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Electric Charge Meter

In search of the Coulomb

Electric Charge Meter
Just knowing that electrostatic charges can damage and destroy expensive components is fine, but being able to measure them is even better because it allows you to put a finger on potential problems (pun intended).Static charges are feared in all electronics laboratories and workshops — and rightly so because a vinyl carpet has the ability to charge up persons to voltages in excess of 20 kV. Careless touching of sensitive ICs can cause their instant demise. However, problematic as they are, static charges also have very interesting aspects. For example, it has been observed that two persons walking the same carpet with different shoes can accumulate opposite static charges, that is, release voltages with different polarities (positive and negative).
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Gerber file

CAM/CAD data for the PCB referred to in this article is available as a Gerber file. Elektor GREEN and GOLD members can exclusively download these files for free as part of their membership. Gerber files allow a PCB to be produced on an appropriate device available locally, or through an online PCB manufacturing service.

Elektor recommends its business partner Eurocircuits as the company of choice for its own prototypes and volume production in selected cases.

Extra info, Update
On the PCB overlay, the symbols ‘+ ‘ and ‘-‘ near K2 should be swapped. This error does not affect the operation of the circuit.
R1,R2,R3 = 27k?
C1,C2 = 100nF
IC1 = TLC272
K1 = PCB solder pin
K2 = connection for moving-coil or multimeter
K3 = connection for 9-V battery (with clipon connector)
S1 = pushbutton, 1 make contact
PCB, order code 030018-1 (available from The PCBShop)
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