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'[EE:] suggestions for ESD generator'
2004\07\21@091726 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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I'm looking to buy an ESD generator for our lab. I do not know exactly what
to look for or where to look, so I am soliciting  suggestions/experiences.
It doesn't have to do the full IEC61000-4 test eg i'm not looking to test
for EMC compliance, but rather something that allows me to put repeatable
ESD event on a circuit. Peak voltage should be controllable and it should be
capable of air & contact discharge. It will be used for in-house testing
during product development to ensure quality & robustness.

If you have or have used something like this, I'd appreciate your feedback.

thanks in advance, Phil.

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2004\07\21@092139 by Mike Harrison

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On Wed, 21 Jul 2004 09:17:07 -0400, you wrote:

>I'm looking to buy an ESD generator for our lab. I do not know exactly what
>to look for or where to look, so I am soliciting  suggestions/experiences.
>It doesn't have to do the full IEC61000-4 test eg i'm not looking to test
>for EMC compliance, but rather something that allows me to put repeatable
>ESD event on a circuit. Peak voltage should be controllable and it should be
>capable of air & contact discharge. It will be used for in-house testing
>during product development to ensure quality & robustness.
>
>If you have or have used something like this, I'd appreciate your feedback.
>
>thanks in advance, Phil

For cheapness a piezo gas-lighter is hard to beat..... consistency may be an issue, but if you can
survive one of these, chances are you'd pass any formal testing...!


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2004\07\21@092939 by Omer YALHI

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Mike Harrison said previously:
>For cheapness a piezo gas-lighter is hard to beat..... consistency may be
an issue, but if you can
>survive one of these, chances are you'd pass any formal testing...!

Are you talking about a cigarette lighter with gas in it and you have to
click it (I don't know the right word) to light it?

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2004\07\21@093146 by David VanHorn

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At 09:17 AM 7/21/2004 -0400, Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO] wrote:

>I'm looking to buy an ESD generator for our lab. I do not know exactly what
>to look for or where to look, so I am soliciting  suggestions/experiences.
>It doesn't have to do the full IEC61000-4 test eg i'm not looking to test
>for EMC compliance, but rather something that allows me to put repeatable
>ESD event on a circuit. Peak voltage should be controllable and it should be
>capable of air & contact discharge. It will be used for in-house testing
>during product development to ensure quality & robustness.

I have, but it might prove challenging to duplicate.

I started off with a "disturbance tester", built from a 12V flyback supply for a CRT, and three 0.0033uF 30kV caps in parallel. (4.5J peak energy) The whole thing is built on a sheet of PCB material, with adjustable discharge points.  You just change the distance between it and your subject, until the processor tumbles, or some other disturbance is noted. Once you have a feel for the disturbance distance, then apply your shielding/fixes and try again.

Opening the discharge contacts all the way, allows me to add a 100pF cap made from circuit board material. This is charged through a 40M resistor, which also doubles as a safety discharge on the main caps. I trimmed back the edges until I got a maximum voltage of 1500V. This voltage can then be applied directly, or through a resistor of the appropriate size.

It's rude and crude, and potentially lethal. I wouldn't use it with less than two people in the room, or without hearing protection, as the discharges are unbelievably loud.
Peak radiated power, with the caps I used, is around 2Mw, and yes that's a big M.

I also built a differential gaussmeter out of office supplies once, but that's another story.

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2004\07\21@094150 by David VanHorn

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At 04:30 PM 7/21/2004 +0300, Omer YALHI wrote:

>Mike Harrison said previously:
>>For cheapness a piezo gas-lighter is hard to beat..... consistency may be
>an issue, but if you can
>>survive one of these, chances are you'd pass any formal testing...!
>
>Are you talking about a cigarette lighter with gas in it and you have to
>click it (I don't know the right word) to light it?

That's the thing. They make a larger version for barbecue grills.

You could, I suppose, set up a calibrated trip hammer to whack the crystal, rather than the existing one.  Then again, the existing one might be surprisingly repeatable.

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2004\07\21@095637 by Mike Harrison

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On Wed, 21 Jul 2004 16:30:30 +0300, you wrote:

>Mike Harrison said previously:
>>For cheapness a piezo gas-lighter is hard to beat..... consistency may be
>an issue, but if you can
>>survive one of these, chances are you'd pass any formal testing...!
>
>Are you talking about a cigarette lighter with gas in it and you have to
>click it (I don't know the right word) to light it?

I mean the handheld ones for lighting gas appliances.
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2004\07\21@102652 by Omer YALHI

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Is there a picture (gas lighter) on the internet?  I will buy and do some
tests on my circuits.

