Now we are doing a lot more work with static-sensitive devices we decided it was time to update our workbench with an ESD antistatic mat and wrist straps to try to ground any static electric build-up before it can damage anything!

Bench mat installed

The antistatic components were purchased from Farnell and I also ordered a pack of the metal grounding studs used to connect to the wrist straps. The mat was fixed to the workbench with double-sided tape and an M3 bolt was added to each of the corner studs to bolt it down and allow the ground connections to be added under the bench.

The separate studs for the wrist straps have been fitted to some old Meccano plates which must be over 35 years old and these have been fitted to each end of the workbench and also one next to the pick and place machine.

Press stud and meccano plate

All the connections are joined to a common grounding block via 1M ohm resistors to limit current flow into the main earth loop in the house.