Power amplifier heatsinks

Ideas, technical topics, help and discussion for ATV enthusiasts
Forum rules
This forum is run by the BATC (British Amateur Television Club), it is service made freely available to all interested parties, please do not abuse this privilege.

Thank you
Post Reply
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:35 am

Power amplifier heatsinks

Post by g8vpg » Sat May 04, 2019 1:53 pm

Does anybody know about the grey coloured, plastic looking film that is often applied to heatsinks? I am led to believe that it is a heat conducting layer that is used in preference to conventional heat sink paste. My QO100 amplifier heatsink has this film applied, but it is clear that the amplifier case is quite a bit warmer than the heatsink and it looks more like an insulating layer to me. Does anyone have any professional knowledge of why and how this is used?
73 Shaun.

Posts: 888
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:15 am

Re: Power amplifier heatsinks

Post by g0mjw » Sat May 04, 2019 2:16 pm

Sounds like a thermal pad. It will have some thermal resistance so you expect a gradient across it.

E.g. https://uk.farnell.com/3m/120mm-1m-0-5m ... dp/2820143 where you will find a data sheet.


Site Admin
Posts: 1267
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:21 pm

Re: Power amplifier heatsinks

Post by G8GKQ » Sun May 05, 2019 3:16 pm

Hi Shaun

Those thermal pads were standard on the GigaTech PAs and blown heatsinks. Mine was in a bit of a state so I scraped it off and used heatsink compound.

The "Polish PAs" that Noel and I now use also have one. Seems quite effective when properly mounted (>200 W dissapation on mine)


Posts: 155
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:32 am

Re: Power amplifier heatsinks

Post by G1BVI » Sun May 05, 2019 7:09 pm

Be careful because it could be an insulator too.
Not seen an image but back in the day 2N3055 devices in a TO3 package had to be insulayed from the heatsink but still im thermal contact using thermal paste
Mica washers were used and other materials.



Post Reply

Return to “General ATV Discussion”