Static electricity neutralizer

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by civ, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. civ

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Good evening:

    I'd be very obliged if I could tap the collective knowledge of this forum to see if I can bring this project to life.


    When I was a hi-fi buff many years ago, vinyl records had a severe dust removal problem because of static electricity. They were almost impossible
    to clean 100%, thus the insidious 'snap-crackle-pop' produced as the needle went along the groove. A real bummer.

    I recall there were all sorts of cleaning methods (fluids, brushes, mats and what not) but the most effective, albeit most expensive, was a gun shaped device which produced charged particles when it's long trigger was squeezed. It made dust easy/ier to remove from the vinil surface of the records. I think it was called Zerostat or something of the sort and it used no electricity or radioactive elements.

    I remember that it had a mechanism by means of which some piezoelectric device inside was struck multiple times, generating charged particles. It was used while pointed at 6" to 12" from the surface of the vinyl and a great deal of the static was neutralised.

    I recall that the Zerostat would produce a faint ozone odor, but you had to hold your nose close to it to be able to smell it.

    Years later I came upon a piezoelectric gas starter which was very much like the Zerostat, it also had spring loaded lever that when acted upon would strike some sort of piezoelectric device inside multiple times. The important difference being that it had two electrodes across which multiple sparks were generated to light gas stoves and ranges.

    This piezoelectric device also produced a faint ozone odor when something was amiss with the electrodes (dirt, grease, electrodes too far away from each other) and the spark was not produced. Just like with the Zerostat, you had to hold your nose close to it to be able to smell it.


    The same static electricity problem haunts coffee enthusiasts. 40 years later, I belong to that particular tribe now. =^)

    Burr coffee grinders usually generate static electricity and as coffee ground for espresso is very fluffy and light, unlike that which is ground for drip, vac pot et al, the static generated is strong enough to make the light coffee grounds and fines (coffee dust, if you will) fly all over the place instead of responding to the law of gravity as everything else.


    The similarities between the Zerostat device and the piezoelectric lighter led me to the idea of using an AC starter in the same way the Zerostat device was used: to ionize the air around the electrode/s while at the same time keeping them far enough from ground so as to prevent a spark from jumping towards it.

    There are many different models of gas ranges and ovens that use an AC powered starter so I went out and purchased an OEM replacement starter (they are all more or less the same) and promply took it apart to see what made it tick.

    The casing has this inscription:

    50/60 hz.
    T120º C
    0.5 VA

    There are two spade connectors for the AC input and two smaller ones for the electrodes. (this is a two electrode model, there are models for up to six electrodes)

    It has a copper wire coil sealed in resin and four components: a resistance, a diode, a metal film capacitor (?) and a short blue cylinder with thick leads.

    - The resistance is apparently 18K ohms - 5% (brown/greyorange+gold).
    - No idea with respect to the diode, I can't make out the inscription.
    - What I think is a metal film capacitor is labeled MKT 2.2K ME 250v
    - The blue cylinder is labeled VS 230 LF 08 - never seen something like it.

    Below are photos of the insides, of the mysterious component and of a drawing of the circuit as I understand it.

    With respect to the circuit, as the coil is set in hard resin, I have not seen below it, so I have no idea how the outputs (A/B) are connected or related to it.

    Not knowing too much about this whole thing, I'd be very obliged if someone in the forum would be kind enough to devote some time to answer a few questions I have with respect to this project and it's eventual feasibility:

    1. what type of component is the blue cylinder labeled VS 230 LF 08?
    2. what is it for?
    3. is the large orange component a metalized film capacitor as I think it is?
    4. being AC powered get me the same amount of +/- charged particles?
    5. the diode rectifies AC, producing single polarity particles? (+ or -)

    I have the idea that if equal amounts of both polarities are produced, at least 50% of them will latch on to the grounds to be neutralised.

    Does this make sense?
    Or will they neutralise each other?

    I'm rather worried that this solution be just a short term one, the starter coil or any of the components going bad due to the charge not going to ground. ie: spark not being produced and something heating up and going bad because of that.

    Another important question would be: is this all hogwash? =-)

    Thanks in advance for your time and attention.

    Best regards,

  2. iONic

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
    You ever see an antistatic wristband? Electronics people use them so at not to zap sensitive components while repairing them. The device connects one end to your wrist and the other to the screw from the electrical socket(Earth Ground) If the container of your grinder was grounded in this fashion it may not produce the gravity defying dust you are making. Please do not try this unless other here approve of such a concept. It may pose a safety hazard.
  3. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
  4. civ

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2011

    Yes, I use one (most times) when working on any of my electronic devices.
    As usually happens, I learnt about it the hard way, zapping a Palm III while replacing a component that had gone bad.

    Worry not, I've played around with these things before and I'm quite aware of the risks involved when working with 220v or charged capacitors, but thank you very much for the heads up. =-)


  5. civ

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 7, 2011

    Yes, but the idea is to add a 'built-in' neutralizing device, lodged inside the grinder's case and transparent to the end user (basically me).

    Like one of those static neutralizing bars put in place when working with rolls of film or paper.

    Thanks a lot for the link. =-)


  6. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009