Thermal design

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Thermal design
Many electronic hobbyists lack the necessary knowledge to properly manage the thermal issues of their projects. Urban myths are rampant, such as that age-old but totally nonsensical rule saying that "if you can touch it without discomfort, the temperature is safe". As a consequence, their projects involving higher power devices tend to be unreliable, and cause much grief and sometimes expensive damage, such when a linear power supply blows its pass transistors and applies an overvoltage to the equipment connected to it. In this article, I will try to teach you the basics about how to do it right, and keep your circuits cool.

Component ratings
Many hobbyists wrongly believe that a transistor rated for 100 Watt can actually be used at 100 Watt. Despite the truly logic appearance of this idea, unfortunately it isn't true! Well, it could be true, if you had some magic way to keep the transistor's body at a temperature of no more than 25°C, which is the condition for which the 100 Watt rating applies! In practice, the only way to keep the transistor that cool would be by living in the arctic in a house without heating, or by cryogenic or Peltier cooling. All these methods are pretty impractical for common electronic equipment, and so our transistors will run hotter than 25°C, which means that they will not be able to dissipate their full rated power. Another commonly done mistake is assuming that the power rating of a small, non-heatsinked part applies just for the part alone. In truth, a rectifier diode rated at 3A will actually survive that current only if it is heatsinked through its terminals, which are made from thick copper wire for exactly that purpose! If you connect that diode to thin wires instead of a large heatsinking metal part, it will not live very long. Speaking of rectifiers, many people wrongly calculate the power loss in a diode based on a voltage drop of 0.7V for silicon junction diodes and 0.4V for Schottkies. In truth, at their full current rating, the voltage drop of silicon diodes is more like 1.2V, and that of Schottkies is 0.6 to 1V! So, it pays to read the detailed specifications of a part, understand them, and extract the really important information for your project.

How heat moves
There is a natural tendency in nature for things to balance out and search a state of uniformity. One of the consequences is that heat likes to wander from hotter to cooler zones. It does so by two mechanisms: Conduction and radiation. Conduction involving fluids also is aided by convection. Conduction is the simplest to understand. Just like electricity flows through an electric conductor, the electrical resistance of the conductor causing a voltage drop proportional to resistance and current, heat can flow through a thermal conductor, with its thermal resistance causing a temperature drop proportional to thermal resistance and heat flow. Thermal resistance is specified in Kelvin per Watt, meaning that a thermal conductor of, say, 2.5 K/W will cause a temperature drop of 5 K (which is the same as a drop of 5°C) when a thermal power of 2 W is flowing through it.

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between flat black paint and polished aluminum there is a huge difference in thermal radiation! The surface color also influences how much radiated heat a body can absorb. a black body will also be a better receiver of heat. let's consider just the pass transistors for now. or it can be natural. This convection can be forced. by a fan for example. the heat sink as a whole has a certain thermal resistance to the surrounding air.Thermal design http://ludens. we have a very simply thermal setup: A tiny piece of silicon produces a lot of heat. so in practice every object will radiate some heat. it carries along the heat just absorbed. Then. Finally. You will first need to know how much power needs to be dissipated as heat. you can have up to 22V when the line voltage is about 10% 2 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. which is higher when electrical insulation is used. even when it is very hot. such as water or air. A perfect mirror cannot radiate heat. So. which depends strongly on convection. or in combinations. But in practice there is no way to make a mirror that is perfect over the entire electromagnetic spectrum.cl/Electron/Thermal. The dissipated power is calculated by the output current multiplied by the voltage drop over the pass transistors. Then it goes from the casing to a heat sink. when the fluid moves away from the hot area. a completely black body produces a thermal radiation that can be easily calculated from its temperature alone. Every object radiates heat. Just like electrical resistance. . Still. and on its color! The higher the reflectivity. and some other factors. altitude above sea level (thinner air is a worse heat conductor and can carry less heat by convection). so you must assume the worst-case conditions to be safe. so that its fins will be slightly cooler than the mounting surface. Radiation does not require a medium. This heat is conducted through the part's casing. based on the fact that most fluids expand when heating up. which is why many people living in hot climates prefer shiny white cars over darker ones. causing a vertical flow through or around the hot device. the heat sink has a small internal thermal resistance. thermal conduction through the fluid is aided very significantly by physical motion of it. then convection (motion of the fluid) helps the heat move. which has a thermal resistance.8V. while more shiny objects radiate less and need to be evaluated according to their surface.m.html When heat is conducted into a fluid. and captures radiated heat. and is thus the only way of heat transfer that works even in a vacuum. and the same equations apply as for electrical resistance. from DC to cosmic rays. To keep things simple. This latter value changes with conditions. 20A power supply that has the pass transistors mounted with electrical insulation. Very simply stated. If your power supply is designed for a filtered secondary voltage of 20V average under full load. lowering their specific weight and thus rise up. in parallel. Doing a design In this section I will assume some practical values for a fictitious project that many people like to build: A continuous duty. The radiation depends on the body's absolute temperature. So. radiation (color and proximity to hot or cold objects are important). thermal resistance can be placed in series. 13. So. sometimes through a layer of electrical insulation. the lower is the radiation. This jump from the part to the heat sink also has a certain thermal resistance. The thermal equation In most situations involving high power electronic parts. which would be typical. forced air.

