Hi all,

While I can state that Ron's comment about the K2 is typically true, the static tolerance of thru-hole ICs and transistors is lower than it was back in 1998 or even 2006 (OK, I picked those years as a guess). Many DIP mounted devices are really SMD devices with DIP leads and can be as static sensitive as the devices in the K3 and KX3. Despite the "touch grounded metal" instruction in the K2 manual, I do see some repairs come in with failed firmware ICs, and rarely, but not zero, some 'normal' ICs on a new build.
My best guess is that those parts were damaged due to a static charge.
Whether the builder did not follow the "touch a metal ground" or not I cannot tell, all I know is that it failed.

When possible, use an anti-static mat and wrist strap when handling ICs and transistors, especially during periods of low humidity. Do not work on carpet without them and do not wear nylon clothing - and don't shuffle your feet on the floor while working. The minimum should be a wrist strap connected to the green-wire ground in your house. You can use a banana plug in the round pin of an electrical receptacle, but before you trust it, get one of the receptacle testers and make sure that green wire ground is intact - some are not.

Whether your anti-static precautions are 'overkill' for the task to be accomplished will never be known. Take whatever precautions make you feel comfortable with the risk factor involved. Doing nothing or ignoring the static damage probability is not acceptable unless you are willing to accept the risk.

I suggest that you do not connect the wrist strap to a separate ground rod that you have for your hamshack unless that ground rod is also bonded to the utility entrance ground rod. It is off this topic, but if your ground rods are not connected to the utility entrance ground, it is a safety hazard should something in the house *or* your shack develop a fault. In addition, it is a violation of the NEC (those codes are written for your safety).


On 9/19/2016 4:12 PM, Ron D'Eau Claire wrote:
Note that the K2 manual does not make much of an issue about an anti-static mat. It's on 
the bottom of the anti-static priority list Wayne compiled. In the interest of full 
disclosure, I built my K2 while most of my stuff was in storage, working solely on a 
small wooden drawing board using my ESD-Safe iron. I simply did the recommended 
"touch a ground" before each time I reached for a transistor, i.c. or pc board 
and experienced no problems whatsoever. Sixteen years later the K2 is still going strong.

73, Ron AC7AC

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