Joe’s Lab – Grounding or Earthing Test

OK… For those of you that have not read some of my other posts I have to get something out right up front about me. I love electronics. I love it so much as a matter of fact, I am interested in it ALL. Not just the stuff I do for a living, but even useless things that will never make me any money. I like solar power and electric cars even though I am a huge unapologetic user of fossil fuels, I would love someday to have my home and car run on solar.

Now that that is out of the way, let me start by talking about “Grounding” or “Earthing”. I have never heard of such a thing until a couple of weeks ago. I was up really late one night watching a documentary. The site that carried this particular documentary was called “Underground Documentaries”. I browsed around some of their stuff and this particular video totally grabbed my attention. The video is no longer there, but is available at Amazon.

So what is “Grounding”? In a nutshell our human bodies have been built to be at the same electric potential as the earth. Believe it? I am not sure if I do, but it sure sounds neat. Here is more on it, since the invention of shoes with rubber soles and houses with floors that aren’t dirt, people have been suffering from a variety of different health problems that weren’t as prevalent in the past. To become “grounded” is simple. Just walk around in your bare feet on dirt all day… OK that wasn’t that simple. It is getting very cold outside and most of us won’t want to do that. So what do we do? Well… All we have to do is connect ourselves to “earth ground” in our homes. Easy enough!

Note: If you want to learned about earthing without paying for it, here is a pretty good video…

My first thought was to purchase a device that allows me to do this easily. I looked online for a grounded bed cover so I could start with being grounded at night. A quick search and I found this earthing pillowcase. But at 129.99 I thought it was a rip off for something so simple. My kid has a remote control boat I bought for her that costs 5th of the price and it has a million times more technology built into it. So NO WAY!

So.. The concept is really simple. All I have to do is bring my body’s electrical potential to the earths.

OK… I have seen some pictures and have an idea of what to do. I think the most comfortable and cheapest thing to do is an grounded ankle bracelet type thing. I know I have some really expensive high quality speaker wire. That would be perfect for this because it is really flexible. They have a ton of tiny hairlike copper and metal strands put together so it is very flexible. Here is a picture of the bit I found in one of my electronics bins.


OK.. That is a crappy picture. But it is basically two strands of insulated wire fused together to run from stereo equipment to speakers.  I also have this old multimeter plug. It will work perfectly to connect the gounding anklet thing to the earth ground on any outlet.


And I will need something to connect the anklet when finished. When looking for the plug in the picture above I found an old lanyard for a USB stick. The kind that you would just hang around your head like a necklace. I will use the clasp from this.


The speaker cable has two rubbery plastic coated wires. The first thing I do is separate the two of them. I keep the smoothest strip of wire for the cable that will lead up to my ankle. The other wire I strip back about 2 and 1/2 feet of it, so I have bare wire (I cut this wire in thirds, so I have three 10 inch bare wires). On the cable I want to use for the anklet I strip back 10 inches of insulation. What I end up with is a very flexible single insulated wire with 10 inches of bare wire ad the end. Then I attach and crimp the other three wires I made earlier. Here is what it looks like.


Now I have had a chance to think about this for a week or so and I know I want to braid those. I have four sisters and two daughters so I definitely know how to braid three strands, but not four. So, I run down the stairs and tell to my wife, “Hey, Rosie do you know how to braid four strands together?”, she replies quickly and kurtly, “No!”. I guess I am on my own. I look it up and low and behold I find this:

A few minutes later and I have this!


I think a girl could have done a much better job, but even though I live with three of them I was stuck doing it myself. I say it isn’t bad for a first time.

I run downstairs into the basement and find a cylinder to crimp wireless connections. I slide this down the wire and attach our lanyard clasp to the very end. Then I smash it flat with a hammer.


The next thing I do is attach the other end of the clasp to the base of the braid closest to the insulation. I secure it with blue electrical tape. Here is what it looks like.


Here is what it looks like on my 6 year olds ankle.


I think that looks relatively comfortable and would give a lot of surface area for passing electrons. I don’t think you would need much to keep your body in equilibrium with earth ground especially when using metal, but all the stuff I have heard about people seem to think more is better, so that should work pretty well. I tested it on my angle and it is snug, but not tight.

So I connect up everything. I attach a bunch of junky speaker wire so it is nice and long. I want it to work almost everywhere in case I turn into a nut like the rest of the people who get into grounding.  Here is what the whole shootin’ match looks like.


Here is a picture of the grounding plug, plugged into an outlet.


So that is it… Tomorrow will be my first day trying this out. I have an overnight to do for work tonight so this first test will probably be a really crappy one (Meaning I will probably feel like crap when I wake up no matter what). I don’t do too well on overnights. I will keep updating this post with dates and observations as I go down this “grounding” path.


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