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Good Ground for Anti-Static Wrist Strap

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November 6, 2011 2:12:12 AM

Hi all,

I'm building a computer (my first build) that uses some very expensive (to me) components and am concerned about damaging said components with static discharges.

I live in an extremely dry climate and the ONLY place I can build this computer is in a carpeted room. LOTS of static electricity is generated by even the slightest movements in my house. My wife and I are constantly shocking each other and everything else around here. It sort of sux. I considered going barefoot while building the computer, but it's damned cold in this house.....

Anyway, I was in Scotland a few months back and bought this nice anti-static wrist strap:

Lindy Anti-Static Wrist Strap

Here are the instructions that came with this wrist strap:





As you can see, the manufacturer directs that I attach the grounding strap lead to the computer case, which they direct shall, in turn, via the PSU, be connected to the ground receptacle in the wall socket. However, this won't work for me, since I've not yet installed my PSU into my computer case (I think it is going to be easier to install the mobo with the PSU uninstalled).

I searched around a few places and discovered that many authoritative sources recommend that an anti-static wrist strap's grounding lead be connected, either directly or indirectly, to the ground receptacle in a wall socket.

For instance, PCWorld recommends that the wrist strap be grounded to the wall socket's ground receptacle:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/82184/avoid_static_damag...

CompTIA's A+ (Aplus) Certification exams consider the wrist strap being grounded (indirectly) to the wall socket's ground receptacle as the correct choice, if you want to get the correct answer on said exams:

http://www.pccomputernotes.com/esd/esd2.htm

In addition, eHow recommends that same thing (indirect connection):

http://www.ehow.com/how_7566000_use-antistatic-wristban...

as does http://www.build-your-own-cheap-computer.com/static-ele...

I could go on and on, but that's not the point of this post. Since I am personally more comfortable with being grounded to the Earth, I'm considering connecting the grounding lead of my wrist strap directly to the ground receptacle in my wall outlet. During my research, I found some sources that suggest that I just need to be at the same potential as my computer case (which, according to said sources, can be "standalone" with respect to any other electrical conductors), but the very specific manufacturer instructions for my wrist strap suggest otherwise.

I live in the U.S. and my house's electrical system is grounded in accordance with the 1995 US Electrical Code. Being the skeptic, I tested the wall socket I'd be using with this little Ground Tester I had out in the garage, and all was copasetic.

Does anyone think I'll fry my new computer if I connect the ground lead of my wrist strap directly to the ground receptacle in my wall outlet?

TIA!
November 6, 2011 2:16:36 AM

Just connect the wrist strap on the metal part of your case. Seriously, most people here just touch the case to ground themselves.
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November 6, 2011 2:22:19 AM

Hi cute,

Thanks for your constructive advice, but I really would be much more comfortable following the very specific and clear manufacturer's instructions as much as I am able to. I've seen your technique discussed a few times in the course of my research, but I'm going to go with the manufacturer of the wrist strap on this one, I think.

I ended up spending more on my build components than I could afford and now I'm nervous I'll trash something. Lots of static around here.

I considered using one of the anti-static sprays on the carpet, but SWMBO informed me that I'd be sleeping is the street if I sprayed this "nasty crap" (to use her words) on her carpet!
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November 6, 2011 2:26:01 AM

You should have listened to us and got a $500 Llano build. :( 

Anyway, good luck. :) 
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November 6, 2011 2:35:04 AM

cutebeans said:
You should have listened to us and got a $500 Llano build. :( 

Anyway, good luck. :) 



:sweat: 

It's too late for me now....have pity on my poor soul!

Anyone else have an answer for my question as listed in the OP?:

Does anyone think I'll fry my new computer if I connect the ground lead of my wrist strap directly to the ground receptacle in my wall outlet?
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Anonymous
November 6, 2011 2:37:10 AM




Hey Paranoid Builder,


Get a 1 liter spray bottle and add 5 drops of dishwashing detergent, fill it with tap water. Shake well. Spray the area you will be working at, including the carpet. Allow to dry.

