Author Topic: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail  (Read 3454 times)

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Online themadhippy

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2021, 01:19:26 am »
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Consider using a trackball.
i'd second that emotion.Been using a microsoft intillimouse track ball for more years than i care to remember and couldnt go back to a mouse.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2021, 01:28:56 am »

Another option is to have the mouse + pad on a "keyboard" tray that pulls out from under the desk...
 

Offline gnif

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2021, 01:32:48 am »
Sounds like what you really need is a track point keyboard.


as much as I love these things, I find they aggravate my RSI.
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Online dreamcat4

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2021, 01:42:07 am »
 :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:

please refer back to the thread title if you don't understand the point of this thread. it is MY PROBLEM with ESD MATS.

its not YOUR problem with MY mouse, and yes i really dont feel like elaborating any further at this point. i have listened carefully to everybody here. shame it overwhelmingly didnt work the other way around. all except for 2 of them

continue, carry on. talk amongst yourselves i guess. i do thank those 2 people though.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2021, 02:44:46 am »
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i have rsi. i need to use a specific device. if you want to make arguments telling somebody else to use a different ergonomic device because you dont listen. then that isn't actually going to help anybody here either. however if you want to do something helpful like report your model and brand of mouse. then that *might be helpful*. if enough other people also want to participate in the same activity

I also suffer from RSI and have to select a mouse that is both comfortable but also will last... "gaming mice" are laughable, they are marginally better than the standard office mouse but they are still built to an extremely cheap standard and the industry is making a killing out of them because for some reason people are selecting "gaming" mice over "professional" mice these days thinking they are the same/better.

After years of looking for a standard mouse that is of a high build quality, has a mouse wheel AND a separate middle button (I use this a ton), is not too heavy and fits my larger hand well, I found this:

https://3dconnexion.com/au/cadmouse/

They are NOT cheap but when you want something made well, it never is. They are designed for graphic artists that need a reliable professionally made high-quality mouse that will spend 80+ hours a week using it. I have owned mine now for 3 years and not only has it lasted, it's hands down the best mouse I have ever used both for my RSI and for it's feel & build quality.
Interesting.
Have you ever tried a trackman ?
I've use a basic one very similar to the logitech mx570 trackball mentioned earlier however it's without any additional buttons yet you can assign the scroll wheel press to any shortcut you like for which I use Alt+Left arrow that makes browsing effort far less tiring.
Haven't used a traditional mouse for decades after going to a trackman to alleviate wrist stresses from traditional mice.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 03:34:57 am by tautech »
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Offline Brumby

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2021, 03:23:19 am »
I find my bit of cardboard works really well.  It is much larger than necessary for mousing and occupies a space generally to the right of centre (I'm a righty).  Electronics, tools, breadboards, etc. all get scattered across the bench and some stray onto the cardboard (sometimes almost obliterating it).  I just wiggle a little room with the mouse to do what I need.

It's cheap and easy to try.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2021, 06:58:01 am »
:palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:

please refer back to the thread title if you don't understand the point of this thread. it is MY PROBLEM with ESD MATS.

its not YOUR problem with MY mouse, and yes i really dont feel like elaborating any further at this point. i have listened carefully to everybody here. shame it overwhelmingly didnt work the other way around. all except for 2 of them

continue, carry on. talk amongst yourselves i guess. i do thank those 2 people though.

Every once in a while someone like you shows up and gets their knickers in a twist after the thread wanders off topic. What's your problem? People offered you suggestions, the rest of us are conversing, you are free to ignore the replies that you don't think are helpful, but as long as you're not paying us to be your personal tech support you don't get to dictate what people discuss.

We're not really sure what you expect. Your mouse doesn't work on the mat, ok, so? What do you want us to do about it? We offered suggestions, use a mouse pad, or use a different mouse, these are things that have worked for us in a similar situation, I have an ESD mat on my desk and I use a mouse pad with a wrist rest, works fine, I don't really grasp what the issue is. Nobody here designed your mouse, nobody here can alter the way it works. It is what it is, we have offered various suggestions, if you don't like any of them, that isn't our fault.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 07:02:51 am by james_s »
 
