View Full Version : Were CPU heatsinks around in the mid 70's? Is this one? Pics enclosed

July 29th, 2006, 03:59 AM
Were CPU (or other chip) heatsinks as we know them around in the mid 70's?

Does this look like one? Please note that the rounded groove on one side may be a modification, but does it look at all familiar to anyone who was into computers back then? It is approx. 45mm long (1.77").

Thanks :)


July 29th, 2006, 02:17 PM
I served as an electronics technician in the military. Here in Australia, we tend to keep things in operation past what was perhaps intended (eg. 1950's radar still in operation in the 80's). As a result, I worked on lots of old computer equipment.
From my experience, in the 70's, boards of chips (IC's) were normally cooled by blowing air across them. In the 70's, I would expect the kind of heatsink you show to have been used in the cooling of transistors or valves (metal casing).

July 29th, 2006, 06:03 PM
Yes, I would agree that those heatsinks look like they belong to Tubes ( valves ).

CP/M User
July 29th, 2006, 10:08 PM
tgunner wrote:

> Yes, I would agree that those heatsinks look like
> they belong to Tubes ( valves ).

That would have to mean that those heatsinks would have to be
a lot older (perhaps designed in the 50s?). I agree - I've
read stuff about valves heating up & even burning out - so
they'd need something to allow heat to escape quickly to help
the situation.

CP/M User.

July 30th, 2006, 01:31 AM
The definition of valve includes high power devices such as kylstrons and magnetrons.
On the ground based radars I worked on, these were usually cooled by the combination of heatsinking and forced air cooling.
You can even see heatsinks on some of the old valves shown at http://www.electricstuff.co.uk/highfreq.html

nige the hippy
July 30th, 2006, 01:42 PM
when I worked in computer repair in the mid 80s, the IBM boys used to have loads of old 70's water(i think?) cooled modules. could have been oil, but they were definitely pcbs with an aluminium box over them, and a pair of pipes sticking out. stuff like ECL logic gets pretty hot, and the hotter it gets the slower it works. Heatsinking sort of disappeared a bit in the late 70s and early 80s as MOS came in then came back as clock speed envelopes got pushed further. It is interesting to note that the '86 family of processors tend to be a bit power hungry, a few years back I saw a demo of a RISC PC chip running off the waste heat from a pentium, and out performing it! probably a slightly contrived demo, but all the same...

July 30th, 2006, 07:00 PM
they kinda look like electric motor heatsinks.

July 30th, 2006, 08:56 PM
Heat sinks weren't used on the early PCs that used 8080, Z80, 6800, etc CPUs. Nor did the first IBM PCs that used 8086/8088 chips have heatsinks.

Your radiators may not have even been used as electronics coolers. For example, they could have been used to cool some kind of pneumatic or hydraulic device.

Or they could be Orgone receivers.

July 31st, 2006, 09:43 AM
Thanks for all the input guys. I'll look into some of this.

I would really like to find one of these things.

August 10th, 2006, 07:54 AM
I've hunted high and low and haven't found anything remotely close!

Anyone else have any ideas?