ESD (Electro Static Discharge) is an invisible, silent killer for PCBs. Protecting your boards from ESD damage while they're in the factory and being shipped to you is something we take very seriously. In today's episode we talk about what ESD is,how it damages your boards, and measures that should be taken to prevent this damage from occurring including what you can do at home.
The dangers of ESD
What is a Faraday cage?
Anti-static vs static shielding bags
Uline Anti-static bags
Visual of microcircuit ESD damage
ESD table mat
Wrist strap grounders
Heel strap grounders
ESD continuous monitor
Affordable ESD mat kit
ESD gas station fire
[00:00:08] Welcome to the pick place podcast, a show where we talk about electronics, manufacturing and everything related to getting a circuit board into the world. This is Chris Denney with Worthington.
[00:00:17] Melissa: and this is Melissa Hough with CircuitHub
[00:00:21] Chris: Welcome back Melissa.
[00:00:22] Melissa: welcome back, Chris
[00:00:23] Chris: And by everything, I do mean everything.
[00:00:26] We are getting into the nitty-gritty at this point,
[00:00:28] Melissa: Yeah. And I think we don't really have much witty banter today because the amount of material we have to talk about in this episode is I would say shocking.
[00:00:42] Chris: especially considering the subject.
[00:00:45] Melissa: Sorry, I just had to use that one again, Chris.
[00:00:47] Chris: Oh God. And it went over my head again, it went over my head again again, a second time, I missed the obvious joke. You know, this is like a previous guest of the show. David, he says something about being hard of hearing and, and I always, I always just use the lines. I'm sorry. Say that again. Couldn't hear you.
[00:01:03] Or like, I'm not listening to him. He falls for it every single time. Every
[00:01:08] Melissa: gosh. Well, so good.
[00:01:10] Chris: here, this is, this is the new one. Chris is not, Chris is gonna fall for the shot. ESD episode,
[00:01:16] Melissa: No, you know how
[00:01:17] Chris: it feels
[00:01:17] this is the ESD episode now. We're yeah,now, I do. This is the ESD episode. This has been this has been a long time coming.
[00:01:23] I've been wanting to do a whole episode dedicated ESD and MSD. And if you don't know what MSD is, stay tuned for a future episode, completely unrelated to ESD, but, but just as just as dangerous. So,
[00:01:41] Melissa: what is ESD, I guess is a good place to start.
[00:01:44] Chris: that's probably a good place to start. Electrostatic discharge is what E S D stands for. And you know, ESD can actually be a lot of fun if you're like, you know, rubbing a balloon on your friend's head and making their hair stand up.
[00:01:59] Melissa: Yeah. Or, or you have like a blanket with all the lights off and you're like, shake it after it's been in the dryer and you see like all the sparks everywhere.
[00:02:06] Chris: All the sparks everywhere. Yep. Yep. So fun with ESD can be had. But I don't recommend doing these things inside of an electronics factory.
[00:02:13] Melissa: no, you really should not.
[00:02:15] Chris: , let's back up a little bit. Why, why are we even concerned about this phenomenon of electrostatic discharge it's could because it can damage electronic components and circuit boards by extension.
[00:02:26] It doesn't actually damage the fiberglass and the copper of the circuit board it damages the semiconductors on that circuit board. But that is what we're afraid of. It is such a particularly important problem to solve that there's been an entire nonprofit organization dedicated to this problem.
[00:02:45] The ESDA esda.org is their website. And we'll have, there's going to be a lot of links in the show notes in this episode, because there's there just so much, so much great info out there. They have kind of a nice site dedicated to obviously ESD it's, it's a nonprofit, but you know, that doesn't mean it's free.
[00:03:07] They, they want money for their work. But they do have like a nice introduction of what exactly is a ESD and how does it affect semiconductors and those sorts of things. And, well, briefly we can we can speak on it. What do you think? Should we explain it?
[00:03:23] Melissa: yes. Why don't you tell us all about it?
[00:03:26] Chris: So if you have a capacitor or a resistor or a connector, or most inductors, these devices are not susceptible to ESD damage. The, the, the voltages that, that, I mean, maybe with enough ESD, they might be susceptible to damage. It is, it is possible. I don't want to be absolute about these things, but generally speaking you cannot easily damage those kinds of components.
[00:03:57] You can very easily damage semi-conducting components. These are things with Silicon or germanium, or there's a, I think there's a couple of other materials that most of these things are made of, but it's mostly Silicon. And you can damage these things without even knowing it. That's sort of, what's so insidious about it.
[00:04:14] Did you ever see, did you ever see the show? Chernobyl so timely, timely subject, but it was an HBO show about the nuclear power plant, Chernobyl, Chernobyl Ukraine. Did you ever see that show?
[00:04:25] Melissa: I don't think so. No.
[00:04:28] Chris: So it's, it's worth watching. It's a, it's a fascinating show. It's not for children because it's, it's it's a deep, dark and you know, upsetting subject, but what's fascinating about that show is that there's this danger that you, you can't see, you can't smell, you can't taste you, you don't, you don't know that it exists and that's, what's so scary about it.
[00:04:51] And when you're watching the show, it has this sort of suspenseful thriller. Like you, you, if you've ever watched a scary movie, you will have a very similar feeling to watching the show, even though there's not a murderer on the loose with a chainsaw, right? , it's this creepy thing that could hurt you, but you can't see it and you don't know where it is and you don't know what to do about it.
[00:05:12] That's sort of like ESD.
[00:05:15] Melissa: Yes. Not to that extent, but I, I can definitely relate, you know, I was telling you how I hate being in the factory in winter, because it's like, I know that every time, like something I touch is going to zap me, but like, you don't, you can't see it. You don't know it until it happens,
[00:05:31] Chris: that's right. That's right. So we've all experienced ESD. We've walked across a carpet on a, on a cold winter day and it's super, super dry out. It's like being in the desert and then you touch a door knob and out you get zapped. Yeah, that is, that is ESD. That is electrostatic discharge, and that zapping can severely damage.
[00:05:51] Semiconductors and you can generate ESD so easily. Your clothing, the movement of a mouse on your desk. I mean, like literally moving a coffee cup across a desk pulling tape off of, off of a a roll of tape, opening, a plastic bag shuffling a piece of paper. I mean, the list goes on and on all of these things take place within the factory.
[00:06:17] And so all of these things are generating a charge. They're generating static electricity. Now you have this, I can't get into the science of it just cause it's like, if you want to get into the science of it, go to esda.org and get into the science of it. But, but we're going to, we're going to talk about it in simpler terms, you have a charge and that charge is different and it has a differential from some your, your circuit board, your semi-colon.
[00:06:45] And so then when you get that charge near it, it wants to jump just like when you walk across the carpet and you touch the door knob and out it jumps and it sends all of this huge amount of electricity into the semiconductor and causes damage. And now when we talk about huge amounts of electricity, we're, we're really just talking about huge amounts of voltage.
[00:07:05] The, the the amperage, the current is, is almost impossible to measure. It's, it's virtually non-existent. But the voltage can be extreme. The voltage, if you can see a static discharge, like when you touch a doorknob, if you can see that that's already probably 3000 volts.
[00:07:23] Melissa: Really.
[00:07:24] Chris: And if you can feel it, it's a lot more.
