ThomasS
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Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Sun May 17, 2015 12:10 pm

Having lost a Pi Camera Board (or two!) to static, I was wondering what your advice would be in terms of anti-static precautions for the Astro Pi which I have recently received. Preferably without buying anti-static wristbands and mats. Thanks in advance! :)
ThomasS

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Davespice
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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Sun May 17, 2015 5:42 pm

Hi Thomas
I don't think you need to worry too much. Unless you've got a high static environment (with one of those static inducing carpets) then you can just do business as usual and it will be fine. Kids go around with them in their pockets and all sorts. I you manage to kill one through static I'll be quite impressed actually.

That said if you really are worried I would just make sure people earth themselves by touching a tap or a radiator before handling the hardware. I hope this helps.

Dave

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Sun May 17, 2015 5:59 pm

Just make sure you discharge yourself by touching the metal work on something like a PC, which should be earthed.

Avoid things that generate static like carpets, synthetic clothing.

ThomasS
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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Sun May 17, 2015 6:02 pm

gordon77 wrote:Just make sure you discharge yourself by touching the metal work on something like a PC, which should be earthed.

Avoid things that generate static like carpets, synthetic clothing.
Unfortunately my computer case is plastic, but would a radiator do? Also how would you go about avoiding carpets? :D
ThomasS

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Sun May 17, 2015 6:13 pm

ThomasS wrote: Unfortunately my computer case is plastic, but would a radiator do? Also how would you go about avoiding carpets? :D
In the UK you MUST have your water and gas pipes bonded to the mains earth, so a radiator (as long as it's not painted) will work.
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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Sun May 17, 2015 6:38 pm

ThomasS wrote:
gordon77 wrote:Just make sure you discharge yourself by touching the metal work on something like a PC, which should be earthed.

Avoid things that generate static like carpets, synthetic clothing.
Unfortunately my computer case is plastic, but would a radiator do? Also how would you go about avoiding carpets? :D
Doesn't your pc have metal on the back or sockets with metal surrounds ? Just touch one of them or anything metal thats earthed.

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Sun May 17, 2015 9:23 pm

gordon77 wrote: Doesn't your pc have metal on the back or sockets with metal surrounds ? Just touch one of them or anything metal thats earthed.
True, didn't think of that. A bit awkward to get to so I think I'll use pipes as Dougie Lawson suggested. But on the subject of carpets, how do you avoid picking up static from them? Will slippers work or do the carpet-like inner soles produce static?
ThomasS

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 3:41 am

ThomasS wrote:
gordon77 wrote: Doesn't your pc have metal on the back or sockets with metal surrounds ? Just touch one of them or anything metal thats earthed.
True, didn't think of that. A bit awkward to get to so I think I'll use pipes as Dougie Lawson suggested. But on the subject of carpets, how do you avoid picking up static from them? Will slippers work or do the carpet-like inner soles produce static?
You ground yourself periodically.

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 8:45 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
ThomasS wrote:
gordon77 wrote: Doesn't your pc have metal on the back or sockets with metal surrounds ? Just touch one of them or anything metal thats earthed.
True, didn't think of that. A bit awkward to get to so I think I'll use pipes as Dougie Lawson suggested. But on the subject of carpets, how do you avoid picking up static from them? Will slippers work or do the carpet-like inner soles produce static?
You ground yourself periodically.
What I've done in the past is make sure things are cold (to avoid being scolded), take a shoe & sock off and rest a big toe on a bare metal part of the radiator or pipe. It's not as easy as an earthing strap.

You can also get a good earth from anything that isn't double insulated or powered through an isolating transformer (so not a laptop or a TV). I had a BT phone engineer who stuck his set of keys in the earth pin of a mains socket to get an earth one time (NOT recommended because it opens the shutters on the L&N pins).
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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 8:55 am

ThomasS wrote:
gordon77 wrote: Doesn't your pc have metal on the back or sockets with metal surrounds ? Just touch one of them or anything metal thats earthed.
True, didn't think of that. A bit awkward to get to so I think I'll use pipes as Dougie Lawson suggested. But on the subject of carpets, how do you avoid picking up static from them? Will slippers work or do the carpet-like inner soles produce static?
I agree its difficult to avoid them all together but just be aware of them. Choose a room that doesn't have them to work in if possible, and if you have walked across carpets ensure you discharge yourself before working on any electronics.
Slippers probably won't help and may insulate you for any earth point allowing you to hold more charge, again ensure you discharge yourself before working on any electronics.

