Static Safeguards

Submitted by dave on Thu, 08/03/2017 - 15:24

Static safeguards will help prevent damage to your parts.

If there are areas in your home or work area where you sometimes get a little shock or see a spark when you touch a doorknob or some other metal object then you will need to take extra safeguards against static.

Static will instantly kill a Cmos chip and there are lots of them in a computer.

If you have no areas where static doesn't occur then buying a wrist strap would  be a very good idea.
Wrist straps are a Velcro band that straps onto your wrist maintaining contact with bare skin and channeling through a wire that's connected usually with and alligator clip to a piece of metal that's grounded and drains off any static charge that occurs.

Another method of draining off static is by touching a grounded metal object before you touch any circuit board or chip. However this method is fallible by the chance of your forgetting to touch before you grab and discharging static into a circuit board or chip.

You may notice that certain shoes or clothing you wear may cause a static buildup where others don't.
This is due to the type of material in the soles of shoes or the type of fabric your clothing is made up of.

Man made materials such as synthetic shoe soles are particularly infamous for generating static. I have a pair of house shoes I will never wear while I assemble or even work on a computer because they cause a very strong spark on doorknobs where I never see any under any other conditions other than wearing those shoes.

Natural materials such as cotton in clothing or leather for shoe soles is usually the safest to work in as far as cutting down on the chance of causing a  static spark.

Possibly the biggest cause of static buildup is shuffling feet in plastic shoes across a nylon carpet.

The plastic bags that your motherboard and other circuit boards packed in are specially constructed to protect their contents from an accidental static discharge. So before you open any of these and handle the contents make sure you are well grounded and that all causes of possible static build up are eliminated.

The precautions I take are very simple and very effective in my area of the United States.
I usually wear blue jeans with a cotton T-shirt and usually work in stocking feet or wearing my leather sandals. I live in the very wet northwest area of Washington state so static build up is not very often seen.

Static can be deadly to a computer build and should be taken seriously, however static safeguards and precautions are easy to employ.

Happy Computer Building