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Comments please: Red  ceramic washers

Posted on 1999-01-09
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
What importance do you put on placing the red ceramic washers on the underside of the mainboard? If you find it important to do so, what method do you use to hold them during mounting? (I know the scotch tape with hole poked through technique.) I'll award the points to the first one who can give a url to a mainboard manufacturer where it specificly states to put the washer on the underside.
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Question by:dudleyf
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1133019
dudleyf,
I have stuck them on with fingernail polish in the past.
I used to see motherboards that had circuit traces immediately next to the mounting holes, and I suppose those washers were necessary to prevent shorts.
However, I haven't seen a board with one of the holes surrounded by anything but a ground pad in a long time.
Sometimes, I have had to insulate a board's underside from the metal projections of cases.
Sorry, no URL.........
Regards,
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:kayton
ID: 1133020
I always throw them out and have never had a problem as a result.  When sticking a board in where the holes don;t line up, I stick in cardboard instead of standoffs.  Motherboards don't care.  
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Expert Comment

by:mark2150
ID: 1133021
Only spot I ever used them is on the one brass mounting point in the rear by the keyboard. I give the MB a quick once over to check for traces in the area if if there are some, use the washer. (BTW they're not *ceramic*, but a hard fiberboard) Seldom have seen a MB that cared one way or the other. I think that IBM started using them so that the screws wouldn't damage the surface of the MB or cut thru the anti-fungal coating (clear green). Have seen them both on top of the brass standoff and also under the screws.

M

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Expert Comment

by:uilleann
ID: 1133022
With new boards, don't bother...
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1133023
These washers not not necessary except under certain circumstances.  If there are circuit board traces which are too close to the screw hole (and there shouldn't be) then you need the washers to prevent a short between the trace and the screw or standoff.  I haven't seen a motherboard since the 286 days that had this problem.
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Expert Comment

by:cumbo
ID: 1133024
dudleyf,

Another reason NOT to use them: On some boards the threaded standoffs provide a ground path to the computers case.

Cumbo
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Author Comment

by:dudleyf
ID: 1133025
Looks like the consensus is "Don't waste your time."If no authoratative urls show up by tomorrow nite, I'll delete the Q.
Thanks you all for your comments.

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Expert Comment

by:Mindbender
ID: 1133026
On barbeque trolley's they're used for heat insulation. Interesting, isn't it?
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Expert Comment

by:uilleann
ID: 1133027
put a wire through them and make a nice necklace.. ;)
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jhance earned 70 total points
ID: 1133028
>If no authoratative urls show up by

Is that all it takes to make an answer authoritative?  I can have any old bogus answer online in the next 5 minutes....
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Author Comment

by:dudleyf
ID: 1133029
Jhance,
Excellent anwser, I'm sure you could. The Q said "from a Mainboard manuafacturer. . ."  but since the consensus of the responses is "Don't waste your time... putting the red washers on the bottom or top, as they're not likely to be needed." Yet nobody offered a url, or responded with other than a comment, I thought that the best thing would be to withdraw the Q. I really do think all the comments have been helpful, as my boss wanted the washers on the bottoms of all mainboards and now I have 6 responses --including from the 2 top experts in hardware-- that it isn't necessary.  Since it must have sounded to you like I was dissatisfied with the responses and was trying to weasel out of my 25 point obligation, I'm giving you an excellent rating and tripling the points. Sorry If my previous comment struck you the wrong way.
Brian
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