sure you don't touch anything that could be sensitive to static - like pins of connectors, edges of boards/card etc. For this sort of work you definitely should not need the power cord plugged in. If, as someone pointed out, you want to be sure about being static free, then simply touch an unpainted part of a radiator etc from time to time to discharge any static.

    If you need to have the power core plugged in, make sure you know what you're doing. Mains can and will kill you with a single slip of the hand. A good idea is to plug the mains cord into an ELCB - earth leakage current/circuit breaker. Then any inadvertant contact with potentially lethal mains will trip out the supply anyway, hopefully before it can kill you (or your PC!).

    If you are handling cards/modules/components, then make sure you NEVER EVER touch any electrical contact points, be they edge connectors, plug/socket connections, bare metal anywhere on the mobo/cards, bottoms of pcb's etc etc. Just DON'T TOUCH!

    If you are using a multi-meter to measure actual voltages etc, be very careful never to let the tip of the probe slip; if you do you can literally brick a mobo/cpu/gfx card. Also, as previously pointed out, there can sometimes be v.high voltages lurking in a PC or laptop (especially), although they typically wouldn't kill, as the current is usually very low - they will however give you a very sharp reminder that you're not paying attention.

    When working on a PC, as doctors say, "first, do no harm!".
     

Share This Page