Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

Can ESD damage the RF components like attenuators, DC blocks and connectors ?

(1/3) > >>

electronic_guy:
Hi,

I'm wondering if ESD can damage the passive components like attenuators, DC blocks and RF series connectors during normal handling without ESD precaustions.

ZigmundRat:
I think the short answer is ‘yes’ (excepting the connectors). Passives such as resistors and capacitors can certainly be damaged by ESD or EOS (Electrical Over Stress). Smaller components, thin film construction, and lower voltage tolerance contribute more to this than with components in days of old. In real life, I don’t know how much it’s (ESD damage of passives) an issue for the hobbyist. Practicing ESD safe handling can’t hurt though.

The subject is complicated (and I am not an expert - only peripherally involved in a previous role). There are different ESD source models used (Human Body Model? Machine Model?) and they each have different capacitance, resistance values etc. which impact the charge delivered to the components. This subject is a whole engineering discipline to itself - perhaps a professional will weigh in with a more insightful answer.

joeqsmith:

--- Quote from: electronic_guy on May 09, 2021, 02:04:28 pm ---Hi,

I'm wondering if ESD can damage the passive components like attenuators, DC blocks and RF series connectors during normal handling without ESD precaustions.

--- End quote ---

Sure it can.  Lightning has hit two trees on our property and the damage has been fairly extensive.   

Feynman:
"RF components" is very general, so basically "yes". If your DC block is just a capacitor you'll probably need a lot of energy to damage it. However, anything that has a resistor in it, could be susceptible to ESD (depending of the resistor type, of course). And some RF filters with their tiny structures are extremely sensitive to ESD.

cdev:
Active components are usually the ones that get damaged by RF. Meaning gain components, like MMICS. Especially front ends.

Passive components are much more robust. But still they all have limits.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

There was an error while thanking
Thanking...
Go to full version