Yeah 3drob... We get that too sometimes. I've been told by one EE that he's never zapped a board... 'Yet' is what I replied.
We have below 1% humidity in the dryrooms and an over active air exchange in one of those creates a bit of a breeze too. We do a good job of maintaining boot straps, wrist straps, ESD Lab coats as SOP in those... and we still get the occasional fire, so far though those always seem to be non-static events. Friction; go figure.
I read William K's reply and his point really suggests that as consumers we should only buy CE marked products which actually MUST go through this testing to be allowed to apply the logo. That way the shonky operators cease to sell products and we all benefit. The purpose of the CE mark was to lift product quality to a minimum standard deemed necessary for the application. In the EU it's enforced and placing a CE mark without complying results in fines and worse a need to remove the mark. Designing for ESD places some real challenges on the designer adding great skills and improving employment prospects (at least where it's mandatory :-) ).
I had my earphones plugged into a (grounded) audio distribution system mounted on the treadmills at the local gym (so we could select and hear television audio from various overhead monitors). I was electrically isolated, in intimate contact with a hard rubber belt, moving and rubbing against another surface. I felt a periodic sharp pain in my head while walking. As a static charge built up on me, the thousands of volts eventually had enough pressure to jump the gap between the grounded earphones and my ear canal. I didn't hear it beacuse the audio was louder, but I sure felt it. It took me a few moments to analyse what was going on. On my next visit, I grounded myself to the treadmill handrail using a standard ESD wrist strap/wire. Problem went away. No wonder noboby was listening to the TVs at the treadmill station. I told manangement and they bought a bag of wired wrist straps for their clients to use.
We had an ESD problem with Si wafer fork robot. Not only did the computer occasionally re-boot, but spark damage occurred on wafers withdrawn and/or inserted into their plastic cassettes. The solution: Isolate the fork and connect to ground through a giga Ohm resistor.
Years ago I worked with a SW engineer who just couldn't (or wouldn't) take ESD seriously. One of his habits that drove me up the wall was he would put an IC on his plastic notebook and just slide the chip around in a circle on the notebook (a good way to zap the chip).
We could never get him to wear ESD straps. The final straw was when he walked into a lab I was working in. We had operational equipment set up on an ESD safe bench with the covers off. He walked over to one of my modules and touched an accessible board. I heard the zap from over 10' away. He destroyed the module. He also found new opportunities elsewhere not long after (probably unrelated to the ESD event).
It amazes me how so many people (many smart Engineers) just don't understand how little static electricity it takes to destroy electronics. Probably because often the induced failures are not catastrophic (the device will even appear to continue to work). Many of the real failures are manifest as weird or mysterious problems that cannot be pinned down. Because they don't see a ZAP and then a truly dead device, they assume they've done no real damage. I'll continue to be paranoid and minimize such problems.
Before you completely give up on the camera, try something:
Remove the batteries for a week or two and then replace them. The microcontroller may have jumped to a nonvalid program location. It may be jumping around in the program. Once the internal capacitor discharges, it will reset. I have had that happen with cameras and other comsumer products.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.