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ESD Wrist Strap, What to Connect To?

Ok, been working on Mobile Phones for a few months and every now and then a phone will play up or not turn on at all after i repaired it.

I work in quite a humid area with carpet all over the place and lots of other things that build static.

I have a wrist strap but i don't know what to use to ground it. I don't have a computer case near by, i work on a wooden desk and the radiator closest to me looks like it has plastic pipes, as this is a new building.

Is there anything i can buy/make to clip my alligator clip onto so that i am grounded as i handle small chips and PCB's alot.

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Most anti-static mats have an anchoring point (metal snap) to connect the wrist strap to and a second one to tie to earth ground. If you have a clip type of cord on your wrist strap you can clip it to the mat and then using a clip or snap connection from the mat to earth ground.

As others have stated your 3 prong outlets offer a good ground point. I would recommend making sure you don't have any mis-wired outlets in the area your working (black wire going to the chrome screw on the side of the outlet - needs to be to the brass colored screw!)

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Comments: previous comment to prove that the outlet is properly grounded

using a little 3prong electrical tester that lights up if grounded properly.


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Attach a solder lug to the center screw of the nearest AC power outlet. Just remove the cover screw and put it through a proper size solder lug and tighten the screw back on the cover where you removed it from. Attach the wrist strap when you will be handling ANY electronic parts or equipment.

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Humidity dissipates static, not contributes to it. Its' low humidity days during winter and early spring that are the worst! And it can vary in severity depending on what part of the country you are in.

You stated the building is new. As such, the electrical code would stipulate that the ground of each AC outlet in the building be properly grounded.

Get yourself an AC tester (they are cheap) and confirm that it lights up and indicates a proper ground when plugged into the outlet. If so... plug the wrist strap ground wire into the ground (round hole) of the nearest AC outlet after proving that it is grounded - North American wiring, other countries are different!

If your wrist strap does not have a prong on it that fits an AC outlet ground then you have a choice. Get one that does. Or connect the ground wire to the metal screw that holds the plastic plate onto the AC outlet.

It's usually in the middle of the plastic decorative plate that covers the AC outlet.

I'd prefer an anti-static mat that plugs into the outlet ground. That way you aren't performing wrist bondage which !@&^&$ me off and gets in the way.

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I prefer the opposite approach...LOL....I put a Van DeGraff static generator

on the other end of the bench and if it makes through that then you're

good to go :) ANyways....we pros make light of anti-static measures

and quite often we will poo-poo them, however, it's a very real thing

and if we blow something up we were warned. But still, many times

we do not use any special measures.

Most static can be totally mitigated by simpler measures.

I simply stay put....touch the power supply or other appropriate

ground and NOT walk around and shuffle my feets on the carpet.

Stay put until you accomplish the task at hend.


@cns - Sometimes the damage takes awhile to show up. Think of it this way you bend a paperclip ones so it appears just fine, then you bend it again this time it snaps (metal fatigue). This also happens within the chips! Always use proper ESD you are doing your self and your customer right.


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Hook it up to something metal that you have on hand. That will probably work.

I'm gonna be honest here. ESD protection seems like a load of crap to me. I never damaged anything not using a wrist strap before. Maybe I'm lucky or something, but I don't think ESD is as big of an issue as the industry and ESD tool industry makes it out to be. I mean use it if you want but it doesn't seem like it's that bad. I'd be more worried about someone plugging the equipment in then ESD. Just try not to spend a lot on it if you're paranoid. ESD seems like a small issue to me.

This also isn't me saying you should shun it entirely. If you have a expensive piece of equipment like a 1U server, you probably should use it. But when you are working on laptops and desktops, it's a hassle at best.

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