Chips on tin foil over styrofoam.

I've seen it done back in the 80's but I'm not sure about with CMOS.

Basically there was styrofoam sheet covered with foil and chips pressed in. The foil was providing conductivity between pins or keeping any charge from building up on the foam, it's been over 20 years since I saw that and the EE's I knew didn't have problems with the chips they got that way and there's the rub, I can't remember just what chips though there's a good change that DRAM was as we went through a lot of those for every PC before SIMM's came out.

So now I don't have much spare pink foam or empty tubes, is kitchen foil over styrofoam okay?

Well I have used the technique, but it is a once only technique. That is each insertion has to break new foil. The danger is in the withdrawal. I used it for CMOS logic gates mainly and did not have any trouble but I would be reluctant to use it now. No evedance but just a feeling.

When the black conductive foam became readily available, I stopped using this method myself. I recall reading about initially in a 1975/76 era "73" magazine

kitchen foil over styrofoam okay?

Foil is OK, do not use Styrofoam!

I've started checking office stores but they only have the thin wrap and want too much.
I'm trying to find the stuff locally, as in a few days, I see Jameco and others sell the black stuff online.

I'll keep digging here. I haven't gone through all my stores. I may have an old mobo on foam.

BINGO! And a mid size board at that! 7"x10"x1/4" black foam. And that mobo was dodgy anyway, good thing I didn't toss the box. There's parts on there might be useful some day.

I’ve had ebay vendors send me chips in styrofoam sans foil. That made me mad.

JoeN:
I've had ebay vendors send me chips in styrofoam sans foil. That made me mad.

Meh... You can't trust us eBay vendors :wink:

I always use proper antistatic foam and/or antistatic bags for things with chips. For not so sensitive things I use Ethafoam. That's the more plastic packing material you often find holding monitors in packing boxes, etc. Much less static prone than polystyrene (styrofoam for you foreigners), and doesn't crumble into beads. I buy it by the roll at 10mm thick and cut off the bits I need as and when.

LarryD:
kitchen foil over styrofoam okay?

Foil is OK, do not use Styrofoam!

So long as the foil isn't too tatty it will work - any static charge on the foam will be insignificant to
modern chip's protection circuits. The thing to be careful of is to bring you and the foil to the same
potential before inserting a chip, otherwise the whole foil/foam assembly will dump its charge into the
first pin to approach.

majenko:
Much less static prone than polystyrene (styrofoam for you foreigners),

I worked in a plastics factory. Polystyrene gets made into non-foam as well but it's less resilient than ABS (my strength fave: ABS with glass fiber). Trade name Styrofoam is polystyrene foam, great stuff for making static as is the solid.

You can buy antistatic bubble wrap at officemax, staples, or online.
I use that.
Can also buy ESD bags really cheap, I have spares from projects and from delivered parts on hand.

To be clear, yes, this was a MUCH bugger problem when MOS and CMOS chips were new kids on the block.

CrossRoads:
You can buy antistatic bubble wrap at officemax, staples, or online.
I use that.
Can also buy ESD bags really cheap, I have spares from projects and from delivered parts on hand.

Or keep around the anti-static stuff companies send with samples. They usually send about 50x more than was actually necessary. I save all the nice clamshells that I have receive.

pwillard:
When the black conductive foam became readily available, I stopped using this method myself.

I used to use black conductive foam too. Recently, I got some 30-year old chips out of the foam, only to find that the legs had eroded away - presumably because of electrolytic action between the carbon in the foam and the copper legs.

dc42:

pwillard:
When the black conductive foam became readily available, I stopped using this method myself.

I used to use black conductive foam too. Recently, I got some 30-year old chips out of the foam, only to find that the legs had eroded away - presumably because of electrolytic action between the carbon in the foam and the copper legs.

For storage many of my chips are in tubes. Only when sending them by post do they get transferred to foam and antistatic bag.

dc42:

pwillard:
When the black conductive foam became readily available, I stopped using this method myself.

I used to use black conductive foam too. Recently, I got some 30-year old chips out of the foam, only to find that the legs had eroded away - presumably because of electrolytic action between the carbon in the foam and the copper legs.

Oh sh*t, I hope that doesn't happen to me. I keep all my (active DIP) chips in foam. A while back I bought 2x of this when Jameco had free shipping (otherwise the shipping sucks on this item despite it being light it's a bit bulky):

Now all that is left are tiny rectangles. Inside of these organizers:

http://www.frys.com/product/3602985

only to find that the legs had eroded away

While I cannot say it has NEVER happened to me... it has been minor. Only 1 chip, a DG185 that I acquired in 1980 or so, has ever shown that problem... and I blamed it on humidity and the fact that it was stored in my oldest and most porous conductive foam. (Atlanta Summers) I also blamed the manufacturer's tinning methods, since the Texas Instruments next to them were just fine... and there for the same amount of time.

"More Cowbell" Just noticed that XD

CrossRoads:
"More Cowbell" Just noticed that XD

It changes. It used to be something else and then 'Samplefinger' prior to that. I like to change it up a bit depending on overall mood. I realized a few days ago that 'More Cowbell' was an apt phrase for what I was feeling like at the time. Like my projects should have more features, my car should have more horsepower, my cargo pants should have more pockets, etc. 'More Cowbell' seemed to fit that emotion.

I also changed the tag line below to 'Building The Deathcoaster' which sounds morbid but what it's just an allusion to Evil Dead 3 - Army of Darkness when Ash basically builds a truly marvelously over the top 'project'. So it's coincides with More Cowbell. I want to build a project as marvelously over the top as the Deathcoaster. I haven't completely figured out what to do yet but I have a few ideas.