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Hot Air Rises and Heat Sinks: Everything You Know About Cooling Electronics Is Wrong [Paperback]

by Tony Kordyban
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 7, 1998 0791800741 978-0791800744
This popular book is a collection of myths, mistakes, and lessons learned from practicing engineers involved in the field of electronic equipment cooling. Through entertaining anecdotes and stories based on his experience at Tellabs Operations, Inc. Tony Kordyban covers basic dimensions of heat transfer concepts--mostly from real problems which were incorrectly solved at least once before a correct technique was applied. The book's 31 chapters, each on an important and relevant topic, contain simple line drawings to help illustrate the basic concepts, while the text provides accurate and complete technical explanations. The book's case study approach makes it an extremely useful and handy reference--and Kordyban's clear and entertaining writing style mixes technical subject matter with humor and is both iinteresting and instructive.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Kordyban is a thermal analysis specialist at Tellabs Operations, Inc., a billion dollar developer and supplier of telecommunications equipment. He has also worked in electronic packaging design and thermal analysis at Sola Electric and at Bell Labs.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: ASME Press (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) (July 7, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791800741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791800744
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I have been a writer all my life. I was nine years old when Mom said it was OK to use the Remington typewriter she got at the rummage sale, as long as I promised to push down only one key at a time and always have a sheet of paper in the roller. Within two days I had pecked out my first adventure tale, "The Babies Underwater," featuring the charming and mischievous Baby Bwudder and Baby Bwat. The plot was heavy on sound effects, and included a trampoline capable of propelling the twin babies all the way to the moon. The story was a hit with my younger sisters, especially when read aloud, and I never stopped writing after that.

Growing up in Buffalo, New York, and later, Detroit, provided me tons of Jean Shepherd-type material to work with, even though I was deprived of his Depression-era advantage. As I was graduating from the University of Detroit, ready to become a cartoonist, the next great American novelist, or perhaps a newspaper editor, AT&T offered to pay me to go to graduate school in California to become an engineer. So I ended up as Dilbert instead of Scott Adams, engineering my life away in a cubicle. Eventually I specialized in the obscure field of cooling electronics (basic secret: if it gets hot, point a fan at it).

Although I had sold out for mere monetary security and technical challenges, I never stopped writing stories. At work I circulated a simple newsletter about cooling electronics. In it, my fictional character Herbie kept making cooling mistakes, and I had to keep fixing them. The newsletter was well received, so I cranked them out regularly to a growing audience. In response to popular demand, I collected the stories into a couple of books that were published by ASME Press: "Hot Air Rises and Heat Sinks," and "More Hot Air." They have been praised as being "the funniest books ever written on keeping electronics from overheating." Honest. Humorous technical books. That should tell you something.

My latest book, a fun novel based on the mostly imagined memory of people I grew up with in Detroit, sprang out of a simple idea. What would happen if you went to a town and everybody you met there was insane? How would you know you weren't the crazy one? Doesn't it seem that way when you visit the town where you grew up? I sat down at the old Remington with just that one idea, and as I started to type, the characters appeared and started to play out the story. All I did was watch them and write it down. OK, maybe that makes it seem like I'm the crazy one. Does it seem crazy to title a book "The Loose Meat Sandwich King of Hamtramck"? I think it's better than the original working title, "A Dead Guy Stole Your Identity." And it has hardly any cooling of electronics.

I am a great admirer of the action books of Elmore Leonard (a fellow Detroiter), but my storytelling tends to lie somewhere between the colorful nostalgia of Leif Enger's "Peace Like a River" and the goofiness of Dave Barry. I'm not in the same league with these writing giants, I'm just giving you some familiar literary signposts for the neighborhood I'm writing in.

I have lived my adult life (when did I become an adult?) in the Chicago area, where I continue cooling electronics and writing amusing stories. And I still struggle to outdo my best opening line ever, which my wife discovered in a pile of papers in the basement. In the eighth grade I scribbled down a short story that starts:

