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ESD - the silent killer

PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '17, 14:59
by ivaneranu
Hi, everyone.

Just writing to gauge the level of care people take when working with ESD-sensitive devices.

Electrostatic discharge can wreck your ICs. I used to think it was OK to just avoid wearing woolly jumpers while working with sensitive components.

Recently, I have learnt that there does not have to be a spark for damage to occur.

According to this document, the non-grounded human body can carry around 100V charge at rest. Your work surfaces can also. It's worth a read.

https://www.minicircuits.com/app/AN40-005.pdf

A section of an IC can be damaged, but the effects may not be noticed until much later.

I have learnt this the hard way. Recently, my TB-303's Pattern Set A plays back complete shit. I suspect a busted SRAM chip. The tact switches were upgraded a few weeks ago, ESD safety procedures were not followed. If it turns out to be the CPU, I will not be happy.

There are amateurs and professionals alike on this forum, all building NAVAs with varying levels of precautions taken. I, myself, have been careless up until now. I will never, ever make this mistake again.