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    Preventing Electrostatic Discharge Damage

    Device components that are shipped in antistatic bags are sensitive to damage from static electricity. Some components can be impaired by voltages as low as 30 V. You can easily generate potentially damaging static voltages whenever you handle plastic or foam packing material or if you move components across plastic or carpets. Observe the following guidelines to minimize the potential for electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage, which can cause intermittent or complete component failures:

    • Always use an ESD grounding strap when you are handling components that are subject to ESD damage, and make sure that it is in direct contact with your skin.

      If a grounding strap is not available, hold the component in its antistatic bag (see Figure 1) in one hand and touch the exposed, bare metal of the device with the other hand immediately before inserting the component into the device.

      Warning: For safety, periodically check the resistance value of the ESD grounding strap. The measurement must be in the range 1 through 10 Mohms.

    • When handling any component that is subject to ESD damage and that is removed from the device, make sure the equipment end of your ESD grounding strap is attached to the ESD point on the chassis.

      If no grounding strap is available, touch the exposed, bare metal of the device to ground yourself before handling the component.

    • Avoid contact between the component that is subject to ESD damage and your clothing. ESD voltages emitted from clothing can damage components.
    • When removing or installing a component that is subject to ESD damage, always place it component-side up on an antistatic surface, in an antistatic card rack, or in an antistatic bag (see Figure 1). If you are returning a component, place it in an antistatic bag before packing it.

      Figure 1: Place a Component into an Antistatic Bag

      Place a Component into an Antistatic Bag

    Caution: ANSI/TIA/EIA-568 cables such as Category 5e and Category 6 can get electrostatically charged. To dissipate this charge, always ground the cables to a suitable and safe earth ground before connecting them to the system.

    Published: 2014-10-30