Raspberry Pi Heatsink mod :)


18 posts
by chriswhocodes » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:53 pm
Yep, I know, it doesn't need a heatsink, chips are well within their thermal spec, yada yada ;)

Still, you can't expect that to stop the kind of geek who would buy a Pi :lol:

http://www.chrisnewland.com/raspberry-pi-heatsink-mod-251
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by HansH » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:01 pm
nice, those blue heatsinks are looking great....

Perhaps RS or Farnell should offer them as an option, customize or pimp your Pi !
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by Lob0426 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:33 am
I cut up a RadioShack heatsink to cover the SoC and the LAN9512 chips. I used Artic Silver compound on them. I can feel warmth at the tip of the fins on the LAN9512. They must be working! :lol:

EDIT: I can feel just a little warmth from the SoC heat sink.
Edited on my RasPi.
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by zardoz99 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:33 am
I'm also aware that heatsinks are not required. However, I am also going to heatsink my SoC and LAN chips.
There is a large amount of heat being passed to the USB sockets and I'm sure it could go to better places.

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by reiuyi » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:17 pm
This is cool as a customization project. It might even increase your SoCs lifetime by a couple of hundreds hours.

As for practicality, it probably does lower the temperature from 40-50 degrees centigrade to around 25-30 I'm guessing. I did not physically measure this, it's a guess. My own raspberry pi actually heats up the entire circuit board and any USB thing that is connected to it. Even the HDMI cable heats up a bit!

The ultimate test is when someone builds a raspi into their car and uses it as a car PC. Inside a car, temperatures fall to -30 during Winter and rise to 50 during Summer. The pi is not rated for industrial temperatures, though it might handle it perfectly well. The concern inside a car isn't typically the temperature per se, it's also the vibration that can damage soldering joints when it is combined with huge temperature fluctuations. Whether or not a heatsink will help protect in such situations can be disputed.
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by trevj » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:05 am
reiuyi wrote:The concern inside a car isn't typically the temperature per se, it's also the vibration that can damage soldering joints when it is combined with huge temperature fluctuations. Whether or not a heatsink will help protect in such situations can be disputed.
I don't work in the car industry, but some sort of physical damping/shock absorbing would reduce the severity of vibrations. Sprung standoffs inside a sturdy cage suspended/tethered using multiple extensible wires inside a suitably sized void?
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by reiuyi » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:44 pm
trevj wrote:I don't work in the car industry, but some sort of physical damping/shock absorbing would reduce the severity of vibrations. Sprung standoffs inside a sturdy cage suspended/tethered using multiple extensible wires inside a suitably sized void?


This is a good suggestion and I believe it'll help with very small and relatively weak soldering joints such as BGA. Miscellaneous car electronics such as car radios have absolutely enormous soldering joints. The image below is a popular TDA7850 development board (though it's also popular with hobbyists who wish to have a cheap high-powered amp but don't want the difficult hassle of a gain clone). If I'd place my raspberry pi inside a car as a car computer or data logger, I'd probably use some antistatic polystyrene foam around it. I'm sure any other soft non-conductive material would be fine for the purpose. I'm not specialized into the effects of electrostatic discharge, though it's probably not very good for electronics :D

Image

I'm not entirely sure why BGA would be more susceptible to micro-fracture than regular soldering joints, though there's an entire industry specialized into BGA inspection tools. Then again, if you consider the BCM2835 has 299 BGA soldering joints on the bottom side (let alone another circa 150 between bcm2835 and the ram), it is not difficult to imagine that a damaged joint will contribute to the malfunctioning of the device. The connectors and BGA soldering joints are certainly things that'd be the first to fail on the raspberry pi when no overvoltage is set for extreme overclocking. All in all, the BGA soldering shouldn't be an issue in environments with no extreme temperature fluctuations like a car.