thus reducing the total dissipation a little bit from the calculated value. use this one.67K/W.525K/W. You see. this leaves 0.35K/W. The design tolerances eat it up. I usually design for a maximum ambient temperature of 40°C. against the size of the heat sink.. In short. The transistor comes in a TO-3 case. available everywhere in the world. It is rated for 115W at 25°C. the thermal resistance from the silicon chip of a 2N3055 transistor. Their paralleled thermal resistance.1K/W (115W cause the silicon chip to be at 150°C when the case is at 25°C). unless you are designing a system that will have the heat sink inside the box. The voltage applied to the transistors is this. If you design for 60°C. But again. This leaves 0. The absolute minimum number of transistors would be 4. so if the manufacturer doesn't state a different value. and very expensive! Using more transistors Now let's see what happens if we use 6 transistors instead of 4. in exchange for using two more transistors you can use a vastly smaller heat sink! This can be a big cost advantage. Now..m. but in many cases you will find warmer environments. So. Since we can tolerate a total of 0. including insulation. you must assume 22V. you might get away assuming 25°C. Putting transistors in parallel lowers the total thermal resistance. heavy. It's dirt cheap. since 2N3055 transistors 3 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. When it's hotter than that. Silicon usually can tolerate up to 150°C. the total chip-to-heatsink thermal resistance will be 0. between the 150°C the silicon can survive. actually the base drive could be adding to the output current.32K/W for the heat sink. made by many factories. Depending on the circuit layout. with the heat sink standing in free air. but with a lower voltage drop. and the ambient temperature. But with 4 transistors. which means that its internal resistance is about 1.4K/W. the problem is that a heat sink of this low thermal resistance would be huge.145K/W for the heat sink.cl/Electron/Thermal.8V. I like the 2N3055 transistor. you should be pretty safe even in very hot places. This is the difference between the highest permissible temperature of the silicon junction. to the heat sink. . Now we need to balance the number of transistors to use. there are two grease interfaces plus the mica. or 110K.67K/W. I probably won't be using any electronic equipment. There's also a small power dissipated by the base drive. Now you need to know how much temperature drop can be allowed. Since we need to dissipate 164W. When using heat conducting grease between the surfaces. but rather would be trying to survive the heat wave in the swimming pool or the shower! So. For normal home use. will be about 2. but this is usually small enough to be ignored. and quite capable. so you have a voltage drop of 8. will be 0. But when using a mica insulator between the two. Now let's see how we can achieve that. so the total thermal resistance of the connection goes up to about 1K/W! Bad news. this effect is small enough to be ignored. minus the output voltage of 13. we need a total thermal resistance of no higher than 0. we have a span of 110°C.2V. where the air might be even hotter. and the 40°C of the ambient. The other end of the span is not so easy to decide on: In an air-conditioned room.html above nominal. So you must decide which will be the allowable operating limit of your project.1K/W. since even with three we have still more thermal resistance in the transistors and heat sink mounting than the total allowable. including mounting. which is quite large and thus has reasonably low thermal resistance to the heat sink. which multiplied by 20A is 164 Watt. which is the same. a TO-3 case to heat sink connection has a thermal resistance of about 0.Thermal design http://ludens.

