DIY Copper Pipe Heatsinks

DIY Copper Pipe Heatsinks
This is a super cheap and easy cooling solution for Pololu’s and other small part that needs a heat sink.

Copper heatsink

Take a scrap of copper pipe of any smallish diameter and cut into ~1/4″ lengths. Use pliers to create a flat spot, then bend the rest so it stands upright (You could try leaving them mostly circular, but I was concerned about the slightly increased chance of a short). File or sand the flat spot so it is very flat to get the best heat transfer. Attach with thermal epoxy.

Be careful using thermal tape or other lower-strength adhesives (and normal PC thermal compound is non-adhesive so is absolutely not suitable, the heatsink WILL fall off), I had a heatsink attached with thermal tape fall off during use and cause a short that destroyed all four of my Pololu’s. To make matters even worse, two of them still seemed to work, but would randomly miss steps, so it ended up costing me four Pololu’s and several days of debugging time. Save yourself the potential hassle and use the right adhesive from the beginning.

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