Unfortunately adequate ESD protection does not add to the "features" of a product, and it's lack will not be obvious until after the product is purchased and used a bit. And the very short warranty period has expired. So a bargain thing will usually have inadequate protection.
Of course, the story sounds like a really large charge was delivered, probably far beyond the typical one that a minimal system would be protected against.
Remarkable, I would have thought that with modern products and the amount of ESD testing that is supposed to be done that this would be a thing of the past. I've been involved in product development for the last 30 years and we zap thing repeatedly (30 times in development and then in compliance testing another 30) with 8kV positive and negative to all metal accessible parts and we don't even see a reset let alone damage. I wonder what went wrong here?
Dwight, you write very well – great article. Your descriptions of 'back then' vs today are hauntingly familiar to me as I was right there with you both times. The various companies I've served over the years learned the same lessons you've described, and ESD prevention has steadily gained prominence to become a standard initiative in the electronics industry. But because of that, I am very surprised the new camera you bought suffered a catastrophic failure from an ESD shock. It seemed to me that EVERYBODY was designing for prevention these days.
I can't tell you how many Made by Monkeys and Sherlock Ohms postings have involved static electricity. A lot. Static electricity has been the culprit in tons of design stories. Do you have any of your own stories that involve static charges?
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