(Topic ID: 151373)

ESD - Has it happened to you?


By golfingdad1

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by golfingdad1
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 3 years ago

    Electro static discharge also called static electricity, knocked my game out of order breifly.
    I was playing a 2 player game yesterday with my buddy, I was player 2 starting my second ball as I placed my hand on the machine a good size electrical arc jumped from my hand to the lock down bar and the machine went nuts . Sound level was off the chart loud just blaring !!! Dmd went crazy and who knows what else. I instantly shut the machine off as fast as I could. Luckily when I powered it back up everything was fine.
    Anyone ever have this happen ?

    #2 3 years ago

    Used to get shocked from my Indiana jones. Found out it was missing the ground wire!

    #3 3 years ago

    For a minute there I thought he was talking about Erectile Dysfunction.

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from tk-the-jammer:

    Used to get shocked from my Indiana jones. Found out it was missing the ground wire!

    I don't believe that is the case in this situation.
    I think because of the low humidity here , 5% or so, and the fact I had just slid off the fabric couch wearing jeans on a carpeted floor . It was a perfect storm and it shocked the hell out of the pin.

    #5 3 years ago
    Quoted from fordtudoor:

    For a minute there I thought he was talking about Erectile Dysfunction.

    #6 3 years ago

    Most pins I have seen have all of the external metal parts connected to the ground braid which should be connected the ground prong on the plug. Is your ground prong still on the plug? Is your outlet actually grounded?

    See if a VOM shows continuity between the ground prong of the plug and the lockdown bar.

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from mg81:

    Most pins I have seen have all of the external metal parts connected to the ground braid which should be connected the ground prong on the plug. Is your ground prong still on the plug? Is your outlet actually grounded?
    See if a VOM shows continuity between the ground prong of the plug and the lockdown bar.

    Dumb that up for me...

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    Dumb that up for me...

    Does the power cord have three prongs on it or only two?

    With a meter set to continuity check from the ground prong (the one that's not flat) on the power plug to the lockdown bar.

    Buy one of those outlet testers at Home Depot and test the outlet for a good ground.

    #9 3 years ago

    Given his comment about sliding off the couch and building a charge, I would guess the pin has a ground...otherwise it would not have arched. Grounding the pin keeps IT from shocking you if there is a short (takes the path of least resistance), however there is no way to protect yourself from building up a charge outside of maybe metal spikes in your shoes. Now the bigger question is why the electrostatic charge affected the machine. It obviously grounded through the wire harness, which is possible, depending on what was touched first.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from Manimal:

    Given his comment about sliding off the couch and building a charge, I would guess the pin has a ground...otherwise it would not have arched. Grounding the pin keeps IT from shocking you if there is a short (takes the path of least resistance), however there is no way to protect yourself from building up a charge outside of maybe metal spikes in your shoes. Now the bigger question is why the electrostatic charge affected the machine. It obviously grounded through the wire harness, which is possible, depending on what was touched first.

    I would disagree with this statement. The neutral prong of an outlet will also work just fine as a "ground". The neutral and ground wire are connected at the main service panel, so either wire will make a fine "ground" for a built up static charge.

    If I was making a bet I would guess that the OP's pin either has the grounding prong cut off of the plug (commonly seen) or that his outlet is not correctly wired and does not actually have a ground (common depending on where he lives. In my part of the country we are full of homes that were built before grounded outlets were used, so it is common to see homes "upgraded" by installing a 3-prong outlet but not actually ground the new outlet.)

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    Dumb that up for me...

    Terryb, thanks for beating me to an explanation. I use the term VOM (short for Volt-Ohm-Meter) because I use old analog test meters, not the "fancy" new DMM (digital multi-meters). They are all doing the same thing, testing for voltage and continuity. I happen to like the old analog test meters more because they give an instant response and most cheap DMM will not respond to a quick/short input.

    You don't even have to buy one of those one trick pony outlet testers if you are cheap like me. Just use your VOM (or DMM) and see if the hot (that would be the narrow slot, if it is wired correctly) on a duplex outlet and the ground hole show ~110 volts AC when you put a probe into each hole.

    Though perhaps I should NOT be encouraging people to become novice electricians. I take back what I just wrote, if you don't understand wiring enough to already know the test I just described, just go buy the $5 duplex outlet tester from you local store (you can pay ~$9 and get the "deluxe" one with the button that will let you test your GFCI outlets also.)