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Offline Kean

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2021, 06:52:31 pm »
I'm not sure if you are against a mouse mat because of the thickness it adds, or because of the fact it covers part of the ESD mat.
To address the first issue you could look at one of the very thin mouse mats with repositionable adhesive.  3M make one (3M Precise Mouse Pad MP200PS), as do several other companies.  I think I even got some free ones as marketing fluff from Wurth Elektronik at one point.
I doubt that your hand rubbing on a mouse mat is going to generate much ESD, but if so just make sure your wrist or other hand comes into regular contact with the ESD mat, or wear a wrist strap when working on extra sensitive parts.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2021, 07:22:28 pm »
People don't understand how an ESD mat works. It's one plate of a capacitor and you are the other plate. The ultimate ESD mat is an aluminium plate, grounded of course. You can put any mouse pad on top of that. There's cookie sheets, pans, sheet metal etc. Plopping down an ungrounded ESD mat is just silly, it does nothing but act as a placebo.

My USB mouse is cheap and junky single-sided PCB inside so it will always be hypersensitive and crash due to ESD and strong E-fields.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2021, 07:28:59 pm »
People don't understand how an ESD mat works. It's one plate of a capacitor and you are the other plate. The ultimate ESD mat is an aluminium plate, grounded of course. You can put any mouse pad on top of that. There's cookie sheets, pans, sheet metal etc. Plopping down an ungrounded ESD mat is just silly, it does nothing but act as a placebo.

Obviously the ESD mat should be grounded, but I'm not so sure that it's completely useless just floating. As long as you are touching it then your body and the surface that all of your parts are sitting on are all at the same potential so it should not be possible for a discharge to occur. The main issue I can think of is something like a grounded soldering iron will be at earth potential so if your ESD mat is at some other potential then this would obviously be an issue. So yeah, ground it obviously, but a floating conductive surface is probably marginally better than an insulating surface that builds up patches of static charge.
 
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Offline Kean

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2021, 07:35:51 pm »
People don't understand how an ESD mat works. It's one plate of a capacitor and you are the other plate. The ultimate ESD mat is an aluminium plate, grounded of course. You can put any mouse pad on top of that. There's cookie sheets, pans, sheet metal etc. Plopping down an ungrounded ESD mat is just silly, it does nothing but act as a placebo.

Except the point of the ESD mat is to safely dissipate any charge in that capacitor.
So by my understanding a grounded metal sheet is actually not ideal at all, in addition to the fact it provides a path for electric shocks and shorting out your circuits.
And as mentioned by james_s, even a floating ESD mat will reduce any static build up every time you contact it, by coming to the same potential as your body.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 07:45:29 pm by Kean »
 
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Offline SilverSolder

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2021, 08:04:47 pm »
Is the resistance of the ESD mat a feature, not a bug (in that it limits the rate of discharge)?
 

Offline Kean

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2021, 08:20:07 pm »
Is the resistance of the ESD mat a feature, not a bug (in that it limits the rate of discharge)?

Yes!
The mat grounding leads also have a resistor in them, just like wrist straps.  Typically it is 1M ohm.
Some good discussion here: https://www.circuitnet.com/experts/87211.html
 
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Offline floobydust

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2021, 10:36:46 pm »
As a physics class problem, take a parallel plate capacitor - you are one plate, nearby earth-grounded object as the second plate. A third (ungrounded ESD mat) plate in the middle does nothing. The electric field does get distributed instead of a point source i.e. approaching finger, and the mat can dissipate a tiny bit due to the desk's resistance.
With a mouse pad, the grounded (USB) mouse is in the middle of the sandwich.

ESD workbenches the 1MEG resistor to GND is for safety to prevent shock/short-circuits working with powered up circuit boards. It's typically a 1MEG 1/4W through-hole part that arcs over when hit with many kV. So the mat is dissipative only until the resistor breaks down.
Most ESD mats are two or more layers, bottom highly conductive with less conductive top layer, so they are hi-Z. You can check with an ohmmeter is how they are made.
 
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Online Ian.M

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2021, 11:21:55 pm »
Yep, which is why I suggested making an ESD-safe mousemat* by speckling ESD mat with black spray paint.   Its also worth noting that most black spray paints are loaded with enough carbon black pigment to be at least slightly dissipative.
so the idea of speckled painting from a height could be more promising in terms of surface texture. however then necessary to then apply a sealant layer over the entire surface. to protect the regular paint speckles from being rubbed off. and a sealant layer must feel through the texture. otherwise its gonna be smooth again, then sensor cannot 'see' it under the sealant layer. plus the other issues around cleaning the sealant layer off, or not being ESD dissipative surface anymore.
*NO* absolutely *do* *not* apply clear-coat as that would make the mat non-ESD-safe. By providing a thin dielectric layer it would permit greater charge storage and would probably be significantly worse than an ordinary non-ESD-safe mouse-mat as the thickness and foam backing would vastly reduce the surface capacitance per unit area.

