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Anti Static Precautions

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September 22, 2011 11:11:58 AM

Hi All

probably a very silly question but since its my first homebuild I am gointg to ask it anyway.

I generally build up a lot of static in my hands which usually discharges when i try to close my car door or when i'm at a photocopier in rare cases a filing cabinet. these discharges seem very powerfull as i do really feel them and sometimes i can hear the discharge as well. (i am not sure if this normal) and hence my apprehension about discharging myself properly.

from what i have read installing the psu into the case and having it plugged in, and making sure i touch the case before i touch any parts will discharge any static buildup. now the case i have bought Thermaltake Dokker Black Mid Tower is all black and as far as i can see there is no unpaited part i can use. in this situation will touching the psu itself suffice to discharge me properly?

also my whole flat is carpeted so will wearing rubber flipflops while i work make any difference. i will doing the assembly on a wooden table. also will keeping my feet off the floor while i work make any difference?

thank you
Riyas

More about : anti static precautions

a b B Homebuilt system
September 22, 2011 2:24:50 PM

ESD in my opinion is fairly over-rated. Although not to be ignored.

Your best option is to buy a nice cheap ESD wristband. Attach this to your wrist and to the metal of your case (painted or un-painted, it doesn't matter - generally clipping onto the HDD bays inside or the outer edge is the easiest).

Building on your wooden table is also recommended, don't build the PC on your carpet.

ESD wrist band: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Anti-static-Wristband-Wrist-S...
a b B Homebuilt system
September 22, 2011 2:59:27 PM

Like the previous responder said about the carpet is right on , your biggest esd is going to come from walking on carpets especially if you live in a dry climate with very little humidity. If you have a room in your house with wood or tile floors you should use that room and when you walk into the room touch the light switch for a quick discharge and if you have shoes with rubber soles that would help too and a small humidifier in the room would also help.
Related resources
September 22, 2011 3:19:22 PM

Yeah I always just do my stuff in my bedroom with wooden floors.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 22, 2011 4:39:11 PM

AdrianPerry gave good advice - If you are developing a charge that you can feel, that is in the oder of Kilovolts - USE that ESD strap!!..

Disagree with attaching the wrist strap to a painted surface. The only think that does is create a capacitor (Metal case one plate, paint the insulator, and you as the 2nd plate) and will not drain the charge (unless it arc thru the paint - LOL).

I'm on the opposite side of the fence, I fell to many under estimate ESD. In another post I found an study that indicated anywheres from 5 to 70% of returned electronic due to failures was because of ESD damage.

My response to a simular question:
Now to dispel some miss information.
(1) A “visible” arc is simply the ionization of the air this is caused when the voltage potential exceeds the ionization required for the air molecules to omit light. Example in a neon bulb the voltage required to ionize the gas is only (if memory serve me right) about 76 Volts and when the voltage across the electrodes exceeds that the bulb give off light and passes current. For air it is much higher I think, without looking up is in the KV and depends on the distance between the two points.

(2) YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DRAW AN ARC to damage a component. When two objects are at a potential difference there is an electro static field between them. The strength depends on two factors: the potential difference and the distance between them. Distance is important as the strength is inversely proportional to the square of distance. IE double the distance and the field strength is reduced to ¼ of original value. While everyone knows that if you draw an arc to a pin, other than ground, you can destroy/damage the component. What is missing is YOU do NOT have to touch the component, or draw an arc!!! Summer and High humidity reduce the ability to build up a charge. Winter time and Relative humidity (RH) of 30% and less allow the body to build up a charge very quickly!! If you have built up a charge, you HAVE an electric field that can induce a voltage in a component. Here is an example: You just received a new memory module and you pull it out of the package. You are very careful to NOT touch the edge connector, RH is 20% (winter time) – You can still induce a voltage that will damage one of the memory chips just by bringing your fingers very close – NO ARC, NO CURRENT, but you induce a low voltage say 20 Volts between two adjacent cells inside the memory chip package. OPPS, they operate at 1->2 volts. Case in point: The AF had a system that measured runway visibility, I dubbed it a Lighting detection system – If they had a lightning strike 5 Miles away the EM pulse would wipe the system out.

