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heat and 8-Series Portable Mixer-Recorders - heat sink? natural convection


PCMsoundie
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I used a SD 888 recently outside when it was 90 degrees F (32 C) with AC power and it put off a lot of heat. I had it in a bag with sides open and even put a XLR head between the 888 and the bag wall to have 3/4" air on top and bottom. I only had 4 of the analog channels turned on. The XL-AES accessory was installed but not being used. It was still hot to touch.

The 888 Operators manual states

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 ENVIRONMENTAL Operating: -20° C to 60° C, 0 to 90% relative humidity (non-condensing)

that is 140 degree F !


from Sound Devices 8-series FAQ

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I noticed my 8-Series mixer-recorder can get warm when in use, is this normal?
Yes. By design, the chassis gets warm, wicking away the heat from the internal components. The cooling of internal components is important for long-term reliability; this is accomplished via our electro-mechanical design which uses high-thermal-conductivity aluminum and direct heat-sinking of critical internal components.

Best practices for keeping your mixer-recorder as cool as possible include powering down unused channels when not in use, leaving at least ½” of air space around it when used within a bag, and by opening rear/side flaps of the bag to allow air to flow.

 

 

I was considering for long term perhaps having a heat sink for natural convection would be better especially for when in a bag and running around you don't want a lot of space around it to jostle around. Would a heat sink help here?

 

Doing a little searching on JWSound I found this very old 2009 post

 about issues with Sound Devices 788T in a bag

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5. Heat Buildup: There has been some reports of heat build up. I have not personally experienced these yet, but I haven't yet operated my unit in the hottest part of the summer. According to Jon @ Sound Devices, the 788t can run very hot without any instances of lockups or problems.  The chassis itself is designed as the heatsink.


Has anyone used a heat sink on top of their 788T, 688, or 888, Scorpio when in a bag as you were concerned about heat and longevity of the electronics too? Any experiences you can share?

I was considering a 1/2" tall heat sink as a passive heat exchanger big enough to cover the entire top of the 888. 

I really don't want to use Thermally Conductive Grease (like Lectrosonics silver conductive grease)  on the 888.

 

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Personally I‘d be worried about the added weight of a heat sink.

 

But in a bag setup, air circulation is most likely more effective then a heat sink. So if you‘re worried I’d look for a small silent battery powered fan, even a tiny bit of airflow should make quite a difference.

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'When the battery has cooled, it actually delivers more electricity than was used to charge it.'

 

This is totally impossible by our laws of nature.


It 'should' read something:
'When the battery has cooled, it actually delivers more electricity than THE AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY that was used to charge it.'
The waste energy is added of course.

Still a clever idea.

 

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I think using some sort of spacer that allows an air gap around the recorder but still lets you to snug it in tight in a bag would be best. I think trying to couple an actual heat sink to the surface of the recorder could work if you somehow manage to do a professional job attaching it but more likely the result would be to make the heat dissipation worse. Since it’s an irregular surface and not designed at all for having a heat sink applied I would not even try. Too much margin for error. Unless you take the panel to a machinist and get it ground down to a mirror like finish and then use thermal adhesive… or really if you were going down this path it would be better to have a new panel machined that has the heat sink integrated in the design. If it were really necessary Sound Devices would have done it already. I’m guessing they decided that keeping the same form factor as the previous recorder was more important for sales and user happiness than designing a box that runs a few degrees cooler. 

 

It seems like they’re designed to run hot. Even when installed in a rack with plenty of airflow all around the case is still hot to the touch. 
 

This is one area where Zaxcom deserves a nod. Somehow all of their machines seem to sip power and run cool. Wonder what the difference is. 

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14 hours ago, Derek H said:

This is one area where Zaxcom deserves a nod. Somehow all of their machines seem to sip power and run cool. Wonder what the difference is. 

It's definitely one of the very few areas I prefer my Zaxcom Maxx over the Sound Devices 833, it is like night & day in terms of barely using power compared to my 833 instead. 

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Zaxcom products are very low power due to the obsessive need I have to use extremely high efficiency power supplies and to use the lowest power components where possible. We also use relatively low power DSP processors running our own operating system that is much more efficient than Linux or MS OS. 

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On 7/8/2021 at 6:23 AM, IronFilm said:

It's definitely one of the very few areas I prefer my Zaxcom Maxx over the Sound Devices 833, it is like night & day in terms of barely using power compared to my 833 instead. 


Some of it may also be due to the number of processors used in each recorder. You never tire to mention how powerful the 833 is….

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