Setting up a portable ESD safe station.

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,141
Before my stroke I did not worry too much about ESD damage. When parts were cheap and a short drive away it wasn't worth the hassle. Now traveling is not so easy, even before sheltering in place (at 60+years old I am a prime candidate to becoming a statistic). So components have suddenly become a bit more valuable. C'est la vie.

It also doesn't help that my wheelchair seems to be a impromptu Van Graff generator.I've been throwing rather long arcs to my bed frame.

I'm thinking about this mat.

My work bench will be my bed for now until I can afford a ramp into the garage to set up a true work station. Again this is going to take a long while.

I am aware by mentioning a product spammers mar feel I have opened a door to spam but any such post will get what spammers get. If anyone knows a better deal I'm open to suggestions. I will chop the end off of of an HP cord and use its ground for my ground reference.

I can afford to be patient, as it seems I am not doing anything for a long while. Soldering is out for the long haul since I only have on working hand. I bought a soldering iron that will feed solder with a manual trigger type feed mechanism, just in time for the shutdown. I was planning on taking it to Dallas Maker Space, but not for a long while.

Other tools a one handed gal like me will need is an IC extraction tool. And eventually a lead bender tool.

Again, I'm open to suggestions.
 
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SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,126
I've had and lost several chip pullers over the years. What works best for me is a simple small "tweaker" flat blade screwdriver. Insert blade under the edge of the chip and gently lever, do the same on the other end, and the chip is usually free with no bent pins. Before inserting chips, I "roll" them on a flat surface to bend all legs on one side at a time evenly until they can be inserted. All of this is done one-handed. As to ESR mat, how are you going to ground it? I've also had many ESD bracelets but often when I needed one it was somewhere else. Touch the grounded chassis to neutralize any charge on your body then go at it safely. Never had a problem with that method. Good Luck, Sam
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,751
Other tools a one handed gal like me will need is an IC extraction tool. And eventually a lead bender tool.
Amazon showed $30 for that lead bender. Jameco has them for less (though not as low as what I paid long ago):
clipimage.jpg

I bought the Pin Straightener long ago too. Both for about half the current price.

I have several DIP IC extractors, but will use the PLCC version if it's all that's handy.

For antistatic mats, I use this:
clipimage.jpg

I often leave it ungrounded. My reasoning is that if I touch the mat before touching parts, all are at the same potential and parts can't get zapped.

EDIT: I use something like this to insert IC, sometimes to remove:
clipimage.jpg
 
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Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,141
Eventually everything will open again, after the Virus emergency, DMS will be closed until then. No DMS, no 3D prints.

Ic Tool.png

Where did you find such an interesting tool?
 
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dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,751
Where did you find such an interesting tool?
I bought a couple tool boxes on eBay 10-15 years ago and they had a couple of those tools (mine have another attachment on the handle), and an assortment of electronic tech type tools.
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
897
The important thing about an anti-static work-station is that your body should be at the same potential as the circuit you are working on. It does not necessarily need to be earth ground. A wrist strap with an alligator lead connected to the circuit common of the board you are working on is all you really need.
Regards,
Keith
 

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,141
Yes with one caveat. Normal everyday activities can generate static. you want to bleed the charges off relatively slowly, which reduces the instantaneous current.

Just so you know, I wrote this article.

I'm trying to get back to a hobby I love in spite of my current disability.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,751
Where did you find such an interesting tool?
1589045254878.png
My tool has handles that are more ergonomic than the ones in the previous picture. The extra attachment is for straightening leads. Sliding them over the attachment from the narrow end spreads the leads. I've never used that feature. I straighten leads using some flat jaw needle nose pliers, or the Jameco straightener if I have a lot to do.

For scale, the tile is 6" square.
 

Thread Starter

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,141
Update: Tue 200512
Day before yesterday I worked on the grounding system. I cut the HP connector off of a power cord. Actually I ruined the first power cord by cutting the wrong end off. HP Power cords tend to multiply like mice or rabbits. I can always sacrifice one or two to a good cause. Since I only have one working hand, I use a modified clip board as a helping hand. The weird screw arrangement holds it open until I need it to close and clamp.

20200511_141557.jpg
You will note the HP connector which was the one I was supposed to remove. DOH!

20200511_141717.jpg
Here I trimmed the hot wire flush with the removed insulation and the neutral wire 1/2" past that. The ground wire I didn't touch.

20200511_144612.jpg
And this is where I hit a stopping point. Ideally I would put a lug as an attach point. But as in many things, all my tools and lugs are where else? In my garage where I can not reach them. Again, DOH!

Taping the wire with electrical tape was challenging but not insurmountable.

I have asked a friend to solder the wire if nothing better presents itself.


After I get the ESD station done I'll get a IC chip puller from Amazon I've got my eye on. My current limits seem to be my money and imagination. After this sheltering in place crap ends a lot more becomes possible and practical.

I miss 3D printing.
 
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