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I bought an anti static mat, ifixit portable, so I wear the wrist strap, clip it to the mat, the ground wire that came with the mat clips the the mat the other aligator clip clips to the grill of a plugged in but off loose psu from an old rig on the floor (carpet).

Is this a decent setup?

I keep seeing people in videos with no nothing on their hands doing all kinds of mods but I already bought the stuff, I'm cautious I guess, but don't want to plug into the ac direct or anywhere near the plate because I think my house might be wired in a weird way because it was wired by the owner 60 years ago.

I was going to sell the psu for a few bucks but it has better purpose if this will work.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your best bet is to use an ohm meter and put one probe in the wall outlet ground, and the other on the PSU case to see if there's a continuity. Note that the wrist straps and mats will have a 1M resistor (or greater) in series with them for safety, so those will not (and should not) beep when checked in continuity mode. \$\endgroup\$
    – Drew
    Oct 26, 2020 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do have a digital multimeter I bought that should be able to do that, when I touch the psu case after putting a probe in the wall outlet, continuity and beep bad or good? (sorry for the idiot speak). \$\endgroup\$
    – Toddd
    Oct 26, 2020 at 23:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ edit nevermind, read this similar thread electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/19262/… and got discouraged, I'll just clip it to a big hunk of metal I have but not mess with anything connected to my ac. \$\endgroup\$
    – Toddd
    Oct 27, 2020 at 0:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ You want whatever you connect your wrist strap to to have continuity to ground. \$\endgroup\$
    – Drew
    Oct 27, 2020 at 1:38

1 Answer 1

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If the "old PSU" is a desktop PC PSU then it's case is almost certainly connected to ground. So yes the case of an old desktop PC PSU could be used as a grounding point. Laptop PSUs on the other hand generally do not have anything accessible connected to mains ground.

For ESD protection you DO NOT want a low impedance connection to ground, for two reasons. Firstly a low impedance connection between your body and ground singificantly increases the risk from electric shocks, secondly the whole point of ESD grounding is to avoid sudden discharges, a low impedance ground works against that goal.

Instead you want a much higher resistance (the exact value is far from critical), this lets any static charge discharge slowly and limits the current if you somehow manage to shock yourself. ESD grounding equipment often contain resistances of around 1 Megohm and it's not a problem if several end up in series. However there is some ESD gear out there that is low resistance, potentially ok as part of a larger system with the resistor in a different component but a big problem if it's used on its own.

Your kit quotes a resistance of 105Ω in it's grounding cord, it's not clear if there is also a resistance in the earth strap. 105Ω ohms seems lower than most I have seen and I think it may be a typo, because the photo of the cord says 1M. 105Ω is a bit on the low side for current limiting (it would allow 1.2mA at 120V, which while unlikely to be deadly but is still higher than I would like).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah it's full sized desktop psu. I'll look more into the details of the kit thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Toddd
    Oct 27, 2020 at 4:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ The 1M ohm resistor in ESD protection is to protect you in case you come into contact with mains power, you would not want to have a wrist strap on with connection to earth (especially on your left hand) and then come into contact with main, if there was not a 1M ohm in series with the earth connection.. the 1Meg resistor makes absolutely no difference in terms of discharge time for ESD. \$\endgroup\$
    – user173292
    Oct 27, 2020 at 23:24

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