Technical Documentation

Preventing Electrostatic Discharge Damage

Many switch hardware components 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 wrist strap or ankle strap, and make sure that it is in direct contact with your skin.

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

  • When handling any component that is removed from the chassis, make sure the equipment end of your ESD strap is attached to the electrostatic discharge points on the rear panel of the chassis (see Figure 1 and Figure 2).
  • Avoid contact between the component and your clothing. ESD voltages emitted from clothing can damage components.
  • When removing or installing a component, always place it component-side up on an antistatic surface, in an antistatic card rack, or in an electrostatic bag (see Figure 3). If you are returning a component, place it in an electrostatic bag before packing it.

    Figure 1: EX 3200 Switch Rear Panel

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    Figure 2: EX 4200 Switch Rear Panel

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    Figure 3: Place a Component into an Electrostatic Bag

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