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Do we really need to ground ourselves?

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May 26, 2008 5:13:04 PM

tittle says it all, do we really need to ground ourselves? i mean, will we possible, kill, damage a CPU, MB, anything thats sensitive? what if you just came from outside? and came back in to do the project

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May 26, 2008 5:18:28 PM

I have never worried about grounding myself but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. I am just careful to handle everything by the edges and I have never had a problem.
May 26, 2008 5:22:18 PM

Yes you always want to ground yourself. The possibility is always there when it comes to static discharge and damaging electronic parts. Just walking on a carpeted floor in a dry room can build a static charge. Grounding yourself is just good sense vs the cost of a fried part.
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May 26, 2008 5:23:02 PM

Yes, yes, and yes and hell yes. Even it means just plugging in the power supply and keeping a hand on the case, or very frequently touching it to keep yourself "discharged" during your build or upgrades.
May 26, 2008 5:23:06 PM

yeah you need to ground yourself always, i was working on a carpet taking a cpu out of an old pc and i shocked the computer by accident and the mb got fried.....
May 26, 2008 5:24:59 PM

When working in/over a case it's likely your arms touch the bare metal of case so ESD is not really that much of a problem. When working over a desk you need a grounded working surface.
I've never fried anything through ESD and I don't use an ESD bracelet but it's always better if you do ground yourself to the working surface somehow.
May 26, 2008 5:26:28 PM

your just go outside on the grass and do it....lol, where do i buy the bracelet?
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May 26, 2008 5:29:07 PM

Guys use grounding straps in school. Most professionals don't. I have been messing with pc innards for 15 years, I make sure before I touch anything to touch my case chassis to discharge any static electricity.

I don't think I've ever damaged anything with my hands, but then again its quite possible to damage a component with a spark that is so small that you can not feel it or see it. (Less than .5 volts) Think about it, microscopic transistors were not meant to be handled by your big, stubbie ape-fingers.

Point is, you'll prolly be allright long as you take the proper precautions, and don't do anything stupid. Like putting your computer together on your living room carpet with your sox on. While petting the cat.
May 26, 2008 5:30:14 PM

buzznut said:
Guys use grounding straps in school. Most professionals don't. I have been messing with pc innards for 15 years, I make sure before I touch anything to touch my case chassis to discharge any static electricity.

I don't think I've ever damaged anything with my hands, but then again its quite possible to damage a component with a spark that is so small that you can not feel it or see it. (Less than .5 volts) Think about it, microscopic transistors were not meant to be handled by your big, stubbie ape-fingers.

Point is, you'll prolly be allright long as you take the proper precautions, and don't do anything stupid. Like putting your computer together on your living room carpet with your sox on. While petting the cat.


......and touching a hair dryer
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May 26, 2008 5:34:30 PM

And rubbing a balloon on yer head...
May 26, 2008 5:34:44 PM

how come touch the case? i thought some of the cases were made with plastic and other metals that werent as great at getting rid of electricity
May 26, 2008 5:35:05 PM

jitpublisher said:
Yes, yes, and yes and hell yes. Even it means just plugging in the power supply and keeping a hand on the case, or very frequently touching it to keep yourself "discharged" during your build or upgrades.


I respectfully disagree about plugging in the power supply. Yes, it does make for a better ground, but it also opens the chance, however small, that a short may occur and a person could get the shock of their lifetime, perhaps even the last shock of their lifetime. Touching the case, even frequently touching it is a good idea, though, and that is something I do when working on a computer.
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May 26, 2008 5:35:14 PM

grounding straps can be found anywhere. check newegg, tigerdirect, frozen cpu, etc
May 26, 2008 5:38:58 PM

While wearing sweat pants...

Actually I've built most of mine and friend's PCs in a carpeted room, if you're careful that's not even a problem.
May 26, 2008 5:40:06 PM

Quote:
don't think I've ever damaged anything with my hands, but then again its quite possible to damage a component with a spark that is so small that you can not feel it or see it. (Less than .5 volts)


FYI, to do a visible spark, the voltage difference between your finger and the ground should be about 2000V/cm. Most electronics parts support an ESD of 1000V. It's very easy to build a high difference potential.
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May 26, 2008 5:41:46 PM

Nice sisley, excellent info.
I said touch the CHASSIS, not the case. IE touch the steel supports, hard drive cage, the power supply housing..anything that is solid metal and capable of discharging a staic build-up
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May 26, 2008 5:51:08 PM

2000 volts? must be an incredibly small amount of current...
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May 26, 2008 5:53:18 PM

sailer said:
I respectfully disagree about plugging in the power supply. Yes, it does make for a better ground, but it also opens the chance, however small, that a short may occur and a person could get the shock of their lifetime, perhaps even the last shock of their lifetime. Touching the case, even frequently touching it is a good idea, though, and that is something I do when working on a computer.



While that is true, there is always a chance that you may get a shock. But, since all the power coming out of the PSU is low voltage DC current, you will not be able to get much of a shock at all unless the power supply is malfunctioning somehow in a very bad way. In such a bad way that it would instantly lead to smoke and flames the second you apply power. And that is exactly what the 3rd wire in the plug to the power supply is for, to provide adequate grounding. This works both for ESD, and in the event of the severly malfunctioning PSU I just described. Besides, you touch you case everytime you turn your PC on anyway.....right?
Additionally, you don't have to have the power turned on, or even connected to the motherboard.
If you wanted to go to ridiculous measures, you could even turn off the power from the main breaker to the wall socket, the grounding wire is still in full effect with the breakers off. That is what it is meant for, a seperate and uniterruptable grounding path.
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May 26, 2008 5:55:59 PM

el Greenie said:
how come touch the case? i thought some of the cases were made with plastic and other metals that werent as great at getting rid of electricity


Well, okay to be SPECIFIC. You have to touch the metal chassis of the case...the part where the PSU is screwed or attached too. If you have a completely plexiglass or plastic case, then you would have to directly touch the case of the PSU.
May 26, 2008 5:56:02 PM

Nice topic. One of those where there'll always be people who have probably never had any real experience with the subject who swear blind you have to do as you are taught. I'm really interested to know the truth about it too - Toms should run a test and see if they can fry a MB or CPU just with static buildup in their fingers. Could be really interesting, and fun.
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