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Old 06-17-2008, 01:47 AM #1
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Default what to attach esd strap to?

Can it just be attached to any non-painted peice of metal or what? I dont really know whats grounded and whats not.


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Old 06-17-2008, 03:08 AM #2
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

A fixing bolt on your computer, while it's plugged in (Doesn't have to be switched on.) would be fine.

Basically, any bare metal part of any electronic item which is earthed.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:11 AM #3
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Take an old PC power cord (if you have one - if not, go buy one !) and cut off the female end.

Strip away the insulation for about 8 " or so....LOOK at the colored wires. To be safe, use your meter, and put it into continuity test mode - place one probe on the round (ground) part of the male plug, and find the wire that it attaches to by putting the probe on each of the other wires until you hear beeps

Cut away the other wires, at least 6" of them - then fold them over (one at a time) and seal with two layers of electrical tape, or heat shrink - making sure to do them separately - then you can combine them into one little bundle, and heat shrink that as well. Then you are left with the male end of the plug that will plug into any grounded socket - and you can attach the free end of the ground wire to your ESD mat that you are attached to as well

SEEMS complicated - but works like a champ EVERY time. That way you don't have to worry about any ESD hitting your PC either
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Old 06-17-2008, 03:17 PM #4
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yngndrw
A fixing bolt on your computer, while it's plugged in (Doesn't have to be switched on.) would be fine.

Basically, any bare metal part of any electronic item which is earthed.
I don't really know what's earthed and whats not earthed...or what that means. And I don't know what a fixing bolt is.

Oh and for the other idea, I don't have a power meter.

Sorry for all of that. I'm not as noobish as I come across, but I haven't really dealt with esd stuff, and I never used them when building computers.
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Old 06-17-2008, 03:21 PM #5
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

No power meter is okay...take a battery with an LED attached to the positive side - a wire going from the negative end of the battery, place the negative battery end on one wire, and the negative side of the LED on a plug part, and see if it lights up ! you CAN get around having to use a meter - but they are DIRT cheap....and will save you LOADS of money in diodes and circuit parts if you go buy one...
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Old 06-17-2008, 03:56 PM #6
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 360freak
I don't really know what's earthed and whats not earthed...or what that means. And I don't know what a fixing bolt is.
Oh and for the other idea, I don't have a power meter.
Sorry for all of that. I'm not as noobish as I come across, but I haven't really dealt with esd stuff, and I never used them when building computers.
I have a "power strip" on my desk. I use it to plug in the iron, meter, power source, etc. when I'm working. It is plugged into a grounded outlet. I know it is grounded, I wired it myself However, it is easy to test with a simple plug tester available at most any hardware store. In the first socket in the power strip I have inserted a metal rod, with a flattened top, into the ground hole (the round one). I attach my ESD strap to it (and to me). Not only am I assured of grounding, I can see if it comes loose because it is right in front of me.

When working in my garage at my workbench, I have a setup similar to what Senkat has described. The main difference in mine and his is that I have ripped out the flat blades on the male end of the plug. I don't want any power in the wire.

Peace,
dave
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:37 PM #7
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Dangit ! I forgot that part :P I actually have a plug without the flat blades - I just forgot to mention the part of removing them DOH ! My old house in Jacksonville, Florida only had TWO grounded outlets in the entire house....it was built in 1957, and the electrical system was upgraded by a hack (not me !!!) and was horrid. I know those two outlets were grounded because I drove the 8 foot grounding rod into the ground, drilled through the wall of the house, and ran a ground wire direct to the outlet. You can buy little outlet testers almost anywhere, and they are dirt cheap, too ! I strongly suggest you get one, and check out the outlets you want to ground yourself to in order to make sure it is grounded
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:18 PM #8
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daguin
[quote author=360freak link=1213667249/0#3 date=1213715847]
I don't really know what's earthed and whats not earthed...or what that means. And I don't know what a fixing bolt is.
Oh and for the other idea, I don't have a power meter.
Sorry for all of that. I'm not as noobish as I come across, but I haven't really dealt with esd stuff, and I never used them when building computers.
I have a "power strip" on my desk. *I use it to plug in the iron, meter, power source, etc. when I'm working. *It is plugged into a grounded outlet. *I know it is grounded, I wired it myself *However, it is easy to test with a simple plug tester available at most any hardware store. *In the first socket in the power strip I have inserted a metal rod, with a flattened top, into the ground hole (the round one). *I attach my ESD strap to it (and to me). *Not only am I assured of grounding, I can see if it comes loose because it is right in front of me.