[00:07:27] And if you can hear it, it's even more right. It's it's like levels of or maybe it's, if you can hear it, it's more. And then if you can feel it's even more, but anyway, it's levels of, of, of voltage, you know, you can get tens of thousands of volts from, from ESD, Melissa guess, guess, how many volts it takes to damage a semiconductor from ESD
[00:07:49] Melissa: I'm guessing significantly less than that
[00:07:51] Chris: significantly less than that. Yes it's, it's, it's typically I've heard it's a hundred volts, but I guess there's some new, very, very tiny, very, very delicate semiconductors that can be damaged by, by even less than that. Like, yeah. I don't know if it's as low as like 10 volts. I don't think it's quite that low because these things are operating at, you know, 1.3 or 3.3 volts.
[00:08:14] They're operating at a very low voltage, but still they can be damaged by these things. And what makes it so insidious and so scary, like, like a radiation disaster is that you don't know you've been hurt yet.
[00:08:30] Melissa: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:08:31] Chris: there's a, there's a famous scene in, in this show where these firefighters are working hard to try to help and put out the fire
[00:08:39] that's that's happened at the power plant and you know, they're doing their job, they put out the fire or whatever, and they go home and they, you know, they feel totally fine. Like they have no idea that something's happened to them. And of course later episodes, you see the side effects of that.
[00:08:55] And again, once again, not for children, it's a, it's a rough show, but you know, it's, it's it's anyway, you get the idea. The same thing with ESD, you can damage something and you don't know that you've damaged it. And you may not realize that it's been damaged for months down the road or even years down the road.
[00:09:16] So if you're trying to sell a quality product, say, you know, say you make a say you make a computer mouse. Okay. I'm just using that as an example. Cause there's one sitting here on my desk. There's semiconductors in a computer mouse and you want that thing to last a good long time? Well, chances are a computer mouse is going to be sitting in a climate controlled room.
[00:09:37] It's going to stay between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Sorry for my overseas friends. I can't, I can't do that math very easily in my head.
[00:09:46] If you have ESD damage on a semiconductor on a computer mouse, you may, you may notice it, it may, it may cause the mouse to stop working over time, like years, but it's in a relatively stable environment. It's when you're in a an environment where you're seeing significant changes of temperature, where that ESD damage is going.
[00:10:10] It's, it's going to let you know that it's happened, but it's not going to let you know, inside of your factory on a test bench, you know, it's going to be your customer that finds out about it because it's going to happen weeks or months or years from now. It's sort of like, imagine if you are well, perfect example.
[00:10:28] My car has a crack in the windshield. Okay. It probably started out with a little tiny, you know, Rock that chip the corner of the glass or something. And then one day I, I had it in the warm garage and I had the heat on the, on the, you know, windscreen. And then I pull out into the cold, new England winter.
[00:10:50] All of a sudden it grows up my windshield, you know, that damage was there. And I had no idea that it was there until all of a sudden it became a much bigger issue. And if I let it continue to be an issue, it could get worse and worse and you can let air in you can let water. And obviously you get the idea of how these can be a progressive type of damage that, that appears over time.
[00:11:10] And the temperature change can cause that damage to be greater and greater and greater over time. There's some awesome pictures on NASA, his website, I found some where they show what ESD damage looks like and, you know, theater of the mind here. I'm gonna do my very best to describe this for you.
[00:11:28] But you know, if you look at if you look at these semiconductors, they show an example of at 175 X they're zooming in on this on the semiconductor at 175 times. You know, magnification and you see this little tiny dot teeny tiny that you would, it there's an arrow pointing at it on NASA's website.
[00:11:51] And if that arrow wasn't there you'd have no clue. It exists. And then they show it zoomed into 4,300 and it looks like a crater on the moon. It's this giant like, you know, now that's not going to affect the functionality of, of this semiconductor right away. But that little crater is going to grow and grow and grow as, as the semiconductor warms up and cools off, or it lives in a hot and cold environment such as inside of a car.
[00:12:22] Once again, the mouse doesn't generate any heat. The semiconductors inside here don't generate any heat, but a lot of times you do have semiconductors on your board that are generating heat and they're going to pass their heat on to other devices. I mean the opportunity for, for damage. Yes. Very very possible from ESD
[00:12:39] so that's kind of what makes it so a creepy for lack of a better term, you know? And that's why it should be taken seriously. And that's why we do take it seriously. Every, every cm, I mean, worth their salt. They're going to take these things seriously. Ask your cm if they have an ESD program and they will almost certainly say yes they probably follow the ANSI
[00:13:02] I think it's pronounced ANSI. It's A N S I program ESD S 20 dot 20, if you want to get fancy with it. But that's the actual spec that most businesses reference to follow and conform to because man, Melissa, there's so much here. I don't like, I don't even know where to begin that, that spec.
[00:13:24] Everybody agrees. This is how you manage an ESD program. This is how you maintain a facility and , you create a product that meets the standards that are necessary to prevent ESD damage of circuit boards and the semiconductors that go on them. That thing defines everything from what your facility should be like to what your heel straps should be like and what your static bags should be like.
[00:13:50] And we'll get into details on all of this, but it really breaks down everything. It even provides a test procedure to verify that these things are correct. So that if let's say well, let's, we can start to talk about products. Let's say you wanted to make a static shielded bag. Okay. Let's, you've, everybody's seen these things, right?
[00:14:08] You, you, you get an easy pass or your car comes in a static shielded bag. You buy a it's just something the other day I bought and I took out of the box anyway. Lots of different things. If they come in these static shielded bags, this spec that ANSI ESD S 2020 spec will define whether or not a static shielded bag meets a particular standard.
[00:14:33] So if you're a manufacturer of standard shielded bags, you'll go to the spec to find out if your product is meeting that spec. We would then buy your bag because you advertise it as meeting the spec. Does that make sense? Sure. And then it goes one step further because it also talks about how a facility that's using these products is to meet the spec from your floors and your work benches and all these kinds of things.
[00:15:03] And there there's, there's more resources than just this. This is honestly just the starting point, the S 2020, but there's, there's a lot of. Because the truth is like, there was kind of no great standard. Everybody kind of came up with their own standards once again, the U S military and NASA kind of set most of these standards.
[00:15:20] And, and then, you know, Boeing might've had one and Airbus probably had one and, and, you know, the Russian military might have won the, the UK military might have one, like everybody kind of had their own sort of like, these are the standards for when you're creating an electronic device for for the, for the UK military that you're supposed to meet.
[00:15:39] Well, eventually everybody just said, look, look, look, look, let's all just agree.
[00:15:42] Melissa: Yeah.
[00:15:43] Chris: Let's have one standard. And that's, that's kind of where the ANSI S 2020 came from. And that's what we follow to this day. So that's sort of a 10,000 foot level of what ESD is. And, and the standards and specs, but now let's, let's everybody loves it
[00:16:02] when we do this, we get feedback all the time. People like to hear about, they like to get into the weeds, not just the 10,000 foot level stuff. So let's get into the weeds. That's first to most of you. What's my favorite part of the show
[00:16:14] Melissa: Pet peeve of the week.
[00:16:16] Chris: Pet peeve for the week. The best thing is when the pet peeve of the week rolls into the show subject itself, that is like chef's kiss.
[00:16:26] Absolutely. Perfect. My pet peeve is the consistent confusion and the unbelievable level of confusion out there between anti-static and static. Shielding. These two should not be confused. Anti-static is not static shielding. A static shielding can sometimes be anti-static, but, but usually not. So when we think of anti-static products, let's, let's talk about, let's talk about bags, first of all.
