Is a antistatic mat absolutely neccessary?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gmans46, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. gmans46 macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2011
    #1
    I just bought 8gb of ram aftermarket and an owc data doubler to upgrade my brandnew mbp now my question simply is is it absolutely neccessary to work on an antistatic mat when performing these upgrades or is there some sort of every day substitute and if i dont use them what are some of the problems i could see.
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    I've opened my pre-unibody macbook pro on plenty of different surfaces, many times, and have never grounded myself, I've never broken anything.

    Just don't let anyone else touch it while you are touching it(electrical potential difference could mean a discharge) and you're fine.

    The absolute worst that could happen is a static discharge that could essentially brick your computer.
     
  3. pezasied182 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 3, 2011
    #3
    No it's not necessary, it's just a good safety precaution. Chances are nothing will happen, but if they do you're screwed. I have personally never used one before, and I don't really take any precautions seeing how I have my computer sitting on a desk and I stand on a wooden floor barefoot. Just make sure you ground yourself out by touching something metal if you aren't going to use one.
     
  4. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

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    #4
    Try not to work on carpet and just touch a piece of metal before you start work on your laptop.
     
  5. gmans46 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2011
    #5
    sorry im stupid what exactly does grounding out mean?
     
  6. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #6
    It's just getting rid of any static that you may have on you. Just touch a doorknob or something like that to do so.
     
  7. gmans46 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    alright will do so barefeet is also a good idea should i not like sit down either?
     
  8. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #8
    That probably doesn't matter too much, just don't sit on fabric if you do, make sure it's wood or something insulating
     
  9. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

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    #9
    I would recommend shoes as the rubber sole will help (This is my assumption).

    You can sit down. Just try to do it on a kitchen counter or something.
     
  10. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

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    Jul 16, 2010
    #10
    I've moonwalked barefoot over carpets right before I've worked on computers whist never worrying about grounding and nothing has ever even come close to happening.
     
  11. clickclickw00t macrumors regular

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    #11
    lol oh come on now
     
  12. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

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    #12
    OP, don't try this.
     
  13. cinek macrumors 6502

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    Mar 12, 2011
    #13
    touch something metal before dealing with components and you'll be fine. Oh and don't have anything hanging from your neck/pull ur sleeves up
     
  14. JasonH42 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2010
    #14
    You won't need an antistatic mat, but static electricity certainly can fry your components. Ignore the dafter comments above but follow the sensible advice; try to avoid opening the laptop in a carpeted room, don't shuffle your feet while working on it, and before you begin discharge any static electricity in your body by touching something that is earthed/grounded like a radiator or water tap - touching a doorknob or other random metal object will not help.
     
  15. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

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    Feb 18, 2010
    #15
    A mat is not necessary, but like someone said, it is a useful safety precaution. I would still highly recommend grounding yourself with an ESD wristband.

    When you damage chips from electrostatic discharges, most of the time the problem starts off as minor and you may not see it right away, but that damage grows over time. Kind of like a crack in glass. Yeah, it still works, but you'll need to replace it much much sooner than if it didn't have a crack at all.

    I've seen the difference in failure rates in chip testing between people using proper ESD gear and people who are too lazy to put it on. Failure rates spike up to at least 50% of a batch in testing, depending on how many chips the lazy person handled.

    Don't blow out your wallet on ESD gear, but scrape up a couple of bucks for an ESD wristband...
     
  16. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #16
    wear cotton clothes and chances are you don't have to worry at all.
    Really it only works with all those plastic fabric to build up enough static energy to do some damage. Ground yourself by touching the floor or the heater or something and your are good to go.
    People worry too much.
     
  17. X3NIA macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
    #17
    I've build desktops for years for gaming... Mostly for clients but a few for myself. Also worked in Geek Squad for a while.

    You don't really need a static mat, Try not to work in socks (shoes or barefeet) and on a non carpet surface for your feet. Just have a clean desk and touch something metal that's grounded and you're fine. No worries at all.
     
  18. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #18
    You are all doom and gloom and still passing bad information regarding ESD. If you don't see the damage immediately, how do you know it is there or happened, and is growing over time? I asked for proof of this the last time you posted this information and got no response, because only those that purposely blow up circuits in testing and track degradation would know. Even they don't see effects that you are reporting. The modern semiconductor has all sorts of precautions built into the packaging. ONe would have to directly apply the charge to the leads in order to damage them.

    Do a search for the data, and you will find the numbers are just as bad for those that wear ESD gear, but don't properly check it before using it (there are special resistance checkers to verify the gear is working correctly. Most people who use ESD bracelets don't fit them correctly and might as well not even be wearing them, as they offer no protection.)
    If ESD bracelets aren't correctly grounded the current can flow back through them and cause more of a problem than not wearing them at all (it isn't just connecting it to a ground, it also involves a resistor and zehner diode in line to insure the current can't flow back from the ground to the user, these precautions are built into the connection points for most grounding straps made for ESD bracelets).

    Practice good caution and you will be fine.
     
  19. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

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    Feb 18, 2010
    #19
    It sounds like you're saying you disagree with my advice about wearing ESD wristbands, because people could use them improperly? Makes no f'n sense...

    My experience doesn't involve a Google search or engineering knowledge from a classroom. It involves the two years experience I spent working for one of IBM's testing groups. FACT: Failure rates drastically increase when being improperly handled by people not utilizing proper ESD safety gear. Yes, you have to touch the leads to cause damage, but the average person installing memory chips is probably going to touch some part of the circuitry on the board or the chip itself when removing the old chips and installing the new ones. You'd accept that fact if you ever saw the crappy plastic packaging that keeps a tight hold of the chips they're shipped out in.

