Upgrading iMac and Static Electricity

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mat25, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. mat25 macrumors regular

    mat25

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #1
    I am going to upgrade the RAM in my early '09 iMac, and I am wondering if there are any suggested ways of removing the static electricity from yourself (grounding), besides using an antistatic wrist strap, as I do not have one of these. I have read that touching the metal casing of a computer will ground you, but that only applies to computers with rockers switches on them, as well a power switches. Would touching a butter knife have the same effect? Thanks
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    On the fence
    #2
    A doorknob should work well, not sure if a butter knife would do that
     
  3. nOw2 macrumors regular

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    Sep 1, 2009
    #3
    To ground yourself, touch something metal connected to the ground. Usually the bathroom taps are, or the metal case of any appliance which is plugged in and has a 3-core wire to the plug. A washing machine would be a good bet.
     
  4. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    Green and pleasant land
    #4
    LOL - why a butter knife? You need to touch something connected to electrical ground to get rid of static, and butter knives are (usually!) not connected to anything.

    No... wood is a poor conductor... so a doorknob isn't really connected to ground.


    OK, it is worth being careful about static when messing with memory... since you can zap the electronics if you've built up a static charge.

    The best ways to build up a static charge is to put on or take off a nylon or wool jumper, to wear rubber soled shoes and drag your feet along a carpet. (So don't do those things).

    An anti static wrist strap is a conducting strap (usually canvas or nylon with wires sewn into it) which you can hook up to a grounding point (often an electrical plug with only the ground post present). The grounding wire usually contains a resistor for safety - as touching something electrically live while being earthed is usually a bad thing.

    Enough background... let's concentrate on what you should do. Firstly, don't be too paranoid... unless you're careless it's difficult to build up a big static charge. I have an anti-static wrist strap, but I don't use it 'cos I'm too lazy - and I usually:

    - Take the computer into the kitchen and put it on the table. Don't plug it in.
    - Make sure you're not wearing lots of nylon/wool. Cotton is good.
    - Go over to the faucet and touch it. Faucets are 'grounded' - and it's a great way to discharge any static charge on your body
    - Sit at the kitchen table and do the upgrade. If you need to pause and do something else mid way (go to the hall and answer the phone), just re-ground yourself on the faucet before continuing.
    - That's it.
     
  5. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    SEMO, USA
    #5
    This. Also, for future reference, an anti-static wrist strap is an invaluable peice of equipment for DIYers. Most places sell them for under $10.
     
  6. mat25 thread starter macrumors regular

    mat25

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #6
    Thanks for the replies. Oh I remember reading somewhere that a butter knife will ground you lol I guess not though :p I would buy a antistatic strap the only problem is I would have to buy it online and that could take a while to ship here. So I'll touch some appliances and a faucet to ground myself, thanks a lot!
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    You don't need some strap. This is ridiculous. Touch something metal and be done with it.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    Indeed. Apple suggest that you just touch any metal, e.g. the casing of the iMac.

    From MBP manual:

    "Touch a metal surface inside the computer to discharge any static electricity from your body."

    [​IMG]

    No need to be paranoid. I've built several PCs without a strap and they are still doing fine after years of operation
     
  9. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #9
    ++ to that. No need for paranoia here.

    Most IC chips actually contain extra circuitry to protect against static - which works for modest levels.

    That will equalise your charge with that of the machine... and that's the important thing. It's when you and the computer have a different charge that you can 'zap' it.

    It doesn't strictly discharge you though - since the computer isn't grounded itself when it's unplugged. Nice to touch a faucet too to get rid of any charge.
     
  10. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #10
    I am quite interested in replacing the hard drive, and a few other things in the early 2009 imac 24" model I have. I will start simple and as a noob, with replacing the memory with 8gb. I am doing a lot of photoshop stuff, and photoshop looooves memory. :apple:
     

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