Computer grounding question

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by MattttyB, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. MattttyB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    Hello everyone,

    I recently discovered this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Earthing-Most-Important-Health-Discovery/dp/1591202833

    It talks about supposed effects on our bodies when we are directly grounded with the earth.

    Because I am currently suffering with CFS, I figured I've got nothing to lose by trying it for awhile as a lot of people have apparently reported a dramatic improvement in their symptoms once grounding. So I want to conduct my own experiment.

    Basically I want to move my PC/Laptop outside but still have it plugged in to the mains. I will most likely put it on a fold up trestle table.

    Whilst using the computer, I will be bare foot with the earth. If I am using a wireless keyboard & mouse - is this 100% safe? I can't see why not. I was also wondering if a pair of headphones hooked up to an external usb sound card could be considered risky? or would I be better off getting wireless headphones as well so there is no direct contact between myself and the computer/laptop while grounded bare foot with the earth?

    Please let me know as I obviously want this to be completely safe and don't know who else to ask. I did check with a local electrician and they said it would be fine (even with wired kb/mouse etc) because we're in a new building that apparently has a cut off switch if there are any electrical faults? but still, I want to double check. They did say to make sure to use a power surge board outside when plugged in however?

    Look forward to your replies.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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    1. The most of computer are safe, if you are not touching the case, keyboard and mouse are all safe.

    2. Wireless keyboard and mouse used the low voltage battery to be the power, so there are no reason not safe.

    3. The laptop used the 19Vdc adaptor to be the power, if you felt shocked by the city power, then throw the adaptor away and buy a new one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  3. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Keyboard, mouse, headsets, wired or wireless would all be safe. Make sure the computer is properly grounded. A visual inspection of the power cable is a start but not enough. You need to measure electrical conductivity between the computer chassis and ground.

    There are many diseases and illnesses that present the same symptoms as CFS. You have to eliminate all possible illnesses before assuming CFS. One trigger for CFS onset is an upset of body flora. Have you recently been administered a treatment of antibiotics?

    You should also check for possible food allergies. Go on a 48-hour fast and then gradually add one food item at a time to your diet, making careful notes of each item you add to your diet. Stay away from meat, dairy and gluten foods at the start of the diet.

    Presumably you have consulted your health-care practitioner, even though CFS is not generally recognized by the mainstream medical profession.

    Good luck. Let us know how you manage.
     
  4. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Generally, you will be safe whether you are wired or wireless. But if there is something wrong with your equipment due to wear or abuse, or a error in your house wiring, you may not be as safe. If you don't have a meter, the first time you do this, using the just the tip of your finger, gingerly tap/touch around on any exposed metal surface. If you feel any tingle at all, stop.
     
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    plug into a GFCI outlet (or even just a power strip with built in GFCI) and away you go..
     
  6. ericgibbs

    Senior Member

    Jan 29, 2010
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    hi,
    Personally I would never touch the metal chassis of a mains powered unit while standing on the soil/earth with bare feet.
    If you walk around on the soil barefooted make sure your anti-tetanus immunisation is upto date.

    Follow Les's 'check it out first advice', but touch it with the BACK of your RIGHT hand fingers not the tips.
    If you do get an electrical shock your fist will clench and the back of the finger will be pulled away from the contact.

    E
     
    alfacliff likes this.
  7. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    On a desk top or tower PC the case as well as the DC power supply common rail is normally connected to earth ground.
    Max.
     
  8. MattttyB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    Thanks everyone for your replies so far! much appreciated!
     
  9. MattttyB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    Everything has been ruled out through my health-care practitioner, except body/gut flora which I'm in the process of getting investigated through a dietician. I do suspect this is hopefully the cause, and it will take time and discipline (with the aid of the dietician and medication/supplements) to hopefully restore myself to good health. Gluten has already been emitted from my diet that I started 3 - 4 days ago based on a guide book given to me by my dietician. Thanks so much for the advice though! you went above and beyond what I asked and I really thank you for that :) living with CFS/depression the last few years has not been an easy road at all, which is why I'm looking at possible alternatives to help aid in the healing process.
     
  10. MattttyB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    I will most likely use my laptop at this stage which appears to be all plastic on the outside (can't see any metal anywhere that I can come into contact with). Perhaps I could leave the battery plugged in, turn the laptop on, then hook it up to mains and don't touch the laptop at all. Then when I go to shut it down using wireless mouse, I switch off at the wall and unplug. Given that I wouldn't be touching the laptop at all and that there doesn't appear to be any part on the laptop chassis that would be conducive - it should be 100% safe right? the laptop power cord is also 3 prongs so it is grounded (if this helps at all).
     
  11. MattttyB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    Does this mean there isn't any danger if it is properly grounded through the wall outlet? I'm most likely going to use my laptop for the time being, but my PC case does have parts on the outside that are metal so I would be hesitant to use this. Given my laptop seems to be completely plastic this might be the safer bet (or use another case with no metal parts on the outside?)
     
  12. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Generally a lap top is fed either by battery or wall socket/convertor that does not usually carry the earth ground through to the laptop.
    Max.
     
  13. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    There is some controversy with regards to sensitivity to radiation from AC mains.
    I have not heard about sensitivity owing to poor electrical grounding, except of course the danger of electrocution.
     
  14. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    I don't want to discourage you but in my experience (my daughter has celiac disease), dietitians and even physicians are woefully unprepared in this field. You MUST take control of your health yourself.

