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Old 04-02-2013, 01:08 PM #1
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Cool ESD Detector for $2!

Hello LPF,

I found a ESD detector on the web and built it and it works great! This is great for when you are not sure you are fully discharged and you're about to handle a diode. The link: HERE. I would recommend to use the 1 Meg resistor and a just put in a switch between the negative of the battery and the LED so you can just leave it on the battery. It is extremely sensitive (Can pick up a charged ruler about 30cm away!) is very, very easy to build. Thanks for reading!

EDIT: Just made my antenna longer (about 1cm) and it is now much more sensitive! Detects the ruler at about one meter away


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Old 04-02-2013, 01:26 PM #2
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

Interesting circuit.
I think I have all the parts lying around, will try to build it some time.
Thanks for sharing
(its a pity 9V batteries are so expensive here )
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:32 PM #3
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

Electronics 123 (I don't know if you have one in George) sells 9V batteries for only R15! I buy all mine there
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:47 PM #4
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

Sounds interesting and might be cool to have... but shouldn't you just touch some earthed conductor if you're unsure whether you're still charged or not? It'd be simpler...
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:06 PM #5
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

This will pick up ANY static electricity, you don't know how many static electricity is left in your hands, even after you grounded yourself. This is just to make sure you are completely discharged.

EDIT: By ground I mean by touching a metal object, not with a wrist band
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:30 PM #6
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cube777 View Post
you don't know how many static electricity is left in your hands, even after you grounded yourself.


Zero. Zero is the answer. If it's anything other than zero, you haven't grounded yourself.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:43 PM #7
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

Well, I know from some experience that if you don't ground yourself long enough, there may be some charge leftover on your body, but like Cyparagon said, it should be zero if done correctly.

Anyway, aren't you supposed to keep yourself grounded as you work on really sensitive electronics? I know some people ground both themselves AND their soldering iron while working on projects that are sensitive...

Thankfully, in Singapore, we don't have that problem
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:54 PM #8
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

This may sound like a really, REALLY stupid question....but I'm not really sure how to ground myself? When I fixed up my laptop and upgraded the RAM I simply touched the Chassis a bunch because that is supposed to be the ground.....but with lasers I have never been sure....just try to touch as much stuff that could possibly discharge the electricity before I mess with diodes and drivers and whatnot.....

So if someone wouldn't mind helpin a brother out....I have read all sorts of how to's but I never understand what they mean....


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Old 04-02-2013, 06:35 PM #9
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

@Cyparagon If you don't touch the metal object long enough there could still be a charge in your body, or by simply moving can also build up a charge (like a carpet or some clothes). I edited my previous post to clarify that with "ground" I mean simply by touching a metal object.

@wannaburnstuff You can buy a anti static wrist band from Cajunlasers, they work great. You simply then connect the wrist band either to a large metal object or your house's earth ground (what I do)
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:04 PM #10
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

Yeah, I have an ESD writstrap, but I never understood what to clip it on to....I usually clipped it onto my vice as I figured the metal would work....
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:06 PM #11
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

IIRC you can also connect it to you're house's hot water pipe
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:47 PM #12
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post


Zero. Zero is the answer. If it's anything other than zero, you haven't grounded yourself.
I save a copy of every one of those "are you kidding me?" images that come with these responses.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:31 PM #13
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaburnstuff View Post
Yeah, I have an ESD writstrap, but I never understood what to clip it on to..
Mains earth. Something that leads to the ground pin of a wall socket for example. Many electrical devices with a metal chassis are earth grounded. If you're not sure, measure the resistance between various metal points and the ground pin of a socket. The bottom pin, if you're in the US:



Side note: it's fun to stick metal objects in electrical sockets (ground or neutral, of course) and laugh as bystanders cringe in horror.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cube777 View Post
@Cyparagon If you don't touch the metal object long enough there could still be a charge in your body, or buy simply moving can can also build up a charge (like a mat or some clothes).
Grounding straps are $1 shipped. If you can afford to build this circuit, you can afford a grounding strap. There's no reason to half-ass ESD safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cube777 View Post
simply moving can can also build up a charge (like a mat or some clothes).
Which is exactly why "checking periodically" is not sufficient if you're serious about protecting your sensitive devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cube777 View Post
I edited my previous post to clarify that with "ground" I mean simply by touching a metal object.
I taped a nail to my elbow. Problem solved!

Srsly tho, "metal objects" are not automatically ground.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:38 PM #14
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

You need to install a ground screw to your elbow.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:51 PM #15
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

@Cyparagon Sorry, but I was just trying to help someone, not start a debate. I don't know as much as you do and probably never will, but I'm willing to learn.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:10 PM #16
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Default Re: ESD Detector for $2!

The problem I face is that I live on the third floor of a dorm. To combat this issue, I bought a dozen pairs of reusable ESD nylon gloves. Not the cheapest method, but better than not having them.
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