installing soundcard??? ground??

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by radioliver, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. radioliver

    radioliver Guest

    I just got my new soundcard and it says in the installation booklet that i have to ground myself when putting the soundcard in my computer. it says to hold a side of the computer??!! I dont really get that. i understand that the reason for this is to avoid breaking the soundcard with static or whatever else but i do not understand what i have to do to ground myself when installing it. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Home Page:
    Grounding yourself is as simple as direct contact with the chasis or frame of the computer or wearing a static strap around your wrist that connects to the chasis(you can probably get one at radio shack)so that electrical charges that build up in the body can be relieved. A static strap will keep you in continual contact with the chasis so there is no possibility of static buildup. This time of year when the humidity is low, its cold and heaters are running static can be a big problem make sure you touch the chasis to discharge the static before you put the card in the slot. The static strap is cheep insurance if you have spent a lot of money on a sound card. I hope this made sense.
  3. TimOBrien

    TimOBrien Active Member

    Jan 19, 2003
    If you can get a static strap; do so. It's cheap insurance.

    I've never had any problems using the following rules:

    * Always make sure the power is unplugged!

    * Open the case on the table

    * Never take the card out of the anti-static bag until you're ready to put it in.

    * Find yourself a comfortable position in front of the case and touch the sides of the case and the power supply (several times... go ahead and be paranoid...)

    **** Now, NEVER PICK UP YOUR FEET UNTIL THE CARD IS IN THE SLOT (picking up your feet on a carpet or floor can generate enough static to fry components.. just DONT move until you're done.)

    * If you're going to be messing around in the case for any length of time, reach over every few minutes and tap the power supply or case sides again... it can't hurt.

    Been doin this since 1984 and haven't fried anything yet. Have fun!
  4. Mel

    Mel Guest

    Well, there's the route to earth for any static electricity that you've stored up, scuffing around on plastic carpets knackered. Leave the PC plugged in and switched off at the wall socket. Hopefully the electrician that installed the wall socket, wired it so the positive side was broken with the switch. If he did, the negative/ground connection is still intact. You can touch the computer case till your blue in the face, if it's unplugged you will still fry the chips.
    You've been fortunate.
  5. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Home Page:
    Yes make sure it's plugged in I forgot to mention that.

    I had on rubber sole shoes today stepping out of my car which had rubber tires(no ground) and guess what happened when I touched the car door.

    This is a peice of equipment that some hard earned money was spent to purchase why take a chance like that. I might take a chance with my own equipment like that but to take a chance with someone else's equipment....
  6. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    When I was an engineer at IBM, we did electron microscope images of the effects of ESD damage to silicon. Up close and personal, it looks like World War III waged on the surface of the chips.

    ESD is severely damaging, and can be fatal to electronics in small amounts that are not noticeable to the human. Styrofoam coffee cups and silk lingerie are tremendous ESD generators. And yes, I had to diagnose both in a customer situation... :D

    Use the zap strap. It is much less costly than replacing dead gear, and easier than using unstable gear damaged by gremlins introduced by ESD.
  7. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Hey, I've done this too while doing QA Failure Analysis work. I have pictures that I kept of the metal layer damage that I show to friends. As has been stated, a ground strap is one of the MUST have things required when dealing with silicon. The human body can generate over 10kV of static energy. And static electricity damage doesn't always mean a blown chip. A slightly static damaged IC can have it's performace degrade over time before it dies as becomes unstable or flakey appearing to be a software or some other problem.
  8. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    A zap-strap is like the American Express Card: don't leave home without it.

    I'm putting together my first DAW with an AMD powered system and Q10 interfaces. Guaranteed, those expensive toys will be assembled on a mat with attached zap strap.

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