Author Topic: ESD Mats...should I use one for board work?  (Read 243 times)

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Offline Kirk332

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ESD Mats...should I use one for board work?
« on: November 04, 2012, 11:47:59 AM »
Hi there,
Newbie on the block. I am building up my tools and supplies to carry out some work on my STTNG and among other parts I have also ordered a high voltage kit to replace the recommended parts on the DMD. My question is, how important is it to use a ESD mat and wrist band when doing work like this? Would you recommend it for any type of board work?

Thanks in advance.
Cheers
Kirk

Offline ajlaird

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Re: ESD Mats...should I use one for board work?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 02:48:53 PM »
Interesting question.

Personally I have never used an ESD and in all the electronics and computer work I have done, it has never been an issue as far as I can tell. The one time I did see anything happen in terms of discharge into an IC (an FM receiver chip) I initially thought I had fried it but it actually worked just fine! Disclaimer: I have never done any work on a DMD board so am unaware of any issues particular to one.

I have always grounded myself on the computer case before working on computer internals.

You are far more likely to kill a chip with excessive heat than ESD - hence socket all ICs if possible rather than solder directly to a board.

Offline MartyJ

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Re: ESD Mats...should I use one for board work?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 03:18:19 PM »
In theory any work done on boards should be.

Offline Cow Corner

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Re: ESD Mats...should I use one for board work?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 03:20:12 PM »
Ask Beaky, he would know.
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Offline Homepin

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Re: ESD Mats...should I use one for board work?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 03:54:37 PM »
It isn't as critical as some may have you believe.The high voltage DMD power is no more or less susceptable to ESD than a 5V game board - no difference at all as far as ESD is concerned.

I wouldn't spend any time even thinking about it unless you intend to handle large numbers of chips that are NOT installed in boards.

When ESD sensitive parts are actually soldered or socketed in place the risk of damage from static is almost nil.

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Offline Kirk332

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Re: ESD Mats...should I use one for board work?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 04:20:59 PM »
Thanks for all your responses guys, you have saved me upwards of $100 in tools etc. I gather that no one really uses the mats in question. Any chips that I have ordered I have also ordered an equal number of sockets too so that should save any heat problems. I've had very little to do with installing chips in sockets however from memory they are quite tricky to install into their sockets.

I have read info on chip installing tools that hold the legs in a slightly compressed state to aid installation, does any one know where I can get these from? I have also been told that you just need to insert one side of the chip into the socket first then use a paddle pop stick, or alike to push the other legs in to place. Is that what most do?
Cheers

Offline Homepin

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Re: ESD Mats...should I use one for board work?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 05:33:56 PM »
If you download the assembly instructions from my website for the Bally MPU-35 there is a description in there on installing chips into sockets with pics

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