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Equipment for preventing ESD.

Last response: in Systems
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November 5, 2012 9:40:31 PM

Hi guys and gals!

Its very cold and dry where I live, so I'm going to be purchasing an ESD mat so I don't zap any parts during my first build. Problem is, I can't decide on which of these two mats to get...

£15 ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/LINDY-43080-Anti-Static-Service...

£50 ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anti-Static-Grounding-Bench-120...

I would get the cheaper version no problem, it's just from the photo it doesn't look like I can ground it through a wall socket. Whilst the more expensive one has a plug with it, and also has more surface area apparently.

It would be great to hear your thoughts.

Thanks in advance,
Paul
November 5, 2012 9:44:18 PM

wear cotton clothing

work on a wooden table

touch the case with your hands before touching components. Nothing else is required
November 6, 2012 9:24:14 AM

Yeah, I'm aware a lot of guys here don't bother with wrist bands and such. But since this is my first build, I'm using expensive components and I'll be adding more parts in the near future, I'd feel a lot better if I used a mat.

Hell, I'm even considering anti-static spray! :D 

So which of these two mats do you think is the better option?
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November 6, 2012 9:29:58 AM

I'm with Outlander, you don't need any special equipment to properly guard against ESD. Though I do personally use a wristband.

Mount the PSU in the case and plug it into the wall (switch off). Connect the wristband to any exposed metal on the case and you are grounded, really that simple.
Do the build on a non conductive surface (wood, stone even cardboard is good), don't stand on carpet and do the build in bare feet or with shoes, not just socks.
Don't touch the gold pins/plates on the RAM and CPU (shouldn't do this regardless of precautions).

Should be fine if you follow those steps.
November 6, 2012 1:59:22 PM

Do you really think the PSU plugged into the case will be enough? It's very cold and dry in my house so there's a lot of static around. I know buying a ESD mat may seem excessive to some of you, but I just need to be 100% sure no harm will come to my pc before I build.
November 7, 2012 3:11:45 AM

Yep. Standard design of electronics (including PSU's) has the case of the device connected to the grounding wire in the power connection, so in case of a short circuit within the device, all the current will go back down the grounding wire to Earth, not through anyone who touches it.
So the PSU being in the case will effectively ground the thing as any current that is introduced will go through the PSU then to Earth.
November 7, 2012 10:09:47 PM

manofchalk said:
Connect the wristband to any exposed metal on the case and you are grounded


Hmm, my fractal R4 case is painted both inside & out. Does it have to be bare metal?
November 8, 2012 2:59:02 AM

The paint may provide a small amount of resistance, but I doubt it'l cause any issues.
November 8, 2012 5:33:33 AM

manofchalk said:

Mount the PSU in the case and plug it into the wall (switch off). Connect the wristband to any exposed metal on the case and you are grounded, really that simple.
.



do NOT do this

Or at least dont do this in SOME countries . Many countries have the neutral wire connected to earth as well and you can be making a potentially dangerous connection .


What you need to do is eliminate electrical potential between your hands and the case . If both have the same charge there is no flow and no chance of ESD.
Leave the case unplugged , but touch it immediately before handling parts
November 10, 2012 4:31:25 PM

Outlander_04 said:
do NOT do this

Or at least dont do this in SOME countries . Many countries have the neutral wire connected to earth as well and you can be making a potentially dangerous connection .


Well, I'm in Northern Ireland, part of the uk. Am I safe enough?
November 10, 2012 4:38:37 PM

manofchalk said:

Mount the PSU in the case and plug it into the wall (switch off). Connect the wristband to any exposed metal on the case and you are grounded, really that simple.


If I can't get my hands on a wrist strap, could I hold onto the PSU for the entire build?
November 10, 2012 4:40:33 PM

Im not sure what wiring system NI uses

Im in New Zealand , and here that advice is potentially lethal

Either way its unnecessary , You need to reduce electrical potential between your hand and the case . Not between your hand and the rest of the world .
Just touch the case for a half a second before you pick up components.
Thats all thats required
November 13, 2012 10:55:48 PM

Ahhhh I've changed my mind again. :pt1cable: 

I'd really feel a lot better using a mat. Does anyone know which of the two mats listed at the top of the page is best?

I ask because I'm not sure if some mats are better at dissipating static than others. Also, how do I use a mat, exactly? Only one of the mats listed has both a wrist strap & grounding plug, but no other connection from the mat to the case. I'm aware that the surface of the ESD mat is the connection to the case, but I wonder if this is sufficient considering the paint on the case may cause some resistance?

Really need your help ASAP guys

Thanks,

Paul
November 14, 2012 1:08:52 PM

Anyone have experience with either of these two mats?
November 14, 2012 10:32:59 PM

Nope. I used an anti-static mat when I briefly worked at a local computer shop, but I have no idea if its one of those mats.
!