1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

static electricity question

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Stephen, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Stephen New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    136 (0.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    4
    Location:
    Legana, Tasmania, Australia
    I'm gonna build my first computer as soon as the parts get here hopefully next week and I just need to know what to do about static

    I'll be building on a wooden table (varnished, if that makes any difference) on a vinyl floor with my dog outside. Me being me I know nothing about electricity so basically how do I ground myself.

    I didn't order a wrist band with my parts and I'd really love to not go to the hassle of ordering one. In Launceston we only have a couple of computer stores with just sell useless junk and of course no anti static wrist straps (I'd love to make a computer store here but I'm only 14 :banghead:)

    Will just touching a metal part of the case every so often be enough? Do I buy a $10 wrist strap and pay an extra $20 for delivery?

    yay for living in Tasmania I suppose, the deserts in Australia would be more advanced than this state.
     
  2. A Cheese Danish

    A Cheese Danish

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,965 (0.88/day)
    Thanks Received:
    415
    Location:
    your local vending machine
    Well, tbh, i built my current rig on a carpet. No table and what not. But that's a risky situation. For your situation, if you hold on to the side of the case or part of the table you should be good. But I've never used an anti-static band except for in my computer tech class.
     
  3. Darknova

    Darknova

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Messages:
    5,047 (1.49/day)
    Thanks Received:
    542
    Location:
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    Hook up the PSU (just plug it in anywhere) but leave it switched off and not connected to anything, then every so often (or after touching pets, wool, anything that creates static) touch the case and that will ground you. It's what I do and I've had no problems so far :)
     
    Stephen says thanks.
  4. OzzmanFloyd120

    OzzmanFloyd120

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    3,047 (1.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    297
    Location:
    Pontaic Michigan
    Just build barefoot, that's what I do.
     
  5. Sonido

    Sonido New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    357 (0.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    86
    Location:
    USA
    And your parts still work? Praise Jesus!

    Just make sure you discharge yourself before handling. Touch the PSU when it is connected to a grounded outlet. Do Not - I repeat; Do Not rub up against anything that can produce an electric charge (carpet, linen, ETC.).
     
    Stephen says thanks.
  6. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    7,043 (2.25/day)
    Thanks Received:
    901
    Location:
    Sector ZZ₉ Plural Z Alpha
    well - if you're concerned about ESD . . . just make sure to touch the case occasionally, wear rubber soled shoes of some sort, don't rub against frizzly materials, and avoided touching the electrical pins in any power sockets . . . most PCBs have a coating over them that protects the actual circuitry, and most of the components can withstand negligible discharges . . . to build up enough juice within yourself to cause some serious damage, well, I'm not sure how you'd pull that off.


    From my experiences, though - I've been working with computers for over 2 decades now and have yet to damage any component through building, tear-down, whatever . . . and I'm pretty rough with some testing procedures (yes, I will remove expansion cards from their slots with the rig running :twitch:). I lay components on my bed, on the floor, pretty much anywhere I can find space during a tear-down.

    Only component I've ever damaged was an old-ass Pentium Pro, and that was due to an OCing error on my part . . . set the mobo switches wrong . . .
     
    Stephen says thanks.
  7. Stephen New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    136 (0.05/day)
    Thanks Received:
    4
    Location:
    Legana, Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks for your replies :)

    I'll just make sure to touch it and be careful (although it sounds like I don't exactly need to be all that careful)
     
  8. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    41,057 (11.76/day)
    Thanks Received:
    16,170
    I wear a metal wristwatch. Just touching the side of the case first is good enough for me though.
     
  9. Darknova

    Darknova

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Messages:
    5,047 (1.49/day)
    Thanks Received:
    542
    Location:
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    You need to be careful, you just don't need to baby it as much as people can make it sound.

    Just remember that if ever you walk away to ground yourself when you come back.
     
  10. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    7,043 (2.25/day)
    Thanks Received:
    901
    Location:
    Sector ZZ₉ Plural Z Alpha
    well - no need to go overboard :p

    just excersize some caution, especially with your first build. It'll take time for you to build up your own confidence with handling parts - if you take your time and are careful, and should something not work when you go to power it on . . . then you can be fairly certain it's not your fault for part failure.

    Keep in mind that it's not unusual for parts to be DOA, it does happen occasionally. If your confident that you've done everything right, then there's no need to blame yourself if something doesn't want to work.

    And remember as well - there's a strong and knowledgable community here if you have any questions about anything at all :toast:
     
  11. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    9,365 (2.55/day)
    Thanks Received:
    913
    Man, you really don't have to be all that careful. I have built over carpet before, just make sure that the power supply is attached to the case and that the PS is plugged into a wall outlet. Take off any microfiber clothing and make sure there are no long haired animals around and you will be fine.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  12. James1991

    James1991 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    267 (0.08/day)
    Thanks Received:
    38
    Location:
    Port Lincoln, South Australia
    i could not disagree with you more. i am in south australia and i order something and it gets here a couple months later(about six months for my 3870x2 when i got that). thats no joking either, it's rediculus

    back on topic now, i dont do anything special, put it together and it go's. and if it doesn't then i send it back on warranty(and if they cant get wat ever it is anymore they just get me something better and i dont have to pay a thing. perfect example is my 3870x2 getting replaced with 2 4850's and got $100 back:D).
     
