I've lived in Colorado since 1986 and in Wyoming before that. I have never had a "crazy amount of static"? Maybe your problem lies elsewhere. Just my .02 cents worth.
Maybe it's just me, but I sure the hell wouldn't be spraying foam inside my equipment. I can see the ad now... 9/10, Mint condition, perfect shape, well expect for the foam inside the unit :-)
The foam should be the black type, not the blue stuff.
Yes it has to be insulated from wires and circuit boards.
I used thin cardboard, and plastic baggies.
Baggies for smaller bits. for full across the chassis, card (thin non corrugated cardboard) is great.
IF you can slid it under the circuit board, AND fit the shield then that is good too.
Though do NOT use plastic under the circuit board as an insulator, as the sharp solder points may pierce it. use a thin hard card type paper shield. (It may be too difficult to get the stuff under the circuit board, if it is hard to do, skip it. the main areas are the chips and around the chips)
The foam also MUST be grounded to the case.
Each separate baggie or layer of foam needs a ground wire to the chassis. Thin wire is perfectly OK for the ground wire. ((Basically if you do NOT ground them, the foam bits saturate, and reradiate the RFI anyway))
You want to cover the main chips most of all. if they lay flatter than the rest of the stuff, add a small layer just for the chip.
I fill the whole DAC chassis with foam.
One point is the item needs to run cool naturally, anyway. If it runs pretty hot.. this tweak is not such a good idea.
I bought 3 large 'industrial' sheets of antistatic foam, but for a start the 6" sheets sold by Radio Shack work great. I started using those, and only later went for the big sheets. Any thickness 1/8" is good as it fitss under the circuit board better, but any antistatic black foam up to 1/4" is fine.
It is pretty hard to do any sort of CD changer with the foam. So that is not a good item to do.
(I have tried)
A separate DAC is great to fill up.
For a Preamp it may be too much. I actually took the stuff back out of one of my preamps as it did not improve the sound. it only made it seem dull.
For Mofimadness: the foam is not for vibration or static.
It is to dampen and remove RFI generated inside digital components.
The items which generate the RFI, like chips, cross contaminate each other with the RFI. The idea of the antistatic foam is to remove the RFI as it is generated, suck it up and ground it to the chassis.
The sound from the unit becomes cleaner.
This tweak was written about by me before.
I think it is great. most who write about it never tried it, but plain scoff at it. No problem by me.
It originates from a brief column in Stereophile many years ago from a guy in Holland.
I first used it on an Adcom DA600 DAC. Then a used Adcom DA700 DAC.
I found my tweaked Adcom DA700 was the equal of the raved about Bryston Dac, which I wound up returning, as that $2,200 DAC as not better in any way i could work out, than my old DAC. (with $20,000 of ancillary equipment, it was not the rest of the system holding back the sound)
Liz...Sorry, I thought the OP was talking about the "spray" type foam. That would be messy.
Thanks Elizabeth :-)
I'm still a little confused about the install. I think I'll start with my dac; do I place a square piece of cardboard equal to the size of the dac o. Top of the board? Is it okay just resting thdre on top? And then just place the foam on top of the cardboard? Or is it better to have it form fitting and squished a little bit and placed against the cover? And how do I ground the baggies or foam to the chasis? If the foam is touching, and form fitted to, say the cover, would that ground the foam to the chasis?
Thanks for your help! I'm really trying to chase down the inexpensive tweaks now that I've got all the expensive ones out of the way ;-)
I'm going to purchase one of the croyed hubble outlets that you suggested in another thread too! Are the 20 amp versions okay even though it's going in a 15 amp outlet (?) as long as I don't hook anything rated at 20 amps into it?
Mofi, I'm suprised you haven't encountered static in the dry cold climate of Colorado. Everyone I know has crazy smounts of static in there homes, shoot, even in our cars. I've gotten out of a car and shocked myself so bad that it felt like someone pricked my finger with a needle!
And I did think that anti static foam was for static, not rfi, but hey, if it helps the sound and it's under $50, why not give it a try. In my oppinion, Elizabeth is one of the most respected philes around here and if it works for her I'm game for giving it a try.
Mofi , got bored and looked up the top ten driest states in the U.S.;Wyoming was third, Colorado was seventh fwiw :-)
I would definitely not put this stuff in your amp. Not even against chassis walls. What ever you put it in, it will insulate. I mean it will keep and accumulate heat. That would absolutely change the sound of your amp. Probably your pre-amp also. I wonder if anyone's done any listening tests using identical components with and without it.