If the speckles get too worn for the mouse sensor to see reliably, simply scrub it with thinners and re-do the spray painted speckles.

* That's ESD-safe when used on a properly grounded ESD mat or other grounded surface.  As Floobydust points out, an ungrounded piece of ESD mat will be minimally effective.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2021, 07:33:40 am by Ian.M »
 

Offline helius

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2021, 06:13:58 am »
Most ESD mats are two or more layers, bottom highly conductive with less conductive top layer, so they are hi-Z. You can check with an ohmmeter is how they are made.
An ohmmeter will not give a reproducible reading. The (ANSI standard) method for testing dissipative surfaces is to use two metal 5-pound weighted electrodes, and apply a test voltage of 100 V between them.
 

Offline mrburnzie

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2021, 07:27:55 am »
Get a basic square mouse pad and cut out a section in the mat 😂😂😂
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Online SeanB

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2021, 09:04:00 am »
While I use a nice chunk of black granite counter top, which was free, and already had a nice bevel on the one side, and a good surface polish. I also have used a sheet of white cardboard with good results, simply replacing the cardboard every week with a new one, or less frequently if it did not wear too much. Have also used the front and rear covers off of the phone book, when you still got them, though the SAPO one now is so thin you just use the whole book. I use an old Baccarat table with a drawer, so the keyboard is on the one side, and the mouse block is on the left side, so my wrist has the wooden front to support it. Mouse handles well there, though keyboard itself is too big to fit the drawer, so is on top supported on the edges.

mouse is an old Intellimouse 5 button, though only the 2 are really used and the scroll wheel, and the keyboard is an equally old Microsoft Interney keyboard pro, nice because it has a 2 port USB hub built into it, so there is only a single cable to connect keyboard and mouse. Some of Microsoft's better hardware, still working after 2 decades, but I have spares of them, and a lot of Intellimice in all shades of beige and black, as you pick them up really cheap, and they are good units, if somewhat dated, but not needing batteries perfect for me, as you cannot lose them.
 

Offline Kean

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2021, 12:35:05 pm »
Licron Crystal ESD spray might be an option if you want to be sure about maintaining ESD dissipation while applying a different surface finish to a section of your mat.
It is pretty expensive though, and sometimes only available in bulk quantities.  https://www.techspray.com/esd-products
 

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Offline Kean

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2021, 01:27:26 pm »
I got one of these. It works very well.
https://www.officesupply.com/technology/computer-accessories/mouse-pads-wrist-rests/mouse-pads/precise-mouse-nonskid-repositionable-adhesive-back-gray-bitmap/p52712.html

Yes, that is the one I suggested above.  They are very nice.  I'm not a fan of the thick rubber mouse mats.

The one from Wurth is actually more like a thin microfibre cloth mat with some rubberised backing.  Can be used as a mouse mat or a cleaning cloth  :-+
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2021, 01:49:31 pm »
Yes, that is the one I suggested above.  They are very nice.  I'm not a fan of the thick rubber mouse mats.

The one from Wurth is actually more like a thin microfibre cloth mat with some rubberised backing.  Can be used as a mouse mat or a cleaning cloth  :-+
Oh, I hadn't noticed. Many years ago I got a box with ten of them and the ones I used lasted a long time. I have no idea where I put the remainder ones, thus I had to buy one again this year :palm:

Over the years I had also the ones that were covered in a thin nylon mesh on top of a thick flexible rubber base, but it's been a while since I saw one of them.
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Online Ian.M

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2021, 03:38:50 pm »
Neoprene backed cloth surfaced mousepads are (or rather used to be) made from cheap neoprene foam wetsuit fabric.  (More expensive wetsuits use a fabric/neoprene/fabric sandwich so you don't have to use talc to get them on and off!  :-\ )  I suspect that back in the 80's a wetsuit manufacturer came up with a lucrative market for their offcuts!