[00:17:02] So we're talking plastic bags, like, like typical Ziploc brand, everybody puts their sandwiches and their snacks and stuff in a Ziploc bag, right. Plastic bag though. That's a very handy size thing for putting parts into and doing all sorts of things with however, Don't do that, not do that.
[00:17:27] Ziploc brand bags are meant for food, not for semiconductors. The process of the movement, as, as I was saying earlier, the movement that the coming together in the separating of those two pieces of plastic generates an enormous amount of static electricity. You've probably even seen it.
[00:17:42] You've probably set one of these bags on your kitchen counter, and it kind of gets like stuck to it, even though there's nothing sticky on it, right? That's static electricity, acting on it. What you can do, and what manufacturers will do is they will put an anti static generating coating on that plastic.
[00:18:01] It's still the same plastic. It's almost certainly the exact same plastic. It might be a little bit thicker. It could be a little bit thinner, but the key is that it's going to have a coating on it, which prevents that plastic from generating any greater static electricity. It's not doing anything about any other static electricity in the vicinity. In other words, if you've got paper nearby or you've got, that is not protecting anything, the only thing it's doing is making that bag itself, not generate any more ESD.
[00:18:39] This is different from a static shielded bag. And again, there's all kinds of science behind. I don't want to get into the science on it because I'm just not that smart. I just want to talk about, I just want to talk about the practical effects of using these things. If you do want to get in deeper, there's all sorts of amazing stuff.
[00:18:56] Once again, lots and lots of URLs in the show notes, particularly this, this website, elimstat.com. Now Elimstat is our largest here at Worthington and CircuitHub we buy almost all of our ESD related materials from Elimstat. Anything that they do sell, cause I don't think they sell bags and stuff, so we don't buy bags from them, but they sell mats and, and smocks and gloves and all kinds of stuff like that.
[00:19:21] We buy those from Elimstat and they, they just have a really well laid out website with lots of great information on it, but they talk about this concept a faraday, excuse me, a faraday cage.. And I think, I think it's named after the scientist fair day here we are looking this stuff up a real-time. Michael Faraday.
[00:19:41] He kind of came up with this, I don't know, concept or approved it, I should say of where basically again, not getting into the science, but for lack of a better term, by creating a Faraday cage, you are protecting the electronics inside from static electricity. So, a static shielded bag creates a Faraday cage that static shielded bag needs to be sound.
[00:20:09] In other words, it cannot have a puncture in it. It can not be open. It doesn't have to be like a Ziploc, zip, a static shielded bag that has, that has a zip on the top of it. Or, you know, Ziploc is technically a brand, but we all call it like Kleenex or whatever.
[00:20:25] It can have that on there, but you don't need that. As long as it's folded over cleanly and taped down and held in place. As long as it's pinched off, you've created a fair day cage. And if you have a circuit board inside of that, you're protecting it from any ESD damage outside of it. So when we ship our finished circuit boards to customers, they will always always be in a static shielded bag.
[00:20:49] There is only a couple of products that we, there's only a couple of circuit boards, I should say that do not ship in static shielded bags. And that's because those things have nothing but connectors on them. So it's literally just a bunch of copper and tin. There's no, there's no point in wasting static shielded bags on them.
[00:21:08] But the, you know, pretty much every circuit board is going to have a semiconductor on it. So pretty much every single circuit board that we ship is packaged inside of a static shielded bag. They will also be packaged with anti-static bubble again, anti-static it doesn't mean that they, they PR that the bubble itself being the pink, if you've ever seen this before, if you've ever gotten a circuit board from us before you've seen this or any of your CMs, they almost certainly come in ESD bubble also known as anti-static bubble because that bubble does not bubble wrap.
[00:21:47] I should say I use the shorthand bubble, but it's bubble wrap that that is generating less static electricity. It's not generating no static electricity. It's generating less static electricity than than a typical, you know, bubble wrap that you might buy from staples or Walmart or something like that.
[00:22:06] It is low enough generally speaking that it can make direct contact with a circuit board and then it can be packaged inside of a static shielded bag. And there's their specs on all this stuff. Once again, go to the ESD 20, 20 document, if you want to see it. But you get the idea that was, that was so cathartic.
[00:22:22] I felt so good talking about that. It's like my biggest pet peeve, because here's the reason I bring it up is because oftentimes we will have customers send us parts and they are semiconductors and they will, you know, there'll be in like a nice reel or there'll be in something that, but then they won't be in a static bag.
[00:22:43] They won't be in a shielded bag. There'll be in an anti-static bag or they'll just be in a Ziploc bag. And you're thinking, oh no, we have no idea whether or not these things are gonna work, you know? And they might, they might work. We might solder onto your board. And you get them back and you put them on your test bench and you do a burn in, and everything's great.
[00:23:04] And you package it into your product and ship it off to your customer. And then six months from now, you're getting all these returns and it's like, well, why did that happen? It could have been damaged during transit because you had it in a cardboard box with, with, you know, paper, packaging and, and no static shielded bag.
[00:23:25] Melissa: Secret killer.
[00:23:27] Chris: It is the secret killer. It's the firemen that were fighting the power plant. I'm telling you, it's such a good analogy. And, and you just don't, you just don't know what's going to happen. And so you just, you know, the truth is you can never eliminate all risk. There is always some level of risk to everything that we do.
[00:23:48] We just try to mitigate risks. We just do the very best we can to try to mitigate risks. And packaging things in ESD, shielded bags. It's so simple. These things are like, they're like less than 50 cents of bag, depending on the size you get. They can be even cheaper than that. Some of the bigger ones can be over a dollar if you need a real big bag for some reason, but you know, what's what is a dollar versus potentially hundreds of returns, right?
[00:24:15] Yeah, just get you, get you a static shielded bag case of them. And if you ever have to ship something out when in doubt, put it in there and keep it safe. And do not confuse an anti-static bag with a static shoulder bag. I'm looking through my, my outline of things I want to talk about here.
[00:24:34] And I, I referenced earlier, NASA has a great website showing this the, the picture of ESD. And one thing I forgot to mention is how much better the worm logo is than the meatball.
[00:24:46] Melissa: I had to look that up. I saw you post that in there. I was like, what? Worm? .
[00:24:51] Chris: It's so much better than the meatball. I'm just saying. And if, and if, you know, you know, and if you don't know, check the show notes for the link, the worm is better than the meatball. Anyway, don't get me wrong. I like the meatball. It's good. It's good. I mean, it's not great. It's fine. It's nostalgic, but the worm is so much better anyway tweet at us if you know what I mean by the the worm in the meatball.
[00:25:16] every engineer worth their salt knows. He knows what these things are anyway. So how do we, how do we do this? How do we, so we, we talked about packaging of an electronic device. That's been, it's being either shipped to us or shipped to you. We get it. Now, everybody who's listening to this knows anti-static is not static shielded, and they shall never confuse those two things ever again.
[00:25:38] But let's say you're inside of a factory or we'll get to what you can do yourself. If you have an operation that you need to manage, but what does your cm need to do to manage things, to make sure that they are keeping your product safe. And if you ever go on a tour of a cm, you want to look for these things.
[00:25:57] So, they're going to need to keep everything grounded. What do we mean by grounded? Remember earlier we were talking about ESD being, you know, an ESD damage is it's when there's a differential of voltages between one object and another object. And then that voltage wants to jump from the higher object to the lower object.
[00:26:18] Well, the, the largest object that all of us have around us is this thing called planet earth. And we can use that object as, as a common electrical charge. So, for all intents and purposes everybody uses planet earth as the common electrical charge. And I mean that quite literally, you, you will literally see I was, while I was working on something.
