Static

Discussion in 'TASCAM DM-3200 & DM-4800' started by Peter Batah, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    When I power up / power down my 4800 I get a small static charge if I touch anything metal at the back of the DM. Even if I come around the back and inadvertently touch the meter bridge I get the same small static shock. What I find odd is that when I had the old carpet in this room and powered up / down the DM that did not happen. I have since replaced the carpet with laminate flooring. I might understand it if I were rubbing my feet up against the carpeting. Go figure! Your thoughts ?
  2. -mjk-

    -mjk- Well-Known Member

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    The charge might come from your chair, Peter.
  3. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    @-mjk- Thanks you. No chair present when this happens. I go around the back of my DM and simply hit the power button to either turn it on or off. I can walk into the room, touch the meter bridge and will get that little shock. What I am going to try to do is to plug the DM's power cord into a power bar with has built in surge protection. I may even try another power receptacle in the room.
    -mjk- likes this.
  4. demon_beats

    demon_beats New Member

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    A quality power conditioner was the answer in my control room (hardwood floors). I haven’t experienced any static, pops, hum, or noise since installing a Furman P1800AR.
  5. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    @demon_beats Thank you so much for chiming in. Much appreciated.
  6. skier

    skier Active Member

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    Peter, is it possible the prior carpet may have had some metallic threads? It's not uncommon to see them in carpeting and even some fabrics. They bring a bright gold, silver, copper, etc., color to a design. If that is what happened, those threads could have conducted charges away before they could ever build up enough to be felt.

    Separately, I have laminate flooring in my family room and it is so dry right now that I am experiencing some small amount of arcing when I touch a switch plate or other grounded metallic object. Whenever the air is so dry (18% here right now), charges can build up more easily.

    One thing I do in my studio, I have a conductive carpet mat that is designed to bleed charges away as they build. I have not experienced any static buildup there, most likely due to that mat. My chair rolls on this mat easily.
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  7. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    @skier Thank you for sharing your ideas with me. I am no expert in carpet fiber. But, what I can tell you is that the carpet and foam under padding were removed in their entirety. Followed by a thorough vacuuming (is that even a word). A pass of a damp mop and down went the 12mm laminate with attached foam underlayment. You are absolutely right about the heating. Our thermo pump runs pretty much all of the time. I should get my hands on a hygrometer to see how dry it is down here.

    However, I should tell you that the same carpet still exists in the remainder of the basement where my DM-3200 resides and no static to be had there.

    I like the idea of putting down a conductive maet. I am wondering though. I plan on putting down a small area rug beneath the sweet spot (6' x 9') perhaps. Could that possibly defeat the effects of the conductive mat? Oh, sorry I re-read your post and see that you actually sit on that mat. What are its dimensions.

    Came across this link after submitting my response. I am certain that there are plenty more.

    https://www.thespruce.com/prevent-static-on-laminate-flooring-1822256

    Wish that I had seen this a few months ago. I most definitely would have opted for vinyl flooring instead!
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  8. skier

    skier Active Member

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    YES! "vacuuming" is a word! (It seemed important to confirm :)

    A hygrometer would let you know how low the humidity gets in the winter. And with you being significantly further north of me, the air is colder and therefore holds less moisture at that colder temperature, making it even dryer when it warms up to typical room temperatures.

    My studio has commercial (low pile) wall-to-wall carpeting. It helps control the high frequencies, is easier on the legs, and I like the way it looks. The conductive mat is on top of the carpet. The mat is actually designed to be placed on top of carpeting to reduce static buildup as a desk chair is rolled over it and when a person shuffles his her feet on it. The mat's size is 5' x 8'.

    Regarding the article to which you provided the link: I didn't realize that laminate flooring was such a good insulator that it creates an electrostatic charge. However, one blatant error in the article is the claim that wool is a good conductor - that is completely wrong! Wool is actually a very good insulator. Only insulators when rubbed help create large electrostatic voltages - conductors would drain a charge away. A way to remember this concept is that, good insulators of heat are also good insulators of electricity; to wit: metals conduct both electricity and heat very well. The best conductor of electricity is silver - it's also the best conductor of heat.