Wear your bracelet, grounded to the same place that the boards will be grounded to, (the computer case) so no difference of potential will be available to static-energize the boards. Assemble your computer.

Now is that too hard?

OK, you ask why the soapy water? It prevents static build-up in the first place. Try it on your carpet, see, no more sparks, for days. :) 
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Anonymous
November 6, 2011 2:47:47 AM

Digger1 said:
:sweat: 

It's too late for me now....have pity on my poor soul!

Anyone else have an answer for my question as listed in the OP?:

Does anyone think I'll fry my new computer if I connect the ground lead of my wrist strap directly to the ground receptacle in my wall outlet?


Yes, you might smoke the whole lot. The ground at your receptacle is also tied to the neutral leg of the power company feed to your house. It is a reference 0 and establishes the common point for 110 service to allow (2 ) 110V circuits from the 220V center-tapped secondary winding at the supply transformer. If the neutral is not perfectly connected, you can have an "elevated neutral" as a result of another appliance running on the opposite leg of the supply transformer that "lifts" the ground (center-tap) above "ground" as you would think to be always zero, but not in this case. This also allows far more than 110V on the other 110V leg of the transformer as the neutral is no longer "anchored" at zero.

Be smart, do as I said in my first post.
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November 6, 2011 2:56:58 AM

Quote:
Hey Paranoid Builder,


Get a 1 liter spray bottle and add 5 drops of dishwashing detergent, fill it with tap water. Shake well. Spray the area you will be working at, including the carpet. Allow to dry.

Wear your bracelet, grounded to the same place that the boards will be grounded to, (the computer case) so no difference of potential will be available to static-energize the boards. Assemble your computer.

Now is that too hard?

OK, you ask why the soapy water? It prevents static build-up in the first place. Try it on your carpet, see, no more sparks, for days. :) 


BoM,

Another interesting technique. Too hard? No. Dangerous? Definitely. You see, I just bounced this idea off of SWMBO and promptly had to dodge an expertly thrown frying pan.

I was then informed that the dishwashing detergent would clean dirt off of the soles of our shoes, thus depositing said dirt onto SWMBO's precious carpet. Now, I've been married, more or less happily, for over 32 years. The understanding is that she will leave my motorcycles alone if I leave her house alone. Works for me.

Thanks for sharing this useful technique, however, I'm sure it will be useful for many others out there!
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November 6, 2011 3:15:18 AM

Quote:
Yes, you might smoke the whole lot. The ground at your receptacle is also tied to the neutral leg of the power company feed to your house. It is a reference 0 and establishes the common point for 110 service to allow (2 ) 110V circuits from the 220V center-tapped secondary winding at the supply transformer. If the neutral is not perfectly connected, you can have an "elevated neutral" as a result of another appliance running on the opposite leg of the supply transformer that "lifts" the ground (center-tap) above "ground" as you would think to be always zero, but not in this case. This also allows far more than 110V on the other 110V leg of the transformer as the neutral is no longer "anchored" at zero.

Be smart, do as I said in my first post.


BoM,

Good post, very informative.......

I did encounter said information during my research:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_and_neutral

In particular, the following paragraph caught my attention during the initial read:


Fixed appliances on three-wire circuits

In North America, the cases of some ovens and clothes dryers were grounded through their neutral wires as a measure to conserve copper during the Second World War. This practice was removed from the NEC in the 1996 edition, but existing installations may still allow the case of such appliances to be connected to the neutral conductor for grounding. Note that the NEC may be amended by local regulations in each state and city. This practice arose from the three wire system used to supply both 120 volt and 240 volt loads. Because ovens and dryers have components that use both 120 and 240 volts there is often some current on the neutral wire. This differs from the protective grounding wire, which only carries current under fault conditions. Using the neutral conductor for grounding the equipment enclosure was considered safe since the devices were permanently wired to the supply and so the neutral was unlikely to be broken without also breaking both supply conductors. Also, the unbalanced current due to lamps and small motors in the appliance was small compared to the rating of the conductors and therefore unlikely to cause a large voltage drop in the neutral conductor.