Anyway, 'classic' fabric on Neoprene mouse mats are still readily available. e.g: https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Standard-Computer-Neoprene-F8E089-BLK/dp/B00006HTZ0
The better quality ones buy factory pre-bonded fabric on neoprene foam to cut the mats from.  Cheap and nasty ones stick it on when they make the mat and invariably peel at the corners.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #48 on: March 07, 2021, 05:01:51 pm »
Neoprene backed cloth surfaced mousepads are (or rather used to be) made from cheap neoprene foam wetsuit fabric.  (More expensive wetsuits use a fabric/neoprene/fabric sandwich so you don't have to use talc to get them on and off!  :-\ )  I suspect that back in the 80's a wetsuit manufacturer came up with a lucrative market for their offcuts!

Anyway, 'classic' fabric on Neoprene mouse mats are still readily available. e.g: https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Standard-Computer-Neoprene-F8E089-BLK/dp/B00006HTZ0
The better quality ones buy factory pre-bonded fabric on neoprene foam to cut the mats from.  Cheap and nasty ones stick it on when they make the mat and invariably peel at the corners.

The good ones are almost indestructible, I have some here with more than a million mouse miles on them that still look good! :D
 

Online dreamcat4

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Re: my problem with ALL esd mats - computer mouse doesnt work. F for fail
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2021, 06:22:56 pm »
typically a 1MEG 1/4W through-hole part that arcs over when hit with many kV. So the mat is dissipative only until the resistor breaks down.

thanks for mentioning this floobydust, this is really important point. and often overlooked. guess it means we should all regularly schedule testing of the 1 meg resistor. every few months. so see that it still works.

thing is, it might fail anytime between testing. then there is probably going to be a period of several weeks. when the esd mat has stopped being grounded anymore.

wonder if there is any opportunity to improve on that. given the high voltages involved

you see not all off topic comments are entirely useless here. just the many repetition of the same exact point and giving no new angles to the discussion. 'just use a mouse mat" pfft. what a waste of time. like i hadnt already been doing that.

mouse mats are:

* way too small to let you just plonk down the mouse anywhere you like
* as a person with rsi. i frequently need to switch hands, this then means repositioning the mouse mat too

well ok where is the mouse mat? its under a layer of delicate wires that are connected to things, like the circuit i am monitoring

so... already upgraded to a desk mat. which then brings its own new set of problems.

currently half my desk is the desk mat. the other half is esd mat. great right? well no...

not great. because can no longer just plonk things down wherever i feel like it. half the desk is wasted for specific computer duty and i can no longer change hands. and then mouse if further away when working on electronics. too far to just reach over quickly. it does not improve productivity, just changes the set of obstacles to the most frequent repeated tasks.

and the cloth mat is much harder to keep clean. usually requiring removal and washing with soapy water. and hanging up, for  drying. which is time when it cannot be used. compared to the esd mat side. which can just be quickly sprayed down easily and regularly with ipa spray botle. a real necessity when soldering with sticky flux etc.

so all these energy wasted with such arguments - its pointless. i already knew all that. how can anybody here really think i never considered those obvious solutions?

they dont hold a candle to just using 1 massive esd mat for everything. and having that replace the mouse mat. use a different mouse then? well maybe. but the whole point of this thread was to improve the design of ESD mats themselves. so that they can work well with all mice no exceptions. and that is a worthwhile feature to add to ESD mats.

now you can argue that *you* dont need those features until you are blue in the face. but it doesnt improve the wider scheme of things or improve the quality and variety of the pool of professional products that we all have shared access to in the marketplace.


single ESD mat for everything just makes work more productive. which is key to... being more productive! it just makes total sense.

none of the solutions i previously rejected here, other than actually changing my specific mouse for another specific mouse, that works. would have actually achieved that desired outcome. but mice are problematic, because they need to be of a specific shape for ergonomic reasons. to match the specific user. so 'no' i cannot just switch to 'mouse Y' simple because that model worked for *you*. i can only choose from a smaller pool of mouse H,I,J & K. that are closer in shape to my current mouse. and guess what? they are all gaming mice. mostly with 1 of 3 gaming mouse sensor. all made by the same company as my current mouse sensor. so whilst i can certainly buy some specific new mouse from that shortlist. theres no guarantee it will work here.

if you still dont understand or have an issue with me then just go back and read my previous posts. because its all in there. i left nothing out.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 06:44:35 pm by dreamcat4 »
 


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