    I hope all my drivel helps!
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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  9. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    @skier My apologies for not responding sooner. Your drivel is always welcome :p The carpet that I replaced had been there since 1993. It was due and I wasn't going to replace it with another carpet. However, I do plan on putting down a Persian style area rug that could be in the 6' x 9' vicinity. An interesting tidbit. One of the things that I had planned on trying was to plug the DM's power cord into my APC surge / power bar. Lo and behold! No more static charge. Maybe there is something wonky with the wiring in this room. Or, the surge bar is providing some type of static absorption. Thanks again for all the input. Much appreciated. Peter

    Surge Bar.jpg
  10. skier

    skier Active Member

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    Well, it's likely the surge suppressor if quenching the static charge. Wall receptacles will typically shunt voltages above 6kV in situations of lightning strikes. In fact, I've experienced such shunting during a storm — you can see and hear the snap of the receptacles arcing when the lightning strikes. The arc goes right across between the hot side, neutral, and ground contacts. As a result, most surge suppressors just have to quench voltages from 6kV and down to something just above line voltages in the range of 300V or so. You can see what yours is rated for by reading the specs in the suppressor manual or possibly on the ratings placard on the back of the suppressor.

    Most static charges that accumulate in our bodies when shuffling across a carpet (and maybe laminate flooring) are generally in the range of a few hundred volts to a few thousand volts. The actual voltage is determined by some combination of factors from the material generating the charge (e.g. leather shoes on a carpet or your jeans as you slide off a leather chair), how fast and hard the two are sliding against each other, how low the humidity and dry the air is, how the charge gets quenched (receptacle, a surge suppressor, some other charge drainage path, etc.) Based on what you just reported, the suppressor is obviously quenching it for you and has solved your problem.
    Peter Batah likes this.
  11. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    @skier The surge suppressor is a temporary solution as I plan on picking up a power conditioner (probably Furmann) in the not too distant future. No purchases of any kind until I complete the room treatment though. Can't wait for spring to arrive so that I can work in my garage. It's like an icebox in there at the moment. We have had a brutal winter so far.
  12. skier

    skier Active Member

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    The power conditioner has surge suppressing built into it, so you should get the same static suppression from that device. Good luck with the studio!

    Yes, it's been a cold winter up there. Unfortunately, we've seen very little snow down here in Connecticut and winter with snow is my favorite season. We spent the past Friday through Sunday skiing in Vermont and returned the week before from skiing in Colorado for 9 days. I really want to live there. Think it'll be time to return there in the next month or so...maybe I won't come back...
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  13. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    @skier. If I never ever see another snowflake as long as I live it will be too soon! I have just about had it to be honest with you. Happy skiing my friend. Colorado here we come!
  14. Arjan P

    Arjan P Well-Known Member

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    All the above is true, but some numbers may surprise you:
    If we're talking low humidity (0-25% RH):
    - Walking across a carpet: static buildup up to 35.000 V.
    - Walking across vinyl tile: static buildup up to 12.000 V.
    - Sitting on a chair with urethane foam: static buildup up to 18.000 V.
    The same three examples with 'regular' humidity (65-90% RH):
    1500 V, 250 V and 1200 V, respectively.
    All without any power behind it ofcourse, but enough to shock you - or destroy electronic circuits when touching contacts.
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  15. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    @Arjan P Very interesting. Thanks for those stats. I haven't had a chance to verify the humidity level in the room that my gear is in. I highly doubt that it will register in the low 20's as I am located in the basement. Have a good one. Peter
  16. wkrbee

    wkrbee Active Member

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    Finish coating on the laminate being the problem?
  17. Peter Batah

    Peter Batah Active Member

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    @wkrbee That could be a factor. Although, this flooring is sold at Home Depot and I'm pretty certain that it is being installed in a boat load of homes. Especially basements and bedrooms. I can just picture it now. Families moving about with arcing going on between them. Like a real Frankenstein light show!
  18. cmaffia

    cmaffia Moderator Staff Member

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    I had the same problem with one of may favorite HON chairs. Whenever I sat in THAT chair and touched the board, I'd hear static in the monitors and headphones.

    BYE BYE CHAIR

    Problem solved.