    Have a nice day and give me your address. I'll send you a bottle of lotion for the next time you get a hard-on over one of my posts.
     
  20. fattire357 macrumors regular

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    May 18, 2011
    #20
    Let's say 99.9% of the time, if you don't use an antistatic mat, you'll be just fine. Good odds, right?

    If you are a repair tech, at your 750th repair, you are at a 50/50 chance of having bought somebody a new laptop (ouch).


    math: 0.999^750 = 0.4721



    That's honestly the only reason they exist.
     
  21. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

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    #21
    So in your 2 years experience, did they require routine testing of the wristbands or just allow people to wear them however they wanted (and why were they not requiring them to wear them at all times, IBM has some of the strictest standards within their Fabs, along with Intel)?

    I worked for over 14 years for various semiconductor manufacturers in Fab maintenance and have seen the full progression from not using them to using them, special shoes, and full on Fab ionization as well (and in my years in the Military doing electronics repair as well where we didn't use wristbands). I am saying just putting on a wristband insures nothing without testing and a proper connection in place (had to repair and install these stations so have direct experience). If you were the ESD guru you claim, you would know this.

    Our operators tested theirs every time they left the station and returned (and yes they failed quite frequently, breakdown from sweat, stretching, etc). Even some people got no reaction without the transmission fluid being applied to the contact area. I have sat in on the conferences, as I was responsible for verifying the correct static dispersion of the tools creating the chips.

    I could stoop to your level and insult you as I don't fully agree with your post, but I won't. I will take the higher ground. I see that you have a problem with my post, but I have said nothing that isn't well known throughout the ESD environment. I am just stating that having a wristband in use insures nothing, and I have a problem with your claims about the growth of problems resulting from ESD discharge (as in all of my years in the industry, I saw no reports detailing this condition that you swear exists.)
     
  22. deadwulfe, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

    deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

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    #22
    I never claimed to be an ESD guru. Quote? Link? Evidence? Yeah... I claimed to be a witness to seeing an increase in chip failure rates in a testing environment that monitored the operating capabilities of encased microchips. A properly working ESD wristband will help safeguard the operator from frying the chip through electrostatic discharge. It's not a guarantee and I have seen it, myself, in a testing environment with reports on thousands of individual chip operations, that failure to properly utilize an ESD wristband, despite utilizing ESD mats and coats, definitely contributed to the failure rate of these chips. My experience is not with the equipment used to fabricate microchips, it's with the chips themselves. Get it through your stubborn brain, my advice is not faulty, yours is!

    Your advice... You still have not explained why your advice is not to wear one, because it could be improperly used. Instead you offer that the OP should "practice good caution" without actually offering anything specific about what good caution is!!! What does that mean? Don't jam a screwdriver into the memory chip when taking it out of the packaging? How about wash your hands before handling to reduce oil transference? Is that part of good caution? Instead of giving the OP something useful, you jizzed all over my post and claimed you took the high ground.

    I've watched the training videos. I've looked at the failure reason codes on the reports. ESD damage can flat out fry a circuit or cause minor damage that may allow it's intended operation until it is under stress. Then under stress or stress testing, whatever term helps you understand my point, like a glass window, the damage finally goes from end to end, resulting in a complete failure of the circuit.

    If you took the higher ground, you'd spend less time arguing with me and more time giving some useful advice to the OP. Instead your advice sounds exactly like that you shouldn't bother wearing a seatbelt, just practice good caution when driving, because if you don't wear a seatbelt properly, it wont save your life in an accident.

    A Quality ESD Wristband = $7.95
    8GB Memory Module Upgrade = $91.99
    The fallacy in your advice = PRICELESS




    I found this little gem of a post, after posting all of the above.
    Am I reading that right? "...it may gradually get worse over time..." Those are your words, aren't they?
     
  23. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

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    Feb 18, 2010
    #23
    They were required. The laziness of test operators was easily seen when people had your attitude of why should I bother wearing an ESD wristband while I'm plugging these chips into the burn-in board, when they probably don't do anything anyways. Then seeing all the red ESD tubes fill up within the first five minutes of testing.
     
  24. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #24
    Rubber soles are actually the worst possible thing you can wear on your feet! The idea is to stop static build-up in your body and by wearing rubber soled shoes (which would insulate your body from the ground) you are preventing any discharge to the ground and making sure you get a nice build up of static electricity in your body. You're much better off with bare feet. This advice is reversed if you are trying to protect yourself from electricity (i.e. working on something that's electrically live) but with static electricity you are the source of it.
     
  25. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #25
    @deadwulfe: No those weren't expressing my beliefs, but your statements paraphrased, as that is what you said basically with the crack in the window growing over time.

    I wish you would stop painting a picture that I have never described. I don't advocate against wearing them, I advocate against wearing them incorrectly. The two are not the same thing. It is the same as wearing a seatbelt incorrectly (since you brought them up). When worn incorrectly they can actually cause more damage to the user than if one was not worn at all. The same difference is what I am saying with the wristbands. If you are so full of helpful information, then why haven't you posted on how to wear them correctly or anything to educate the OP? I actually posted on how the connectors should be wired to make them work correctly.

    And I did take the higher ground. Educated debates are not arguing (you only see it as such as you are seeing only one side), they are exactly that..educated debates. I could throw around sexual slurs and "cute" little quips but l prefer to keep this at a clean level for all.
     

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