Sciencemadness Discussion Board

9v anti static gun

MannyE - 18-4-2015 at 16:31

I was arguing with a couple of friends of mine at a bar (so, you know... Grain of salt) that the audiophile world is full of charlatans presenting old science or new products in new ways (like for example, conductive grease). They take a common but perhaps not well known product like silver bearing conductive grease, and slap a fancy label on it then charge suckers 20 times or 100 times the going rate.

I think an anti static gun can be made cheaply that will take the static off a record before it is played. Certain retail products do this for over 100 dollars. I say it should be more like 10 bucks.

Maybe not a 9 volt solution (or even DC) but maybe a plug in solution? Like a corded drill for example?

TheChemiKid - 18-4-2015 at 16:47

What are you asking?

HgDinis25 - 18-4-2015 at 17:08

Quote: Originally posted by TheChemiKid  
What are you asking?

He started by showing his dislike towards the rip offs committed by certain companies that don't sell anything new, just something old with a fancy label for 10 times the price.

Then he hoped to start a discussion about it, specifically about anti static guns. Why do you feel the need to make such a comment? Didn't you just read the same post I did? Or did you feel that you should bully a new member here?

Anyway, I agree with you MannyE. However, I'm not entirely familiar with the concept of an anti static gun...

TheChemiKid - 18-4-2015 at 17:10

I'm not against the idea or bullying him, I just wanted to see what he wanted from the post. I didn't understand if he wanted a discussion or wanted help with making an anti static gun.

MannyE - 19-4-2015 at 05:17

First, thanks to both of you and yes. I do want to explore the possibility of an economical anti static gun and start a conversation as well.

I'm not in the leaast interested in manufacturing one... niche product for for a niche faction of a niche hobby. I would be OK with charging 30ish bucks for something like that just to avoid the trip to the store/online hunting and the time to assemble the freaking thing, but a hundred bucks is just obscene.

However, unlike "cryogenic treatment" reducing static on LPs has an immediate beneficial effect even a bat can hear and a theoretical benefit of preserving the vinyl (assuming less dust...less wear etc...but again, not sure if that holds up)

Not to mention it would be good for a bunch of other stuff like unsticking skirts and whatever else static can make annoying....

I know just a quick wipe with a damp cloth will do it too, but that is tedious...just the right amount of damp, another thing to do, etc...

So... a possible solution my be to create something hand held, battery or even a/c powered that will dissapate a static charge the same way the gun uses a piezo electric device.... except I have no idea where to start or even if it is possible.

I can read a schematic and am pretty good at point to point and surface mount soldering but I SUCK at design and engineering. I can build your amp, just don't ask me what value this resistor should be...:D

MannyE - 26-4-2015 at 14:45

So.... yeah.

WGTR - 26-4-2015 at 14:59

It's the end of April, which happens to be when the Spring semester ends at school. I have an exam tomorrow, and a final

coming up soon. It's also when the next batch of proposals are due at work. There are a few electronics guys here on the

forum, but unless they are out of school and retired, there may not be a timely response until things settle down. If I have time

when the summer starts, I'll take a look at it.

I'm currently far behind on the nitric acid project (sorry aga), but I haven't forgotten about it.

agent_entropy - 27-4-2015 at 12:18

What about using the high voltage circuitry from a disposable camera flash or an electric fly-swatter? They can usually put out about 1 kV if you increase the supply voltage... ie. use 2 batteries instead of one. Hook up 2 of those HV supplies to a needle and reverse the rectifier diode on one of them. Then use a SPDT switch to power one HV supply then the other and thus get your negative and then positive ion stream off the needle. There's probably a good way to do the polarity switching without using 2 separate HV supplies but I can't think of it right now.

Anti static gun, or chemical

Harristotle - 28-4-2015 at 05:55

Hi all.
It occurs to me that, as dust is being held onto vinyl electrostatically, making a solution that will shield the charged regions of both the vinyl and the dust might work well here.

For example, what about a wash with 20cents worth of ammonium sulphate, then DI water. In this case, not only are you preventing the vinyl from picking up dust, you are actually flushing it off. It is very much like the ammonium sulphate salting out effect for proteins and other colloids.

Do wash with water and DI - you don't want crystal formation (= scratch the record!).