[00:26:49] Oh, I was, I was looking to upgrade the service to my house. I, I have a hundred amp service coming into my house from, from the utility company. And I was looking into going to a 200 amp service didn't end up needing to do that. But while I was doing that research, I found out, did you know this Melissa that every house, well, at least here in Massachusetts, every electrical code is going to be different.
[00:27:10] Right. But there is a eight . Foot copper pipe or rod, I should say. It's really a rod pounded into the ground that your house is connected to. That's your ground. That is your ground. So if you've ever done electrical work on your house and say you changed out a light fixture or something like that, or you changed out electrical plug or a switch, you've seen probably three wires.
[00:27:40] You've seen a black wire and that's often called the hot wire. You've seen a white wire that's often called the neutral wire or the common wire. And then there you'll oftentimes see either a bare wire, completely bare copper wire or a green wire. And those are called the ground wires. Those lead back to the ground, the literal ground, the earth, the thing we stand on that is what that goes back to.
[00:28:05] So the beautiful thing about that is it is abundant. It's available, it's all around us and we can tie everything to it. So that's exactly what we do. We are grounding all of our mats, our wrist straps, our foot straps, our smocks our instruments, our machines, everything is attached back to that ground so that everything has a common electrical charge and that common electrical charge is ground.
[00:28:35] And usually it's just considered to be zero. If you say you take a you know, something on your work bench and, and your, your measuring a voltage and, and you're measuring, okay. From 3.3 volts to five volts, let's say you're measuring those two voltages. Well, you are going to not measure 3.3 to five.
[00:28:59] You're going to measure zero to 1.7, right? Cause the differential between 3.3 volts and five volts is 1.7 volts. So your meter is going to tell you 1.7 volts, the 3.3 in the five, come from measuring it to planet earth to ground. Why do I mention that? Well, what if you find yourself having to work on a circuit board in space or on a ship or in an airplane where you cannot touch planet earth?
[00:29:33] You need to have something common on a ship. It is the hull of the ship. That's what they're going to use on an airplane. It's it's the fuselage of the airplane on, on the international space station. It is. God knows. I have no idea. It's that is so crazy. And beyond me, I have no idea what they use, but you get the idea.
[00:29:52] They need to have something in common to everybody agrees. This is zero. And that's effectively when you're measuring from 3.3 to five volts, that's effectively like you're, you're, you're taking yourself out of planet earth now, because now you don't, you're not measuring from ground. You're not measuring from earth.
[00:30:07] You're measuring from 3.3 to five. It's it's the same as if you were out in the middle of nowhere. You need to have sort of a common area that everything gets tied to, and that's why we use ground. So in a facility, it all usually starts with the floor. And now in a facility like, like ours it starts with the floor that's very, very expensive to do for most companies say you're a company that that's you know, you, you make whatever we'll go back to computer mice.
[00:30:35] Now you, you, you may not, you know, say you make some kind of bespoke, fancy computer mouse. You're not going to set up your entire facility just because you have this computer mouse product that you have to assemble. You're still gonna have accounting and you're gonna have all the blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:30:49] You know, you're going to have a normal work environment. But you need to have an area where you can protect these sensitive instruments inside of a cm. We just make the entire, the whole thing, an area that you can protect sensitive instruments. We just make the whole factory. floor protected. And the way that we, we start with that is by making the floor itself protected. The floor itself, there's, there's like a, there's like a hundred different ways of doing this.
[00:31:16] I don't want to get into all the different ways, but there can be like different tiles, different fabrics, if you wanted to use carpet. Yes. Believe it or not that I've seen factories that use carpet, ESD carpet there's waxes. You can put on top of concrete, there's all kinds of things, but then that eventually gets tied to you, guessed it ground.
[00:31:35] And so for example, what, what you'll see in our factory is you'll see these large copper foils that go on top of the floor and then run up the wall to a literal ground plug on an outlet. And that's, and that's pulling, that's pulling the floor into ground so, if anything else is attached to that using the wax, cause then the wax goes over that copper foil.
[00:32:00] And that wax is, is slightly conductive. That that's how we ground our floor. So then if you wear these fancy things called foot straps that you tie around your shoe they have a particular material that is somewhat conductive and that material is attached to this little tongue of fabric, for lack of a better term.
[00:32:21] It's like a 12 or 16 inch piece of slightly conductive silver it's either silver or I think they call it some kind of a silver or maybe it's a. Carbon a little filament sticking off this, this heel strap that goes into your shoe. It can either go inside your sock or if your feet are sweaty enough, you can, you can put it outside your sock, but it has to go into your shoe.
[00:32:44] And what that's doing is it's pulling static electricity off of your body, through your feet, through the heel, strap into the floor, and then guess what back to ground. So that's very handy for when you're walking around holding sensitive devices. But what if you're sitting now? I don't know about you, Melissa.
[00:33:01] Right now. I'm I happen to be sitting down and my feet are not on the floor. Very few seat, very few people. When they sit, do they actually put their feet on the floor? It's, it's actually rather unusual to see people with their feet on the floor when they're sitting down perfectly flat with their heel on the floor so that they're pulling, static electricity out of their body.
[00:33:20] So, if you're now floating, And you're, and you're generating static electricity. You're, you're generating a charge. You have a potential differential between, between your body and the ground. So there's an opportunity for damaging a product. So what do we do? We use a, typically either a wrist strap but in our environment, because we do so much of this, we actually have our wrist straps integrated into our ESD smocks.
[00:33:47] So I'm going to talk about those two things together, but let's, let's start with just a wrist strap. So a wrist strap is literally a, like a bracelet that goes around your wrist. And it has a little button on the top of it. Just like, like a snap button that you might have on a shirt or something like that, or a jacket.
[00:34:02] And that gets attached to a cord and that cord goes to a plug and that plug goes to.
[00:34:10] Melissa: The ground.
[00:34:11] Chris: The ground, see, you're getting it. And now that wrist strap probably has like some carbon threads in it, or sometimes silver threads. It depends on how it's made. But it's going to have a certain level of resistance to it.
[00:34:21] So, cause it's not, you don't want to be attached directly to ground. Cause if something like a lightning strike hit the ground, guess where it's going to go you,
[00:34:30] Melissa: Yeah.
[00:34:32] Chris: that would hurt. So you all, oftentimes you have a one mega home resistor in that cord to make sure that you don't hurt yourself. Now I recommend the fabric style wrist straps.
[00:34:44] Don't get those metal ones. Cause they're like, they hurt. They like, they literally like will pinch the hairs on your wrist and like pull them out. Yeah. They're no fun. Get the fabric ones. They're far more comfortable. But most of our folks don't actually wear wrist straps. They wear an ESD smock. So this is an entire, this is a garment that you wear over your.
[00:35:03] And it has all kinds of carbon threads and everything going, going through it. And it's creating kind of a Faraday cage, not like entirely a Faraday cage, but it's along the same principles. It's, it's just not letting anything escape from your clothing onto your work surface because how many times do you like roll up to a desk or a work bench and you belly up to it and you're hitting that, right?
[00:35:24] So you have an opportunity to send static electricity into that. There's there's that risk and everything, but in the cuffs of these smocks, they'll, there'll be kind of, stretchy, right? So they're, they're going to conform to your wrist and they are going to act as the wrist strap for us. So then we plug our, our chords into our smocks, into our jackets rather than where dedicated.
