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3b.2: ESD- The Silent Assassin

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    Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)

    Your Raspberry Pi is not only a single board computer that contains many tiny integrated circuit (ic) chips that are susceptible to Electrostatic Discharge (ESD), but so are many of the sensors and devices you will be working on the breadboard with.  ESD is a real problem with these small microcircuits where static electricity can build up and discharge when you touch a device, and cause damage to the circuits.  Here is an article that can give you a bearing of the problem, Combating ESD: the silent assassin in electronics manufacturing. The following YouTube by the Hoffmann Group describes electrostatic discharge should be watched before proceeding, and especial note should be taken to the difference between direct and latent faults that can be induced through improper handling.

    Video \(\PageIndex{1}\):  3:29 min video by Hoffmann Group on electro static discharge (

    ESDS devices (Electrostatic Discharge Sensitive Devices) and are shipped in special antistatic protective packaging. You need to take proper precautions with respect to ESD. Failure to do so can not only result in problems that are almost impossible to troubleshoot, like a latent fault that causes a short circuit that only occurs in rare situations, and intermittently causes your program to crash, but lead to direct faults that can result in the complete destruction of your Raspberry Pi or other devices (like your camera).

    Figure \(\PageIndex{13}\): Antistatic wristband (upper left, Wikimedia Commons), ESDS Device logo (lower left, freesvg) and an esp8266 microprocessor in an ESD protective bag that is placed on an antistatic map that needs to be grounded before use. (right, Belford, CC 0.0)

     If you start to solder printed circuit boards you should consider investing in an antistatic map with an arm band, but no matter what, you should take prudent action to avoid ESD damage to your devices.

    This page titled 3b.2: ESD- The Silent Assassin is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Robert Belford.

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