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Anti Static Wriststraps?

Last response: in Systems
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November 19, 2009 8:34:55 PM

I was just wondering because I will be building for the first time...

How important is it to build a computer with an anti-static wriststrap?

Is it's function to protect you OR is it to protect the components?

If I build on a wood floor and wood table, am I clear?

Thanks.
November 19, 2009 8:49:25 PM

ESD is real. A quick example is when you discharge energy when touch your car.

Always use one to protect electronic boards & components.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 10:44:49 PM

Leon has the correct answer. It is not that hard to fry a chip with a bit of static.


Some people are lazy and get away with constantly touching the case as they are working and being careful about what parts they touch even when building on a carpet floor. Some people also like to jump out of perfectly functioning airplanes, whats your risk tolerance? :ange: 
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November 19, 2009 11:10:24 PM

Haha..Ok well I guess I'll go to Radio Shack and pick one up. I've just always got away with putting in and replacing components without one. I put my video card in once with socks on and on a carpet. O.O Not the best of ideas, as I see now. =P

Thanks.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 11:31:51 PM

I have been modifying hi end audio components 5 figure range since the late 70's and have done about 70 PC builds....never wore a wrist strap since the 1st build and never toasted anything. never seen an electronics tech wear one either.

But as they say on TV "Don't try this at home" .... not that those of us who ignore this common safety advisory are unusually skilled or wreckless it is just that we have picked up certain habits which don't pose the same dangers that a novice might expose himself to and don't work in a static producing environment. I work on a wood table with a tile floor and I never touch a component except by the edges or housing. I don't repeatedly touch the case ... I just touch the case when I sit down....and then again if I leave the room and come back. I just find the strap too confining and avoid static simply by not putting myself in a position to generate any.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2009 11:51:31 PM

The build stations at PC assembly companies I used to visit had anti-static floor mats (a floor mat with a ground cable) so the Techs didnt need those confining straps.

Some common sense and good habits are probably safer than a cheap wrist strap anyway.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2009 12:32:56 AM

I use a sheet of anti-static foam on a wooden desk. Then I take a 3 prong AC plug and wire a 10 Megohm resistor and an alligator clip to the ground pin.
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November 20, 2009 8:34:50 PM

Alright thanks. So, if I just touch the case a couple times during the build, the chance of me discharging any electricity will be minimal?

I may just have to get a wristband. If I do, I attach it to the case, correct? (Sorry, first time builder.)
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2009 8:58:04 PM

Touching it a couple times is an understatement. I hang onto the case like its my flotation device. Touch it every time before you touch any component, keep a forearm against it while you install components, etc.
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November 20, 2009 9:02:36 PM

Ahhh....ok. =) thanks alot.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2009 9:21:46 PM

Going barefoot is probably the biggest step you could take to prevent generating static.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2009 9:40:56 PM

never used one, never will

in winter when the air is dry and you get static etc earth your self out with something grounded every few minutes if its that bad
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November 20, 2009 10:02:41 PM

I've built PCs on nylon carpet wearing socks and no wriststraps. I've never damaged any components. Wearing one can't hurt though. Murphy's Law will catch you eventually if you don't.
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