This seems like a good time to mention that static has nothing whatsoever to do with RFI. Carry on, smoke if you got 'em.
B_limo...I get the occasional little zap here and there, but I would never classify it as a "crazy amount". I was born in this part of the country and have lived here all my 53 years.
Maybe I'm just immune to it :-)
Bounce dryer sheets. Place atop gear and touch before touching any gear. Works wonders and is dirt cheap. Also, increasing the relative humidity in your listening room is a very good idea. Buy a decent humidifier and most of your troubles go away...
This tweak is for DIGITAL components like DACs.
The closer the foam is to the digital chips the better it works.
True, placing a square inside the top would help, but closer is better.
Of the two, a big square in the top cover, or several smaller ones over the main chips.. The smaller placed directly on/over the main chips would do more good. (still with physical insulation covering it or seperating it from chips etc)
Yes the foam in solid contact with the bare metal inside of lid will be 'enough' grounding.
Any sort of small gauge copper or silver wire will do for grounding the foam..All yo have to do is strip a little insulation off the end and stick it into the foam. The foam is conductive.
Thhe other end of the wire(s) would need to be stuck under a screw on the chassis.
And finally no do not use this in any equipment which gets HOT. Most DACs and CD or DVD players hardly get warm. So they may be a little hotter after the tweak, but no by much.
As I mentioned, My Adcom DA600 had it in for years, Then my Adcom DA700 I still use has been completly stuff FULL of foam for many years and never any problem, and its chassis feels cooler than my hand, even now. And I leave it on 24/7/365.
Come on Geoff, this is right up your alley! Don't like the competition, eh?
You can now proceed to educate us on the actual sonic effects of static and subsequently,on it's removal. But especially the tweak to do so. There's gotta be something scary going on in the air.
Geoffkait- Elizabeth did not say the the foam's antistatic properties were the reason why it worked. What she actually said was:
The idea of the antistatic foam is to remove the RFI as it is generated, suck it up and ground it to the chassis.
Csontos- The problem w this tweak is that the aliens who pilot the little flying saucers that Geoff sells, are allergic to the foam ;-)
Yes! the little aleins live off of RFI like our plants live off sunlight. The foam is like a vampire to them!
"I vant to drrink Your RFI...."
"Geoffkait- Elizabeth did not say the the foam's antistatic properties were the reason why it worked. What she actually said was: "The idea of the antistatic foam is to remove the RFI as it is generated, suck it up and ground it to the chassis.""
Hmmmm. Thanks, anyway, but I'll pass.
Okay, but to be honest, Elizabeth did allude to it. Whether inadvertently or not. Geoff is way too smart for our own good!
Lol , you guys...
Ookay, sorry Elizabeth, I'm slow so once more; I'm going to cut little squares of this foam and place it on my dac chips but I first put a small square piece of plastic baggy directly on the chip, and then the foam on top of the plastic baggie? This is the part that I'm not certain of.
And you said your dac is stuffed with it; plastic baggie then foam packed to the brim on top of the baggie, baggie on top of chips?
If this is the case, would it just be best to lay a baggy covering the entire inside of the dac, with foam stuffed all over on top of that ?
Also, I was thinking of putting dynamat on the inside of the cover; any luck with that or should I not do that?
Come on Geoff! Just go with it. LOL. Lets have some fun!
Just to be clear, I have no idea if this tweak has any technical validity behind it and I sure don't know if it works. And w my degree of technical astuteness (not), there is no way I'm messing around w the innards of my digital gear.
I must have 100 of of these sheets laying around drop me an email and I'll mail you a few. Try it out and let us know how it works out for you.
Will this work in the dryer?
Stick the foam into the baggies.. You do not want the foam and baggies to separate if you flip the unit over...
Just run the wire into the bag.. poke the stripped end of the wire right through the baggies into the foam, then connect the other end to a chassis screw.
Pb, thanks for the offer :-)
I love how much audio geeks (myself included) are willing to help one another out for absolutly no gain!
Elizabeth, thank you, it makes sense now and i will be doing this tweek; I'll report back my results!
Hey, Elizabeth, is the pink foam okay? No one around me has black foam but they do have the pink foam. And as far as baggies to put the foam in, should I be using the anti-static baggies from the computer stores? Thanks again!!