-Omer

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2004\07\21@103250 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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pic microcontroller discussion list wrote:
>
> I started off with a "disturbance tester", built from a 12V flyback
> supply for a CRT, and three 0.0033uF 30kV caps in parallel. (4.5J
> peak energy) The whole thing is built on a sheet of PCB material,
> with adjustable discharge points.

impressive, but I doubt I'll have the time to build one. But it
would be a fun weekend (or two) project. So you have a constant
voltage but control the discharge energy by changing the distance
to the subject?

> I also built a differential gaussmeter out of office supplies once,
> but that's another story.

Hehe, that's one story I'd love to hear. what did you use to sense
the magnetic field?

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2004\07\21@103451 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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Omer YALHI wrote:
> Is there a picture (gas lighter) on the internet?  I will buy and do
> some tests on my circuits.
>

I did find this one:

http://www.bartek.com/esd.html

seems to be nothing more than a piezo element.
No way to directly control voltage except by
distance to target.

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2004\07\21@104955 by David VanHorn

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At 10:31 AM 7/21/2004 -0400, Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO] wrote:

>pic microcontroller discussion list wrote:
>>
>> I started off with a "disturbance tester", built from a 12V flyback
>> supply for a CRT, and three 0.0033uF 30kV caps in parallel. (4.5J
>> peak energy) The whole thing is built on a sheet of PCB material,
>> with adjustable discharge points.
>
>impressive, but I doubt I'll have the time to build one.

Getting the caps is the tough part. Maxwell, or Plastic Capacitors is about the only source for this sort of thing anymore, and they aren't cheap.   I keep an eye out for this kind of enabling technology when I'm at hamfests.   I have a 20kA water cooled ignitron awaiting the right caps to go off in other directions.

>But it would be a fun weekend (or two) project. So you have a constant
>voltage but control the discharge energy by changing the distance
>to the subject?

Yes, inverse square law.

The power supply outputs a fairly linear multiplication of the input voltage, so I can vary the discharge energy downward.

>> I also built a differential gaussmeter out of office supplies once,
>> but that's another story.
>
>Hehe, that's one story I'd love to hear. what did you use to sense
>the magnetic field?

A compass, from wal-mart.
The earth's field is pretty much 0.5 gauss.

I had magnets that were supposed to be 2000 gauss, and matched within 5%.
I set up on a drafting board with the compass, a Tee-Square, and a right triangle, so that the board was oriented N-S, with the compass needle pointing N. Now I could slide in my test magnet from the west.

When the compass indicated NW, then I have equal field strength at the needle, from the earth, and the magnet. So, I can record distance, and inverse square law tells me strength.  In reality it's a bit more complicated, but this was close enough to prove that the magnets were nowhere near what they should have been.. Later verification with a gaussmeter proved that I was right, we were getting anywhere from 20 gauss, to 2200 gauss, with more or less random distribution.  Of course the initial samples and first shipments were fine.

I've had the same sort of process happen before, and since, with components from mainland china.  Samples and first deliveries fine, then later the quality falls off drastically.

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2004\07\21@113858 by Robert B.

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I'm pretty sure this is what they're talking about.
http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@1376098365.1090422961@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccefadcmdgmmgdhcgelceffdfgidgjl.0&CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=Products_2/Outdoor%20Living&MID=9876&pos=n19

probably need to unwrap the link...

An alternative would be to build a simple oscillator at about 20kHz with a
555 or a cheap PIC, then use that to drive a transistor through a cheap
audio transformer (usually about 1:100), then through several voltage
doubling stages until you get the spark level you want.  I've had success
with such circuits in the past to generate "safe" sparks to potty train the
kids.  :-O

Here's a quick schematic

10v -------------
       |            |
   [vreg?]     |
       |           /
   [osc]-----| npn  (needs kickback diode)
       |           \>      transformer
       |          |-------[88]-------|----||--|------//
       |           ____|     |        ^        v           on to more
doublers
       |            |             |----||--|-------|-----//
       |           R1
gnd-----------|---------------


You could probably throw something together from your parts box and have it
working pretty quick.  Or if you don't like the doublers I suppose a
higher-ratio transformer would bump it up just as well if you can find one,
or maybe use the center-tap on some audio transformers.

And no, I don't actually have any kids.


{Original Message removed}

2004\07\21@144931 by Matt Pobursky

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Hi Phil,

These are the ones we use to test our medical, high reliability
industrial control interfaces and consumer products:

http://www.schaffner.com/test_systems/en/product/tsyssecondelevel1.asp?level=3$1$1&language_id=12

Schaffner makes the "gold standard" when it comes to ESD discharge test
equipment.

