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Antistatic Precautions

Electronic components are very often highly sensitive to ESD, or ElectroStatic Discharge. Static electricity in your body, even if you are not aware of it, can easily zap a component beyond repair.

Take the following precautions:

  • Keep away from any man made fibres except those known to be antistatic material. Normal untreated plastic, styrofoam, expanded polystyrene, etc. must be eliminated from the environment.
  • It is also not recommended to work on a metal work-surface. Wood is the best alternative to an antistatic workbench or mat.
  • If you wish, use a grounding wrist strap. These are supplied by most electronic stores.
  • Keeping in contact with an earthed metal frame keeps you grounded so you don't conduct static electricity, and can be just as effective as using a wrist strap. The metal frame of the computer is fine as long as it is earthed (plugged into an earthed socket but switched off at the mains).
  • Handle circuit boards by the edges and avoid touching the contacts or components themselves.

Remember! The damage may not become apparent until you actually try to use the damaged component.

 

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