You could consider something like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Anti-Static-W ... 1641682001

Gordon

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 4:36 pm

First thanks to everyone for their brilliant advice. Thanks Gordon! I think I'll do as you suggest and get a wristband after all to avoid doing complicated manoeuvres with one foot on the radiator. Thanks to Dougie Lawson as well; I didn't know radiators couldn't be painted to discharge static and that's probably where I went wrong with my Pi cameras. One last question - will wristbands offset static created by carpets and static clothing? ('offset' is complex scientific vocabulary :) )
ThomasS

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 4:43 pm

ThomasS wrote: I didn't know radiators couldn't be painted to discharge static and that's probably where I went wrong with my Pi cameras.
Not just that, but in older houses it was only required that the Cold water pipes be Earthed, not the Hot ones or the heating sytsem, and in newer houses there may be plastic pipes in part of the water system which can effectively isolate the system from the Earth and there is no requirement to electrically Earth any pipes which are isolated like that.

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 4:54 pm

rpdom wrote:
ThomasS wrote: I didn't know radiators couldn't be painted to discharge static and that's probably where I went wrong with my Pi cameras.
Not just that, but in older houses it was only required that the Cold water pipes be Earthed, not the Hot ones or the heating sytsem, and in newer houses there may be plastic pipes in part of the water system which can effectively isolate the system from the Earth and there is no requirement to electrically Earth any pipes which are isolated like that.
OK, so are you saying that painted radiators discharge static (as long as they're not isolated)? Also do you have any idea re the wristband question?
ThomasS

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 4:56 pm

ThomasS wrote:First thanks to everyone for their brilliant advice. Thanks Gordon! I think I'll do as you suggest and get a wristband after all to avoid doing complicated manoeuvres with one foot on the radiator. Thanks to Dougie Lawson as well; I didn't know radiators couldn't be painted to discharge static and that's probably where I went wrong with my Pi cameras. One last question - will wristbands offset static created by carpets and static clothing? ('offset' is complex scientific vocabulary :) )
Yes the wrist band will discharge static whatever the source.

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 4:58 pm

gordon77 wrote:
ThomasS wrote:First thanks to everyone for their brilliant advice. Thanks Gordon! I think I'll do as you suggest and get a wristband after all to avoid doing complicated manoeuvres with one foot on the radiator. Thanks to Dougie Lawson as well; I didn't know radiators couldn't be painted to discharge static and that's probably where I went wrong with my Pi cameras. One last question - will wristbands offset static created by carpets and static clothing? ('offset' is complex scientific vocabulary :) )
Yes the wrist band will discharge static whatever the source.
Thanks! We really need a favourite button on this forum :(
ThomasS

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 5:07 pm

ThomasS wrote:OK, so are you saying that painted radiators discharge static (as long as they're not isolated)? Also do you have any idea re the wristband question?
No, I'm saying that you shouldn't really trust a radiator as a point to discharge static, whether they are painted or not.

The wristband is the best way to discharge and prevent any type of static build-up in your body, as long as it is connected to a good earthing point.

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Re: Advice on Anti-Static Precautions

Mon May 18, 2015 5:15 pm

rpdom wrote:
ThomasS wrote:OK, so are you saying that painted radiators discharge static (as long as they're not isolated)? Also do you have any idea re the wristband question?
No, I'm saying that you shouldn't really trust a radiator as a point to discharge static, whether they are painted or not.

The wristband is the best way to discharge and prevent any type of static build-up in your body, as long as it is connected to a good earthing point.
OK thanks. I'm planning on using the back of my computer case as Gordon suggested anyway.
ThomasS

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