Equipment for preventing ESD.

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-Kit/dp/B000I2JX3A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352157755&sr=8-1

£50 ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anti-Static-Grounding-Bench-1200x500mm/dp/B005PM98T2/ref=sr_1_2?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1352157805&sr=1-2

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
14 answers Last reply
More about equipment preventing
  1. wear cotton clothing

    work on a wooden table

    touch the case with your hands before touching components. Nothing else is required
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. The paint may provide a small amount of resistance, but I doubt it'l cause any issues.
  8. 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
  9. 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?
  10. 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?
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Anyone have experience with either of these two mats?
  14. 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.
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