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Old 06-03-2011, 04:21 AM #17
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Default Re: static grounding question

Not joking, static just really isn't that big of an issue with modern components.

Also remember that no charge will flow if something isn't grounded. If you have your diode sitting on a plastic bench and you pick it up, sure it will reach the same potential as you, yet no current will flow. Current will only flow if you at are a higher potential than ground and your circuit is grounded. Soldering a diode into a laser (also on the plastic bench, and also floating) will cause no charge to flow, because it has nowhere to flow to.

Working on a radar or microwave transmitter installed in a grounded system is a different story, however you don't need to worry about esd if the system you are working on isn't grounded (such as the case with a handheld laser). Remember, if current did flow through a non-grounded device you would end up "zapping your laser with esd" every time you picked the thing up.



Last edited by grenadier; 06-03-2011 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:11 PM #18
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Smile Re: static grounding question

Thanks all for your comments. I understand that it may not be needed but I think that I will sleep better getting and using the wrist strap (at least for my first few projects). There will be enough other things I can (and likely will) do wrong that at least I will not need to worry about static as a problem source.

Also, I checked a number of outlets last night and so far they are all properly grounded. I will pick up a replacement three prong plug from Ace tonight and run a wire from the ground post so as to have something to connect the wrist strap to. Cheep peace of mind overall.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:51 PM #19
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Default Re: static grounding question

Notahardwareguy (by the way,,, you ARE, now),
Make things easy on yourself and add comfort to your test rresults. Go to a "Big Box" (Lowes, Home Depot, ect.), or your favorite hardware store, and pick up a three prong outlet checker ( A trapozoidal shaped thing with 3 or 4 lights (usually neon behind a yellow plastic lense) on the long end and three electrical prongs (as described by Lasersbee's post #6) on the short end. It will positively confirm correct circuit wiring and function instantly (there are a few screw up's that can happen in wiring and still have the plug opperate). Should cost less than $5 USD.
If you are using the 'Mains' ground as your body ESD ground, a circuit fault that puts line voltage on the ground will not go through you (the shortest resistive path will still be through the copper ground of the branch service). But, keep your shoes on anyway, just to be safe... If you have a oscilloscope, or some other test instrument, with a three prong line cord, just aligator, or banna plug, yor wrist strap into the instrument's utility ground plug (usually a direct connect to the device's case).
Any ESD sensitive device can and usually will die a miserable, but short, death, if you touch it the wrong way after you have built up a substantial charge (no matt
er how 'modern' it is, that's why they ship them in static bags and conductive foam).
Be safe and have fun.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:18 PM #20
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Default Re: static grounding question

Quote:
Originally Posted by notahardwareguy View Post
Thanks all for your comments. I understand that it may not be needed but I think that I will sleep better getting and using the wrist strap (at least for my first few projects). There will be enough other things I can (and likely will) do wrong that at least I will not need to worry about static as a problem source.

Also, I checked a number of outlets last night and so far they are all properly grounded. I will pick up a replacement three prong plug from Ace tonight and run a wire from the ground post so as to have something to connect the wrist strap to. Cheep peace of mind overall.
Smart move... I have blown my share of sensitive electronic
devices in the past including about $600.00 worth of high
power Laser Diodes...
There is a reason manufactures of electrostatic devices
package their products in antistatic bags with a Warning of:-

CAUTION
ELECTROSTATIC
SENSITIVE
DEVICES
DO NOT OPEN OR HANDLE
EXCEPT AT A
STATIC-FREE WORKSTATION


It is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry...


Quote:
Originally Posted by grenadier View Post
Not joking, static just really isn't that big of an issue with modern components.


Jerry
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Last edited by lasersbee; 06-03-2011 at 02:24 PM.
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