@studleylee I still keep a A/D converter I bought from Analog Devices that cost me $100 in 1984. I zapped it.
An engineering lab actually had a carpeted floor. Was supposed to be anti-ESD carpet, but the installer got it wrong, and it had to be sprayed weekly with some kind of chemical. Back then we did not have heel straps or wrist straps.
Anyway, on a cold dry winter day in the Great White North, a colleague had just installed the 1st of 10 samples of his brand new ASIC into the socket. It was in a ceramic package with a metal top. We fired the board up, then we wondered how warm the ASIC was running. My friend reached out to feel it - I said "Static!" but it was too late. We could hear the 'snap' of a strong ESD discharge.
He said "It's not very hot." Then a few seconds later "But it sure is getting hot now!"
There's lots of stuff going here, but let me try to clarify some things.
When working on the something like a laptop, there are really two options of grounding for ESD purposes.
1. Ground all conductors and dissipative materials (people, product, worksurface, etc) through an electrical ground (third wire). This is the preferred method for electronics manufactures because the electrical ground is where other equipment (soldering iron, scopes, etc) used in the production environment if grounded, but not always available in "field" applications.
2. If grounding to the electrical ground is not possible, you can use equipotential bonding. Equipotential bonding connects all conductors and dissipative materials in the environment together. If you are working on something such as a laptop, you would use an alligator clip to connect the wrist strap to the housing of the laptop.
Both methods essentially do the same thing in creating an equipotential balance between all items and personnel. ESD events can only occur when there is a difference in the potential. Note that only conductors and dissipative materials can be grounded, insulators require ionization to control ESD.
Based on this post we are going to make some samples of a USB to banana jack adaptor to see how this would work. The adaptor will allow a standard wrist strap to be connected to the USB.
@Antedeluvian: A light Irish lilt begorrah, or even Welsh, look you.
Have you ever heard a "Geordie" accent from the Tyneside area of England -- pretty close to the boarder between England and Scotland in the scheme of things -- I love that accent -- to me it always sounds a bit like they are singing (plus they have a great sense of humor).
@Reinhardt: Your idea sounds good a first look, but are you sure our laptop is really grounded? Many laptop PSUs I have seen have only a two pin power plug, no protective earth pin.
If you read the comments below starting from the beginning, you'll see that my suggestion "crashed and burned" for thsi very reason -- it would work with a tower computer with a 3-pin plug and a grounded power supply, but that's not what I've got.
However someone offered a really good solution -- use a power strip with some banana plug to ground adapters, then oplug the banana plugs on the strap & mat inrto ths strip.
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...