By the way, most records have electrostatic coatings already - I know this to my cost because I once blew away a term holiday trying to make a Whimshurst machine out of a couple!

Or is my idea just bananas?

agent_entropy - 28-4-2015 at 06:38

I don't see how a wash with ammonium sulfate would do any kind of shielding, especially if you rinse it off. Or did I misunderstand you?

It's not bananas, but I think MannyE was trying to avoid using any wet techniques.

gatosgr - 28-4-2015 at 14:30

Well a pretty simple way would be to connect one terminal to a cylindrical capacitor and the other to ground and put a 555 timer driving a mosfet that opens and closes the connection while the capacitor discharges through a resistor. You would need a conductive brush of some kind in order to conduct current let's say a regular brush dipped into electrolyte solution.
Electrostatic shielding only works for the inside of the conductor... not the outisde.. it will not reduce the already polarized surface, it just won't induce any more surface charge.
Molecules with high dielectric constant will reduce the electric field(dust atttraction) try to coat it with high K materials like barium titanate e.t.c.
Also some antistatic liquids contain big polarizable molecules with low boiling point that evaporate and take the charge with them.

If it's 100$ I'll start making antistatic guns for audiophiles....:D:D:D:P

[Edited on 28-4-2015 by gatosgr]

Harristotle - 29-4-2015 at 03:52

The problem as I understand with records and static is this:

a charged dust particle sticks to the bottom of a record groove.

That dust may have a few free COO- groups. If you wash with a big, bulky charge-dense ion like sulphate, you can "salt off" the dust. Then a wash with DI water removes both any bulk amounts residual sulphate (don't want scratchy crystals) and the dust, which is paired up with NH4+ ions and no longer sticky towards the vinyl.

The problem that I have seen with micrographs of records is that those dust particles get really stuck on, they are not conductive themselves so just waving a wand over them is not necessarily going to neutralise the charge on the dust at the point where it is stuck to the record. Whereas I think the solution just might. Electrostatic solutions need to be a good 5Kv, based on my experience of rubbing plastic, and probably need to transfer around 10E-8 coulombs of charge (about 1/10th of a small van der graaf dome). The last figure is based on my recollection of rubbing polystyrene balls with rabbits fur, many years ago. Not as much fun as rubbing rabbits balls with polystyrene, but then again you are less likely to get bitten :D

gatosgr - 29-4-2015 at 11:01

where did the ammonium ion come from?
the dust particles are supposed to be neutral non conducting and attracted by non homogenous E fields.. I guess with 5kv you charge both the vinyl and the nearby dust with the same charge and then they are repulsed from one another until the dust particle neutralizes it's charge and get's attracted again.

[Edited on 29-4-2015 by gatosgr]

MannyE - 7-5-2015 at 07:06

Wow! Hey! Great responses! Thank you everyone!

I am trying to keep this solution dry.

As to the embedded dust particles in the grooves, good point but assume that the LPs in question have already been put through a rigorous cleaning procedure involving an ultrasonic cleaner or in some other (very dirty used records) cases a coating of wood glue and THEN ultrasonic (because it's there).

If you aren't familiar with the wood glue method it's basically smearing the vinyl with a coating of Tightbond wood glue, waiting for it to dry then peeling off the glue and with it all the dirt and dust on the surface and in the grooves. Very time consuming but worth it to revive a rare or otherwise cherished record.

However you clean them, records get a static charge immediately afterwards (it seems) and a solution like the one agent entropy proposes could work if it can be turned on for a few seconds above the rotating (or not) surface of the record about to be played.

I'm not clear if gatosgr's solution is dry (brush dipped in electrolyte solution seems to indicate not) but as far as charging $100 bucks to eliminate static on a record, audiophiles aren't also called "audiofools" for nothing. Some of us will pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for pseudo-science gibberish marketing ploys. Because silver wire "sounds better" than copper and "cryo treated silver" whatever that is, even better than that. Don't believe me?

Insane. But whatever.

Static, on the other hand is a very real and audible annoyance. Heck. I can see thousands of audiophiles paying 20 bucks for one that really works. Or like some amplifier guys do, plans for free, kits for x dollars. I personally already have a job so I'm just looking to listen to

Again... you guys are awesome...thanks for everything so far. WGTR...totally get it. No worries.