[00:35:50] wrist drops. And it was funny. One time we had somebody at work as a long time ago, they don't, they don't work at work anymore, but they were, they were uncomfortable and they, they were bothered by their, their, the, these cuffs. And so they cut them off just to make like a short sleeve
[00:36:06] Melissa: Oh,
[00:36:08] Chris: we're like, no, no, no, no, no, you can't do that.
[00:36:10] So we had to give them a new one. So, but that was really funny. So, yeah. That's so you have that, that's how you protect the human being from damaging the product is, is the smock, the foot straps, the wrist, straps, all these sorts of things. That's how you make sure that we, we are not creating any static electricity.
[00:36:28] W we're constantly creating static electricity just by the movement, just by rubbing your hands together. And whatever, everything we do is going to create static electricity, but we're trying to pull that off of our bodies and get it back into the ground so that we don't damage. But then the work surface itself also needs to be protected because let's say you were just on a plywood workbench.
[00:36:50] There's there like that is static city. That like any, there's just enormous amounts of opportunity for static to be generated. And it has nowhere to go. So where's it going to go? It's going to go into your product. So you can use a plywood work bench, but you need to create an area that you protect.
[00:37:07] Now at our company, we actually, we buy work benches that are designed specifically for our environment are ESD work benches. They're made of materials and everything's tied together and grounded. The surface area is grounded, but we will, we actually go one step further and we put a soft mat that has a particular durometer property, yada yada, yada, but basically for all intents and purposes, it absorbs the impact.
[00:37:32] So you're not damaging these sensitive electronic devices. If you were to, if you were to put them on your work bench, if you just put them on a heart to think about that, if you put it on a hardened stainless steel bencher, something you could damage these things, they're delicate, they're fragile. So you want to have kind of a soft impact for them to land when you're working on them.
[00:37:48] And then that mat has a surface resistance to it. And what that means is. As static electricity is being generated. It's going to go through that resistor. That is the mat. The mat itself is like a one mega ohm resistor. It's going to be slightly conductive. And of course that mat is going to have a cord attached to it, which goes to the ground.
[00:38:16] Very good. But when it, as it passes into the mat, it's also going to convert any static, electricity into heat. So, I mean like you almost couldn't even measure it, but it is effectively turns into heat. Or it goes into the ground, right? Everything, everything goes back to ground. And it's just all about trying to get back to ground, trying to make sure that everything's neutralized.
[00:38:42] Everything is going back to this, that common voltage that is planet earth and protecting things that there's, there's no differential and there's no risk of damaging the components. Now that is how you can set up a personal workspace for when you're a person working at a bench doing work on a circuit board, doing work on somebody conductors.
[00:39:06] There's best practices there as well, as much as possible. You don't want to touch the, the conductive leads of semiconductors as much as possible. You want to touch the plastic body because nothing's going to get through the plastic body. It's it's going to come through the leads. It's going to come through those delicate little leads that are sticking out the side.
[00:39:22] That's, that's where the electricity is going to travel through. So, you know, there's best practices of how to continue to make sure that you're not damaging things, but for the most part, if you've set up your work area like that, you've mitigated 95, 99% of the risk of, of damaging your products.
[00:39:38] You can go one step further. Not everybody does this, but you can go one step further and you can have an ionizer because the air itself. I can hold a static charge. Once again, it goes, it's just like Chernobyl. The danger is everywhere. It's everywhere. So an ionizer is going to basically blow neutral air over the work surface and it's constantly circulating.
[00:40:04] So you have a, you have a low pressure of air blowing over the work surface and preventing any you know, statically charged air from getting to the product. Usually you only see ionizers in super high risk applications think aerospace anything to do that goes on a plane, oftentimes automotive you know, we're where somebody's life is at risk.
[00:40:25] Those kinds of products, you're going to see an ionizer, not always, but usually my experience. I would see these usually only at defense contractors when I've traveled throughout factories and stuff, but. It all depends, but yeah, that's, that's one step that's often taken and I can, I can already hear people that know more than me and trust me, there's people that know way more than me when it comes to this stuff.
[00:40:48] I am, I I'm just scratching the surface here saying everything should be done in an ionizer. And that may be true. But once again, we're talking about mitigating risks, not completely eliminating risks. It's, it's impossible to completely eliminate all risks. Okay, so you've got your mat, you've got your wrist strap.
[00:41:07] You've got your smock, you've got your floor. You've got everything all set up. That's great. But that doesn't mean you're still safe because yeah. Oh yeah. It's, it's exhausting keeping up with this stuff. It really is exhausting trying to keep up with it. You have to test everything. You have to verify everything.
[00:41:25] If you have an ESD program, you're auditing your, your program. So. Factories are busy factories, do all kinds of things, factories, move, factories change. They they're, they're constantly in motion work, benches move. And you, you may disconnect the ground strap that goes from the mat to the ground, right?
[00:41:48] Cause you're moving the work bench. So if you're not careful, you know, whoever the facilities guy or facilities, girl is moving that thing around, they may not reconnect it. And all of a sudden, you've, you're not connected to ground anymore. So you got to audit things like that just every year you got to go through and it says, . You know, is everything connected?
[00:42:06] Hopefully more often than once a year, you're checking these things. But even the mat itself, these, these mats can, these ESD mats can wear out over time. They can lose their surface resistivity, or they can get too much because they they've got, you know, dirt or whatever on them. So you've got to test those things each and every day, oftentimes multiple times a day, we test our foot straps and our smocks to make sure that they are conducting the ESD off of our bodies.
[00:42:32] We have a dedicated testing station where you take your thumb, typically your thumb, and you push on this button. That's made of what it's made of come to think of it. I assume stainless steel anyway, it's conductive. And then you stand on a plate that I also believe is still made of stainless steel with your foot strap.
[00:42:52] And it's measuring to make sure that there's the correct level of resistance between your thumb and your foot strap. And in usually two foot straps, we wear one on each heel. Now that needs to be a very specific amount of resistance. And you could, you could literally build this yourself you know, with a couple of pieces of stainless steel and an a, an ohm meter.
[00:43:15] You could build this yourself, but we buy, we buy ones that are dedicated to it. And we, we have to get those calibrated. We have to make sure that those are still within the correct spec, so that, you know, if, if anybody ever had a problem with ESD damage on the product, we could go back and we'd be like, look, you know, we it's calibrated instrument, it's working, yada yada, yada.
[00:43:33] But we check in and it does the same thing. So between our thumb and our smock, is it the correct resistance level, because it's not, it's not a perfect connection. You're not looking for zero ohms. You're looking for so many megaohms I forget what the spec is. Again, you know, if you look it up, you can find it.
[00:43:51] But so you got to test all those things. You also have to test your floor. Your floor itself has to be tested, right? Cause you're walking around on it. You're rolling carts around on it. Machines are coming in and out, all that kind of stuff. You gotta be testing all those, all those things. And there's there's again, in the S 2020, there's a specific test procedure that you have to follow with these five pound weights that have, you know, particular surface area.
[00:44:16] And they have to be so many feet apart from each other and you have to measure it's, it's a whole thing. So you have to have an auditing program and you have to be verifying all of these things. One, one way around. All this auditing. Well, it's not really a way around all this auditing, but, but another thing that many people will do is at the workbenches.
[00:44:35] They'll actually have a continuous ESD monitor. So remember earlier I said that you plug your, your, your wrist strap or your, your jacket into a into into ground. Basically you have a plug on your work bench that you can plug into into ground. Well, oftentimes you can plug these into something called the constant monitor or a continuous monitor.
