Switched mode PS are very efficient, don’t get that hot.
Building a new receiver, this is going in a prime location - Suggestions for receiver/preamp/filter please
Useful tips in here, thanks. We are definitely going to put a fan on the CPU and heatsink the Airspy.
If you look at some offers for this type of ps, they mention using a heatsink if you are going to use the 3 amps it is able to deliver. Maybe that is just to cover themselves, or because this becomes an issue in hotter climates. Nevertheless, maybe adding a small heatsink won’t do any harm.
I’ve also used a lot of those VReg modules - both with LM2596 or XL6009 (both versions look pretty much the same)
I’ve never had a heat problem, but always use them conservatively - if they are rated 3A, I feel they should last fine when used to supply 1A.
Having said that, TI show the LM2596 is capable of supplying 7.5A on a well designed PCB with adequate cooling (ref. Fig.13).
One other thing to consider when down-rating is that a $1 module from ebay probably doesn’t have a genuine TI chip, so the datasheet is a guide only.
Recently, when space hasn’t been an issue, I’ve been using the ‘display type’ module because the volt/amp meter allows basic diagnostics without having to pull out a multimeter.
LM2596 - 150kHz
MP1584EN - Programmable Switching Frequency from 100kHz to 1.5MHz