Edit: I now see the picture is actually a TDA7384. It's a lower-end version of the 7850 in the same package (flexiwatt25) and 100% pin compatible. It's totally off-topic to say this, but if you have a really cheap car radio with a tda7384 in it, you can upgrade it to almost double its output power and quality by soldering on the tda7850. The chip itself is like 6-10 dollars each on ebay, and it'll last a lifetime. The tda7850 is respected as a higher-end chip-amp and it can certainly stand its place as a class AB mosfet amp requiring just a single +12v and 0v input.
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by ukgaz » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:29 pm
I done this to my Pi, certainly can feel the heat coming of it!
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by tvinzant » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:19 am
Greetings all :D
I just spent about an hour tonight searching for a packaged heatsink option for RPi.
Image

(8) units per package
Aluminum heatsink
Includes thermal tape.
Fits 12 x 12 mm VGA RAM

I found it at Fry's and Amazon. I ordered mine from Fry's for $9.90 with $1.99 shipping.
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by liz » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:59 am
Who would have thought that making a heatsink pretty would be a good marketing move? (I'm gazing at this particular heatsink; I'm finding it pretty. I'm considering it for my next heatsink purchase as a result. That's progress.)
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by Lob0426 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:53 am
liz wrote:Who would have thought that making a heatsink pretty would be a good marketing move? (I'm gazing at this particular heatsink; I'm finding it pretty. I'm considering it for my next heatsink purchase as a result. That's progress.)

Add a little Bling and Liz is converted to the Darkside! :lol:
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by alexeames » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:27 am
liz wrote:Who would have thought that making a heatsink pretty would be a good marketing move? (I'm gazing at this particular heatsink; I'm finding it pretty. I'm considering it for my next heatsink purchase as a result. That's progress.)


It's jewellery for the Pi. :lol: What will you buy your Pi for its birthday?
There were some beautiful copper ones in another thread. It'd be great to make one out of silver - which has even better thermal conductivity than copper. :lol:
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by reiuyi » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:06 pm
alexeames wrote:
liz wrote:Who would have thought that making a heatsink pretty would be a good marketing move? (I'm gazing at this particular heatsink; I'm finding it pretty. I'm considering it for my next heatsink purchase as a result. That's progress.)


It's jewellery for the Pi. :lol: What will you buy your Pi for its birthday?
There were some beautiful copper ones in another thread. It'd be great to make one out of silver - which has even better thermal conductivity than copper. :lol:


I just calculated that at 28 dollar per Oz for silver, the price of a Raspi (45 gr), is almost worth its weight in silver :D

(well if you take costs raspi + shipping + tax, it's worth more than silver lol)
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by Noiseconformist » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:49 am
I just had a look at Farnell's and got dizzy because of the many different package types and names. Actually what would I be looking for? The SoC and USB-chip, what package types are they?
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by mahjongg » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:45 am
12x12mm "VGA-RAM" heatsinks seem to fit pretty well.
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by conundrum » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:38 am
You can get thermal pyrocarbon sheet cheap these days.
That works well if clamped to the chip using something like epoxy (!)
Also it doesen't degrade at all with time whereas paste will eventually.

Seriously, if the chips get hot enough to melt the solder then you are Doing_it_Wrong (tm)
I have had routers whose chipsets get hot enough to cook an egg, cough N*tg*ar /cough
Maybe someone should make some little temp sensor fans for the RPi as an add-on.
I have seen these used in small netbooks before and they are 5V at 30mA, a simple 3 stage
transistor switch to ramp up/down would work here.

Digiboxes are prone to this "feature", my el cheapo gets so hot the graphics break up.
I did the heatsink mod on that, but without a fan it just prolongs the inevitable.
Nowhere to add a fan because the case is too small, plus the internal supply is 3v3 not 5v.
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by chriswhocodes » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:47 am
Happy to report my heatsinked Pi running stable with Turbo mode

“Turbo” “1000MHz ARM, 500MHz core, 500MHz SDRAM, 6 overvolt”

Heatsinks noticeably warmer (good, they're working!) and Pi a bit nippier :)
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by Cobalt » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:58 pm
Just thought you all would like to know, adafruit just started carrying small heat sinks:
http://www.adafruit.com/products/1041
Also a metal case that is milled to hold the RPi, but sink it at the same time:
http://www.adafruit.com/products/1036
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