Apparently, the situation you posit is a recognized hazard that is considered so remote as to be acceptable in currently standing "old construction."

In any event, as I stated in the OP, I tested the ground circuit of my house with the above-mentioned tester. I also tested the voltage between the neutral circuit to the ground circuit with a VOM and found it to be 0 VAC.

I'm pretty certain that the ground circuit in my house is safe and stable. If it wasn't, I'd face a similar risk on everything in the house that has a case ground.

As for the dish washing detergent solution advice rendered in your first post, I have since explained why that technique is a non-starter for me.

Thanks for your time and expertise!
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November 6, 2011 5:29:27 AM

Mount the PSU, turn the PSU switch off and plug it in....the case is now grounded to the wall outlet and when you connect your stap to the case so are you.

Note....I have been building PC's since 1986 and never used a wrist strap.

Take off ya shoes and no worries about carpets :) 

Be aware that the manufacturer is trying to sell a product and therefore has an interest in you having an elevated concern in this regard.
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November 6, 2011 6:13:27 AM

1st - purchase a crocodile
2nd - apply crocodile onto SWMBO
3rd - follow BoMers guide
I hope that helps
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November 6, 2011 6:23:39 AM

Everything you buy will be diode protected. Where these components are made, gloves will probably not even be worn before they throw it into the antistatic bags. It's consumer electronics...you don't need an ESD bracelet.
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November 6, 2011 2:01:21 PM

Jack,

I appreciate your constructive input....my comments in bold italics.


JackNaylorPE said:
Mount the PSU, turn the PSU switch off and plug it in....the case is now grounded to the wall outlet and when you connect your stap to the case so are you.

As stated in the OP, I really want to mount the mobo before mounting the PSU.....I'm concerned that the PSU will be in the way of my mobo work, otherwise. Also, if I were to mount the PSU and plug it in as you say, would that not expose me to the same risk outlined by BoM Stockholder in his second post?:

sasrobinson said:

Yes, you might smoke the whole lot. The ground at your receptacle is also tied to the neutral leg of the power company feed to your house. It is a reference 0 and establishes the common point for 110 service to allow (2 ) 110V circuits from the 220V center-tapped secondary winding at the supply transformer. If the neutral is not perfectly connected, you can have an "elevated neutral" as a result of another appliance running on the opposite leg of the supply transformer that "lifts" the ground (center-tap) above "ground" as you would think to be always zero, but not in this case. This also allows far more than 110V on the other 110V leg of the transformer as the neutral is no longer "anchored" at zero.



Note....I have been building PC's since 1986 and never used a wrist strap.

Jack, I wish I were as brave as you are. I've overspent on this system as it is and am now concerned about damaging it. I'd really be much more comfortable complying with the spirit of the detailed and specific instructions enclosed with the anti-static wrist strap that I purchased.

Take off ya shoes and no worries about carpets :) 

I tried that, and almost developed frostbite in my toes.....as stated in the OP, it's damned cold in my house!

Be aware that the manufacturer is trying to sell a product and therefore has an interest in you having an elevated concern in this regard.

Yes, I realize that the manufacturer's instructions represent the safest (for me and my computer) and most conservative approach to the wrist strap grounding problem.


Thank your for your expert advice!
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November 6, 2011 2:03:43 PM

madchemist83 said:
1st - purchase a crocodile
2nd - apply crocodile onto SWMBO
3rd - follow BoMers guide
I hope that helps


Don't think it hasn't crossed my mind (vbg)!
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November 6, 2011 2:12:18 PM

Quote:
People speak of static too much as it's not a big thing tbh.
I have never worried about static and i have built many machines.


384,

Thank you for your post (and, your service).

Two things:

1. I've met and worked with a lot of paratroopers over the years, and, to put it politely, Y'ALL ARE CRAZY!

2. I presume you are still living in the lush, green, relatively moist UK. As such, static may not be a big problem for you. Where I live, static electricity is ubiquitous, severe, and potentially fatal to my expensive computer components. I'd just feel a lot more comfortable adhering to the spirit of the detailed and extensive instructions that were enclosed with my anti-static wrist band.