[00:44:56] And what that does is it makes sure that you are still connected and if anything goes wrong, you get a loud buzzer that goes off because something's wrong. And then you won't stop, stop working on the device because you know, the buzzer's going off, you you've, you know, there's an issue here you've got to pay attention to.
[00:45:12] So that's an additional thing that many people will do. Those constant monitors can, can you know, get kind of pricey and it can, it can be kind of a nuisance if they have, you know, if they're not working right or something like that. So not everybody has them, but they're they're also a pretty handy device, but once again, this is all just about the people in the facilities.
[00:45:35] You got to remember. There's lots of machines in these places and all those need to be designed and grounded properly, and don't trust that they all are just because, you know, you're buying a device, you know, machine designed to do. Electronics assembly doesn't mean that it's grounded I was working at a an AOI company and we installed the machine at a huge, huge, huge defense contractor.
[00:46:01] And like I was saying earlier, these defense contractors, they take ESD really seriously. Like they will probably have a team of people, like not just one person, but a team of people dedicated to all of these things I'm talking about here. And all they're doing all the day is just auditing and testing and, and verifying that everything is correct.
[00:46:22] Well, they came around after I installed this machine and they tested the the door that there, there there's just a small there was a small like plexiglass door that opened and closed, so you can get access inside of the machine and It's sent off their testers, like crazy, just went nuts and they're like, ah, nah.
[00:46:41] So they wouldn't commission the machine because it wasn't, you know, there was still an opportunity to damage the product because this, this plexiglass door was not safe. Yeah. So, what we did is we that same, remember I talked earlier how, how Ziploc bags can be coded in a particular material to make them safe
[00:46:57] and then they're sold as anti-static bags. We did the same thing with this door. We, you can buy a coating like in an aerosol can and you can spray things to, to make them anti-static. Once again, it is not. Static shielded. It's just not generating static electricity. So what we did in that case is we made that door.
[00:47:18] Anti-static it wasn't generating any excess static electricity. There's still an opportunity for it to generate static electricity, but at least you've mitigated your risk there. And, and so you still should, probably even when you buy these machines, you should probably still even test them.
[00:47:35] Granted. We were kind of a young startup at the time, this AOI company, and we hadn't learned all these things and we fixed it on later, later iterations of the machine to make sure we didn't have that. So oftentimes if you're buying from reputable brands, they've, they've done all this work for you, but yeah, there's there's a lot, there's, there's a lot of risk out there it is.
[00:47:54] It's the radiation poisoning. It's it's, it's going to get you.
[00:48:02] That's all I could think about the whole time I was watching that show as I'm like, this is ESD it's ESD. I'm trying to think if there's anything I haven't covered here. I'm just looking back through my notes. I think we got most of it. I think we got most of it. The one thing I did want to mention is, you know, we go through all this stuff because we are, this is our business, right?
[00:48:20] This is the world we live in. This is, this is what we have to do each and every day. And we just need a facility where we don't even have to think about it. You will, at least I should say our, you know, people working on the floor who are making circuit boards and assembling all these things together.
[00:48:35] You don't want them to have to think about it. You just want them to do their test in the morning. And when they come back from lunch and get to work, you don't want to have them thinking about every little detail of, am I safe? Am I protected? And, you know, sit at a work bench, they plug in.
[00:48:49] That's all they have to think about because everything else has been set up for them and audited for them to make sure that it's all working. once again, if you are in a regular environment and you get circuit boards, you should have a system in place to protect these things that we're shipping to you.
[00:49:07] A lot of care, and a lot of expenses gone in to make these a quality product. And if you open them up and dump them on a plywood bench or a glass table, or you in, you're standing on the carpet, you've already damaged them. You have, you may not see it. You may not notice it. And it may be, you know, who knows it may be fine for the entire life of the product because it's a mouse that sits on somebody's desk in a climate controlled room.
[00:49:34] But chances are, if you're not protecting it, you are, you absolutely are damaging them somehow. So it doesn't take much like everything I've just described. You don't have to go out and be buying auditing tools and in getting ESD, waxed floor and buying constant monitors and, and all this ionized air and all this kind of stuff.
[00:49:57] Don't, don't go crazy. Spend 50 bucks on Amazon and just get a nice ESD mat kit. It comes completely all set. It's got the mat, it's got the grounding cord, it's got the wrist strap and it's got it. It's got this cool little adaptor plug to plug into your wall. So, you know, or you can plug into a surge protector.
[00:50:18] That'll work too, cause that's grounded. And it literally goes into your, your 110 volt plug. Well, here in the United States, 110 volt overseas, you're gonna have different sizes, but you just plug that thing in. And now that area is grounded. And whenever you're dealing with a circuit boards that your cm sends you, you, you wanna you know, you got your cardboard box on the side, keep that on the side.
[00:50:36] Right. Don't don't put that on your mat. Keep that mat nice and tidy. That mat should only see circuit boards. Okay. And now you, you opened your cardboard box and you get the packing material out of the way you take the static, seal the bag out. Now you set the static shielded bag on that. And you open that bag right there.
[00:50:51] You cut that open your, your, you know, if it's taped, whatever you open it up, you set the static shielded bags aside. Now you've got your bubble wrapped boards there, and you're going to unroll those or unwrap those right on that mat. And you're protecting them. You've got your wrist strap on, you got your mat grounded
[00:51:06] to protect it, they're safe and you're not going to damage them and you're going to do whatever it is you need to do with those. If they have to go into some kind of a case, keep them in that environment, keep them on that ESD mat. Don't, don't go move them around the factory and showing your boss, you know, just keep them right there.
[00:51:24] Don't, don't, don't go far with those things. Okay. But now once you've got them in the shell, right. If they go into some kind of a plastic case or whatever it is that they go into. Now you've got them in kind of a protected environment. Maybe you've plugged the power cord or not the power cord, but the, you know, other, some kind of wiring harness or something into it.
[00:51:42] You know, at this point, you, the, the, the risk of damaging them is relatively low because now they're in a case and you're not handling the board anymore. Your hand, isn't touching those solder joints in those metal leads. Remember we talked about earlier by handling with the plastic. You're not going to send any static electricity to it.
[00:52:01] It's, it's going through the leads where you're going to send this static electricity. So if you've taken the circuit board and you've put it into a case it's safe, you're not going to damage it. That's why you can use a mouse without damaging the circuit board inside of it, because it's in a plastic case that's protected.
[00:52:14] Nothing's going to get to it. That case is now acting sort of like, but not exactly a Faraday cage. And it's, it's going to make sure that, you know, no static electricity is going to reach it. And then an additional thing that helps prevent damage is once you actually power. Once it actually has electricity go into it.
[00:52:31] Now it has this, you know, it's all the capacitors are doing their job. The inductors, everything is, you know, you've got the voltage in there, the way that it's expected to work, and that can act as an additional barrier. It doesn't mean it's completely safe from ESD, just because Chris said, oh, once you power up a circuit board, you can put it on your plywood bench.
[00:52:48] No, no, no, no, no, no. That's not true. It's just, I'm just explaining that. It's just another level of, of protection a little bit once it's powered up. And even that, yeah, I don't know. It's, it's a little, I know, I'm not sure if that's entirely true because I was thinking about it. I've always been told that, but I'm like, you know, I've never read that anywhere, so that might not be true.