(3) You asked about ground. A ground is simply a point that has the ability to absorb or give up enough electrons so as not to take on a voltage level. Normally a ground is connected to earth ground, but not always as a car is NOT tied to earth ground but has a very large mass of metal. For a computer case it is tied to earth ground thru the 3rd wire on the AC input. Under normal conditions the metal case is enough to be considered ground when not plugged in, But NOT always. Case in point, again worse case, winter time and you have built up 20 KVs (AND YESS that is possible) you touch the case that is not connected to earth ground – What happens is you simply transfer electrons to the case to neutralize the potential difference between you and the case. The case is now charged to 10 KV UNLESS it has a path to earth ground. This then creates a potential difference between the case and ALL the grounds inside the case. During this last winter there were several post where people have drawn an arc to the case (Close to the USB front panel ports) and Killed the USB chip on the mother board. This was limited to only a few cases and poor shielding and/or the individual arced to one of the pins on the USB port.

And from another:
http://www.descoindustries.com/pdf/CostofESDDamage.pdf
http://www.static-sol.com/library/ [...] damage.htm
And: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrostatic_discharge
Quote
However, many ESD events occur without a visible or audible spark. A person carrying a relatively small electric charge may not feel a discharge that is sufficient to damage sensitive electronic components. Some devices may be damaged by discharges as small as 10 V. These invisible forms of ESD can cause outright device failures, or less obvious forms of degradation that may affect the long term reliability and performance of electronic devices. The degradation in some devices may not become evident until well into their service life.

September 22, 2011 9:56:49 PM

RetiredChief said:
AdrianPerry gave good advice - If you are developing a charge that you can feel, that is in the oder of Kilovolts - USE that ESD strap!!..

Disagree with attaching the wrist strap to a painted surface. The only think that does is create a capacitor (Metal case one plate, paint the insulator, and you as the 2nd plate) and will not drain the charge (unless it arc thru the paint - LOL).

I'm on the opposite side of the fence, I fell to many under estimate ESD. In another post I found an study that indicated anywheres from 5 to 70% of returned electronic due to failures was because of ESD damage.

My response to a simular question:
Now to dispel some miss information.
(1) A “visible” arc is simply the ionization of the air this is caused when the voltage potential exceeds the ionization required for the air molecules to omit light. Example in a neon bulb the voltage required to ionize the gas is only (if memory serve me right) about 76 Volts and when the voltage across the electrodes exceeds that the bulb give off light and passes current. For air it is much higher I think, without looking up is in the KV and depends on the distance between the two points.

(2) YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DRAW AN ARC to damage a component. When two objects are at a potential difference there is an electro static field between them. The strength depends on two factors: the potential difference and the distance between them. Distance is important as the strength is inversely proportional to the square of distance. IE double the distance and the field strength is reduced to ¼ of original value. While everyone knows that if you draw an arc to a pin, other than ground, you can destroy/damage the component. What is missing is YOU do NOT have to touch the component, or draw an arc!!! Summer and High humidity reduce the ability to build up a charge. Winter time and Relative humidity (RH) of 30% and less allow the body to build up a charge very quickly!! If you have built up a charge, you HAVE an electric field that can induce a voltage in a component. Here is an example: You just received a new memory module and you pull it out of the package. You are very careful to NOT touch the edge connector, RH is 20% (winter time) – You can still induce a voltage that will damage one of the memory chips just by bringing your fingers very close – NO ARC, NO CURRENT, but you induce a low voltage say 20 Volts between two adjacent cells inside the memory chip package. OPPS, they operate at 1->2 volts. Case in point: The AF had a system that measured runway visibility, I dubbed it a Lighting detection system – If they had a lightning strike 5 Miles away the EM pulse would wipe the system out.

