Cool Stuff
Rock Grotto
X-Ventilate that X-Can to make it run cool!
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Probably the biggest concern to owners of an X-Can is the heat build up inside the enclosure, especially when using the X-PSU or similar power supply. After all, there is no ventilation at all and the valves and transistors can reach very high temperatures indeed which is not good news for the long term stability of the components that have to perform in this sweatbox of an enclosure. I have seen many instances in the X-Can where components have burnt out. The most common problem is with the 85c general purpose capacitors bulging or leaking as a result of the high operating temperature environment they have to work in. The obvious solution is to replace those vulnerable capacitors with 105c high temperature capacitors and to provide some form of adequate ventilation to dissipate the heat build up as well as improve the sound quality thanks to the better grade of capacitor and cooler operating temperature.
I used a 20mm hole cutter and strategically drilled 2 holes in top of the enclosure so that they would align with the tops of the valves when the circuit board was reinstalled into the enclosure. Be warned, this is not a simple case of bearing down with a drill bit and letting rip into the enclosure! If you are concerned about retaining the cosmetics of the X-Can then please ensure you take care and do this properly. You'll notice that the top dead centre of the X-Can is not a groove, it's one of the pronounced ridges so to get a perfectly aligned hole it is necessary to drill through the centre ridge with a very small drill bit to provide a pilot hole, this can be tricky but if you very carefully use a punch you should be able to drill through the centre ridge without the drill bit slipping. Progressively increase the size of the drill bit until you've got a suitably sized hole that will guide your hole cutter. The enclosure is very thick aluminium but keep at it and you'll soon have a nice clean 20mm hole! Paint the edges of the holes with a suitable black paint and you'll never know that the holes weren't there before........ looks great!
It's necessary to get some throughflow of air and the best place to drill another 20mm hole is in the bottom of the rear backplate (as shown) You can fit wire mesh inside the enclosure to prevent lunatics / children sticking their fingers (or other body parts) into the holes but I left my holes open.
Does it run cooler?
Without a shadow of a doubt!!! The heat now disperses allowing the components to run cool
and the newly fitted 105c Panasonic / cerafine High temperature caps sound like heaven :-)
Oh and the knob just makes it "look" cooler !