[00:53:08] So listen or be where Chris is oftentimes wrong. Yeah. So just, just again, once again, it's 50 bucks for these grounding case. a couple of them put them where you need them set yourself up with, with a nice safe environment for doing these things. If you're having to do a lot of stuff, then you can set up a whole cell or you can dedicate like a room to it.
[00:53:27] So maybe have like, if you have a spare office, maybe make that entire office an ESD safe area where you do put the floor down in the wax and, and you know, all the work benches are grounded and there's wrist straps, and you can even put a sign and I'd recommend you do. You put a sign on the door that says, you know, entering an ESD area, don't walk in here without your ESD jacket and your foot straps.
[00:53:50] You know, so that, that could be something you could do as well. And you want to do that if you have, if you're constantly doing these sorts of things where you're, you're, you, you are an engineer and you're taking prototypes out and you're troubleshooting them and testing them out. That probably be a good idea, because if you get a failure with your prototype it could be ESD.
[00:54:06] If you're not protecting that, it might not be your design. You might, your design might be perfectly fine, but because you got a little bit of ESD damage on some tiny little 2 0 1 diode. Now the product isn't functioning, the way that you expect it to do everything's working, but this one circuit maybe got ESD damage on, on the semiconductor, in that circuit.
[00:54:23] So, you know, it's just mitigating risk take, just making smart decisions to try to protect these things. Did you get all that, Melissa.
[00:54:32] Melissa: Yeah, that was very enlightening. I'm looking in front of me right now. I'd actually see some anti-static lotion.
[00:54:38] Chris: Yes. Oh yeah. I did not talk about that. So, dry hands don't conduct. Static electricity very well dry wrists I should say. So once again, one of the primary sources of pulling static electricity off of your body is wrist risk because you're using these wrist straps or the cuffs from your jacket.
[00:54:56] Well, if, if those are very, very dry, then that wrist strap may not be able to get the static off of your body very well. So putting lotion on is a way of kind of softening the skin moistening the skin and allowing that wrist strap to work, however most lotions that you buy at the store are going to have all kinds of products in them that make, that might smell good or might make your skin even more comfortable, or, you know, they have a lot of benefits besides there, the purpose of pulling static, electricity up your body.
[00:55:29] So, ESD lotion is, is very, very, very simple lotion without all these added things. And its only purpose is to keep yourself your, your skin soft enough and healthy enough so that it can transfer the electricity out of your body, into the cuff and, and to where where's it going?
[00:55:47] Melissa: The ground
[00:55:48] Chris: The ground, you
[00:55:49] Melissa: planet earth.
[00:55:51] Chris: Yep. That's what that's what ESD is. Or excuse me, that's what the ESD lotion is there for. I mean, like the number of ESD products which just kind of like it's, it's mindblowing, like even just ESD mats, there's like a whole, there's like two layer mats and three layer mats and this kind of material and that kind of material in different colors.
[00:56:12] And it's like, oh man, it's tough to keep up with everything. And like all the different testers and codings and, and it's a whole world. So, once again, if, if you kind of want to outfit a facility or if you want to like dedicate an entire maybe office, like I was saying earlier to ESD safety Elimstat is a great website or Elim stat.
[00:56:36] I'm not sure. Probably Elimstat because eliminating yeah. Yeah. Elim stat is a great resource, a good pricing, great people. We've enjoyed working with them for a number of years, but there's SES is another good company. We, we, we buy their test equipment, SES test equipment. We also buy some Desco test equipment.
[00:56:55] They make some good products. There's ACL makes some nice products. They, I know the ACL and tech spray make lotions that are good for this sort of thing. Yeah. There's, I mean, there's a whole list of stuff out there, but yeah, it can, it can get a little exhausting. So that's why I tried to simplify at the very end.
[00:57:13] Just, just focus on that ESD mat and keeping your products on that ESD mat until they get into a case of something or something else that's protecting them.
[00:57:22] Melissa: You know what this conversation has made me want to do?
[00:57:24] Chris: I don't, I don't know. Is it made you want to go run on the ground?
[00:57:28] Melissa: Yeah. It's made me want to Go outside, you know, take off your shoes and a walk around. No Walker. Yeah. Walk around on the grass and ground yourself.
[00:57:36] Chris: So true story, true story. I, my, my nephew was building a computer and he's like, Hey Chris, I'm uncle credit calls me, uncle Chris. I'm worried about damaging my, my motherboard and my processor, my Ram and everything. Is there anything I can do? Cause I don't have any ESD mat.
[00:57:52] And I said, yes, take your socks off, go in your basement and assemble it down there because the concrete in your basement is going to act like ground and is going to pull, static electricity off your body. It's not perfect, but it'll get the job done in a pinch,
[00:58:09] but don't wear shoes cause that's an insulator.
[00:58:12] The, the other thing that's that you got me thinking about when you talking about taking your shoes off and, and grounding yourself is this is the same principle of like, kind of like how lightning rods work, right. That you're, you're creating a path like, like a lightning rod is a massive version of everything we've just talked about.
[00:58:30] The lightning strikes a building or strikes your house. You give it a very simple and easy path to the earth. You know, wire that lightning rod on your house is connected to a wire that goes into the ground.
[00:58:40] Melissa: It goes under that copper rod, I guess.
[00:58:43] Chris: Yep. It goes into that copper rod, probably. I think so. I've never installed a lightning rod, but I think that's probably how they work.
[00:58:50] But that's effectively the same thing you're doing with your wrist strap, right? You, in this case, your, your body, your clothing is the. And you're trying to give it a quick path to ground so that it doesn't get to the house, which in this, in this case is your circuit board.
[00:59:06] Melissa: Interesting.
[00:59:07] Chris: Yep.
[00:59:08] Melissa: Wow. That's fun.
[00:59:09] Chris: So, so there you go. You remember the Chernobyl disaster and lightning strikes and you'll know ESD.
[00:59:15] I'm glad you found it fun. I was worried it was going to be kind of boring, but
[00:59:18] Melissa: No, I mean, I can relate to it. I mean, I think a lot of people can relate to it cause like you've had an experience with it. So you can imagine what it does to your boards.
[00:59:26] Chris: Oh fun subject. Okay. We're we're hitting all the timely subjects right here. We're talking about Chernobyl and now we're gonna talk about gas. If you're getting out of your car to get gas. Discharge your body on your car, because if you hop out of your car, you absolutely simply the motion of moving your body off of a seat and onto the ground is generating static electricity.
[00:59:49] And if there's fumes in the air or somebody spilled a little gas before you, there is an opportunity for a fire, lots of fires start this way. So I recommend, yeah. Grab, grab you know, your, your door or something to try to discharge yourself. I actually, I got in this habit and I do it to this very day, even though I don't, I don't go to the gas station anymore with my car.
[01:00:09] Every time I get out, I take my fist and I pound my door. Every single time I get out of my car, it's become this like habit because I learned about that years ago and, and it, and you can feel it like pop. Oftentimes you can feel it when you get out of your car and if you hit your door, you can feel like a pop of static electricity coming off your hand
[01:00:25] Melissa: Wow. I never would've thought about that.
[01:00:28] Chris: pro tip.
[01:00:29] Melissa: Pro tip for How not to start off at the gas station.
[01:00:35] Chris: let's see. ESD gas station fire. Oh yeah. Gas station, static, electricity fire on YouTube. Here we go. Let's see what happens. Nice looking maybe a Toyota. Rolling up here. Nice lady getting out, trying to get gas. Never touched her door. Never touched the door and opening the gas cap, grabbing the hose.
