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Topic: Are cats dangerous for electronic circuits? (this is a serious question) (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

falexandru

My cat loves to sit on my table while I am digging into electronic circuits. Obviously, my cat has fur.

Question is: can cat's fur affect the electronic circuits? Either still on the cat or falling out of the cat.

++++

Long ago, I cleaned up my printer's internal components by a brush. I ended up by enjoying a clean and dead printer.

pert

It seems like cats could certainly be an effective source of ESD. Not sure how much of an issue that would be with loose hair but certainly petting the cat while handling sensitive components during dry times of the year with being grounded could be a seriously bad idea.

I'm sure any sort of contaminant on a circuit can affect it. That could be by promoting corrosion, conductance, capacitance. Even if the contaminants themselves don't have problematic properties, they can absorb moisture from the air, which does.

Southpark

My cat loves to sit on my table while I am digging into electronic circuits. Obviously, my cat has fur.

Question is: can cat's fur affect the electronic circuits? Either still on the cat or falling out of the cat
Maybe if you rub the cat's fur on some esd sensitive devices.... or touch esd sensitive devices after patting your cat...then maybe you can get esd damage. If it's not a critical thing.... then ok. Otherwise.... if avoiding esd damage is important.... then read up about esd issues. And use google to search for 'esd' ... and select 'images'. It will show lots of images of devices at microscopic levels....damaged by esd.

falexandru

I once extensively searched for ESD issues. At that time my conclusion was that ESD is not of so much concern usually, on Arduino platform and keeping into account that one way or another the human touches something that grounds him or her.

+++

Now I see the cat's fur on my desk - perhaps on the circuits as well, I cant say.

The cat rubs himself (is a tomcat) to the surface of my desk and occasionally moves. Since obviousely the cat has more hair than I have, that may be a problem, not sure.

Southpark

I once extensively searched for ESD issues. At that time my conclusion was that ESD is not of so much concern usually, on Arduino platform and keeping into account that one way or another the human touches something that grounds him or her.
Yep....true. Your original posted mentioned 'electronics' .... not arduino specifically. Having knowledge about esd damage is handy. Whether or not we apply any techniques to avoid or minimise esd-related issues is just up to ourselves. It's a choice thing in many cases. In other cases.... there may be procedures that must be adhered to (grounding etc) .... in various professional electronic companies/labs.

falexandru

Agree. And mea culpa for not specific reference to Arduino (hobby) environment.

Perhaps I will anyway ground the cat somehow. Or touch him time by time to discharge. But this may not solve out the problem of loosing fur on my circuits.

But the problem is much more complex than appears to be at a first sight. It looks like the cat himself is a sort of Electricity reservoir.

See:

http://jgp.rupress.org/content/jgp/43/4/713.full.pdf

pert

There's a YouTube channel about electronics called scanlime. The cat is pretty much the star of the show and definitely has the run of the workbench. Whenever there's a closeup with the microscope camera sure enough you see plenty of fur on the circuits.

ReverseEMF

Back in the early 80's I was building my own Altair style computer based on the Z80.  We called it the "cat computer" because our cat loved to curl up in the S-100 card cage, which was just the right size for him.


I suppose cat fur could be a problem with fans, or fan filters.  But, scattered fur has never damaged any of my electronics (though, it's been decades since I last owned a cat).
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Grumpy_Mike

When I designed set top boxes I had to talk with the returns department. They said the main source of damage from cats was water ingress sourced from the cat.

They will not cause static damage because the circuits are all connected up. It is only when electronic circuits are not wired up you get static damage. Or when thier is an input or output signal, but commercially at least these will be static protected.

INTP

Static, bumping wires to short something out, eating or knocking away shiny things, they stink, and they track litter all over.

larryd

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falexandru


Johan_Ha

I have a cat and though I can feel the electricity in her fur, I never get sparks from her. And she never seems to get sparks from any objects the way I get. Probably because she walks around grounded, while I wear shoes. And just some cat hair on your pcb can't do any harm. It's not conductive.
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larryd

@Larryd: but that cat is grounded :-)
True that is.



You could always get a Rex when the current fur ball is gone :(




No technical PMs.
If you are asked a question, please respond with an answer.
If you are asked for more information, please supply it.
If you need clarification, ask for help.

falexandru

@johan_Ha : then why I destroyed my printer by brushing the electronic components?

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