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Windows 7: Static Electricity and earth straps


19 Mar 2013   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Static Electricity and earth straps

I am a great believer in always wearing an earth strap when I go inside a PC. Some on this board have the view that this is not necessary!
Lets look at what static electricity is! It is simply high voltage electricity with no current. It can and often does reach very high voltages. When you get that spark between your finger and a car door that can be measured at about 500v.
Different people generate different levels of static even though all other factors may be the same. You can have two people dressed in similar clothes next to each other at the same bench with wildly differening levels of static being generated! Certain atmospheric conditions create differing levels ie humidity, temperature, barometric pressure and a multitude of other conditions! Personally I generate a fairly high level of static as everytime I walk past our home radio we get quite severe interference. So my view is that as there are so many variables in the generation of static electricity it is better to err on the safe side and always recommend the use of a good earth strap. Better safe that sorry. I think it is encumbant upon all here who affer their advice and help to take a resposible attitude towards this problem and recommend the use of a strap but I would be pleased to hear what others think!


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19 Mar 2013   #2

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

I have moved to using the "earth strap" (even though I haven't heard it called that) when working on PC's. I have fixed many a computer by grounding myself to the case by holding/touching the metal casing and have had no issues with it. I have heard of people never using one and never having any problems. but.... better safe than sorry. it is good practice to use it so that there is no doubt that the hardware is safe.

Edit: also, another reason for using it is that I have started working on laptops more and there isn't a lot of metal to ground yourself to. so it is easier to ground if you are wearing the strap.

I have known it as an anti-static wrist-strap.
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19 Mar 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

I totally respect the use of a grounding band. I have two and I used to use the first one until my first build. Somehow I forgot to wear it and all came out well. Now on my umpteenth build all on carpet I haven't had an issue yet. But I agree that it's a risk I'm taking. By constantly touching the case and other things I discharge any build up. And as you're only as good as the actual ground your making and 99% of the time you'll place the clip on that same case it's all the same.
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19 Mar 2013   #4

Windows 7 pro x64 SP1
 
 

A slightly off topic, but funny earth strap story -

a neighbor rang and said 'I've been given a monitor and its got a great big earth strap - what do I connect it to'

Intrigued, I went round to have a look. It was a stolen monitor with a kensington lock and a sawn through security cable. Well, I do live on a council estate (aka projects in US)

earth strap LOL
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19 Mar 2013   #5

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Anybody that has looked into static electricity knows their are many variables. You could read for a year on the subject. I don't think after a small amount of research anybody can could think that static electricity is not a problem. The problem varies from person to person but is always there. It's so cheep to buy a strap it's not worth arguing about. With today's plastic in PC's and Laptops to me a static strap would be a wise move. I have one and I use it.
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19 Mar 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Just to throw it into the discussion to be safe
Touching the case (or even better the power converter housing) only makes sense as long as the power cable is still attached !
And what mitchell said about 500V static charges...in my experience those sparks you pull can easily be more than 10.000V thus fry an innocent,unsuspecting chip or circuit
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19 Mar 2013   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Excellent point so if you ground your wrist strap to the case and it's not plugged in your still not effectively grounding and how many of us keep the case plugged in? I just don't touch things but from edges, constantly touch grounded objects and damn the torpedoes as they say.
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19 Mar 2013   #8

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

As he said.
David Farragut
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19 Mar 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I have never used a anti static wrist band, all I do is turn off the Power back on the PSU carry my computer to the kitchen table then I touch either my PSU or my case (Corsair 800D) and never have I had any problems with this and done this a lot of times. And to be honest even if I had a anti static wrist band I have no idea where I would plug the other end of it

Other thing I do sometimes is to touch a element
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19 Mar 2013   #10

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Andreas W View Post
I have never used a anti static wrist band, all I do is turn off the Power back on the PSU carry my computer to the kitchen table then I touch either my PSU or my case (Corsair 800D) and never have I had any problems with this and done this a lot of times. And to be honest even if I had a anti static wrist band I have no idea where I would plug the other end of it

Other thing I do sometimes is to touch a element
Then IMHO you have been very lucky! One day when you find your memory modules are fried you will probably remember this thread!
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 Static Electricity and earth straps




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