  13. Thrackan

    Thrackan

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    3,482 (1.30/day)
    Thanks Received:
    656
    I think your answer lies in how comfortable you are with building your own system.

    When I first started (dis-)assembling computer parts I was being very careful about what to touch and what to stay the heck away from.

    As you work with building stuff longer, you'll most likely find yourself holding the non-metallic parts of expansion cards etc automatically. Also, you will touch the case more frequently than you think, and that's good.

    The ESD will most likely happen if you do anything silly like moonwalking on the carpet:pimp:, fluff petting your dog, wearing a woolen sweater and then start building :D Otherwise you'll be fine, unless you're some sort of Magic Magnetic Static Man...

    Yeah, I built stuff on carpet, with dogs nearby, with a woolen sweater on... That didn't feel al too comfortable to me at the time:cool:

    A couple of weeks ago I did my first heatsink replacement on a graphics card. That one took me about 30 mins and lots of double checking, the next time will be a breeze :D
     
  14. Sasqui

    Sasqui

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    8,266 (2.22/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,130
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    I've never used a wrist strap and done many, many builds in the dead of new england winter (very dry!). Incidentally, usually work on a wooden table.

    Never a problem, but perhaps I'm pushing my luck.

    If you have some spare wire and some scotch tape, you can always improvise :)
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  15. rockit00

    rockit00

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    224 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    24
    Hey,I own a wrist strap $3.95 USD. You can make your own emergency wrist strap for free! Just take a 3 or 4ft. piece of wire. On one end strip the wire back about 2 inches. This end will be the end that you attach to the Computer. On the other end strip the wire back about 8 or 9 inches. This end will be to wrap around your wrist. Presto! Anti-Static Wrist Band.:D
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  16. r9

    r9

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,144 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    284
    If you charge some component usually is ram just take antistatic wrapping that components come in and rub them it works I can`t count how many times I have done that. That is working in situations that components are charged not damaged by static electricity.
     
  17. dadi_oh

    dadi_oh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    809 (0.26/day)
    Thanks Received:
    77
    Location:
    Almonte, Canada
    ESD is worse in dry conditions. If Tasmania is humid then that is a better situation than the deserts of Australia.

    Just a note on the "build your own wriststrap" thing. Yes that would work but real wrist straps have a 10 megohm series resistor in them as a safety precaution. Nothing like being REALLY well grounded when you touch that 240V rail :)

    I just touch my "plugged in" (and therefore grounded) case every once in a while. Also, if you are sitting in a wheeled office chair try to avoid rolling around while working on the machine. That can build up a charge as well. And I wouldn't wear a wool sweater... maybe a cotton shirt. Mostly just common sense stuff.
     
  18. Sasqui

    Sasqui

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    8,266 (2.22/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,130
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    Ahhh... interesting - didn't know that.

    I guess another work of caution when building is always unplug the computer when working with cabling or installing/pulling cards, even with the computer off, there is voltage going to the MB. And don't drink too much - I've made that mistake before :)
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  19. James1991

    James1991 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    267 (0.08/day)
    Thanks Received:
    38
    Location:
    Port Lincoln, South Australia
    please continue:D
     
  20. rangerone766

    rangerone766

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,036 (0.33/day)
    Thanks Received:
    111
    i gotta second the shoes thing. i sometimes forget and get zapped when working in my case. even with shoes on i can still feel a bit of a shock from time to time.

    btw, its just a small tingle enough to know youve been shocked. but not like touching bare 110volt wiring or anything. it feels aboult like putting your tounge on a 9volt battery.

    and i've never killed a piece of hardware yet.
     
  21. dadi_oh

    dadi_oh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    809 (0.26/day)
    Thanks Received:
    77
    Location:
    Almonte, Canada
    I think that the rule of thumb (or is that the rule of finger :laugh: is that the threshold of perception of an ESD discharge is between 2kV and 4kV. Most devices can get damaged below that level so it is possible to damage a device without even feeling the discharge. Avoid handling circuit boards except at the edges (don't touch the devices on the board).

    Buildup of static charge is based on how far apart the things being rubbed together are in the triboelectric table. http://science.howstuffworks.com/vdg1.htm

    So if you are wearing rabbit fur slippers and shuffling around on a teflon floor you need to be extra careful ;)
     
  22. Homeless

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,027 (0.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    109
    Location:
    USA
    I usually just touch my bathroom doorknob and get to work
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  23. dadi_oh

    dadi_oh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    809 (0.26/day)
    Thanks Received:
    77
    Location:
    Almonte, Canada
    OK. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering about this.... You assemble your computers in your bathroom? Are they watercooled? :laugh:
     
  24. Homeless

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,027 (0.27/day)
    Thanks Received:
    109
    Location:
    USA
    Hahaha. I meant to say that I touch my bathroom doorknob to release all static electricity and then build the machine on top of a wooden mat
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  25. Sasqui

    Sasqui

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    8,266 (2.22/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,130
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    Ok, this one time at band camp... :laugh:

    I pulled out a PCI card with the system on and running, LOL!!! System crashed, but booted right back up again with no problems. *whew*
     
    10 Year Member at TPU

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)