8V. more than twice the 2N3055. they will burn out. Summarizing: 4 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. Using more powerful transistors I get much e-mail from people who propose the great idea of using fewer high power transistors instead of more 2N3055s. 6 directly mounted 2N3055 on a 0. Probably this is no longer cost effective.1K/W for the 2N3055. and so they are rated for 20A peak current. That's very simple to explain: These power supplies are not designed for continuous duty at 20A! They are typically used for SSB transceivers. So. not the expected 117%! As a result. the total thermal resistance for each transistor plus mount would be 1. You get only 40% advantage. So. if you want continuous duty at 20A! You may even wonder why reputed companies make 13. . But the thermal resistance of its mounting to the heat sink would be exactly the same as that for the 2N3055. while the average current shall not be higher than 5 or 6A! That can easily be managed with two 2N5886s. a pretty large heat sink is still needed.1K/W each. Avoiding electrical insulation Let's go back to the approach using 2N3055 transistors. Unfortunately.html are cheap. you may want to use an even smaller heat sink. and the best tradeoff may be using about 8 transistors.just as good as the much more expensive 2N5886 when mounted with insulation! So. which can be handled by just 4 of them.5K/W for the 250 Watt transistor. versus 2.8V. the 2N5886 would be a candidate. and very large heat sinks are expensive! If you liked this. But let's skip the mica insulation! This can be done by insulating the heat sink from the case. It's rated at 250 Watt. or by designing the circuit in such a way that the transistor collectors are at ground level. 20A power supplies that have just two pass transistors on a rather small heat sink.6K/W in the total silicon-to-heatsink path. So. which allow to reduce the average filtered secondary voltage to about 18V nominal or 20V worst case. At 2. instead of 8 2N3055 you could use 6 2N5886.17K/W for the transistors. 20A power supply.5K/W. given that they use the same TO-3 case! So. with a 0. the directly mounted 2N3055 ends up with about 1.4K/W heat sink.5K/W. This would leave 0. That gives about 120W dissipation for the pass transistors.4K/W heat sink.Thermal design http://ludens. with the 0. or three 2N3055s. it uses a very low drop regulator design and a large filter capacitor.cl/Electron/Thermal. that's incorrect! A 250W transistor would have a thermal resistance of 0. which brings up the total to about 200W. people reason that they can use half the amount of them.m. you would need about a 12 of them. Let's suppose that you have a heat sink rated at 0. You may wonder why I used only 4 transistors in the project just mentioned? Well. By skipping the insulation we save about 0.5K/W . For example. which will be hugely more expensive! If you use just 4 of them. which is what I did for my 13. But then you must add the heat produced by the driver and the rectifier bridge.4K/W heat sink would work.

depending on alloy Mica: 0. such as RF power transistors. But between copper and aluminum one has a choice: Copper is much better. But all other metals should be avoided.3 Duraluminum (the kind commonly used for extrusions and tubing): 129. It's clear that duraluminum is a bad choice. be sure to correctly calculate everything involved. given that pure. More powerful transistors help. Synthetic rubber is used nowadays in place of mica. Do use transistors with large cases .html Don't strive for low transistor count. will flow through a cubical block of 1 meter on each side. but aluminum is better for thermal resistance per weight (and price). highly toxic. . measured in Watt. so the end effect is similar to a mica insulator mounted with grease. Confused? :-) Thermal conductivity is measured in W/(m*K).the smaller ones have higher case-to-heatsink resistance! And above all. depending on exact alloy Steel: Roughly 50.1 Brass: Roughly 100. That is how much heat power. soft aluminum is cheaper and has much better heat conductivity! Unfortunately.21 Insulating material such as mineral wool: Typically 0. But they are brittle. and as a bonus will give higher effective hFE . and in the case of beryllia. but it is even worse.m. Try to avoid insulation between the transistors and heat sink. the number given here is for pure grease. some oxides. but it is still very far from the thermal 5 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p.cl/Electron/Thermal.1 Pure aluminum: 209.022 (but convection makes this irrelevant in most cases) This table shows the huge range of thermal conductivity you can find. but also much heavier and more expensive. but cleaner. The one used for thermal bonding is loaded with oxide powder. Its advantage is that it doesn't need thermal grease for mounting. The general choice is to use aluminum for the large parts of a heat sink. but not nearly enough to justify their much higher cost.03 Still air: 0. and sometimes not. its conductivity isn't good enough to justify its use for heat sinks. and a small copper "spreader" between the heat sink and physically small components that produce very much heat. Always use heat transfer grease. But there are huge differences between different sorts of aluminum! And copper is better for thermal resistance per volume. Among them. The cases of transistors usually are made of copper too. Sometimes we have to live with them. Here are some values: Pure silver: 418. given that copper is almost as good and very much cheaper. Sometimes it's better to paint the thing black. are decent.35 Grease: 0. rather expensive to make into usable insulators. Using more of them allows much smaller heat sinks. While silver is the winner. many commercially available heat sinks are made from duraluminum.7 Pure copper: 372. Heat sink material Most heat sinks are made from aluminum. when the temperature difference between two opposing surfaces is 1K. Mica is a really lousy heat conductor! The problem is that few electrical insulators are good thermal conductors. which makes it somewhat better for heat transfer. Speaking about grease.Thermal design http://ludens. such as alumina and beryllia.

