AntiStatic Mat for Computer build - this adequate?

  bazbazbaz 15:25 15 Jun 06

I wanted to get an AntiStatic Mat to put together my own computer, maplin don't seem to sell them anymore but here's one at rswww
click here

some say they're "conductive" others "dissipative" and they're blinding me with science - is it adequate for building a computer?
if it had just said antistatic benchmat I would've just bought it :)
advice appreciated or other sites that sell them

  vinnyT 15:37 15 Jun 06

ESD= electro static discharge, so yes it would 'DO', but is, in my opinion, overkill. An Anti-Static Wrist Band from click here, for £3.82 (inc vat), wil do the job.

However, I've built numerous pcs, and have never used one before with no ill effects.

Hope this helps.

  Arnie 15:52 15 Jun 06

now and again you keep touching the computer's framework you should be ok.

Also, leave all the boards and disc drives etc in their antistatic bags until required.

Don't wear a nylon shirt or stroke the cat! (:0)

  Arnie 15:55 15 Jun 06

Sorry, should have been you I was addressing.

  amonra 16:03 15 Jun 06

ALWAYS wear an anti-static wristband connected to the case and take sensible precautions. Dont work on a plastic coated surface and try not to wear plastic soled shoes or trainers. Sit at your bench/table and dont move around too much to generate static. If possible use the large anti-static bag that came with your M/B as a work-surface and handle all cards by the metal strip on the outside. not the actual printed circuit board itself. Preferably choose a wet day to do whatever's necessary, there's less chance of static build up. When installing components or cards in the case, touch the case before starting and keep touching it every so often. If possible, run a length of wire from the case to an earth point, ie. a nearby radiator or the metal screw on the front of the 13 amp socket. As I said, be sensible and take your time. there's no rush ! Good luck.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:17 15 Jun 06

I've fiddled about the insides of my own computers many, many times and I have never worn an anti-static wristband or taken any precautions. There have been no disasters.

I sometimes wonder if modern computers are so badly affected by static as most of my friends delve inside their computers without any 'protection' and they have never ha da problem.


  Totally-braindead 16:36 15 Jun 06

I too have never had to use a wrist strap or mat, I've built quite a few computers as well as spent a lot of time delving about inside. I've had no problems whatsoever. They only thing I have done is earthed myself prior to doing anything, but thats all.

  bazbazbaz 16:40 15 Jun 06

thanks for all the advice, I do get swayed by all the extra things you can buy, stick some flashing LEDs on something and it gets my attention :)

  Mr Mistoffelees 17:31 15 Jun 06

I used to work in micro-electronics manufacturing and can assure you the risk of damage from static discharge is very real. Just walking on a carpet for a few steps will see you accumulate a potential of several thousand volts, albeit with a tiny current. Intel Pentium cpus are especially sensitive and can be damaged by as little as six volts. Failing to take anti-static precautions is potentially very expensive laziness. That the two of you have never had a problem is very fortunate, but your luck will run out one day. Don't make it the day you fit a brand new Athlon FX62!

  howard63 19:00 15 Jun 06

as an ex electrician/lecturer in electrical installation I have done the following. Using a spare power lead with a rewireable plug I have removed and cut off the phase [brown] and neutral [blue] conductors just leaving the earth wire [green/yellow] in the plug top. The lead is then marked with green/yellow tape so I can always identify it. This lead is then plugged into the mains socket and case giving me a safe very efficient earthed metal box to install my bits into. I also regularly press my hands on the case to remove any static. I have built over 50 units and repaired many more with no static problems.

  VCR97 19:36 15 Jun 06

Tutorial here. Note the comment on page 2 about latent defects.
click here

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