(3) You asked about ground. A ground is simply a point that has the ability to absorb or give up enough electrons so as not to take on a voltage level. Normally a ground is connected to earth ground, but not always as a car is NOT tied to earth ground but has a very large mass of metal. For a computer case it is tied to earth ground thru the 3rd wire on the AC input. Under normal conditions the metal case is enough to be considered ground when not plugged in, But NOT always. Case in point, again worse case, winter time and you have built up 20 KVs (AND YESS that is possible) you touch the case that is not connected to earth ground – What happens is you simply transfer electrons to the case to neutralize the potential difference between you and the case. The case is now charged to 10 KV UNLESS it has a path to earth ground. This then creates a potential difference between the case and ALL the grounds inside the case. During this last winter there were several post where people have drawn an arc to the case (Close to the USB front panel ports) and Killed the USB chip on the mother board. This was limited to only a few cases and poor shielding and/or the individual arced to one of the pins on the USB port.

And from another:
http://www.descoindustries.com/pdf/CostofESDDamage.pdf
http://www.static-sol.com/library/ [...] damage.htm
And: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrostatic_discharge
Quote
However, many ESD events occur without a visible or audible spark. A person carrying a relatively small electric charge may not feel a discharge that is sufficient to damage sensitive electronic components. Some devices may be damaged by discharges as small as 10 V. These invisible forms of ESD can cause outright device failures, or less obvious forms of degradation that may affect the long term reliability and performance of electronic devices. The degradation in some devices may not become evident until well into their service life.


That's fascinating!

You hear a lot about DOA's and other problems when reading reviews on Newegg and the like; it really makes me wonder how many people can truly blame their broken components on the manufacturer.

I, for one, have always taken a careful approach when assembling my rigs. To date, I've never had a broken or DOA component (fingers crossed! My new HTPC is on its way) so I wonder if this is simply luck, or the fact that I try to take every precaution to ground myself before touching any component.

Of course, it's always hard to tell what the causes of some defective pieces are, but it never hurts to be careful when assembling a several hundred dollar (at least) rig.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 7:28:37 AM

The chance of DOA is something like 2% for PC components I read somewhere? Not sure if this is true or not.

(That's DOA from manufacturer, not from customer miss-haps such as ESD)
September 23, 2011 11:37:09 AM

ah well i bought the strap and put the rig together. now have a strnager problem on boot up i get a continous single beep from the speaker but the system seems to boot up normally and even entered the bios i havent let the machine run long as i am afraid of what the beep is. hope i can solve it tomorrow.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 11:44:26 AM

This is usually RAM.

Try taking your RAM out and re-installing it back in. If you still find you get a single continuous beep, install the RAM either into different banks, or install 1 stick at a time (you may have a faulty RAM module or in a worst case scenario - faulty motherboard RAM bank)

Consult your motherboard manual to check the RAM is installed in the recommended dual channel banks.
September 23, 2011 11:54:37 AM

ive checked the Ram and the mobo manual. its p8z68-v and recomended slots are A2 and B2 ( dont know why its not A1 and B1) i did try theusing a single module as well. the RAM is brand new corsair 4GB each. unfortunately i dont have any other DDR3 modules to test the mobo with. however the system did start of showing memok on my screen but the beep never stopped.

maybe i should try the other two slots even though they are not recomended. thats the only thing i ahve not done with the ram
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 11:57:52 AM

Yeah I have the same board and it said A2 and B2. Using in A1 and B1 shouldn't make any difference though, its still dual channel and certainly worth a try.

EDIT: Just had a quick google for similar issues and BIOS update has been recommended. Not sure if this directly applies to your situation though.
September 23, 2011 12:00:43 PM

will give a try, i hope i ahvent messed something up this is my first self build. if i have hope the scan.co.uk installation insurance lives up to tis name :D 
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 1:04:32 PM

Agree with AdrianPerry on insuring that you have the latest BIOS revision.
And you have already tried his suggestion of swapping memory modules into different slots.