I purchased said wrist band in Scotland, BTW. We were up there (Aberdeen and Wick) working with school kids. I always remind them to work hard in school, as the world could use a few more brilliant Scottish engineers! They are some of the best kids in the world, IMHO, in many ways putting American kids to shame (and, believe me, it hurts me bad to say that)!
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November 6, 2011 2:30:05 PM

etk said:
Everything you buy will be diode protected. Where these components are made, gloves will probably not even be worn before they throw it into the antistatic bags. It's consumer electronics...you don't need an ESD bracelet.


et,

Thanks for your constructive and informative answer.

Like I've said before, I would just feel a lot more comfortable complying with the spirit of the detailed and specific manufacturer instructions that came with my wrist strap. I'm anal in lots of ways.....which, in my case, is a good thing, since I should have been killed many times over by now in my life. My anal approach to many things is the only reason I'm still here.......I'm absolutely convinced of that!

I want to use the wrist strap, and I want to ground it using the safest and most conservative method that is reasonably available to me.


I've let the discussion drift a bit.......let's please get BTT!

The question I asked 16 posts ago in this thread still stands: Does anyone think I'll fry my new computer (or, myself) if I connect the ground lead of my wrist strap directly to the ground receptacle in my wall outlet?

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November 6, 2011 2:35:27 PM

Seriously, It's not that a big deal that you're making it into.
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Anonymous
November 6, 2011 4:07:22 PM

Digger1 said:
BoM,

Another interesting technique. Too hard? No. Dangerous? Definitely. You see, I just bounced this idea off of SWMBO and promptly had to dodge an expertly thrown frying pan.

I was then informed that the dishwashing detergent would clean dirt off of the soles of our shoes, thus depositing said dirt onto SWMBO's precious carpet. Now, I've been married, more or less happily, for over 32 years. The understanding is that she will leave my motorcycles alone if I leave her house alone. Works for me.

Thanks for sharing this useful technique, however, I'm sure it will be useful for many others out there!



Baaa Humbug. 5 drops of liquid soap to a liter of water won't clean anything. I also said to let it dry. The molecular level residue prevents static that's all. Do it when she's not looking.
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November 6, 2011 4:51:41 PM

cutebeans said:
Seriously, It's not that a big deal that you're making it into.


I'm not disputing the fact that there is an overwhelming chance that you are correct.

However, the fact remains that I'd still feel a lot more comfortable complying with the instructions that came with my wrist strap.

It's a personal problem.
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November 6, 2011 4:55:58 PM

Quote:
Yes i will agree we are a crazy bunch :ange: . As for scottish engineers or the british army in general (Discapline) ;) 
However this static thing is really not as bad as you may think.
Chill out pal ;) 



384,

I'm not disputing the fact that there is an overwhelming chance that you are correct.

However, the fact remains that I'd still feel a lot more comfortable complying with the instructions that came with my wrist strap.

I'm just a stubborn old fighter pilot, probably exposed to a little too much AAA (I used to fly through the explosions on purpose - you know the type). It's a personal problem (vbg)!
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November 6, 2011 4:59:21 PM

Quote:
Baaa Humbug. 5 drops of liquid soap to a liter of water won't clean anything. I also said to let it dry. The molecular level residue prevents static that's all. Do it when she's not looking.


BoM,

You don't understand, my friend. I fear that woman more than I used to fear SA-10's. We're talking death, here, especially since she has now been alerted to this situation....... (vbg)
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November 6, 2011 5:10:58 PM

Well here's another thing for you to be paranoid about .

By earthing yourself to the planet you do not reduce electrical potential between yourself and the case ........but you do provide an excellent path for static to flow .

You are INCREASING the change of damaging components .

And you are still an idiot
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November 6, 2011 5:16:25 PM

I've lost control of this thread......back in my fighter pilot days, I'd say that I'd lost control of my four-ship.

Over 170 views on the world's best and most authoritative computer hardware forum and I have not been able to get an answer to my question. My fault, of course, for letting the discussion stray.

It's time to re-frame the constraints of the debate.

