Completed Project ESD Safe Workstation

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,238
Just over4 years ago I had a wet stroke (brain bleed) that left me paralyzed on the left side and relatively short on cash. I still love electronics, but transportation an other factors will remain an issue for the remainder of my life. My deep stash of electronic components have become that more precious. So I have held off working on project until I could be sure of not zapping my semiconductors working with them. The fact my wheelchair make a decent Van De Graaff generator also made it much more important. First step was the table. Replacing my old shoe rack with shelves meant I could make table top covered in wood grain vinyl. An added benefit was is it stashed out of the way nicely as shown. The board goes behind the door when I’m not using it. The shelf supports are stashed using 5/16” neodymium magnets (with only one working hand, anything that allows me to use one hand better is nice). I bought a steel sheet 2’ x 4’ feet, originally to use as a cutting board. The thought then occurred to me it would make a nifty base for my then future ESD Safe workstation so I bought a drill and tap set to add a grounding wire, which I had made several months ago for this project using a cut down HP power cord. Add a static mat and I have my workstation as shown./ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1']steel sheet 2’ x 4’ feet[/URL], originally to use as a cutting board. The thought then occurred to me it would make a nifty base for my then future ESD Safe workstation so I bought a drill & Tap set.

00.jpg...01.jpg
The shelf stashed out of the way, Hardware is behind.........Bottom of work shelf and installed shelf mounts
door on the left. Neodymium magnet are holding the
shelf mounts.
02.jpg...03.jpg
The short #6/32 screw I installed on the plate. I used a thumb wheel nut on the other side. I also deburred the plate
as some of the edges would put a razor blade to shame. I like my hand, its the only one I have left. I had to put a
drop of super glue on the head of the screw to make it stay put.
04.jpg...05.jpg
The steel sheet on the shelf. A very close fit I think...............The grounding cable I made. It was mentioned in a thread
.........................................................................................................................I made several months ago. I used a HP power cord I cut
......................................................................................................................... for this purpose. I swear the cables breed in the box I
.........................................................................................................................store them in. The terminal I used was way over sized, I
.........................................................................................................................used this to my advantage. I folded the copper wire over
.........................................................................................................................the insulation, then crimp the copper wire and the insulation
.........................................................................................................................together. This created a strain relief for the wire as a whole.
.........................................................................................................................This is not a current carrying arrangement after all.
06.jpg
All that is needed is the static mat. I did not bother to
connect all the hardware since I am not using it at this time.
When my check comes in I will be getting a better mat to
replace it. I wrote an article about ElectroStatic Discharge
several years back, I believe this setup meets all the criteria
to control the issue.
 
Last edited:

Randy2575

Joined Jun 28, 2019
4
Hi Wendy,

I hope you are meeting your challenges head on and are doing well. You don't know me, but I wonder if you are the persona that used to go by Bill Marsden? I am reading your thread about Leds, 555s, Flashers, and Light Chasers. The quest that brought me here was one that I never imagined would turn out to be so convoluted. My intention was plain and simple, make a fading tail led chaser for the Shuttle Bay of the Star Ship Enterprise model that I am currently building. I thought this would be a piece of cake with today's tech and ever evolving ICs. Not so. Part of the problem is that I can find circuits that will get close to this effect, but they all either contain too many components or are not fading tail effects. Most of the "Wonderful" chasing effect boards sold on ebay, or shown in DIY tutorials are single chase leds controlled by a 555 and a 4017. I did find one circuit for sale that can control six or eight leds with a fading tail just like I envisioned, but after shipping, the cost is over $50, more than the Enterprise model cost.
. This, however, is exactly what I am after, and I was sure that a DIY solution must be available for pennies on the dollar. I am starting to have my doubts, especially when I see nothing that comes even close to a comparable solution. I don't know what kind of driver they are using, but the whole fading flasher circuit is encased in a small package no larger than a thumb nail. I was guessing that maybe they were using something along the lines of an ITTiny, so I concentrated my search along those lines, but then I went down a rabbit hole lined with shift registers, Charlieplexing, and PWM issues. Another IC that cought my eye was the TLC5940, but that also seemed to be much larger and involved that the small and elegant solution of the $50 circuit. So when I read about your comet tail chaser solutions and noticed that they were written 11 years ago, I was wondering if you knew of anything in the current tech environment that could achieve the desired effect in a very small package? Thank you for your time.

