During the hot summer days, some amplifiers can reach tremendous heat levels, particularly when in bandpass mode at low resistance. Extreme heat can cause amplifier malfunction and even destruction, which is a very costly mistake. Cooling will extend the life of your amplifier and allow it to reach higher power levels without problems. To take advantage of this, one can easily set up an amplifier cooling system using a number of fans.
The hardcore among you might suggest a water cooling set up for the amplifier, but i believe this is very extreme. Air cooling is more than adequate for this sort of application. Unless you have salvaged several computer style fans, this may cost you a small amount. The amount of fans you use will effect the performance of the cooling, and you should decide how many to use based on your setup. If your amp is burning hot to the touch, maybe four or six fans is a good idea. If your amp isn't that hot, two fans will probably be enough.
Once you have your fans, you have to build a box of some sort for your amplifier. The box should have openings on which you can attach the fans and allow for adequate air flow, as well as the entry and exit of wires for the amplifier. An effective box would be as large as the amplifier, with at least two inches of space each for above and below the amplifier. The amplifier would be standing off the bottom of the box with pieces of wood or whatever you can use. Then equally divide the fans for each side of the box (if you have 4 fans, two would be for a side) and set it up so that on one side of the box, the fans would blow into the box and on the other side they would be blowing out of the box. This sort of arrangement allows for the best airflow through the box. Note that two sides of the box would be without fans, and this is intentional.
Once you have the box setup and the fans attached in the proper manner, you must wire the fans to a power source. I would suggest running two wires from the amplifier, one from the ground and one from the power, and then splicing these into other wires running into each fan. Also, a switch should be placed in line with either the ground or power wire to turn off and on the fans. This is necessary to disallow battery drain when the car is not in operation. The switch can be placed just about anywhere, but you will have to make sure the wire is long enough to accommodate the setup.
Once you have the switch in place and the fans wired up, you are ready to go. Congratulations, you have made the heat transfer from your amplifier to the air much more efficient, extending the life of your amp and increasing its reliability during extreme usage. I plan to try this out and put up pictures from my efforts on this page.
Article Written By Jonathan Dunder
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