Topic: ADI-2 PRO gets quite hot after a while

Hello, I received the ADI-2 PRO last week, so far I'm very impressed, both the converters and the headphones amp deliver a super detailed sound as promised. I'd definitely say it's a mastering grade AD-DA, it even exceeds my expectations..
In order to make a good use of it, I was wondering, I noticed that the device, when sitting on a desk, gets a little hot after a couple hours of use, nothing to be worried about considering that the ADI-2 PRO features some advanced multi-layering and circuits so i don't expect of course it to stay cool like a normal sound card..
Nevertheless the other day I put it where I'd like it to be, which is in between two racks in my my studio. The venting ports on the side were of course free to 'breathe'. Even if both the 2 racks were turned off I noticed that the front panel got quite hot after about 1 hour. Should I be worried and leave it completely 'open' on every side?
I'm wondering if such a sandwiching between other racks could damage it..
I thank you in advance for any advice about this.

2

Re: ADI-2 PRO gets quite hot after a while

The unit has a 10 layer PCB that spreads the heat totally even over the PCB. That means that all components have the same temperature, instead of some staying cool and others getting really hot. The temperatures reached are no problem for any silicon. They could only be a problem for the electrolytic capacitors, drying them out more quickly. Of course we were aware of that. The special low ESR types used throughout also have higher temperature specs, a lot higher than the typical temperature of the PCB.

Due to the 10 Layer PCB and multiple ground connections the internal heat is transferred easily to the housing, much more than on comparable units (where this heat would stay locally with a few components, really stressing those). So the ADI-2 Pro indeed gets more than just warm on the outside. Don't be worried, that is a good sign, not a bad one. As long as the vents on the sides are open a long-time operation is secure and safe.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

3 (edited by attilafaravelli 2016-12-26 01:08:36)

Re: ADI-2 PRO gets quite hot after a while

Thanks for the fast and detailed reply, good to know!

Given the ability of the ADI-2 PRO to be battery operated, I had another question.. I thank you in advance for your time:

The RME's AD section is so much more accurate and pristine than the one in my Sound Devices 633 (field mixer-recorder) that I'd consider using the ADI-2 PRO as the converter preceded by the Millennia HV-32P stereo preamp (also portable) for some location music recordings. From time to time, I happen to record in churches (no heating system at all, and when there is one we have to turn it off for recording) where the humidity levels can sometimes challenge my condenser microphones' capsules. I never had any issue with the Millennia, but it's a much much simpler circuit.. About the Sound Devices, I know for sure it has some sort of strange internal 'coating' to prevent damaging the electronics with wet air. Would you consider it risky to use the ADI-2 PRO in a climatically uncontrolled environment?  Of course I'm not talking about the tropical forrest nor the sandy desert.. Still, I was wondering if I could feel confident not to damage the ADI-2 PRO if I use to record music inside a space which is not the typical studio.

4

Re: ADI-2 PRO gets quite hot after a while

I see no problem with that.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: ADI-2 PRO gets quite hot after a while

MC wrote:

The unit has a 10 layer PCB that spreads the heat totally even over the PCB. That means that all components have the same temperature, instead of some staying cool and others getting really hot. The temperatures reached are no problem for any silicon. They could only be a problem for the electrolytic capacitors, drying them out more quickly. Of course we were aware of that. The special low ESR types used throughout also have higher temperature specs, a lot higher than the typical temperature of the PCB.

Due to the 10 Layer PCB and multiple ground connections the internal heat is transferred easily to the housing, much more than on comparable units (where this heat would stay locally with a few components, really stressing those). So the ADI-2 Pro indeed gets more than just warm on the outside. Don't be worried, that is a good sign, not a bad one. As long as the vents on the sides are open a long-time operation is secure and safe.

Thank you MC, that is some very good and comforting information to know.  At first I was shocked to find that after about 3 hours use I could not hold my fingers on the front panel of the ADI-2 Pro for more than about 5 seconds.  I must admit this freaked me out!
My ADI-2 Pro is mounted in a  custom wood cabinet next to my mastering console.  I was concerned that words like hot, quite hot, more than warm, I felt, might be a little subjective so I decided to do a little science. I got my IR remote thermometer out and measured the front panel around the on/off power button which was the highest temperature on the front panel and it measured 58.1 C.  (125 F.)  Putting the Laser beam spot on the sides of the ADI-2 Pro's case from behind the open back of the enclosure yielded a temperature of 51 C.  (123.8 F). 

Again, my ADI-2 Pro is in a custom made wooden 1U rack cabinet and it mounts using the RME full width 19" rack mounting kit.  There is about a 4mm air gap on the front of the rack from the top and bottom for ventilation and the rear is entirely open.  The width of the cabinet allows the side vent to be completely open and free for air circulation. Nothing else is in the cabinet except for the DB breakout connector and cables.
1.) Should I be concerned that the ADI-2 Pro should not be mounted in this way?
2.) Should I be concerned leaving this unit on 24/7 as I do with all my studio gear?
3.) Would it be necessary to mount a small muffin fan in the wooden cabinet?

So now we have some numbers, at least on my unit and setup. 
Please let me know if the numbers I measured are of any concern.

Thank you very much for your knowledge and help...

Martin

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Re: ADI-2 PRO gets quite hot after a while

Yes, that is the expected temperature. While operation under normal conditions would be thought of as safe, letting the unit running 24/7 in that enclosure a small fan to exchange the air seems to be a better solution.

Your setup is interesting. I admit I never thought about how much heat is transported by the 19" rack mounts (do they get warm at all?), or if that can be improved by putting a thermal pad between ADI-2 Pro and RM.

Thermally seen mounting the ADI-2 Pro onto the 19" universal rackmount might be the better solution than the RM19-X, in your case. The 19" wide and deep metal bottom plate can take away a lot of heat, much more than air is capable.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: ADI-2 PRO gets quite hot after a while

The RM19-x half-rack adaptor plates for the ADI-2 Pro run at a temperature of about 30 to 33 C when the ADI-2 Pro's front panel is in the mid-50's C.  So they do get warm, but noting like the front panel of he ADI2 Pro.  I am going to see what I can find for a thin heatsink and perhaps also go with a small fan.
Thanks very much for your help and info...
Martin
PS - I am having a nightmare trying to figure out how to use this unit as mastering converters going out of my FF800, and also the MADI drivers that take over the FF800...but I will post that in a different thread.  Suffice to say I have not been able to get anything working in the last few days -- I've given it my best shot but I need some help.