When working in my garage at my workbench, I have a setup similar to what Senkat has described. *The main difference in mine and his is that I have ripped out the flat blades on the male end of the plug. *I don't want any power in the wire.

Peace,
dave
[/quote]

Man so I need to be connected to the bottom part of a 3 pronged electrical socket? I thought it was as simple as being connected to any unpainted metal like my computer frame.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:29 PM #9
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

You can also get a ground line by attaching a lead to any copper plumbing pipes in your house / apt. Also if you have a soldering station, a lot of them have a thumb screw on the back which looks like a fuse holder, its there for esd straps, granted your outlet is grounded.
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:29 AM #10
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

I read on a computer forum, that if you ground yourself to your computer case, it evens out the static electricity in your body with the static in the case metal, which is what you're looking for, so wouldnt just attaching to my computer case work? I dont exactly have easy access to the other options.
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:45 AM #11
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 360freak
I read on a computer forum, that if you ground yourself to your computer case, it evens out the static electricity in your body with the static in the case metal, which is what you're looking for, so wouldnt just attaching to my computer case work? I dont exactly have easy access to the other options.

IF your computer is plugged into a grounded outlet AND you are hooked onto a BARE (no paint) piece of the case you will be fine. However, if you have a grounded plug in the room for the computer, you have other options available to you. Both myself and Senkat have given you different ones. If your computer is NOT plugged into a grounded outlet, you are just waiting for things to go bad anyway.

Peace,
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:46 AM #12
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 360freak
I read on a computer forum, that if you ground yourself to your computer case, it evens out the static electricity in your body with the static in the case metal, which is what you're looking for, so wouldnt just attaching to my computer case work? I dont exactly have easy access to the other options.
That would work if you did all of your work ON or IN the computer case.
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:05 AM #13
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

The metal body of any electrical appliance that's connected via a three prong grounded plug should be grounded... all computers should have three pronged plugs, and hopefully your house is properly grounded...

In north america, all standard electrical outlets should have two flat prongs, with one circular prong at the bottom. This circular prong is ground. You can either attach your ground strap to a probe and just shove it in the outlet, or also, the screw holding the outlet in place is also grounded. I've removed the screw from mine, soldered my ground strap to a washer, then screwed the ground strap directly onto the outlet.

If your house is over 75 years old you may not have these third prong, or maybe they're not properly grounded... Another, surefire way of getting a true earth ground is to drive a metal stake into the dirt and attach a wire to that. It's a good idea to do this anyways at some point, so you can measure with a multimeter to see if there's any voltage between the ground pin on your outlets and the actual earth.

If your house isn't properly grounded you should really get that fixed at some point or you'll kill your computer and any sensitive circuitry in time, as well as the possibility of getting a lethal shock at some point.. it's really important to get that fixed.. I once got a 500v potential across my computer case and my cable outlet, so when I had a problem with my internet, it almost turned into a trip to the emergency room.
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:35 AM #14
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Depending on floor coverings and humidity, Barefoot works real good No kidding.

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Old 06-18-2008, 01:56 AM #15
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

you don't actually have to be 'grounded' to ground yourself.
if you just touch the bare metal legs of your table, that will get rid of all the static in you. or you could just not touch lasers after walking around on carpet in your rubber shoes :P

it really isn't a good idea to be plugging yourself into a electrical output if you don't know what your doing. the ground wire is there for safety in case of an electrical fault. if something does go wrong with a grounded appliance and your household grounding is faulty, you can have a hundred volts on the ground wire, with you plugged into it!
only use that to ground yourself if you are SURE your house ground is good enough
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Old 06-18-2008, 02:19 AM #16
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Default Re: what to attach esd strap to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daguin
[quote author=360freak link=1213667249/0#9 date=1213748975]I read on a computer forum, that if you ground yourself to your computer case, it evens out the static electricity in your body with the static in the case metal, which is what you're looking for, so wouldnt just attaching to my computer case work? I dont exactly have easy access to the other options.

IF your computer is plugged into a grounded outlet AND you are hooked onto a BARE (no paint) piece of the case you will be fine. *However, if you have a grounded plug in the room for the computer, you have other options available to you. *Both myself and Senkat have given you different ones. *If your computer is NOT plugged into a grounded outlet, you are just waiting for things to go bad anyway.

Peace,
dave[/quote]

Yeah there arent grounded outlets in my particular room, which is why I had trouble with some of the options. I think though after realizing the potential computer damage that this can cause, I'm going to run an extension cable through my house to a room with a grounded outlet, then attach the ESD strap to my computer.

thanks for the help, and sorry for being sort of annoying.
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