cl/Electron/Thermal. If you place such a black heat sink in the sun. if you bolt your transistors to the back panel of a box.4 (that's why aluminum roofs are much fresher in summer than zinc ones!) Polished aluminum: 0. because its radiated heat will reflect back onto itself. This is expressed in (10-8)W/(m2 K2) . by how freely air can circulate through it. So the most typical question a designer has at this stage is: What size of heat sink do I need? Unfortunately the answer isn't simple. by all means paint that panel flat black! A flat panel dissipates more heat by radiation than by conduction. at 20°C. and here a flat black surface helps a lot! But it helps only if it looks at other objects that are dark.23 Polished silver: 0. paint the inside of aluminum boxes flat black too. here is one about the radiation constant of different materials. On the other hand.m. and by the temperature difference to the air at which it will have to work. Heat sink size The size of a heat sink obviously is a determining factor to its thermal resistance.67 Matted steel: 5. Heat sink color If your heat sink will work in the air flow of a fan. specially if matted. So. or if it looks at free space. which would otherwise trap air. placing a black heat sink inside a shiny aluminum box is useless. the contribution of radiation will be extremely small. it's a huge lot better than air.Thermal design http://ludens.6 Polished copper: 0. and cooler than the panel. because the thermal resistance is also affected by the shape of the heatsink.28 Matted aluminum: 0. running at 50°C above the surrounding air: 6 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p.4 Matted zinc: 5. Perfect black body: 5. with its lower thermal conductivity. light surfaces emit and capture very little radiation. as any layer of black paint.3 (that's why zinc roofs get so hot in the sun!) Oxidized copper: 3. it's best to leave the aluminum bare. compared to the effect of conduction.html conductivity of metal! Even so. For that reason. while reasonably dark surfaces. and get very hot! Likewise.. will hamper the conduction of heat from aluminum to air more than it may help by increasing radiation. I can give you an empirical equation that is about right for an optimally shaped heatsink in completely free air.. and the oxide powder must be very finely ground.17 There is a simple pattern: Shiny. . it will absorb heat rather than radiating it. This defines the proper way of using it: You must apply enough to fill out all the spaces left by the imperfections of the metal surfaces. so that the electronic parts inside the box can cool themselves by radiation into the aluminum box! Do you want another table? Well. are almost perfect radiators and capturers. but not a tad more! Using too much thermal grease can be worse than using none at all! And the grease must be fluid enough to be easily squeezed out when moderately tightening the mounting bolts.