"I was sleeping as peacefully as could be expected ... for a spy."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Mr. Kordyban has brought out a great little book here: "Hot Air Rises and Heat Sinks". This book cleverly debunks many of the old myths about thermal management for circuit boards and rack-mounted equipment. If you like my writing, you'll like his. He's a great story-teller. This book is LITERALLY not of much use to an engineer who's designing an IC - but it WILL be of great use to the IC applications engineers who have to help the customer get the ICs built up on boards, and get the heat out. I recommend this book to anyone who builds circuits on PC boards, even if they only get a LITTLE warm. This book is specially good for educating young engineers - who have never had any chance to learn this in school. Kordyban USES computers - but does not just trust them - he checks the computer results with sanity checks and calibration tests and sample problems. Excellent technical writing, and fun to read. Good man!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Curse Mr. Kordyban - he's get me all interested in thermal flow now. This book is great ! It flows [huh] really well, is relatively humourous (no, really), and gets across some basic lessons in electronics cooling. A must read for all you overclockers who are having to put bigger and bigger heatsinks on everything. I followed a few simple recommendations in this book, (just repositioning a few components and adjusting airflow) and now my computers run much cooler (and more stably). Now I can't walk into a datacenter without looking for the ac units, and checking for fans, drive positioning etc. This is a field that I'm convinced is going to be much more important in the future - this handbook is a great introduction to the field and some real practical things you can use right now. If you are looking for some honking big text book, this isn't for you. But who is ?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Thermal issues July 10, 2001
Started reading, simply could not stop. Direct and to the point, this book based on real facts is simply refreshing, a great source of valuable technical information presented in a very easy to understand and "humorous" fashion, that will keep you going and going and going.
I recommend this book to anyone brave enough to attemp thermal qualification of any type of electronic system, and many "real life" lessons are to be learned. A must in your collection of "got to have" titles !!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and educational. June 24, 1999
By A Customer
Our copy is with its third reader, with another three in line. I recommend it to anybody at all responsible for cooling electronics, with or without any background in heat transfer.
Kordyban teaches heat transfer with practical examples, geared specifically towards electronics cooling. He debunks many myths and misconceptions along the way. The book really is entertaining, too. I laughed out loud. I wish more technical books were as enjoyable to read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent practical insight. January 13, 1999
By A Customer
This book was entirely appropriate for my current situation. I am working in a company that has antiquated perceptions in the way in views electronics cooling. About 90% of this book applied directly to my situations: fear of fans, semiconductor reliability, thermocouple difficulties, attitudes toward standards, experimental techniques, climate control systems.... the list goes on. My hat is off to the author. After getting a copy for myself, I bought 10 copies for others in the company. The book is easy to read, is very understandable, and has good technical content.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, Good Practical Information July 22, 2002
As a practicing electronics design engineer I found the information in the book very interesting. So often the only way to really grasp engineering is through encountering real world problems and having to figure out what is going on. This "opps" engineering approuch is a slow one. This book takes a wealth of real world thermal engineering problems and presents them in a fun, easy to read format giving you the information so you don't have to make the same mistake. It also gives some history behind various industry standards and myths.
The only addition I would have liked would have been a discussion of horizontally mounted PCB's and how heat transfers from these boards.
A great read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY AND INTERESTING March 14, 1999
You hardly find any technical books to be funny and interesting and at the same time be full of information. This is the first technical book that I read without using paper, pen and even my calculator and finished the book in a few days. I wish the Author publish a few more books.
Dr. Behnam Entezam
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I read this book while on vacation. The font was big and has an "easy on the eyes" font type. It covers some of the basics and better yet provides some lessons learned from industry. As a mechanical/thermal engineer of 5+ years experience, this book was intersting/useful to me. It provided some insight into what another thermal engineer's experience in industry is like. Relating to similar work relationship(s)/topics also made this book enjoyable.

Highly recommend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Re-Arranging Misguided Thermal Untuition
I've performed thermal analysis over the years for a number of projects at work, and when searching for topics on thermal design and analysis I always ran across Mr. Read more
Published 8 months ago by D. Landers
5.0 out of 5 stars What you should have been taught
Electronics fail because of heat, but few EE's are taught heat transfer in college.
This is a simple (for EE's) introduction to the subject which will give you an idea why the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Don
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read for those interested in a bunch of hot air.
Mr. Kordyban does a great job explaining how misunderstood those thermal engineers are! There are very good examples of what to do and what not to do when it comes to cooling your... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Dude Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book even if you aren't interested in thermal management
Tony Kodyban is a hoot and a half. He is extremely knowledgeable in the thermal problems associated with electronics, but his real gift is making it fun to learn about it. Read more
Published on October 11, 2010 by Willey Bear
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Reading Providing Great Insight into practical issues cooling...
The author, in a relaxed style that is often "laugh-out loud" funny, illustrates many of the misconceptions and mistakes, pertaining to cooling electronic equipment. Read more
Published on March 22, 2010 by Robert N. Guenther Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Thermodynamics Understandable and Fun
Using simple, conceptual metaphors for how heat radiates, dissipates and conducts through materials, Tony explains the process using humor and as little math as necessary. Read more
Published on January 9, 2010 by Douglas Tao
1.0 out of 5 stars Not that great...
The whole "story-telling" theme wastes a lot of space that could have been filled with useful information. Read more
Published on January 2, 2010 by klutch
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for understanding Thermals
This is a fantastic book and makes the difficult to understand almost easy. It is full of examples and illustrations and is also sprinkled with Mr. Kordyban's wit. Read more
Published on November 23, 2008 by Timothy Beech
4.0 out of 5 stars Hot Air Rises and Heat Sinks: Everything You Know About Cooling...
A very good book for practical thermal engineer. I bought this book twice because the first one was lost.
Published on September 9, 2007 by Le Dinh Triet
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