What is the correct way to use the Zerostat?


Hi fellow members,

Need some help with my Zerostat gun used for my vinyl records.

First, should the record be spinning on the platter when I slowly squeeze and slowly release the trigger aimed at the record on the turntable, or should the record be stationary while I pull and release the trigger?

Second, what's the nozzle with a lightbulb that came with the Zerostat do? Is this a test? How do I use it? There was no instruction manual in the box to tell me how to use it.

Third, no matter how slow I pull or release the trigger, I still get a click noise from the Zerostat. Based on reading forums, it appears that if you hear clicking noise, that means I pulled/released too fast on the trigger. How slow is considered slow ?

Any help/feedback would be nice.
studio68
I usually do it when the record is on on the turntable but it SHOULD NOT BE SPINNING.

Here are the instructions:

1) Imagine a record having a triangular shape(the spindle hole being the center). Hold the Zerostat approximately 12" away from the record surface and slowly squeeze the trigger at each of the three "corner points" of the record. Take about 2 seconds to squeeze and 2 seconds to release at each of these locations.

2) Pointing the Zerostat at the center of the record slowly squeeze the trigger the fourth time, point the Zerostat awaya from the record(at the floor) and release the trigger.

There's been an issue with a static during LP playback in my system lately, after I upgraded the cartridge from MM Sumiko Pearl to medium output MC Benz Ace...I think I just notice more now since the Ace is so much more revealing.

What I do now(found it mentioned in the forums here) and it's been working real good, is I use the Zerostat as per instructions above, plus I brush the record when it starts to spin with an Audioquest brush, but, and this is funny, you have to moisten the fingers with which you hold the brush's metal body while you are brushing a record, and with the fingers on your other hand also slightly moistened, touch something that is grounded, in my case it's the Pro-Ject Speedbox. I guess the static just gets released better this way.
Works very good and the records are quiet.

Good Luck!
Thanks Audphile1 for your reply.

Just curious, are these instructions you listed above from the manufacturer? I bought my Zerostat new and my box did not include any written manual instructions. Does it really require 4 squeezes/releases per record? Somehow I thought it just needs one squeeze/release and that's it. Also, I thought both squeeze and release should be aimed at the record at all times, no?

Thanks.
I just bought a vintage Zerostat kit and the instructions are on it. That's where I got it from.

You need to kind of get a feel for the Zerostat trigger though. Practice a bit on the squeeze/release.
:)
Ok, thanks Audphile1.

I'll give it a try.
Studio, the cap is a test bulb, if you get a light it is supposed to be working but is not for daily use.
Does anyone know if the Zerostat wears out after many years.
I have had had mine for 15-20 years(the older model)

Thanks
I see...thanks Chadnliz.

Mescabo, according to the Milty Zerostat box, they wrote the gun lasts for about 50,000 trigger operations.
I have yet to wear mine out after 30 years.
From the web:
This amazing little device known as the Zerostat Antistatic Gun is an antistatic "generator" which has numerous applications in any microscopy laboratory. Just squeeze the "trigger" of the Zerostat and a steady stream of ions is released. The "magic" comes from two powerful piezoelectric crystals and a patented compression trigger. Originally developed for removing dust from "vinyl" and before that, normal "phonograph records". In later years the Zerostat antistatic gun was discovered to have great applicability for use in a photographic darkroom to remove dust from film and negatives. After that, a wider range of applications came into being when people running SEM labs found out that it was also ideal for eliminating dust from critical samples or other critical surfaces when the dust attraction was being caused by electrostatic charge. Others have reported that certain insulating specimens, when treated this way, can actually be viewed (admittedly briefly) by SEM without the need to apply further coating.

Each Zerostat unit has a "two cycle" type of operation. When the trigger is squeezed, positive ions are generated and when the trigger is relaxed, negative ions flow. This means that it is possible to induce a charge on a neutral surface using the Zerostat. If the trigger is squeezed, and the Zerostat is removed from the surface before allowing the trigger to return to its original position, a positive charge will be induced. Similarly, pointing the Zerostat at the surface only for the release of the trigger will induce a negative charge
Also,
Hold the Zerostat within 12" (30.5 cm) of the surface or object to be treated. Squeeze the trigger slowly for about two seconds, to emit a stream of positive ionized air over the surface of the object. As the trigger is slowly released, a negative show of air ions is produced resulting in static neutralization. Repeat this procedure at several points across the surface of the object.

The Zerostat needs no batteries or electrical supply and unlike other antistatic products, the Zerostat contains no radioactive components whatsoever.

Important notice! Remove the ion indicator from the barrel before using the Zerostat Antistatic Gun to neutralize static charge. Ion indicator is for testing use only.

