As I observed to Dick, n0ce:

It's been a long, long road from the early low-impedance bipolar transistors
to the modern ultra low power FETs.

There was a time we worried about getting hurt: knocked on our keister by
accidentally touching high voltage or burning our fingers on a hot vacuum
tube. Now the tables are turned and we have to worry more about the

73, Ron AC7AC

-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft [] On Behalf Of Don
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2016 1:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Anti-static Pads

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).


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