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Can i touch the computer?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 90K5, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    If I touch the computer, will it break? Maybe a stupid question, but for some reason, if you touch the computer on my brother's car it messes it up, and you have to buy a new one because the old one doesn't work anymore - I think I have to buy him a computer...Is this true on Chevys too or just goofy makes?
     
  2. scotty1

    scotty1 1/2 ton status

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    Any electronic componet can be damaged by static electricity that may be discharged when you touch it. If you discharge to static before you touch it and keep yourself grounded while you handle it you should not damage it.
     
  3. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    OK, here's what you do. Go get some thick shag carpeting and walk across that in your socks before you grab. Should make for a fun surprise, haha. Actually the risk of damage is small, but if you want to be safe, then just put your hand on the metal of the dash or elsewhere to ground yourself while you grab it. The computer is in a big ol' metal box and its pretty sturdy. I've never heard of a box goofing up from being touched.

    It sounds like your brother is conning you into buying new computer. Somebody on the assembly line had to touch it to put it in. Tells us more about what your brothers says you did to his computer. It sounds like you're pretty cautious and we wouldn't want someone taking advantage because you weren't "informed".
     
  4. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    ESD (electrostatic discharge) is commonly misunderstood. First of all, you don't have to feel a spark to ruin a piece of electronics. If the computer is bolted to the chassis of the car, you shouldn't be able to hurt it unless you unplug the connector. The real risk for ESD is to touch the pins while the connector is unplugged. To avoid it, always touch the case and the chassis of the car before taking the connector out. Repeat for any other time you come near it afterwards. If you have to remove it and transport it, find a static dissipative bag or box as moving it around presents the biggest risk for ESD damage.

    For many devices like this, the factory workers wear grounding wrist straps and/or stand on static dissipative floor mats. Newer computers are generally more immune than older ones. Every automaker has guidlines for how many kV the device should be able to withstand from a given amount of discharge capacitance. The amount is specified for direct discharge (directly to the pins) and air discharge (an arc that occurs just before physical contact is made). All of this is relative to the connector pins.

    If you have a good computer and you've unplugged it and suddenly it's bad, chances are, ESD is to blame.
     

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