Caution! Do not use in an explosive or combustible environment.
An old trick is to point the Zerostat away while pulling the lever, then towards the brush when releasing. This gives the record brush a neg. charge and is quite effective for collecting debris. Best results occur by treating the lp while off the platter. Audphile's suggestion for grounding is good, try touching the TT's spindle with one finger and a grounded unit (amp's faceplate?) with another finger to neutralize system static.
...and don't do something foolish like press your finger on the tip of the gun to test if it's working, it hurts like hell.
Release the trigger slowly. Don't just let go. I take up to 5 to 8 seconds to completely released the trigger. You can hear it.
Can it damage cartridges?
Audphile, I haven't read every single post that followed on to your first one, but if you use the (old style) Audioquest brush AFTER you use the Zerostat, you are likely putting static charge back on the LP after you neutralized it with the Zerostat, whether you moisten your fingers or not, because the old Audioquest brush provides no electrical continuity between the bristles and the handle.  Zerostat treatment should come last. (There IS a new Audioquest brush that is grounded via the body of the user, by holding its handle during use, thus perhaps it does not create a static charge on the LP. I don't know when the new version of the brush came on the market, but I think it is quite recent.)

I don't argue with the notion that the LP should be sitting still, not rotating, but I do not understand why that would be the case.
I’ve changed my method to the three point plus center.... wow. This thong finally works as I’d always hoped it would.  Thanks audphile. 

Lou
Errr. Thing...not thong. Although they can be fun too.
I'm using the three point method described above and getting great results. I give a quick brush with a Hunt brush to pick up any loosened dust.
Im going to try zapping the brush as described above.
Zerostats do not work. The problem is that as soon as the stylus starts rubbing the groove static electricity is generated pulling dust towards the record. There are two ways to deal with this. The first is always use a dust cover. If your table does not have one there are companies that will make one for you. You can hinge it to your cabinet.
Next is this  https://www.sleevecityusa.com/Antistatic-Record-Cleaning-Arm-p/tac-01.htm. I have used one version or another of this for 40 years. The bristles of this arm are conductive and its base is connected to ground. It dutifully follows the grove discharging the static and sweeping any incidental dust out of the way. If you have a good mat and a record weight you will not hear it at all. At the end of the side I give it a wipe with a standard felt record brush. I have never worn out a stylus .
You have to position the brush just right. Too close to the plater and it will skate inwards, too far and it will skate outwards. It should follow the record right along with the tonearm. It is terribly expensive at a whopping $20. As an aside, NEVER treat your records with any surface treatment. Last is a joke. It is just plain Freon! Nothing else in it. If you have some put a drop on a clean mirror and let it evaporate. Put another  drop in the same place and let it evaporate. You can do this a thousand times and you will not see a darn thing on that mirror. Nice scam. "Oh but it makes my records sound better!" Placebo. Anything that sticks to vinyl is going to gum up your stylus. The trick for keeping your records clean is don't let them get dirty in the first place. "oh but the record is loaded with all kinds of gunk from the factory!" My a--. Take a clean bright white cloth and spray it with a little distilled water. Wipe every new record you buy right out of the sleeve before you play it. Keep the cloth in a plastic bag. Wipe every new record you get for a year. What do you see on the cloth?
Anyone want to take a bet?  I do keep a Spin clean handy for when other people bring their records over or if I do something stupid like spill my coffee on the record.
Mijo, I apologize if it seems I follow you around here just to contradict you. That is not the case, and in fact I don't disagree with everything you wrote above.  But I do disagree with your bald statement that Zerostats do not work.  They can work, but most of us do not use them correctly OR, more often, we do something AFTER having treated the LP with the zerostat that puts a static charge back on to the LP surface.  There are long threads here (not this one) in which this is discussed in detail by others who have put more thought into it than I. But in the course of my own research on this subject, stimulated by one of the other threads here, I came upon a terrific white paper on static electricity authored by Shure.  Anyone interested in the subject should read it.

