Static Electricity Discharge ( Best Practice)


After seeing that one owner of the ROV ran into issues with the malfunction of two Capes I thought it would be good to review the Issue of Static Electricity Discharge (ESD). Many folks, who have not worked or handled Electronic parts professionally, may not be familiar with (ESD) which is the Silent killer of electronic components. There are some best practices that everyone should follow including myself, which it tend to get lazy in at times. The worst time for this is the winter months when relative humidity is low and depending on where and how you live could make a huge difference. An example of how a board can be damaged. Have you ever gone to turn on a light switch in the house only to get a spark from your finger to the screw on the wall plate or touch another person to make them jump when they get a ESD discharge. Same goes if you happen to be holding the cape and a friend wants to see it and you pass it to him. Bang card is now dead without you even knowing it. You may get up off your couch and go to your desk to pick up the Beaglebone or cape, pop one may never work again. Always keep in mind that you are like a huge capacitor and the size of that capacitor depends on the Humidity in the air, the type of shoes or socks you have on your feet or a sweater you may be wearing. Always touch the desk or a piece of metal on the desk or bench before touching the boards you are working on. If passing the part to someone else always touch them on the arm or hand before passing them the part. Even better we should be using anti-static mats and wrist straps when working on electronic parts but if you don’t have these the risk of ESD can be reduced by following the above simple steps. There are links on the web to find out more information about ESD. Let’s spend more time playing than troubleshooting :)