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Antistatic Wrist strap question

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May 5, 2010 2:59:49 AM

Okay I know there have been a lot of posts on this, but I havent found one on this specific question.

I will be building my PC in a carpeted room. This is unavoidable, my entire apartment is carpeted except for the kitchen--but the kitchen is very small and I don't want to tie it up. Using the bathroom just sounds like a bad idea.

So far my only defense will be barefeet, minimal clothing ;)  , and this wrist strap I got for 3.5$ on newegg.


I was wondering if it makes sense to connect the strap to the case of my previous PC---which will be switched off at the PSU, but plugged in at the wall?

I figure this is the best option, as people say it's dangerous to leave the cord plugged in the system being built, even if the PSU is switched off. However, this comes at the price of having no true ground at the wall. By using my old pc which is half dead and neglected anyway as a ground, I can leave the psu connected and plugged in, have that case sitting near my work area, and connect my strap to that.


whaddya say whaddya say?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2010 3:52:03 AM

That will work, as long as the wrist strap goes to earth ground your good to go.

What I did was take an old extra 3-prong electrical cord, cut the receptical end off. Cut the blk and white wires back a foot and put some electrical tape on them. Stripped the green wire (about 1/2 inch). Plug the cord in and attach the strap to the green wire.
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May 5, 2010 4:45:04 AM

Sorry for my newbness, but how do I know that it's earth grounded? I assumed that just meant its plugged into a wall socket.

I was going to do wrist strapped to me, clamped to old case (unpainted area if i can find one), power supply connected and switched on, plugged in with a 3pronged cord. Does this insure it's grounded to earth?

If not I have plenty of old 3-pronged cords, would be cool to do your way, but would like to save myself the hassle if possible (my girlfriend wants to help as well, got her a strap, would need ot make 2).

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a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2010 5:19:43 AM

I don't think you'll have a problem with your plan. Personally I've never used any kind of static deterrent, other than simply touching the metal anyway.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2010 6:02:56 AM

Same as above poster, I just touch metal on the case before touching any components, Strip my rig bout once a month and ok so far :p 
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May 5, 2010 6:31:48 AM

We're supposed to use those wrist straps when working on our network equipment as well (Juniper switches, Cisco routers) but we rarely do, as most cases are grounded to begin with. Unless your shuffling your feet on carpet as you walk and then go to work on your computer, you should be fine touching the case as you go. I would, however, advise people however, not to plug the computer they're working on into the wall as they work for safety of the components.

Also, note that most peripherals are grounded as well, so there are multiple paths to ground normally, but also remember that all those paths also have current flowing through them, which is far more dangerous than static, I believe.
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May 5, 2010 9:40:45 AM

I used the wrist strap and anti static mat when building mine recently. But was told by several people that I didnt have to, but of course I felt more comfortable with it. They did also say that touching the chassis before components was cool, as well as plugged in but psu off was cool. Some on here are debating that to this day, so just be safe and ground it and use ur wrist strap.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2010 12:32:06 PM

RetiredChief said:
Stripped the green wire (about 1/2 inch). Plug the cord in and attach the strap to the green wire.

Even though the green wire goes to ground, you are safer wiring a high value resistor (say 1 - 10 Megohms) between the wrist strap and the plug.

I have a piece of anti-static foam that I build things on.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2010 12:56:52 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
Same as above poster, I just touch metal on the case before touching any components, Strip my rig bout once a month and ok so far :p 

Damage done by static electricity doen't happen very often by me (only once in 10 years) , but when it does happen...it hurts...Last year, I broke a Q8200 because of that ....
I know that because I feel the small jolt when touching it...and as I try to power up the system....well...you know the rest....
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2010 8:13:51 PM

For the record, supposedly lethal amounts of static to components can't necessarily be felt by you - in other words they can be weaker than what you would perceive.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 6, 2010 6:34:40 AM

^+1 I do hear what your saying but I should also point out in defence of my actions, I unplug the psu, then hold power switch for a few seconds to use up any residual in the lines before even opening her up :p 
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May 6, 2010 6:38:36 AM

krescent said:
Okay I know there have been a lot of posts on this, but I havent found one on this specific question.

I will be building my PC in a carpeted room.....................


Stop right there....I would avoid this at all cost.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 6, 2010 8:42:50 AM

I have to build almost all of my PCs on carpet.
I build my PC in the garden if the weather is good..
Almost allover in the house where I live at the moment has carpet except kitchen, bathroom, garden, garage and toilet... not enough room in those except in garden.
I have been there since 4 years and have build about 40 Rigs (I know it is not many in 4 years, because I sell those only to my friends and relatives)...I broke only one Q8200 proc during that 4 years and untill now since I started to build PCs about 10 years ago, I broke only 1 due to static electricity.
That is the only one.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
May 6, 2010 2:28:40 PM

O How I HATE to get into this.

(1) JSC is correct in that the connection to earth ground should have a min of 1 Meg Ohm to ground. jsc I didn.t metion this as wrist staps have that built into them.

(2) False_Dmitry_2. You are absolutly correct. Static build-up that is undetected by touch can still be lethal to electronic Components.

(3) quanyn210379 I know where NOT to get my computer from!!! The vast majority of ESD damage is not instantanous dead system. It is in the "Walking wounded" catagory where system performance is degregated (can not get as high an OC as others) and or complete failure does not occur until months/years down stream. And who would equate a failure 6 mons/a year later to ESD damage and simply attribute that to just a component failure - Damm that vendor, Well if under warrent simply RMA it!!

(4) I do NOT recommend unplugging the PSU, this removes the earth ground from the Case. I use a power strip and Turn it off just on the off chance I have the PSU rocker switch in the wrong position.

(5) The concept of toching" bare metal" IE the case, while better than no ESD protection, is only valid if RH is above 50% and /or you KEEP one hand on that surface. It does not take forever to build up a charge.

(5) Building/working on electronics Does Not always equate to a "High" level electronic knowledge. Recommend you do a little research in to ESD. O that does not always help as the old saying goes " you can lead a horse to water, But you can not force him to drink."

PS I grewup in the days of "ESD - What the He$# is that. The days of 300 V and 5KV PSU vacuum tube days over. But after may manatory classes on ESD I've learned to understand it better, and to respect it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 6, 2010 6:49:42 PM

RH?

And it may not take forever to build up, but I end up touching the case quite often. Not just like once before starting.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 8, 2010 3:59:12 AM

RH = Relative Humidity.
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May 13, 2010 3:23:31 AM

Best answer selected by krescent.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2010 5:58:17 AM

disregard
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