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Author Topic: Where to buy static discharge key fob  (Read 1237 times)

Posts: 768

« on: June 26, 2004, 11:59:33 PM »

My kids have a friend who visited Japan who brought them all this really cool key fob, but I didn't get one! It's a little colored/clear plastic wand about 3 inches long. It has a row of LEDs on one side. When you touch a car with one end (while holding the other end) it will dissipate the static charge from the car so you don't get shocked by grabbing the door handle. You watch the LEDs until all of them are extinguished as the static charge slowly drains through you to ground (as opposed to a big "SNAP" followed by that numb feeling you get for a 1/2 second or so if you didn't use something like this). You could use it in your home as well, I suppose. It has a high resistance so you don't get zapped by static when you touch something with it. Anyone have any idea what a schematic would look like for one of these? Or have a source where I might buy one? I realize this isn't exactly ham-related, but it -could- be if you used it to safely clear a static charge from a longwire antenna on a cold windy day prior to working on it! It also might save you from zapping a PC! (And if would be fun to see how big of a charge something has by the number of lit LEDs!)Thanks if anyone can help! 73, -Web

Posts: 84


« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2004, 01:43:22 AM »

I would suggest a couple things; every now and then, spray your car's seats with anti-static carpet spray.
Secondly, if you grab the door handle before getting out of the vehicle then the static will dissipate through your shoes instead of your hand.  

lastly,  install a static drain on your vehicle. there are several sites on the internet where static drains are discussed. basicly it's a 6-12" wire located toward the back of the vehicle attatched to the frame or some other non gas tank metal. I think K0BG has it on his website.     this will drain alot of the static built up away from the car and though you may still have some build up between the seat and your self, it probably won't reach shocking levels.  

on the led key you mentioned... no. no idea where to find it. not that I personally would be in a hurry either.

Seven Three


Posts: 10248


« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2004, 10:14:52 AM »

They are made by a company in Japan called Carpoint. Not to be confused with MSN's CarPoint which is a web site. Use the URL below and look at the last item at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the long URL, but the site's own search engine isn't working properly.

 This outfits in London, as I recall, but they do take credit cards. You could e-mail them and ask who might have it on this side of the pond. Personally, I've never seen one over here, but who knows?

Alan, KØBG

PS: The static drain in under Antennas on my web site.


Posts: 768

« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2004, 12:18:39 PM »

Thanks! This one looks like the one I'm looking for. I e-mailed the company to ask if it has the LED indicators that show when the discharge occurs. I think there are 4 LEDs, and they extinguish one after the other, slowly, as the discharge occurs. That's what I want to do- be able to watch the discharge occur slowly.

To the first reply- it's not the static that I'm seeking to get rid of, so much as I want the ability to determine the amount of static charge in an item (mostly for curiousity more than anything else). If I could build something that would work similarly that would have 100 LEDs on it, I would build one. Say- 100 LEDs would be 10,000 volts potential or higher, and each LED would extinguish as the charge is dissipated- 100 volts drop for each LED to go out, that would be fantastic!

This is just a "pet" project- something I want to do for the fun of it. The kids could rub their feet on the carpet, then touch it to a doorknob to see what happens.... I was hoping I could buy one of the key fobs and reverse-engineer it to see how they accomplish that with 4 or 5 LEDs (can't remember how many now...).

Thanks! -Web
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