Protecting USB AVR Programmer from static discharge

Hello AVR enthusiasts,

How can I protect my USB AVR programmer from static discharge? Is the pink little bag that the programmer comes in an anti static bag and should I keep the programmer inside it?

I recently had a problem programming my AVR’s and it turns out there was a problem with my USB AVR programmer. I ordered a new one from Pololu and my problems all went away. However, I suspect the reason my problems occurred could have been from either static discharge to my programmer or from running my Baby O whilst the programmer was still attached to it. Everything appeared to be working fine with my programmer - all the lights on the programmer worked, my computer recognized the device and I could upgrade the firmware, but the programmer would not program my Baby O. (See my post about “Entering programming Mode… FAILED!” in my attempts to get to the bottom of it).




I keep it in the pink bag when not in use and make sure I discharge myself before handling any of my electronic gear (AVR, programmers, etc.).



In our experience, the programmers have held up well in normal use, though we do take basic precautions for static discharge. Did you ever notice yourself zapping the programmer?

The pink bags provides some limited protection and are definitely preferable to regular plastic bags, which you should not use for electronics. If you have some metalized bags sitting around from some other parts you bought, that can provide more protection than the pink bags, but I suspect most of the risk comes during actual use of the programmer, as opposed to when it’s sitting around. Basic precautions during use are discharging yourself before touching it, and if you’re ever passing the programmer from one person to another, touch the person before the electronics you’re handing over touches them.

- Jan