Also recommend that you download and run memtest86 from a bootable CD. This is recommended for new systems, even if memory passes Bios memory test. I always do this on a new system PRIOR to installing the operating system and when ever I make changes to the memory (ie replace, add, or change memory parameters) prior to booting back into my operating system.
(1) bootable memtest: http://www.memtest86.com/
Just click on "free download. This is an ISO, so do not simply copy to cd. The burn program needs to be in the mode of creating an ISO.
(2) alternative is the ultimate Boot CD. This contains a whole slew of utilities, of which memtest is only one of them.
http://www.ubcd4win.com/contents.htm
September 23, 2011 1:30:34 PM

can i use these test/utilities even before i install an OS?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 1:44:20 PM

YES. As I indicated I always run memtest before installing the operating system, infact I often run before even attaching the HDD.
The ISO that you download makes the CD bootable. When you insert the CD boot to the CD. Note You will need to power on, and insert the CD, may have to reboot depending on timing. Normally you will get a message "boot from cd".
September 23, 2011 1:46:17 PM

do you guys think it is safe to let the pc run while the beep has not been resolved?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 1:53:00 PM

If it allows you to go into bios yes. I would first look at the health page in bios to make sure the voltages from psu are OK and that your cpu temperature looks OK.

Here is a catch 22. As AdrianPerry indicated, for that memory you may need to update the bios. BUT you DO NOT want to do that if the memory test is reporting errors. This could result in a bad flash and a possible RMA.
September 23, 2011 2:07:38 PM

umm what voltages and temp is OK? sorry i am very new at this stuff
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 3:10:50 PM

In the Bios at the top are heading. Go thru them and on on page (may be called health) it should display voltages. It may tell you what the voltage is or just say that it is OK.
If it shows the voltage look at the +5 and the +12. +5 should be 4.75-> 5.25 V: The +12 should be between +11.4V (Myself 11.6) and 12.6 V

On that page it should also list a system and CPU temp which should be below 40 C, preferably in the 30s.

Also should show this in the Manual under Bios explainations.

Section 3-6, pg 3-25 At the top it is called monitor.
Page will display temps, to see voltages (and it does list the values) you need to scroll down the page.
September 23, 2011 3:18:12 PM

ok got you i did have a quick look when the bios came us yesterday (new asus bios has it on main screen) CPU temp was around 38 i think whihc seems high will chec k the voltages when i get home. cheers
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 3:30:36 PM

For a SB CPU while in bios 38 C is not to High.
Once you get the operating system installed your idle temps should be lower. When in bios the CPU operates at it normal speed, once you get into windows, windows will DOWN clock your CPU to around 1.6 GHz at idle lowering the temp. then when you load the cpu the speed will increase.
September 23, 2011 3:53:34 PM

oh ok then thanks for the help will try suggestions today
September 23, 2011 5:46:35 PM

ok checking bios
Version 0606
mem 8192 it says 1333MHz but it shoulf be 1600
cpu temp 38
mb temp 26
voltage:
cpu1.136
3.3V 3.296
5V 4.96
12V 12

beeping has not stopped

will try ram
September 23, 2011 5:55:54 PM

i'm begining to think this speaker is not wired for this mobo
the speaker has short wire one red one black connected to a 4 pin er "socket" at the 2 corners. the middle to have to wires attached
the speaker connection on the mobo has 4 pins witht eh following details
5v+
ground
ground
speaker
is this connection compatible?
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2011 6:51:03 PM

I would think the Red wire would go to the pin labeled Speaker and the black wire goes to ground.

Are you saying that the case speaker connector has four wires??
September 24, 2011 1:30:22 PM

sorry seems my reply did not get posted

the problem was in my GTX8800 GPU which was making a high pitched whine which sounded lipa beep to me.

im installing without the gpu and and will add it on later

thamks for you help.

also sorting out the utilities cd
!