TechSpot

Grounding Pads

By XtR-X
Aug 6, 2003
  1. Do any of you guys have any advice for grounding pads to put components on while you work on them?

    For example, say a grounding pad that you put the motherboard on top of.
     
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    I usually just use the anti electrostatic wrapper that the mobo comes in.
     
  3. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,040

    Good idea. I usually do that but I was wondering if there's anything else a little bit more usable. I have a desk for assembling comps, I want it to be perfect...
     
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    Despite unbelievable carelessness in dry enviroments with shaggy carpet, I've yet to "zap" anything.. This encompasses scores of repairs and dozens of systems. I guess it happens, but probably only when you purposely rub your feet on the carpet. ;)

    At work we use a slightly safer method than what I do at home, but nothing like "grounding pads". This entails hundreds of repair jobs, most of which have been administered without proper grounding techniques aside from breifly touching the case before working. No problems yet!

    At home, to avoid problems, I usually lie the board on top of the bag it comes in.
     
  5. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,040

    Yeah, I'm looking for a safter method. I've gotten pretty careless with the carpet at my home. I fried (fried as in statically fried) my first 9700 Pro and had to get an RMA.

    I don't want this to have to happen when I'm making a computer for someone.
     
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    I wouldn't be too sure you fried it. A lot of them come DOA. :) Perhaps you were one of the unlucky ones.
     
  7. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,427

    I believe that. I bought an Audigy one time at Best Buy, and got home, installed it and couldn't get it to work. I thought I had done something wrong, (translate dumb as dirt), so I took the whole works in and they put another card in, about five minutes, real simple. They said they thought I had fried it with static electricity, but I know I was real careful, didn't do it. I think it was dead when I bought it.
     
  8. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,040

    No... but you see... I was running all around my room showing my friends my video card... cuz I had like 4 more days left to wait for my processor... I kinda know that 99.9% chance that I screwed it up.
     
  9. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    I have seen anti static mats for what you are talking about at computer stores they run around 18.00. I never use them since the only place I work on computers at home is in my den and I dont have carpet there.
     
  10. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,040

    I think I will invest in an anti-static mat. I have carpet where I work and everywhere else in my house.

    Additionally, I will also get an anti-static wristband.
     
  11. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,574

    That is actually a bad idea. Those anti-static bags only protect what is inside of them, not outside. Placing your motherboard on the outside of the bag can possibly allow it to get more static than it keeps away.

    I know that probably sounds weird but it's actually true. :p
     
     
  12. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,040

    Yeah, I think your right for the ones that have all those lines on them.

    But, I think the little baggies (hehe baggies) that are all silverish looking have a coating of some kind of metal so I think that's safe, inside n'out.
     
  13. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,268

    I tried placing my components on the plastic bag itself many times and so far have not fried any one of them. But it is really true the outter side provide mininum protection from static.

    I think a antistatic wristband touching your metal case grounds the static charges occassionallyand a little bit of common sense is very sufficient. No need to waste money on the mat
     
  14. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,928

    Why don't you treat the carpets with anti-static carpet shampoo for extra safety?

    Here's an example ...

    Dual Guard Shampoo and Wick-up Guard

    As with Rick, I've worked on computers for years without causing damage by static. Just make sure you touch a grounded object, such as your computer case (if grounded by being plugged in at wall socket), before handling components, and you should be fine, depending on your working environment of course. Also try and avoid touching any of the chips on circuit boards and handle only by the edges away from components and circuit tracks.

    Something that many don't realise about static is that components will often be weakened by static discharge, and will not neccessarily fail immediately (unless they have been subjected to a strong discharge). They may fail a couple of months down the road and you won't realise that static damage was the cause.

    If you live in an environment prone to static (dry, cold, synthetic carpets everywhere, etc.) then taking precausions is wise, and will certainly help reduce the risk of damage by static.
     
  15. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 1,595

    I just nail extra parts to my wall and rip them down when I need them.

    I assemble/repair all my machines on wood or cement floors/desks, I have yet to destroy a part via static discharge .... though I've seen it happen.

    The environment you work on has a big impact on the risk. As nic said, Cold and dry are prime breeding grounds for static build up, and the clothing you wear can affect it too.

    Just be cautious... and remember to ground yourself before touching anything, and try to handle them as little as possible.
     
  16. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,040

    What most of you don't understand, is that, not by my touch, is why the static may occur. I need somewhere to place it in which static cannot build up. More of an anti-static wristband for your hardware, so to say.
     
  17. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,384   +15

    I dont use any 'protection' at all ;) And i've made several pcs here in my room - on carpet floor. All you have to do is *A* Dont run around the room with the video card in your hands, and *B*, toutch the computer case every now-and-again. Simple as that :)
     
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +335

    I have my comp sitting on carpet, unplug the mess of wires in the back, drag the comp out a few feet from my desk along the carpet, pull off the side, lay it down, sit on the carpet, and proceed to sometimes use a magnetic tip screwdriver. Never fried anything.
    Guess I'm lucky OR everyone else is just too paranoid. :)
     
  19. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,040

    No no no, you see, this is for example a mobo or a vid card or even ram that I work on. I think it's kinda hard working inside the case for no apparant reason.

    The parts aren't always inside the case.
     
  20. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,928

    Taking precautions is good so don't worry if some (self included) feel they are excessive. You can never be too safe. Some components are easier to damage than others, so if it makes you more comfortable to use an anti-static mat, then do it. Many of us here are just too lazy and try to get away with the bare minimum precautions. We've been lucky so far and will probably continue to work the way we do. With all those carpets in your house you certainly need to be carefull, especially if you tend to drag your feet when you walk :=).
     
  21. wicka_wicka

    wicka_wicka Banned Posts: 179

    Haha dude, words to live by :D .
     
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