Let's just say that, for whatever reason, I wanted to ground my anti-static wrist strap to the grounding circuit in my house.

Assumptions:

1. Said grounding circuit is in compliance with the latest United States Electrical Codes.

2. Said grounding circuit has passed a comprehensive inspection that was conducted by a fully licensed, certified, and bonded Master Electrician, who is a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and who specializes in residential inspections.


Now, the question is:

Does anyone think I'll fry my new computer (or myself) if I connect the ground lead of my wrist strap directly to the ground receptacle in my wall outlet?


Please let us keep the discussion to a tight, laser-like focus.

TIA!
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Best solution

November 6, 2011 5:23:31 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Well here's another thing for you to be paranoid about .

By earthing yourself to the planet you do not reduce electrical potential between yourself and the case ........but you do provide an excellent path for static to flow .

You are INCREASING the change of damaging components .

And you are still an idiot


Static wristbands have high resistance to prevent this from happening. As long as the wrist band tests good (1 megohm for 250V, 500k for 120 iirc) you can plug it into the ground plug and grab a live wire safely with your other hand, if you so choose.

OP: If you want to take safety to an extreme here, check the strap resistance first, then plug it into the ground outlet. Anywhere from 500kish to 100 Meg+ is fine
Share
November 6, 2011 7:20:44 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Well here's another thing for you to be paranoid about .

By earthing yourself to the planet you do not reduce electrical potential between yourself and the case ........but you do provide an excellent path for static to flow .

You are INCREASING the change of damaging components .

And you are still an idiot



Now, that's not very nice..... (vbg)

Oddly enough, however, your contention goes against information found in the following very credible sources:


For instance, PCWorld recommends that the wrist strap be grounded to the wall socket's ground receptacle:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/82184/avoid_static_damag...

CompTIA's A+ (Aplus) Certification exams consider the wrist strap being grounded (indirectly) to the wall socket's ground receptacle as the correct choice, if you want to get the correct answer on said exams:

http://www.pccomputernotes.com/esd/esd2.htm

In addition, eHow recommends that same thing (indirect connection):

http://www.ehow.com/how_7566000_use-antistatic-wristban...

as does http://www.build-your-own-cheap-computer.com/static-ele...

In addition, your contention strongly contradicts the specific instructions that came with my anti-static wrist band:






I could add scads more credible references, but I think my point has been made.

In your defense, however, perhaps you are referring to an electrical supply system that is non-compliant with U.S. Electrical Code. In that case, I plead ignorance....I've not researched those.
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November 6, 2011 7:33:31 PM

Outlander_04 said:
....By earthing yourself to the planet you do not reduce electrical potential between yourself and the case ........but you do provide an excellent path for static to flow .

You are INCREASING the change of damaging components .....




etk said:
Static wristbands have high resistance to prevent this from happening. As long as the wrist band tests good (1 megohm for 250V, 500k for 120 iirc) you can plug it into the ground plug and grab a live wire safely with your other hand, if you so choose.

OP: If you want to take safety to an extreme here, check the strap resistance first, then plug it into the ground outlet. Anywhere from 500kish to 100 Meg+ is fine




et,

At last.....some hard data based on actual physics and not hearsay or idle contentions!

Hooray for you! I had forgotten all about that!

A VOM verifies that my wrist strap has one mega-ohm resistance.

Yep, what you say makes sense.....grounding such a wrist strap in the grounding receptacle of my electrical outlet is perfectly safe. If one were to do that, however, it certainly would not hurt to open the circuit breaker on that circuit.

Good stuff.....now we're makin' real progress!
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November 6, 2011 8:02:57 PM

Lmao, holy **** dude. Just plug the anti static wristband to your case and build. Take your socks off, and build. Jeez man, you don't even need one of those things, just touch the case before you touch the parts. Oh and if you're really that paranoid, build naked and put the anti static wristband to your case.
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November 6, 2011 8:21:22 PM

Quote:
Paranoid? try falling out of the sky :D 

Anyhow, seriously mate just...... get over yourself ;) 



Who said anything about paranoia? I certainly didn't!

