janat08
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 15, 2020 3:24 pm

Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 4:34 pm

So you have to manhandle the board to switch it on and some cases don't cover gpio pins, how careful must you be about short circuiting the board. Also what are you suppose to grab onto when turning on, and can you kill the board by mishandling it?

trejan
Posts: 1686
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:28 pm

Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 4:43 pm

janat08 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:34 pm
So you have to manhandle the board to switch it on and some cases don't cover gpio pins, how careful must you be about short circuiting the board.
Fingers shouldn't short it out unless they're covered something else that would greatly lower the resistance. If you're poking at it with your metal keys then that will short it out. Liquids aren't good either.
janat08 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:34 pm
Also what are you suppose to grab onto when turning on
You're meant to hold it by the edges of the PCB and not touch the GPIO header or components.
janat08 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:34 pm
and can you kill the board by mishandling it?
Yes. Shorting out the GPIO header with something metal or zapping it with static electricity will kill it.

drgeoff
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 4:57 pm

janat08 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:34 pm
So you have to manhandle the board to switch it on ......
Not if you have the PSU unpowered from the AC mains while you connect PSU to RPi. Then, having left the RPi alone, power up the PSU.

klricks
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 5:02 pm

Any metal object can short out and instantly destroy a powered up RPi. Watch out for loose USB cables etc. I once killed a RPi3+ when a loose USB cable end slid under the board.

Also you should discharge any static from your body before handling the board. (Powered or not).
Last edited by klricks on Sat May 23, 2020 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated RPiOS Buster w/ Desktop OS.

Heater
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 5:04 pm

There is no danger of your shorting anything out with your fingers. Your skin resistance is far too high.

Static electricity is the killer. In low humidity environments a human body can accumulate significant static electric charge. Thousands of volts. You may have noticed the effect when combing your hair, taking off a shirt and so on. I used to get the pin pricks of sparks as I touched door handles in our office after walking across the room.

Those static discharges from your fingers can kill the transistors in GPIO inputs and so on.

In properly equipped electronics labs one has anti static mats and straps ones wrist to ground with an anti-static strap.

Having said that, I have never bothered at home and have never seen static cause a problem.

Of course I have to be careful running a naked Pi on my desk. It's generally covered in bits of snipped off wire and an other junk that couls short things out.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

JMK8
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 5:47 pm

Be careful if you wear rings!

wh7qq
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 8:15 pm

Heater wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 5:04 pm
There is no danger of your shorting anything out with your fingers. Your skin resistance is far too high.

Static electricity is the killer. In low humidity environments a human body can accumulate significant static electric charge. Thousands of volts. You may have noticed the effect when combing your hair, taking off a shirt and so on. I used to get the pin pricks of sparks as I touched door handles in our office after walking across the room.

Those static discharges from your fingers can kill the transistors in GPIO inputs and so on.

In properly equipped electronics labs one has anti static mats and straps ones wrist to ground with an anti-static strap.

Having said that, I have never bothered at home and have never seen static cause a problem.

Of course I have to be careful running a naked Pi on my desk. It's generally covered in bits of snipped off wire and an other junk that couls short things out.
Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer fame produce a video on the topic and static electricity has killed more than its share of solid state electronics products, in particular, PCs, in the hands of the careless. A development house I worked at had an extraordinary rate of network card failures, and I have seen the IT tech walking around the nylon carpeted office located in dry Southern California in leather soled shoes and a handful of bare, unprotected NICs. Surprise!

The RPi design is very well protected as I (and probably many others) have had our ham fists all over the board and its GPIO pins without failure. Still, it pays to handle only by the edges...if you can. I live in Hawaii with relative humidity of 50% or greater all the time and I am usually barefoot on bare concrete floors. You are probably not so fortunate.

Heater
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 8:51 pm

I'm much more fortunate. I don't live in Hawaii :)

Here in Helsinki the humidity is currently 29%

You are totally correct. It's wise to take precautions against static discharge to electronic components and boards.

I can be a bit blasé about such things. The amount of care I take will vary with the cost of the parts, the environment, the direction of the wind and how lazy I'm feeling at the time.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

hackedmacbook111
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sat May 23, 2020 9:41 pm

I killed an Orange Pi 1 I handled it with my hand and the thing would never boot or show anything on the moniter I think I ruined it
after that mistake I bought a i static electricity band to wear around my wrist while handleing my raspberry pi 4 to put into a case

LTolledo
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sun May 24, 2020 12:24 am

definitely handling a live bare RPi with wet hands might give someone a "shocking experience" ;)

(which can "injure" one's wallet) :mrgreen:
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Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Short circuiting risk during handling

Sun May 24, 2020 2:28 am

janat08 wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:34 pm
So you have to manhandle the board to switch it on and some cases don't cover gpio pins, how careful must you be about short circuiting the board. Also what are you suppose to grab onto when turning on, and can you kill the board by mishandling it?

I use an outlet tap switch or switched outlet strip with mine. Simpler than yanking and reconnecting power plugs.
switched_outlets.jpg
switched_outlets.jpg (31.26 KiB) Viewed 151 times
wh7qq wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 8:15 pm
I live in Hawaii with relative humidity of 50% or greater all the time and I am usually barefoot on bare concrete floors. You are probably not so fortunate.
Yea, when I lived in Hawaii the only place static existed at home was in the clothes dryer. I remember buying a Van de Graaff generator kit when I was a kid and being so disappointed when it didn't work. No static electricity worries in the tropics.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

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