They are easy to use and precisely controlled. You can probably rent
one for a week or so from most any of the major test equipment rental
companies -- that's what we do -- they're pricy to buy and normally
you'll only need it for a short time.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Wed, 21 Jul 2004 10:33:47 -0400, Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO] wrote:
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2004\07\21@150645 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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Matt Pobursky wrote:
> Hi Phil,
>
> These are the ones we use to test our medical, high reliability
> industrial control interfaces and consumer products:
>
>
www.schaffner.com/test_systems/en/product/tsyssecondelevel1.asp?level
=3$1$1&language_id=12
>
> Schaffner makes the "gold standard" when it comes to ESD discharge
> test equipment.
>

thanks for that. I had seen the name in several web searches. But there are
so many different ones, I didn't know how to distinguish one brand from
another.

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2004\07\21@161926 by Matt Pobursky

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They are easy to use. You just dial in the discharge voltage and
whether it's an air discharge or contact discharge, point the tip at
your unit under test and pull the trigger. The units also come with a
manual that has a tutorial and setup procedures for running the various
IEC, et. al. tests.

I haven't used any of the newest models recently but they look like
they may be even easier to use than the models I've used in the past.

You'll find out some interesting things about your units, guaranteed...
;-)

Matt

On Wed, 21 Jul 2004 15:05:33 -0400, Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO] wrote:
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2004\07\21@163209 by David VanHorn

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At 03:19 PM 7/21/2004 -0500, Matt Pobursky wrote:

>They are easy to use. You just dial in the discharge voltage and
>whether it's an air discharge or contact discharge, point the tip at
>your unit under test and pull the trigger. The units also come with a
>manual that has a tutorial and setup procedures for running the various
>IEC, et. al. tests.
>
>I haven't used any of the newest models recently but they look like
>they may be even easier to use than the models I've used in the past.
>
>You'll find out some interesting things about your units, guaranteed...
>;-)

By all means, if you have the opportunity, use the schaffners.

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2004\07\21@172105 by steve

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> Schaffner makes the "gold standard" when it comes to ESD discharge
> test equipment.
>
> They are easy to use and precisely controlled. You can probably rent
> one for a week or so from most any of the major test equipment rental
> companies -- that's what we do -- they're pricy to buy and normally
> you'll only need it for a short time.

I'll second both of those comments. The Schaffner tools are easy to use
and you can rent the whole setup in one (heavy) packing case. It comes
complete with a rolled up ground plane.

At my last fulltime job we made an ESD gun and the calibrator. Both are
described fairly well in the standards. The ESD gun used an external
EHT supply and the capacitors and a vacuum relay were housed in a
power drill case. It was setup so that  we could vary the spark gap (and
therefore the strike voltage) and get some sort of quantitative measure.

We spent months playing with filtering components, board layouts, case
materials, finishes, etc. We had lots of other noise making equipment
as well, but the ESD gun was by far the most useful. It was well worth
the effort. We saved lots in fancy components and ended up with
something that was extremely robust. There is the no other  way to get
that much knowledge (or more importantly, the feel) of the subject.

IMHO, using a piezo sparker directly onto the device under test will tell
you virtually nothing. Much like measuring voltage with a light bulb.
I'd suggest using it as the voltage generator to charge a cap and then
use that as a source for a spark gap.

Steve.


==========================================
Steve Baldwin                          Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd             Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn                http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand                     ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: spam_OUTsteveTakeThisOuTspamtla.co.nz                      fax +64 9 820-1929
=========================================

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2004\07\21@224033 by Kyle Schulmeyer

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Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO] wrote:

>I'm looking to buy an ESD generator for our lab. I do not know exactly what
>to look for or where to look, so I am soliciting  suggestions/experiences.
>It doesn't have to do the full IEC61000-4 test eg i'm not looking to test
>for EMC compliance, but rather something that allows me to put repeatable
>ESD event on a circuit. Peak voltage should be controllable and it should be
>capable of air & contact discharge. It will be used for in-house testing
>during product development to ensure quality & robustness.
>
>If you have or have used something like this, I'd appreciate your feedback.
>
>thanks in advance, Phil.
>
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>
>
Phil,
  Are you sure you want to buy one off the shelf or do you have the
time to make one yourself?
We use a Transmission-Line Pulse generator that we set up in house.
Ours uses a Keithly supply that only goes up to 200V but we are putting
in over 3.2 amps into our circuits.   We use GPIB  to rig up the supply,
a fast scope and a semiconductor analyzer to automate the process of
testing.
-Kyle

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2004\07\23@181146 by dr. Imre Bartfai

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Hi,

you may consider an electric fence unit. I found one as a kit on
http://ww.electronics123.com/amazon/catalogue/c3-3-10.htm, item CPS3017F

There is a KEMO module #M062 which seems for me the simplest solution
anyway. It is sold by Westfalia Technica, if available for you. The main
advantage of this is the reproducible effect.

Regards,
Imre

On Wed, 21 Jul 2004, Robert B. wrote:

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> {Original Message removed}

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