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Does static zap mice?
Old 11-03-2010, 08:38 PM   #1
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Does static zap mice?

Mice of the computer kind. Not animal kind.

In a matter of a couple of days, I've seemed to have zapped two mice accidently by walking on the carpet, not discharging the static electricity, then grabbing the mice.

In both cases I heard/felt the static discharge on the mouse and the computer shut off. One mouse I tossed. The other one acts flakey and I think is a goner too.

Is that a common occurance -- mice getting zapped by static? I've never had that happen before but it seems like I did that twice in a matter of a few days.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:08 PM   #2
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And here I thought you'd found the better mousetrap.

I haven't had that happen before, myself.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:14 PM   #3
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There's no static in Hawaii.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:23 PM   #4
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Is that a common occurance -- mice getting zapped by static? I've never had that happen before but it seems like I did that twice in a matter of a few days.
I've never heard of it before, but it sounds like a great excuse to go buy a wireless mouse-- perhaps with a matching wireless keyboard.

Oh, I suppose you could touch a grounding strap or some other grounded metal before grabbing the mouse. But I've been very happy with Logitech's K320 keyboard and M510 mouse...
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:45 PM   #5
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You know what's really good at controlling static, don't you?
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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hmmm..from the posts... I guess the answer is "no, it doesn't happen often"

I'd probably can't duplicate that again if I try. But I'm not going to try as I don't want to have to continually buy new mice.

Funny as I think about it, I've never had any problem zapping memory chips and I must admit, I'm not the most careful in handling them.


Playing the odds, I suppose.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:41 AM   #7
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I'm pretty happy with my Microsoft wireless mouse, even though it cost me $20 (on sale from $30) instead of $5-$10 like the el-cheapo mouses that I had been buying previously.

Not having a mouse that breaks all the time has saved me money (not to mention aggravation). It requires a new AA battery every few months but other than that, it has worked perfectly.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:55 AM   #8
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That kind of ZZap is frequent in Fairbanks Alaska in the winter. Are you there? Walking on rugs with socks on in dry climate can build up lots of static electricity.

Might want to check the outlet your PC is plugged in, verify grounding. Electrical supply houses sell plugin tester gizmos with lights to show socket polarity and grounding or absence of it.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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It is possible.

One particular pair of shoes I have are known to generate static when the humidity is really low (in winter when the heat is running a lot) and if I do not discharge properly after walking across the rug in the family room, I frequently cause my keyboard and our electronic thermostats to go berzerk requiring a reset. Never saw permanent damage, though, but it is certainly possible. This is what I get for foolishly wearing shoes in winter.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:11 PM   #10
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hmmm..from the posts... I guess the answer is "no, it doesn't happen often"
You are jumping to conclusions. You mentioned specifically that you could feel the static electricity shock when you touch the mouse. Even in winter, I am able to keep the humidity level just above where I'm feeling shocks. Many people live in climates where they never produce this kind of static, due to higher humidity levels.

So, other people not having the problem is totally irrelevant, they are not under the same conditions as you.

BTW, I studied the effects of static electricity and how to control it in production environments many years ago (though I never chaired an elite International Committee of renowned industry and academic experts on the subject ). Low humidity was by far the number one RED X that determined the likelihood of damage to sensitive components.

Like others, I'd suggest you either increase humidity, and/or add some grounded conductive material nearby that you will touch before the mouse. You are likely to blow your computer some day also. Get rid of the zaps!

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Old 11-04-2010, 02:38 PM   #11
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:54 PM   #12
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though I never chaired an elite International Committee of renowned industry and academic experts on the subject
-ERD50

Hmmmmm...... Then where were you that week you were gone from work? And what was that expense report for? Does your wife know about this?
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:31 PM   #13
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It's not only possible; it's not that uncommon.

If you find yourself in that kind of environment (I once w*rked in a place where this was quite common), there is a simple solution. Just have something metal that is well grounded on the desk where your mouse is located, then touch the metal when you sit down to use the machine.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:19 PM   #14
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well...looks my one of my mice still work. the other I tossed, so can't verify/test more. But my USB hub that I was connected to on one of them quit working. Maybe the static zapped that instead. Funny though, as one time a mouse was on my desktop..and ZAP. the computer shut dow and mouse quit working. This is the mouse that I tossed. The other was on my laptop..ZAP (different mouse)...but after changing the USB hub, the mouse seems to work fine now.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:21 PM   #15
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Just a suggestion: before you throw anything out, disconnect it as completely as you can from whatever it might be connected to, and remove all power sources (batteries, power, etc.) for a few minutes then try it again, just to be sure it is toasted. 90%+ of the time the item will still not work, but sometimes you get lucky.

May luck be with you.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:27 PM   #16
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You should feel lucky you did not kill the computer, or at least render its USB port inoperative.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:36 PM   #17
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This used to be common in cold-climate offices. There were anti-static chair mats. A hard plastic mat that was laid down on the carpet, and then the wheeled office chair went on top of it. Before you could touch the computer, monitor, keyboard or mouse, you would be standing on the mat, or sitting down on the chair on top of the mat. The mat had a high resistance, and IIRC, there was a thin wire that went from the mat to the 3rd wire ground of the nearest outlet.

Anti-static shoes, mats, wrist straps etc. used in a laboratory or production environment are conductive, but have a very high resistance. Static charges equate to high voltages, but very little current, so a high resistance will quickly bleed off the charge, without creating a low resistance to ground, which could endanger the person if they touch something live.

Of course, there's always aluminum foil, but vacuuming a carpet covered in aluminum foil will probably lead to a beater bar jam
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:29 PM   #18
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You should feel lucky you did not kill the computer, or at least render its USB port inoperative.
I think one of my USB ports on the laptop has been acting a bit flakey. This may be related to that static . At least the laptop is old and not brand new.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:12 AM   #19
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After all my unplugging, upplugging, reinstalling drivers, buying another mouse etc. It seems (as I'm not 100% certain ) that of my two USB ports, one definitely doesn't work. The other, works sometimes.

At this moment, I managed to have a new usb hub, working with my mouse (after several tries), hard drive and magicjack all connected.

If I sneeze while typing, all bets are off
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:27 PM   #20
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Well..the good news, I think that I got a solution. The bad news...now that laptop setup isn't portable at all. What I ended up doing was get a 3.5 inch external HD that uses a powersupply. I plugged that into a USB hub which is plugging into my USB card. Seems to function fine nows as I totally bypassed the bad USB ports of the laptop.

One thing..connected to another, then to another ... etc.
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