    I've listened to talks by dietitians that, as a biochemist with years of experience in the food industry, made me wince over and over as truly bad information was doled out. It was painful to watch the audience eagerly lap up the bad information. When my daughter became sick with celiac disease a decade ago, she underwent many invasive and expensive tests and the medical community NEVER got it right. We put her on a very restricted diet - she recovered quickly - and soon afterwards we knew that wheat was her problem.

    Your profile doesn't say where you are. In the U.S., when my daughter took ill, the average time to diagnosis for celiac disease was 11 years (!!) versus just weeks in Europe. Similarly, gut health and products to promote gut health are widely used in the rest of the world but are just gaining a foothold now in the U.S. We are slowly "discovering" what other cultures have known for years. I believe that as time goes on, we will learn so much more about improving health by promoting better gut health. For instance I just read there is growing speculation that the rise in childhood allergies may be linked to excessive antibiotic use in children. Killing off the gut flora leads to leaky gut, which in turn leads to all sorts of immunologic problems.

    I guess the only point I'm making is to stay optimistic and engaged in improving your own health, and to not rely on any single source unless you enjoy positive results. You will soon be the world's expert in what keeps YOU healthy.

    And by the way, I sit anywhere I want while holding my all-metal Macbook without a second thought about it. I'm probably better grounded through the Macbook than I am through my bare feet.
     
  15. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    the symptoms of cfs sound like my symptoms before I got Congestive Heart Failure back in april. tired all the time, with a nagging cough. might have that checked out, my doctor completely missed it.
     
  16. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    The greatest danger is being hard grounded when there is a possibility of touching something that's live.
     
  17. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Its all fine.. laptop or desktop.. all desktop metal is grounded through the ac cord.. a laptop is low voltage after the "brick" and can't harm you either. You have FAR more chances of getting killed by a scorpion or stepping on a nail or getting a disease from a mosquito..

    Of course you could simply get the same desired outcome as the book "preaches" by using an ESD ankle strap or wrist strap tied to any ground inside your house sitting on your couch. You are attached to the same ground at that point.
     
  18. MattttyB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    You aren't discouraging me at all. I've done a lot of research myself which is how I suspected gut flora is hopefully the problem. My diet has been very very bad over the years lol. But you are 100% right. You must take control of your health. You can't just rely on doctors and specialists - you need to do the research yourself and try things out to see what helps for you since we're all different.

    I'm not a biochemist, but my dietician seemed very knowledgeable on gut flora and seems convinced that he can turn it around and get rid of my symptoms, though he did say only 50% of his patients with CFS/depression are cured. So hopefully I fall into the bracket that does get better! I have to get some tests done first on feces samples before my dietician can execute the right attack plan. He also recommended for me to watch a recent documentary on how the gut is one of the main factors in controlling our health and that it looks like bacteria is the answer.

    I'm sorry to hear your daughter went through all of that as well. I am glad she is now cured! I've been suffering with CFS/depression for over a few years now and haven't really had any answers or made any progress. The depression is better thanks to anti-deps but the CFS is still a major problem that prevents me from being able to work. Every day (even every hour) is different for me energy wise. It really sucks. One of my suspects still on the list though is Candida, but I just can't stay on the anti-candida diet long enough as it is way too difficult. So I don't know what to do but hope that the diet given to me by the dietician helps in some way because it is at least manageable in the long-term.

    Agreed. If I get positive results, I'll stick with the dietician. If nothing happens - it is back to the drawing board doing more research and trying other things.

    Also, I'm from Australia.

    Cheers.
     
  19. MattttyB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    That is good to hear.

    Do you think I might be better off just purchasing this then and staying in-doors? http://www.earthing.com/product_p/umck.htm

    I'm not really keen on the idea though, but supposedly it is safe. We are in a brand new estate so everything is modern and apparently we have a built in trip switch in the event there is some sort of an electrical fault.

    It also says this on the earthing web site under the FAQ section:

    "Q. Is there a safety risk of being in contact with an Earthing system specifically while using electrical or electronic devices? 

    A. Earthing products are designed with built-in user safety. First, an electrical outlet tester is supplied with each product to verify that an outlet is properly wired and that the outlet has a working ground. The product ground cords are designed to provide a safe soft ground utilizing a built-in (molded in) in-line current limiting 100kohm resistor. In the event that a short develops in an electrical device that a person is in contact with while grounded the built-in resistor limits the current flow to a safe level. The accepted safe current limit of 5-8mA is defined as “sensation of shock not painful; individuals can let go at will.” The human body threshold of sensation is 1mA. The electrical calculation is current=volts/resistance (I=V/R). R = Rresistor + Rbody. Typical body resistance is 10k when wet and much higher when dry. However, to be conservative, using Rbody=0, Rres=100kohm, V=130volts; then maximum current I=130volts/100,000ohm=1.3mA; well below the accepted safety limit of 5-8mA and most likely barely perceptible."

    If that is 100% safe - should I go with that instead of going bare foot outdoors? what would you guys recommend here for safety and convenience?

    Thanks.
     
  20. MattttyB

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    I'm sorry to hear that you've been diagnosed with that. I am seeing a physician early next month. Perhaps I should get my heart checked over to rule that out too. I'm only 32 years old however so hopefully it is nothing to do with that. What kind of tests do they usually run you through? I'll have to pass on the stress test that is for sure.
     
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