while a heatsink of half as much thermal resistance would require a volume of 2. cause noise.8 liters.cl/Electron/Thermal. The following results: TempRise [°C] = 10 * ( 0. if the thermal conductivity of the material is so good that there is negligible temperature drop along the heat sink. but if you apply 25 Watt. the thermal resistance decreases as the temperature difference increases. Remember that this empirical equation is reasonably accurate only if the heat sink has enough fins efficiently using its volume. of two liters volume.m.html Heatsink volume (liters) = 0. With the low cost of today's brushless DC fans.5°C/W at 50°C difference. . 1W fan to it. by using a fan.2 liters. if air can circulate freely. driven down by the computer industry. than by the dissipation 7 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. but also the air will flow twice as fast. And this change is pretty large: The power to temperature rise ratio is almost square law.13°C/W! It was now more limited by conduction along the baseplate. and if you apply 100 Watt. so that we need to use a bigger heat sink or add a fan. Then I added a small 12V. but in many cases you will need to adjust the results through experiment. this would equate to a heatsink volume of 0. So. with twice the temperature difference a given heat sink can dissipate four times as much power! This effect is easy to explain: If the temperature difference is twice as high. but more reliable.68 * Power[Watt]0.8 liter heat sink would heat up to 50 degrees above the ambient when you apply 50 Watt to it. Most likely this would be too high a temperature. you may ask? To find out. I built a test heatsink from pure copper. my equations can give you a basis from which you can start. We can merge the square law relationship with the equation relating volume to thermal resistance at 50 degrees rise. and can fail. and with almost a square meter of fin surface. rather than a big. vibration. is extremely effective in lowering its effective thermal resistance. But don't take this as an exact science. it's generally cheaper to use a small heat sink with a fan. it will heat up more than 25 degrees above ambient.Thermal design http://ludens. fanless one producing the same thermal resistance.5 So. because the larger temperature difference speeds up convection.8 / thermal resistance1. it will not reach 100°C above the ambient! Stated in words. a heat sink having a volume of half a liter and carrying a transistor that produces 50 Watt of heat would rise its temperature roughly 97°C above the surrounding air. A correctly done fanless design will usually be more expensive and heavier. Fans Forcing a fast air flow through a heat sink. This gave me a thermal resistance of roughly 0. How much does a fan lower the thermal resistance. energy-efficient and much more comfortable. Each designer must weigh the relative merits of both approaches. each quantity of air absorbs twice the heat.8 / Vol[liters])0. if you need a thermal resistance of 1°C/W.47 As an example. But economics should not be the only consideration: Fans need (waste) energy. the 0. that is. At high airspeeds. so that it will take away four times as much heat. and also it is valid only at 50 degrees difference between the heat sink and the air. the friction loss again bends the equation. The thermal resistance plummeted to 0. much more than twice the volume of the other! Which leads to the conclusion that several small heat sinks can be more convenient than a single large one. and any radiative effects also distort it. This of course holds true only if they are placed far enough from each other. so that cool air can freely circulate through each of them. So.

designed to be used with a fan. If you use a smaller one. has been much neglected in recent decades. and thus get much improved cooling without any noise. just above the part to be cooled. Without a fan. but I know people so fed up with the noise of their computer's fans. will benefit more than one with thin fins. you need to blow about 32 grams of air through the heat sink. To really reach an effectiveness close to that of a fan. These requirements would probably equate to a moderately noisy fan. you can have a warm air column much taller than the heat sink's size. At higher altitudes you need a larger volume of air. designed for natural convection. will aid the chimney's efficacy.cl/Electron/Thermal. it would need a calculated volume of around 16 liters. A heater element placed low in the chimney. this method can be warranted! The heater should be installed in such a way that it doesn't radiate heat into the part to be cooled. fills the chimney. the temperature rise of the air will be higher. The warm air rises.5 cubic meters per minute. than if there was no chimney! Without one. In some cases. or 1.Thermal design http://ludens. that they have thrown out the fans and installed tall chimneys on their computers! If you have the room and don't mind the funny look. with no penalty in noise. so that you need an airflow of 25 liters per second. only the air inside and very close the heat sink causes a convective force. so that much more air flows through the heat sink. thus being 8 times as large as the one with fan! With a fan. . Which means that a heat sink with thick fins. air weighs 1. air flow is basically constant. regardless of temperature difference. and the thermal resistance of the heat sink will become pretty high. well known in the glorious days when radios used valve technology. at least for equipment not moved around too often. So. At sea level.m. nor risk of failures! The only disadvantage of chimneys is that they need to be taller to become more effective. but also 8 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. Note that to obtain the same 0. But it is still a valid option! A chimney is simply a thermally insulating tube placed above the heat sink or hot part.293 grams per liter. if you want the air to leave the heat sink no hotter than 5K above the ambient temperature. the temperature rise much higher. and the tall column of warm air produces a strong convective force. energy waste. Water cooling Water has a thermal capacity of 4. which means that applying a heat energy of slightly over 1000 Joule to 1 kilogram of air makes its temperature rise by 1 Kelvin.html capabilities of the fins. the air flow will be much lower. a chimney may need to be almost as tall as the room is high! That may look outlandish. With a chimney. which directly impacts the effective thermal resistance of the heat sink. for our power supply example dissipating 164W. but with a large energy waste.13°C/W thermal resistance with a fanless heat sink. One Joule is one Watt during one second. so the heat sink/fan combination has a pretty constant thermal resistance. a chimney can be a lot more attractive than a fan.183 kJ/(kg K). How much air is needed? Air has a thermal capacity of slightly over 1 kJ/(kg K) at usual room temperature. in every second. Chimneys This method for improving cooling. That's not only more than 4 times better than air.