Since you mentioned it, though, you want paranoia? Try piloting an F-16 in an inverted deep stall, transitioning into a spiral/spin, falling at over 30,000 feet per minute, with an uncertified, asymmetric load on the wings. That will pucker your little balloon-knot.....and fast!

However, we used to say that YOU guys were the ones who were truly brain-damaged! Who would want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? (vbg).

And mate, telling an A-10 pilot to get over himself.....you know better than that! Perhaps we'll have to get together and swap lies in a dark, smoky pub the next time I'm over there. I'll buy the first round!

BTW, do you have many jumps from C-17s? I took part in that test program long ago.....without the mods we made to that bird, you guys would have been morted wholesale if you tried jumping out of that thing. My DIL is a C-17 pilot, she's in the sandbox as we speak.....on her fourth deployment. We must never forget that it's kids like her (and you) that make our cushy lifestyles possible!

There I go, off topic again. But, you started it! (vbg)
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November 6, 2011 8:31:50 PM

des74 said:
Lmao, holy **** dude. Just plug the anti static wristband to your case and build. Take your socks off, and build. Jeez man, you don't even need one of those things, just touch the case before you touch the parts. Oh and if you're really that paranoid, build naked and put the anti static wristband to your case.



des,

I'm happy to be providing your some entertainment! (vbg)

I tried the barefoot thing.....about got frostbite! It's damned cold in this house!

I don't even want to think about doing it naked. If someone peeks in the window, they'll likely die from the hideous sight (did I mention that I was old?)! Then, I'll have to deal with a lawsuit. (vbg)

Anyway, for various reasons, I'd prefer not attaching the wrist strap grounding lead to the case, unless said case is grounded to earth. See this link (from PCWorld, no less):

http://www.pcworld.com/article/82184/avoid_static_damag...

Here is a germane excerpt:


If you're daring and careful, you can still keep yourself and the computer at the same electrical potential by constantly touching the case while installing an upgrade, but it's a juggling act. And if you accidentally touch something with a different electrical potential--such as the tabletop the computer is sitting on--all bets are off.


Sounds like a risk I don't care to take with my extremely expensive and delicate components.
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November 6, 2011 8:57:25 PM

Quote:
I am not too clued up on aircraft, however our jumps were from the "Globemaster" a big huge carrier plane.
We departed from the rear of the plane...
And as for being brain damaged, i am not the one with static problems...
BTW stay on topic as mods do not care too much for personal life style...



Thanks for the heads-up.....

Globemaster = C-17, btw.
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Anonymous
November 6, 2011 9:04:32 PM




Go ahead and plug into the wall outlet but do remember, the concern of damaging differences of potential are not from your wall outlet to the devices, it's the differences from the case (and anything connected to it), and the new devices about to be plugged into a MB or whatever that is in said case. But your wall outlet thanks you for protecting it so well.

All this protection does Nothing to protect the devices that may be highly charged, or otherwise elevated from the now dead-to-earth hand that is about to pick them up for placement. See that tiny spark as the devices discharge to your lower-potential hand ! There's no way out of this paranoia so just have one hand on the case and pick up your devices by their frame or bracket and put them in the case.

Pilot? I think you'd be too scared to fly. I saw another post where the OP was given good advice and hid under their blanket, so the responding poster said something like "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink."

I'm done.
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November 7, 2011 2:57:16 AM

BoM,

My comments in bold italics.


Quote:
Go ahead and plug into the wall outlet but do remember, the concern of damaging differences of potential are not from your wall outlet to the devices, it's the differences from the case (and anything connected to it), and the new devices about to be plugged into a MB or whatever that is in said case. But your wall outlet thanks you for protecting it so well.

All this protection does Nothing to protect the devices that may be highly charged, or otherwise elevated from the now dead-to-earth hand that is about to pick them up for placement. See that tiny spark as the devices discharge to your lower-potential hand ! There's no way out of this paranoia so just have one hand on the case and pick up your devices by their frame or bracket and put them in the case.

Yep, I'm aware of that. I'm merely trying to protect myself against a situation averred to in my PCWorld reference (and several other places), that could occur if your ground is one with limited capacitance:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/82184/avoid_static_damag...