Second, I am not sure why you mandate use of a dust cover.  Dust is bad, but a dust cover is worse (than static electricity or dust collecting on the stylus tip) for sonics, when one is actually playing an LP.  In addition to the fact that a dust cover does not prevent the accumulation of a static charge and doesn't even perfectly solve the dust problem, dust covers cause a resonance and mechanical feedback that is very pernicious to SQ, in all my experience. As to the value of a DC for protecting the stylus from dust, there are quick and easy ways to clean the stylus even in between each playing of an LP (like Magic Eraser), if one is so inclined.  Further, taken by itself there is nothing to say about your claim never to have worn out a stylus; it's possibly true if you change styli or cartridges about every 500 hours, but it's not possible if you run one cartridge/stylus for many thousands of hours, dust or no dust. Anyway, my remarks are for a fun debate only; nothing personal.
Discwasher used with D4+ fluid is the best thing before using the ZeroStat. 
Lewm You can contradict me all you want.
Zerostats will kill static VERY temporarily. Like I said before the stylus rubbing the groove puts the charge back on in a hurry attracting dust to the record and there is plenty of dust in the air just look into the beam of a flashlight in a darkened room. The static and incidental dust are the reason you need a grounded sweep arm. It kills the static as it is being made. There is absolutely no downside to using a dust cover. They keep dust off the record and your delicate tonearm and they also decrease the decibels around your cartridge, arm and record. 
If you have a complex table like a Basis or VPI it makes keeping the table clean much easier. I would never use a table without one. The myths perpetrated against dust covers were generated by manufacturers who could not easily attach one to their table or by people who have no idea what they are talking about. When humans have no idea what is going on
they make stuff up. They mythologize.  Zeus throwing lightening bolts is a good example. The mythology surrounding Audio is second to none. I have fallen for it on several occasions. 
It seems you worship a different set of deities. I don’t and didn’t argue that a dust bug doesn’t work to reduce debris in the path of the stylus. And if you like dust covers, that’s fine too, but not for me and most others, when playing music.
Lewm,

The argument was not over the "dust bug" but over whether or not Zerostats work. If the goal is to keep Static and dust off the record they do not, particularly if you do not use a dust cover. If you use the Zerostat and quickly drop the stylus and shut a dust cover you will have less dust on the record during playback but you would have to use the Zerostat immediately on opening the dust cover to keep the dust from flying to it and messing up the next playback. If most people do not use a dust cover it is mainly because their table was not supplied with one not because there is some magic audiophile mythology not too. It is my contention that because the dust cover lowers the volume surrounding the cartridge and tone arm that tables with a properly mounted dust cover sound better. If you have an un suspended table you can not mount the dust cover to the table which is why all mass controlled tables do not have a dust cover. You have to mount the dust cover to whatever the table is sitting on which makes things a bit more tricky. But you can order your cover here  https://stereosquares.com/ and you can get hinges here
https://www.fullcompass.com  and with a little elbow grease, a drill and some cyanoacrylate you can have a really nice hinging dust cover. Put felt pads under the corners so it does not rattle. 
I recently purchased a new Milty Pro Zerostat 3 and have been researching the most effective way to use it. The instructions on the box are lacking. It is obvious that just the act of playing a vinyl record, the stylus running through the grooves, creates static electricity. Depending on the atmospheric conditions at the time can affect it. After playing through a record, so much static electricity is created that the cork/rubber turntable mat comes off with the record and is stuck to it. Putting the record and mat back on the TT, I used the anti-static gun and it did not neutralize the charge. Either I am doing something wrong or the gun doesn't work.
The Milty gun came with a separated black plastic cap. It is NOT a light. From my research, putting the cap on and holding the gun near a grounded item, like a faucet, slowly pulling and releasing the trigger does nothing. Pulling and releasing it quickly, causing a click, I can see a spark jumping from the gun to the faucet.
Some types of record formats are more affected by static electricity than others. For instance, the CD-4 discrete quadraphonic format depends on a 30khz tone to split up the channels. Static electricity can reek havoc with this format, resulting in pops during playback. They are not always in the same places on the records, so I would think that this is caused by static electricity. The Zerostat 3 has had no effect on this.
Does anyone have any tips or pointers?
Thank you!
There is no correct way to use a Zerostat. The problem is once you start playing the record static builds up fast. The static charge is created by the stylus rubbing the groove. Even if you use a dust cover when you take the record back to it's sleeve it collects dust like a magnet. Hold a record you just played up to the light correctly and you can see the dust fly to the record. The only way to beat static electricity is to discharge the record while it is playing. So, if you don't want to stand over your record squeezing the trigger every 30 seconds the best solution is a conductive sweep arm like this one  https://www.sleevecityusa.com/Antistatic-Record-Cleaning-Arm-p/tac-01.htm. Also get rid of all your paper inner sleeves and get anti static plastic ones. Paper will hold a static charge.
Read about the triboelectric series here  https://www.school-for-champions.com/science/static_materials.htm#.XcFmJDNKiM8. You will notice that PVC is an electron magnet!

I bought a Zerostat in 1972 and still have it....albeit not used since the middle 80s. Back in the day I used the Zerostat and then lightly misted distilled water on the vinyl. Seemed quieter to me and it was fun.