The liquid flows back to the hot end. Avoid sockets. They are commonly used in space technology. and I have seen them used in some high-end audio amplifiers. and temperature range. and the like. But it has certain restrictions in operating position. For the electronic hobbyist. And most small parts work at a power that is low enough so they stay cool just by air convection around them. High power transmitters very often use water cooling. one month at 85°C. ICs simply falling out of them. an electrolytic capacitor can die in a matter of hours! A typical electrolytic capacitor can live for 30 years at room temperature. which means that the volume of water required to cool something is more than 3000 times smaller than the volume of air! That's why almost all devices that generate a lot of heat in a small space. rectifier diodes. the heat evaporates the liquid. The vapor flows along the pipe and condenses at the other end.m. but also they cause endless contact problems. An effective even if ugly method for improving cooling is to paint shiny parts flat black. they are probably a bit too exotic! Small components It is impractical to bolt every small component to a heat sink.cl/Electron/Thermal. A heat pipe like this is much more effective in transporting heat. a very silent and effective cooling system can be built. But with parts running a bit higher power. The water can then be piped away.html water is 773 times denser. typically a half to a few Watt. The heat exchanger may be built like a car "radiator". causing higher power ICs to overheat. like the plague!!! Not only do they thermally insulate the IC from the printed circuit board. could supply that flow. Of course. for the same 5 K rise! A very small pump. is placing small electrolytic capacitors close to hot spots. where the heat sink is. and conduction through the device's pins.Thermal design http://ludens. such as car engines. one year at 60°C. . Our sample power supply could be built with the transistors mounted to a small hollow copper block fed by a flow of only about a half liter of water per minute. and so the designer must make sure that the capacitor will stay at a temperature very much lower than this! That precludes placing it close to power resistors. and so on. use water cooling. hobbyists often run into trouble by improper thermal design! One of the most beloved mistakes is mounting ICs in sockets. radiation from the part to other parts and the box. than a copper or aluminum bar of similar weight can be. and do the same to the box' inside and outside! The radiative cooling obtained in this way is very noticeable! A grave mistake shared by hobbyists with many "professional" designers. and give its heat off to the air in an heat exchanger. typically 85°C. which is the temperature at which they will live for 1000 hours. added inductance leading to instability. a silicon junction can live forever. Heat pipes Another way to solve the problem of heat conduction is by the use of so-called heat pipes. They are often rated for a given temperature. 1000 hours is not an acceptable lifqe span for an electronic component. Where the transistor is mounted to this pipe. Water cooling is attractive too for high power electronics. 9 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. wrongly called "radiator" in car mechanic's lingo. but electrolytic capacitors like it even less! At 100°C. It's true that semiconductors don't like heat. partly filled with a liquid that evaporates at a convenient temperature. and one hour at 110°C. and since it can be made large without the problem of thermal resistance hampering heat flow along it. made with a rocker motor or a solenoid pushing against a silicone hose. These are simply sealed metal tubes. At the same temperature.

The bootstrap capacitor in switching power supplies using the ubiquitous UC3842 IC is one very typical victim. monitors.cl/Electron/Thermal. which heats it from the inside and makes it fail even sooner. In some cases this is compounded by the designers allowing too much ripple current to flow in a small capacitor.m. 10 of 10 01/10/2012 09:12 p. and switching power supplies for all kinds of gadgets.html Unfortunately many electronic designers in the industry don't know this.Thermal design http://ludens. in TVs. . don't care for it. So it may be better if I stop here! Back to homo ludens electronicus. and in my experience the single most recurring failure is small electrolytic capacitors dried out from excess heat. complaining about bad engineering instead of teaching you heatsinking tricks. and the poor beasts pressed into TV and monitor deflection service come second in the list of electrolytic capacitors assassinated by poor equipment design. keeping the money rolling. It seems that I'm veering off the proper course. I have been repairing electronic equipment for two decades. or perhaps even intentionally misdesign equipment so that it fails soon and forces the consumer to buy a new one.

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