[01:01:10] I forgot to enter her pin number for her credit card. This is riveting. It's terrifying actually. Cause I know it's about to happen.
[01:01:21] Melissa: Was there a fire
[01:01:23] Chris: You'll see. What'd you do? What did you take it out? Don't take it out. Oh yeah.
[01:01:37] I am sending this to you.
[01:01:41] Melissa: and We'll send it to everyone else too.
[01:01:44] Chris: oh, we're going to put this in the show notes for sure. Oh yeah. ESD gas station fire. It's it's real people. It's a real thing.
[01:01:56] Melissa: Why isn't this more of a thing
[01:01:59] Chris: You know what? I bet you, I bet you like every gas station has a sign on it that says something about like discharge your body before filling
[01:02:08] Melissa: You think? have to look next time.
[01:02:11] Chris: Yeah. Next time I drive my wife's car. I and I fill up with gas. I'm going to look for it.
[01:02:17] Timely subject. That's what the people tune in for. Right? The timely subjects.
[01:02:20] Gas. Talk about Ukraine.
[01:02:26] All right. Is it that time? Is it that time? We reached that time with the show. My favorite part of.
[01:02:30] Melissa: I think it's time for that part of the show. Your favorite part of the show. And actually have one this week. Cause I think the
[01:02:37] Chris: has it. Melissa has a good one.
[01:02:39] Melissa: well, I think it's a good one. I think it's a very relatable one because I think most people have experienced this sometime in their life. So my pet peeve is how shower handles, you know, the ones that you turn, the shower handle, that you just, you turn to the left and then that determines the temperature.
[01:03:00] Right? Most of that, most of that turning doesn't matter. It's just that little tiny section where it's either too hot or too cold.
[01:03:09] Chris: so true.
[01:03:11] Melissa: You have to be like skew such precision. You're like I got it. And then Nope. And then it's too hot and then, okay. Turn it back a little. Now it's too cold. Like why, why does it have to be that way?
[01:03:25] Chris: It's so true. You're right. You're absolutely right. You've got, you've got 12 inches of swing on this thing, but a 10th of a millimeter is scalding hot versus freezing cold.
[01:03:37] Melissa: Yup. Yup.
[01:03:40] Chris: It's so true. Oh my goodness. Why have you done this to me?
[01:03:48] That's it? This is a good one. You know, we could go deeper on this because you know how, like, they're all different too. Feel like most have gotten down. Now you swing to the left, it gets warmer. You swing to the right. It gets cooler. But then, you know what bugs me is when you can't tell which part of it swings.
[01:04:07] Right. So you're like, okay, wait a second. Am I pointing towards cold now? Or am I pointing towards hot now? Because if you go, like every time you go to a hotel are always different.
[01:04:16] Melissa: yeah.
[01:04:18] Chris: Like make this obvious all I have a good pet peve for next week. I'm saving it though. I am saving it. It's like my favorite pet peeve.
[01:04:27] Second favorite pet peeve. Oh, I got two. I've got two that just struck me because they're both bathroom related,
[01:04:33] Melissa: all right.
[01:04:35] Chris: but I'm a hundred percent with you. This is an opportunity, Melissa. This is an opportunity. Somebody should come up with a valve that, you know, gives you six inches of swing, you know, but it starts out from. Well, you know, within like a, like, like a 10 degree window, rather than a 30 degree window or 50 degree window, whatever it is.
[01:05:00] Melissa: Cause like, you don't need it to be what you, when do you need your w to be cold? Like you never really needed to be like cold, cold, Right.
[01:05:08] Chris: never really needed it to be cold, cold sometimes. Like, if I've been like, when you go for a run and you, and you like go straight into the shower, you definitely want it to be cool, but I don't think I've ever
[01:05:19] Melissa: Well, unless you're like one of those people that like to take a freezing cold.
[01:05:22] shower in the morning cause of all the health benefits and you like to torture yourself,
[01:05:27] Chris: Yeah. And the environment, but
[01:05:30] Melissa: well, yeah, sure.
[01:05:33] Chris: that's like, it's like, there is something wonderful and refreshing about jumping into a pool, like in that temperature difference of you being super hot in the sun and then jumping into the cold pool. But you need to be uncomfortably warm before you get into the cold.
[01:05:47] Right. And if you're in your house, you're probably not uncomfortable. So going directly into a freezing cold showers, just, no, you don't need it that cold I'm with you.
[01:05:56] Melissa: yeah.
[01:05:57] Chris: The starting point should be, you know, a little chilly and the end point should be a little too warm, but you've got 12 inches of swing in between that so that you can move that thing whole like inch and you can adjust it just a couple of degrees.
[01:06:12] Melissa: or just make, I guess, showers, there must be showers where you can enter a specific temperature.
[01:06:18] Chris: I was thinking that I was thinking that like, get like a digital, like boop boop. And you know, like, just like
[01:06:24] Melissa: Like your oven, but like for your
[01:06:26] Chris: Yeah. Business opportunity.
[01:06:29] Melissa: I mean, it seems like something that must exist,
[01:06:32] Chris: we got lots of, we got lots of smart engineers out there. Anybody who wants to go into business with me and Melissa and make digital shower controllers we're all ears.
[01:06:40] Melissa: We're on board.
[01:06:42] Chris: We'll have a third side gig circuit humming Worthington pick place podcast and digital shower
[01:06:50] Melissa: Well, you also got your beer, so you got a lot of side gigs going on.
[01:06:54] Chris: I got a lot of side gigs except I don't make any money with the beer.
[01:06:57] Melissa: Yeah. That's just a personal, personal benefit.
[01:07:00] Chris: I got lots of hobbies, Melissa. That's just one of them, too many hobbies. I think, I think there's something about people that pursue careers in engineering. They tend to have lots of hobbies.
[01:07:11] Melissa: Cause they
[01:07:11] Chris: you noticed this?
[01:07:12] Melissa: do things, make things, design things
[01:07:17] Chris: like I remember um, a previous guest Eli Hughes. He had, he had a bunch of hobbies. I don't remember what they were, but I remember he was like into a lot of different things.
[01:07:28] There's something about engineering. I'll tell you what I mean, the truth
[01:07:30] Melissa: like Joel, I mean he wasn't even originally an engineer, so
[01:07:35] Chris: That guy is just into everything, everything, those are some good. Those are some good listens. If if you're new to the show, go back and listen
[01:07:43] Melissa: the beginning.
[01:07:45] Chris: There's lots of good stuff out there, which by the way our listenership has been growing significantly.
[01:07:50] Thank you. Welcome. Happy to have you. I hope you're enjoying the show. If you have any questions or show ideas or you know, just want to say howdy by all means you can email us email@example.com. You can tweet us at CircuitHub or at w assembly. And I, as I mentioned, I think on a previous episode or the, or the one before that if you know somebody who might enjoy the show let them know.
[01:08:14] I think that's a great way of, of spreading the show besides leaving a review. If you, you know, have a friend who's in the same industry or another engineer that is related to all this stuff, let them know about the show and yeah, we'd really.
[01:08:27] Melissa: Yeah, that sounds like an excellent way to end off this episode. So with that, I'll say thanks for listening to the pick place podcast. And if you like what you heard consider following us in your favorite podcast app, and please leave us a review on apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from.
[01:08:45] Chris: Thanks so much everybody
[01:08:47] Melissa: Adios.