One Anti-Static Ring To Delight Them All

What’s the worst thing about winter? If you’re as indoorsy as we are, then static electricity is probably pretty high on the list. It can ruin your chips, true, but you always wear a wrist ground strap when you handle those, right? But away from the bench, every doorknob and light switch is lying in wait, ready to shock you. If you had an anti-static ring like [LaPuge], you could be watching a tiny neon bulb light up instead of the air between your poor finger and the discharge point.

The ring itself is printed in TPU 95A filament for comfort and flexibility. There isn’t a whole lot to the circuit, just a neon bulb, a 1MΩ resistor, and some copper tape, but this piece of functional jewelry has the potential to spark up plenty of charged conversations. Zap your way past the break to see it light up against a door handle.

If you want to light up neon bulbs all year long, build a field of them and wave them near your Tesla coil!

17 thoughts on “One Anti-Static Ring To Delight Them All

    1. This isn’t a wireless ESD device, it’s a ring that slows down the discharge when you shock something *through* it, lessening the pain and briefly lighting up a bulb.

    1. I think most pain comes from the small location, where the electricity “pierces” your body.
      Actually, any conductive object will ease the pain, given that it has a big contact surface to your skin before discharge.
      I usually touch things first with my wedding band, which will disarm like 95% of all zaps.
      Closely holing a Key or a metal screwdriver will also work.

      Just for the 5% where the energy is so high that the pain comes from your arm muscles, I really want to build this ring.
      Still have some neon bulbs in my stash :)

      1. Crikey. Must be pretty dry where you guys are. We never get a low enough humidity where I live (akl NZ) to make naturally occurring static anything to worry about. I get gnarly zaps off my MacBook pro each time it goes through an x-ray scanner though. Those plastic trays keep it prepped and ready to pounce as I go to stick it back in my bag. F#cker gets me every bloody time. Built a voltage multiplier as a kid – used to leave it discharging an ion wind off a needle at my dad’s car in the garage. Took him ages to work it out :p the sharp cracks (and yelps) we’re clearly audible from my room.

        1. “Crikey. Must be pretty dry where you guys are. ”

          I live in the Great Lakes region of North America. The city I work in used to be a swamp. It’s hardly a dry place. Yet from about november through march every time I sit down I have to “high five” the grounded, metal overhead cabinet. And it hurts. If I don’t then I will end up experiencing the same painful jolt when I touch my PC. I haven’t killed a PC yet that way but better safe than sorry.

          1. This. I’m in Wisconsin, during the fall-spring period the forced air heating just sucks the moisture out of the air. I killed the main board in my Ender 3 back in December from a static discharge. In the office, I superstitiously touch the ESD grounding lugs on my benches when I move more than a few feet, wish I could have gotten them to spring for an ESD-dissipative floor.

            In conclusion, I think I’ll hurry up and install that TPU extruder mod so I can print the ring of power in the OP. Just have to find an old neon bulb somewhere…

        2. I live in the western US. It’s routine to see humidity below 10%. Sometimes we see humidity gauges that say 0%, although they usually can’t measure reliably enough to believe that.
          I can light up a room to reading-bright pulling a nylon blanket off the bed, because of all the sparks.
          Downside: get shocked all the time just walking across the floor to turn on the light switch. (like 5mm spark.)
          Upside: I can touch a live wire, 110v, and have to actually think about whether I just got shocked or not, because my skin contact resistance is so high.
          When we were kids we’d take off our shoes and scrub around on the deep pile nylon carpet my parents had, while wearing our nylon socks, and then discharge neon bulbs to ground through wall sockets, and get significantly bright flashes out of them. I’ve had a fondness for neon bulbs ever since.

          1. Yep – I’m in New Mexico, and the relative humidity rarely gets above 10..12%
            This is a problem for the electronic companies who make military equipment and other ESD Class 3 equipment. You need the RH above 30% to work on them. A fair amount of money goes into air conditioning.

            On one project, I was using a Radio Shack temperature and RH sensor box. the RH values was always pegged at 12% – the sensor bottom limit.

    1. You pull out your car keys and grip a key and use it to discharge.
      Or you zap your SO and then you’re no longer at risk. (I advise not doing this, actually, and while I used to shock my dog, I was 8 and didn’t know better, and don’t do that either.)

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