Eric
 

Attachments

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,238
Hi Wendy,

I hope you are meeting your challenges head on and are doing well. You don't know me, but I wonder if you are the persona that used to go by Bill Marsden? I am reading your thread about Leds, 555s, Flashers, and Light Chasers. The quest that brought me here was one that I never imagined would turn out to be so convoluted. My intention was plain and simple, make a fading tail led chaser for the Shuttle Bay of the Star Ship Enterprise model that I am currently building. I thought this would be a piece of cake with today's tech and ever evolving ICs. Not so. Part of the problem is that I can find circuits that will get close to this effect, but they all either contain too many components or are not fading tail effects. Most of the "Wonderful" chasing effect boards sold on ebay, or shown in DIY tutorials are single chase leds controlled by a 555 and a 4017. I did find one circuit for sale that can control six or eight leds with a fading tail just like I envisioned, but after shipping, the cost is over $50, more than the Enterprise model cost.
. This, however, is exactly what I am after, and I was sure that a DIY solution must be available for pennies on the dollar. I am starting to have my doubts, especially when I see nothing that comes even close to a comparable solution. I don't know what kind of driver they are using, but the whole fading flasher circuit is encased in a small package no larger than a thumb nail. I was guessing that maybe they were using something along the lines of an ITTiny, so I concentrated my search along those lines, but then I went down a rabbit hole lined with shift registers, Charlieplexing, and PWM issues. Another IC that cought my eye was the TLC5940, but that also seemed to be much larger and involved that the small and elegant solution of the $50 circuit. So when I read about your comet tail chaser solutions and noticed that they were written 11 years ago, I was wondering if you knew of anything in the current tech environment that could achieve the desired effect in a very small package? Thank you for your time.

Eric
That was indeed me, besides the brain hemmorage that put me in a wheelchair I've gone through some changes.
A confession and an Outing
Wendy's Index

Still writing articles.

When nothing else is going on I'll put some thought into it. No promises.
 
Last edited:

Randy2575

Joined Jun 28, 2019
4
Wow, you've given me a lot of info already in your Index, thank you. I know no one wants to hear, Oh, I feel sorry for you, but geez, you've been dealt a tough hand. When I first noticed the name change, I mused you might have adopted the name of Bill M because of possible discrimination. I thought you were a talented and highly intellectual women thinking you had to take a man's name in order to be heard in technical circles. It didn't occur to me that it ran much deeper than that. And then if that wasn't enough, further physical complications. You are one tough cookie and I applaud you for that. Never mind my insignificant request, it means nothing other than being more complicated than a surface scratch might reveal. The concept of religion and or a God seem to be caustic these days, but I'd like to keep an open mind. With that said, I often wonder how can there be a good, kind, and loving God with so much inequity in the world? Well, that's really what defines us now, isn't it, how we face and handle adversity. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Stay strong.

Sincerely

Eric
 

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,238
I am simply doing what I have to do. I now have almost full access to my shtuff, including projects that were on the back burner when the stroke happened 4 years ago. My pesky memory is one of my remaining hurdles. I even heated up a soldering iron last week to add to my stock of protoboard shtuff (two 4" speakers w/ wires). I finally got around to ordering an older revision of Dragon Speaking to see if I can deal with the typing bottleneck.
 

Randy2575

Joined Jun 28, 2019
4
"I am simply doing what I have to do. " Well, therein lies the crux. When faced with adversity, many lack the courage and/or the conviction to do that. That's what makes you special. Keep on truckin....
 
Top