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I bought Belkin's anti-static wristband but i must be sure it works, since sometimes people report getting units that are defective or do not work in reality.

I have laptop only. How to check if anti-static wristband works?

UPDATE: I have tested anti-static wrist strap with multimeter with resistance set on 2M and the result was 0.983

Is this normal?

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Use a multi-meter to see if there's a constant resistance between the metal contact plate on the wristband and the ground connector. –  billc.cn Jul 30 '11 at 18:13
    
electronics.stackexchange.com –  starblue Aug 11 '11 at 15:13
    
@billc.cn And i cannot test with continuity? –  Boris_yo Sep 9 '11 at 6:01
    
What do you mean by "continuity"? –  billc.cn Sep 9 '11 at 9:30
    
Skip it, i can't do that. –  Boris_yo Sep 9 '11 at 9:48
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted
+100

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Use an ohmmeter or multimeter to determine if there is conductivity between the metal part of the wrist strap, and the end part where you connect it to ground. You should see some measurable resistance (indicating good conductivity) if the strap is functioning correctly. If the resistance is extremely high (or as some meters measure, infinite), then the strap is broken.

Alternatively, you can just use it as a "wire" in conjunction with something else (e.g. an LED) and determine if you can provide power through the anti-static wrist strap. If current can flow through it, it's working, since that is all the device is used for (to provide a quick path to ground for your skin).

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If the wrist strap has a current limiting safety resistor in line - which it should - the end-end resistance will be very HIGH, not low - perhaps 1-10M Ohms. –  Linker3000 Jul 30 '11 at 18:26
    
@Linker3000 that is correct. Do note that if you're working on a computer system, you should use a wrist strap with a lower resistance in series with the strap (higher isn't always better when working with low voltage devices). –  Breakthrough Jul 30 '11 at 18:29
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Get a Van der Graaf generator and put your hand on it while you have your anti-static wrist band on (and shoes) and then get someone to go up to touch you. If they get a shock, it does not work. If your hair stands on end, that would be another sign that it does not work.

I have no idea where you could get a Van der Graaf generator, but this test should work if you manage to do so.

static hair

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Shame you can't give points for creativity! Is the girl with long hair essential - I only habe an 11 year old son with short hair. –  Linker3000 Jul 31 '11 at 9:15
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@Linker3000: I think long hair makes a better indicator of the presence of static electricity (and therefore the failure of the anti-static wristband). You should get your son to grow his hair if you want to use him for testing. –  paradroid Jul 31 '11 at 9:32
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Of course, there is the possibility the wrist strap may not be the path of least resistance when that other person grabs you. The wrist strap is only as good as the ground it is connected to. –  music2myear Aug 2 '11 at 21:02
    
This is one of the best answers . . –  surfasb Aug 8 '11 at 5:55
    
+1 for a shocking answer. –  Ian Boyd Mar 31 '12 at 19:40
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This is only a theory, but since laptop trackpads only work with things with an electric charge (Eg, your finger), an antistatic wristband could cause it not to recognize your finger, thus proving it works. Remember, just a theory, so if it doesn't work don't blame me.

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