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from tk-the-jammer:

    Used to get shocked from my Indiana jones. Found out it was missing the ground wire!

    I had the same with BSD. I only notice that the side rails where floating around 50 v when I hard my arm touching it and another machine that was grounded at the same time. I still don't understand why anyone would pull their ground plug. You are just waiting for something to happen.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from mg81:

    I would disagree with this statement. The neutral prong of an outlet will also work just fine as a "ground". The neutral and ground wire are connected at the main service panel, so either wire will make a fine "ground" for a built up static charge.
    If I was making a bet I would guess that the OP's pin either has the grounding prong cut off of the plug (commonly seen) or that his outlet is not correctly wired and does not actually have a ground (common depending on where he lives. In my part of the country we are full of homes that were built before grounded outlets were used, so it is common to see homes "upgraded" by installing a 3-prong outlet but not actually ground the new outlet.)

    I didn't say the ground was proper....I just said there was a ground somewhere in order to get the arc. Absolutely agree with what you said....that is what I meant when I said the ground had to have gone through the harness in order to affect the machine. I think we are in the same ballpark...you just said it better than me. lol

    #14 3 years ago

    Thanks for the info guys,
    I do have a ground plug, 3 prongs, and it's not cut off from the plug. I have the main power cord running to a surge protector strip and that Is plugged into the wall , also is 3 prong and in good condition.
    It wouldn't surprise me if the wall outlet is not grounded. So I will check it with a digital multi meter.

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from mg81:

    I would disagree with this statement. The neutral prong of an outlet will also work just fine as a "ground". The neutral and ground wire are connected at the main service panel, so either wire will make a fine "ground" for a built up static charge.
    If I was making a bet I would guess that the OP's pin either has the grounding prong cut off of the plug (commonly seen) or that his outlet is not correctly wired and does not actually have a ground (common depending on where he lives. In my part of the country we are full of homes that were built before grounded outlets were used, so it is common to see homes "upgraded" by installing a 3-prong outlet but not actually ground the new outlet.)

    Incorrect-ish. Nuetral does go back to ground but in pinball machines the neutral prong wont provide a path to ground from anything grounded to the braid in the machine unless there is a bond between ground-braid and line neutral in the actual pinball machine which testing a few games of mine the lockbars have continuity to ground prongs and not line neutral therefore line neutral doesn't provide a ground path for any "ground" in the game therefore static can still build up without a proper ground. Code stipulates one bond between neutral and ground and yes its at the main service panel. my guess is his game had static build up from his ground braid probably from not being a true ground and electrons jumped from the machine to him, not the other way around. take a meter and ohm between your lock bar to a ground prong on your plug to your pinball. after that the outlet tester as terryb suggested is the best way to see if you actually have grounded outlets back to the panel. grounds are super important, my black hole was shocking me very lightly until i fixed the plug and put a ground on it.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from Manimal:

    I didn't say the ground was proper....I just said there was a ground somewhere in order to get the arc. Absolutely agree with what you said....that is what I meant when I said the ground had to have gone through the harness in order to affect the machine. I think we are in the same ballpark...you just said it better than me. lol

    I bet the op was the ground!

    #17 3 years ago

    Interesting discussion. Unfortunately, I don't have much to add other than this short piece from live science: http://www.livescience.com/4077-shocking-truth-static-electricity.html

    "Eventually more electrons don't want to come up on you because you're so charged up. You end up with a high voltage, about 20,000 to 25,000 volts."

    That's serious power at your fingertips, considering a normal electrical outlet on the wall is only around 100 volts of electricity.

    "The voltage is high enough that when you're about an inch apart, it causes the air to break down and it creates a spark," Hubing explained.

    From the impact of your voltage, the air between your hand and the knob grows extremely hot and instantly turns to plasma, a fourth state of matter that differs from solids, liquids, or gases.

    The plasma gives off a bright flash. The electrifying light show works just like a lightning bolt. Similar to thunder, the pop sound is the result of air rapidly expanding and collapsing.

    #18 3 years ago

    I had some time last night and I was able to verify that the wall plug and the power strip / surge protector is in fact properly grounded.

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