Here is a germane excerpt:


"If you're daring and careful, you can still keep yourself and the computer at the same electrical potential by constantly touching the case while installing an upgrade, but it's a juggling act. And if you accidentally touch something with a different electrical potential--such as the tabletop the computer is sitting on--all bets are off."

What they're talking about here is the builder-case system acquiring a relatively large potential when compared to the surrounding environment. Then, when said builder touches something that is close to the earth's potential (e.g. that mobo lying on the table).....BOOM (at least in my house)! This is why I am more comfortable with having the builder-case system grounded to earth in the first place. Call it a personal foible.....nobody should be offended by this harmless affectation.


Pilot? I think you'd be too scared to fly.


With all due respect, sir (or madam), there is absolutely no (none, zilch, nada) correlation between risking your life and risking your treasure. This I know to be true. My record speaks for itself. 'Nuff said!


I saw another post where the OP was given good advice and hid under their blanket, so the responding poster said something like "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink."

I'm done.



Thanks, however, for sharing your expertise. Please remember that disagreement in no way implies a lack of respect.
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November 7, 2011 3:00:38 AM

Wow I cant believe this thread is still going on...
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November 9, 2011 12:41:33 AM

I earlier posted a method to safely ground a wrist strap to your house's ground circuit. Even though I specified that my method was to be used only in houses in which the electrical systems are in strict compliance with modern U.S. electrical codes, the entire thread was pulled by the mods, who deemed it as being "unsafe." I was a bit surprised by this action, to say the least. The whole episode made me wonder if a statement like, "I like to ride motorcycles without wearing a helmet!" would get me banned altogether from this forum.

Well, as we've seen in this thread, which has had over 340 views on the world's premier computer hardware forum, there is nothing inherently unsafe about the grounding method I'm addressing.

With the concurrence of the mods, I'd like to end this thread (finally) with a post detailing my method. If I don't see something from one of the mods in this thread in at least the next 24 hours, I'll assume that they don't have a problem with me posting the method.
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January 14, 2012 1:05:45 AM


An Anal Retentive’s Guide to Wrist Strap Grounding

I came up with a grounding method that I’m comfortable with. For 99% of you, this will be overkill. This method is for the other 1% if you......the anal retentives. This method was adopted after a very informative exchange of ideas on the world’s foremost computer hardware forum, Tom’s (see the previous posts).

WARNING: Before trying this, please, please ensure that the following four conditions have been met:

1. You are at least 21 years of age.

2. You have opened the circuit breaker corresponding to the circuit feeding the electrical outlet you are going to utilize.

3. Said grounding circuit is in compliance with the latest United States Electrical Codes.
4. Said grounding circuit has passed a comprehensive inspection that was conducted by a fully licensed, certified, and bonded Master Electrician, who is a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and who specializes in residential inspections.


Now, let’s get to work.

Everyone has at least one old PSU power cable lying around. I grabbed one and removed the two power prongs using a hacksaw:





This step was not absolutely necessary, but mitigates a few major hazards for very little effort expended.....a good tradeoff, IMO!

Next, grab a small drill bit (a 3/32” drill bit worked perfectly in my case) and push it far enough into the other end of the now-modified power cable such that it makes contact with the ground lead:





It is a good idea to check that your connections are good. Grab you a VOM, set it to resistance, plug one of the VOM’s probes into the ground hole of an outlet, and plug the modified end of your power cable into another outlet’s (that is on the same circuit) ground hole. Finally, contact the drill bit with the VOM’s other probe. The VOM should indicate continuity. If it does, then you’ve got a good setup:





Here is a shot of the grounding point I used during a recent build. The black clamp is connected to my wrist strap and the green jumper cable gets connected to the computer case:





And, there you go. Both you and the case are “one” with a common, huge capacitance ground!
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January 21, 2012 7:58:45 PM

Best answer selected by Digger1.
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April 10, 2014 9:13:47 PM

Wow. That was a awesome read. Lol, the older generation and their hard head ways....lol
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