D. C. Smith Consultants
High Frequency Measurement Website
Douglas C. Smith

HF News: ESD Issues
Issue 2
January 30, 2017
Overview: It seems that ESD is getting even more of a problem lately with strange forms causing new problems. There is no shortage of articles and information on standard tests, but often a custom test is necessary to avoid field problems.

Issues concerning cable discharge, slow degradation over time in the field due to small to moderate, but very common ESD events, and others are developing. I would be interesting to hear how you are dealing with these problems and I have included some links below.
General Thoughts: Spending time in the lab developing new tests and methods that apply to your engineering work is something we all should do. The problem is job pressures often take up all of your time. But new methods can make your job easier. In my case, I have developed several new ESD test debugging methods in the last year including one that subjects a system to a large number of small ESD events over a few days to check for accumulating damage and one that detects a common ESD design defect inside of equipment that can be confirmed and sometimes located from outside the system.

How much time (as a percentage) do you spend in the lab? Such time spent can save a lot of time later on. I would be interested in hearing your stories where spending time in the lab developing something new saved a lot of time or trouble later on. I would like to include some of these stories in this newsletter.
Useful Links:

ESD Links:
  1. Jingling coins or other small pieces of metal. This form has been noted for some time now, maybe 20 years or so. Here is a link to one of my videos on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrHgQ1SuQGI
  2. And here is a link on how small metal ESD affects oscilloscope probes:
  3. How about how NOT to do ESD testing:
  4. People have been trying to control ESD for a long time. Here is a good summary of standards on ESD control: http://www.esdrmv.com/esd-standards
  5. But sometimes we can't control the environment so we have equipment/device test standards such as listed here (including some control links):
General Engineering Interest Links:
  1. Basic circuit design tutorial
  2. Need a circuit simulator for your project? Here is a list:
Upcoming Events:
  1. EMC Week: http://emcesd.com/bcsem_emcweek.htm
  2. IEEE EMC Symposium: http://www.emc2017.emcss.org/

    Let me know any event you would like to see posted here!
Feel free to contact me anytime! No charge to discuss your engineering issues and offer my thoughts. Let me know if everything works or if there are problems in this newsletter. Also, please suggest future topics. If you want to write a short article for the newsletter, let me know. Over time the newsletter will get longer and with more links.

Douglas C. Smith
PO Box 60941
Boulder City, NV 89006
Email: doug@dsmith.org
Tel:     702-570-6108
Cell:   408-858-4528