Common Body Static

Hello, does anyone know how to get rid of body static? I recently got an Arduino kit and I don't want to pop my atmel by touching it. What do you guys do before using your Arduinos? I've heard about wrist bands you wear to get rid of it, but I'm looking for more of a DIY solution that I can make at home and not have to purchase (not because I'm cheap, but I just prefer it that way!).

Don't worry about it!


Be sure to touch something metallic before touching your arduino or any ICs.
That will dissipate any build up you may have accumlated.
It's really a problem during the winter when the heat is on and the air is dry.

I have an aluminum keyboard on my Mac. I touch that before reaching for the Arduino.

If you wear a metal wristband watch, then a single wire with alligator clips on each end, one end clipped to the watch, and the other end to a grounded object - makes for a good grounding "strap". Then again, most people don't wear watches anymore.

Touching/connecting yourself to something grounded is best. If you don’t have any options for that, anything thats large and metal will usually work. Also, try to avoid working in a really dry environment.

Thanks Everyone!

does anyone know how to get rid of body static?

If you get rid of the body, you get rid of body static.

I recently got an Arduino kit and I don’t want to pop my atmel by touching it.

I have touched so many mcus by hands and none have died. No need to worry about it and touch them as much as you want.

I once worked with a former processor architect at a UK semiconductor manufacturer.
"These processors are as tough as old boots. Watch this" he said.
He shuffled across the carpet in his synthetic-soled shoes and pointed his finger directly at the pins of the upturned, very expensive and rare prototype transputer.
"Crack!" went the spark.

The processor never ran again.

Exercise sensible precautions.

When you DO touch the Arduino board, FIRST touch/hold it by the large silver metal Ethernet connector. It is at "Arduino Ground" potential. Now YOU are also at Arduino Ground potential.

Damage usually happens by touching a pin first, and damaging internal chip circuitry.

Wrist bands, anti-static lab coats and ozone generators were used at workstations handling bare chips at IBM. But I've plugged and unplugged cards and processors in hundreds of PC's and handled hundreds of Arduinos and never AFAIK damaged one. But I religiously touch a grounded metal frame or object and handle the card or Arduino by a grounded part.

I did get get reprimanded once for yelling at an IBM service guy who took two memory cards out of my Model 95 and put them down on the carpet in my office. Probably had to do with the first word!!! in my sentence.

The propper configuration for a wrist strap is not to connect it directly to ground but through a resistor to ground. You want to disipate the static on your body not simple discharge it. You do not want to have a constant path directly to ground, especially on yor wrist. There may be bad, very bad, consequences if you come in contact with the power mains with your other hand. Instead of getting a mild shock, you could easily get the total voltage from arm to arm with the current flowing through your chest. Most wrist straps have a 1M resistor incorporated. Commercial wrist straps, as a tool that will last a long time, are available at most electronic suppliers, computer stores selling upgrade parts and on-line for a resonable price. You will take care of the safety issues as well as having a comfortable sollution with the commercial wrist strap made of a elasticised fabric and the wire being a coiled cord with the resistor built in. It will likely cost you about what an Arduino would.

In a former job, I worked in electronics manufacturing and was responsible for the plant wide static control program. We required workers to wear static disipative smocks, wrist straps while seated, work at stations with anti-static surfaces or mats, wear heel straps or static dispative shoes on specially waxed floors while standing or moving product. Each person checked both their wrist strap and footwear at test stations when entering the production floor. Work surfaces, mats and floors were tested frequently to ensure the disipatve connections.

Static can cause immediate failure of parts and latent failure where the part fails at a later time.

Hope this helps. Ensure you take the propper steps for your own safety - don't connect yourself with a wire directly to ground!


I once left some Ram on top of a metal PC case for while, when I put them back in they were faulty!

After that, I always wear a wrist strap (when handling IC`s anyway) better to be safe than sorry.