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

ReverseEMF

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.
I occasionally got a shock from my cat -- which would startle us both!  But, I was living in a desert, where the air got exceptionally dry -- especially in the winter!

But, Grumpy_Mike is correct, electrostatic discharge should not affect electronics where the "circuits are all connected up".  On the other hand, ESD could damage parts, not in circuit, if not handled with proper ESD protocol.

And BTW: even if a part, exposed to ESD, still functions, it's still possible is was damaged in a way that it will fail long before MTBF.
"It's a big galaxy, Mr. Scott"

Please DON'T Private Message to me, what should be part of the Public Conversation -- especially if it's to correct a mistake, or contradict a statement!  Let it ALL hang out!!

Johan_Ha

@johan_Ha : then why I destroyed my printer by brushing the electronic components?
Your brush wasn't antistatic.
____________________

If you ask for help and write 'u' instead of 'you' because you think it's convenient, I will write 'no' instead of 'yes'. For same reasons.

falexandru

Well, neither the cat is. So, if the cat rubs against the circuit, it may happen the same as in the case of the brush. I am very confuse now.

Grumpy_Mike

@johan_Ha : then why I destroyed my printer by brushing the electronic components?
You probably didn't, it was something else.

INTP

I don't imagine the smell of cat hair blowing by your soldering iron to be a pleasant smell.

Johan_Ha

I was only imagining the cat touching the board, not rubbing it. Rubbing it will most certainly charge it. And a board is easily charged.
____________________

If you ask for help and write 'u' instead of 'you' because you think it's convenient, I will write 'no' instead of 'yes'. For same reasons.

falexandru

To this moment, it looks like the risk to damage the circuit is low unless the cat does not adopt an active/aggressive behavior against the boards/components.

O measured the cat by a multimeter:
- the resistance between the ears is higher than then meter range
- same for between the forefront paws
- the voltage between the ears is variable - in the range of 0,10 to -0.01  V- and varies in time (perhaps because of the movement - cat does not like probes in his ears)
- same variable voltage between the forefront paws

Therefore, the cat may present some electric potential (which I expected), but I have no posibility to measure the electric field as such.

   

INTP


falexandru

Or to fix the probe somehow, like the  human EKG.

There are three separate electricity issue with the cat, as far as I understand now:
a) electrostatic field (assumption: more intense if rubbing)
b) static electricity (potential) - assumption: impact only if un-furred areas touch the circuits
c) electricity pulses - when the cat moves - uncertain at this moment

Un-explored: cat licking the Arduino board. My cat loves to lick, so is not an imaginary situation.

Johan_Ha

Meet Maggis.



Maggis is sitting on a box, which is becoming a midi controller. At the left you see a glimpse of a prototype to a midi guitar. Maggis frequently pays attention to my work with electronics. And she rubs herself against my laptop screen.

Just thought this thread needed some images.


____________________

If you ask for help and write 'u' instead of 'you' because you think it's convenient, I will write 'no' instead of 'yes'. For same reasons.

jendalinda


Johan_Ha

A grounded conductive pad? If I were afraid of actual damage, that would be a good idea.
____________________

If you ask for help and write 'u' instead of 'you' because you think it's convenient, I will write 'no' instead of 'yes'. For same reasons.

jendalinda


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