The Student Room Group

How to ground Anti-Static Wrist Strap?

Hello everyone,

I will be starting my PC build this weekend and I wanted to ask how I can ground my Anti-Static wrist strap to prevent any chance of static damage.

The flooring in my room are wooden (If that matters)

:smile:
Reply 1
Original post by LeSchool
Hello everyone,

I will be starting my PC build this weekend and I wanted to ask how I can ground my Anti-Static wrist strap to prevent any chance of static damage.

The flooring in my room are wooden (If that matters)

:smile:


When you take a part the case, just attach it to the side of the case that comes off.
Reply 2
I normally assemble mine on a desk next to a radiator so ground myself to that. Any largish metal object should be fine :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by Iqbal007
When you take a part the case, just attach it to the side of the case that comes off.


My wrist strap has a crocodile thing - won't that scratch my case? :frown:

Original post by DarkWhite
I normally assemble mine on a desk next to a radiator so ground myself to that. Any largish metal object should be fine :smile:


I have a radiator nearby! :biggrin: It is painted though - I remember hearing radiators in general are good but painted ones aren't -am I right?
Reply 4
Original post by LeSchool
My wrist strap has a crocodile thing - won't that scratch my case? :frown:



I have a radiator nearby! :biggrin: It is painted though - I remember hearing radiators in general are good but painted ones aren't -am I right?


The paint will act as an insulator so it's not ideal. The back of the radiator presumably isn't painted?

If you want to attach to your case but the clips don't fit then you could put a couple of screws in and attach to those; the crocodile clips should fit round them fine, even if they're thumbscrews.

I've never experienced somebody blowing a component through static electricity whilst building a computer, so I wouldn't worry too much either way; just don't wear socks on laminate flooring and avoid velvet jackets and balloons :smile:
Reply 5
I'd probably go for attaching the clip to the case as the important thing to to be at the same potential as the items you're working on. If you attached the clip to a radiator and the case isn't grounded then its possible you could still have issues.

Although in reality I've never had an issue with PC components and grounding. In general I've found you're touching things regularly enough to not have a problem.
Reply 6
It's not one of these things where you're going to handle a component and there will be a huge flash of light and suddenly your IC has turned to a pile of ashes, it's unlikely that static damage will cause a component to fail immediately. You may just be causing some damage that will shorten the component life - hence you'll never know if touching the case every so often is enough.

Having said that, most people's wrist straps are completely inadequate. There's little point touching the case if the case itself isn't grounded; which it won't be if you've unplugged it. Proper ESD straps come with a plug rather than a croc clip and can be plugged into the mains socket to ensure a good earth. People also rarely use mats and wear silly clothing.

Some people will obviously try it, but at the school of electronics we were told never to ever attempt building an ESD strap with plug oneself.

Someone will no doubt chime in with "it doesn't matter if the case isn't at earth potential as long as you are at the same potential", but in a home rather than a workshop there's no guarantee that reaching over to another table or object or touching two things at once won't happen.
Reply 7
If the case isn't grounded (i.e. PSU mounted and plugged in) then "touching the case" won't have much effect...
Reply 8
Original post by Clip
Someone will no doubt chime in with "it doesn't matter if the case isn't at earth potential as long as you are at the same potential", but in a home rather than a workshop there's no guarantee that reaching over to another table or object or touching two things at once won't happen.


Well the important thing is that you and all the items you're working on are at the same potential and it's the difference in potential that damages things (which with static electricity can be into the thousands of volts). In general I think those straps just lead to a false sense of being safe.

The correct method as you alluded to is to have an antistatic work mat which is properly grounded and that's used to ground you and all your equipment and components. You should also be testing the antistatic devices before using them (there should be a high resistance in them of around 1M Ohm) so no resistance or infinite resistance means it's broken.

In general most components which are sensitive to static are most likely to be damaged before they're on the circuit board. Once they're on the pcb that will give them a lot of protection.
I've been building PCs for the best part of 15 years, maybe a little longer and I've never used any anti-static devices, nor have I inadvertently destroyed hardware through a static discharge.
Reply 10
I've been building PCs for the best part of 15 years,
Reply 11
Original post by nick liu
I've been building PCs for the best part of 15 years,


Reply 12

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