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anyone ever use a heat sink?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author anyone ever use a heat sink?
Kind of a n00b question, but I was wondering if anyone has ever had to use a heat sink to protect a component while building a module? Of the components common to synthesizer electronics, are any sensitive enough to require this safeguard?
oops thanks
PSU or power amplifiers, yes
this stuff? I don't think so
not so hot (only +/- 15 or 12 V)
good ventilation will keep it alive longer though
5v regulators
thats about it
6.4 Billion
You mean to protect against heat while soldering? Just applying heat for a few seconds while soldering is okay. If for some reason it's tough to solder and you will be applying a lot of heavy heat, you can use a little alligator clip on the lead of the component between where the soldering iron tip contacts and the heat sensitive part.
i've read that polystyrene capacitors can be ruined by too much heat during soldering. i clip an alligator clip on the wire between the iron/board and component while soldering, haven't had a problem (only done a couple dozen like this).
If the PCB, component, and iron are all clean then there shouldn't be a need for one usually as the joint shouldn't take more than a second or two. The times I've had trouble in the past has been with some rare transistors - most components handle heat without problems. If it's an expensive or fragile component a little metal clip between the board and the body of the component should provide all the heatsinking you'll need, provided you're not soldering the same joint for more than a couple seconds. Here's one for $0.76 from Mouser: Link

Also, if you need to redo the joint or it's taking you more than one try to solder it, give it some time to cool down. Much better to wait a minute and work on a few other things than to fry a component and turn a 10 second project into a pain in the ass extravaganza.
ive destroyed polystyrene caps with heat, so i own this heatsink now, although really supercareful paranoid soldering works fine now.

Polystyrene caps and germanium diodes/transistors are the most fragile where heat is concerned.

Some connectors have plastic that melts quickly if you heat the pin for too long also.
One precaution I take with sensitive components is to solder, then de-solder the pads for these components on the PCB prior to inserting the component. This is a form of extra tinning, which reduces the time taken to solder the component. Some of the time in soldering any PCB joint is waiting for the solder to wick around the whole pad, doing this first can save a second or so in the time the iron is heating the component. Don't go too mad though, as some PCB's are also sensitive to heating multiple times.

I also "clean" the leads of the component prior to soldering, by scraping any oxide off the leads using needle nose pliers (preferably those with serrated jaws). You can get a tool to do this, which looks like a spring clip with wire gauze on each jaw.

Just my personal method, but it works for me.


thanks for the answers guys! I have one of those red clips, just wondering if/when to use it. I'm starting a CGS Ring mod soon. Sounds like it might be a good idea to use the clip for the Diodes? or just when de-soldering?

cheers Guinness ftw!
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