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Ploopyandproud
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Location: Wisconsin

Keeping the Raspberry Pi safe? How can I do it?

Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:05 am

Ok, I am really new to the Pi. I really want it, and I have been watching loads of tutorials about how to get it running, etc. But besides using the computer, how can I keep it safe? Does anyone know any common problems that happen to the Pi? Does it ever heat up? Are there problems with it being ruined by too much power? I kind of am OCD about keeping my stuff safe, and if I bought the Pi I would definitely take safety measures to ensure it is safe : :shock: . If you have any tips about keeping the Raspberry Pi safe, please reply with the tip.

Thanks, Ploopy
I eat raspberry pi

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StevenP
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Location: Germany / UK

Re: Keeping the Raspberry Pi safe? How can I do it?

Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:52 am

The pi does seem to be quite rugged for an electronic device not in a case, both electrically and mechanically. However I recommend getting a suitable case for it. This will protect against electrostatic discharge to the pi's components if you touch it with your fingers. It will also protect against electrical shorts if you touch it with anything metallic, eg keys, wires.
With a case the pi will be as good as any other electronic product, and I don't see any other risks.
That's my advice as an electronics engineer. Hope that helps. Enjoy your pi!
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things..."

ghans
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:30 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Keeping the Raspberry Pi safe? How can I do it?

Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:29 pm

A very stable power-supply is the most important thing.
Don't use rpi-update if you don't know what you're doing.
Don't overclock over 900 MHz.
Don't unplug the power at the Pi side , but on the other side of
the cable.
If you are working with the GPIO , be careful and check what
you're doing.

(I'm not sure if all of that is relevant to new Pis .)

ghans
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Sutty
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 10:20 am

Re: Keeping the Raspberry Pi safe? How can I do it?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:58 pm

Hi, interesting question as my wife has just reminded me that I have a LED cube attached to the Pi that has been running for a night and day.

As others have suggested the Pi is inherently safe but its worth putting a few safeguards in place:

The Pi runs on 5 volts, about the same as a torch, so no problems with overheating or electricity causing damage to anything else. However, the Pi itself can be damaged.

- As the Pi is a board with exposed electronics is possible to cause a short circuit, so buying a case to enclose the electronics is sensible.
- The Pi doesn't come with a power supply. Ensure you use a good USB 5v power supply. These are generally safe and shouldn't overheat.
- If you intend to attach things to the GPIO pins be careful that you don't short circuit the pins by attaching voltages directly to earth. Use resistors to ensure short circuits can't occur.
- You can have problems if you try to take take too much power from that Pi. If you are using a USB hub, use a powered one so that it provides the power. Things like HDMI to Serial for a Monitor takes power so a powered converter is better than powering it from the Pi.
- Switch off the power (USB power supply), when not in use.
- It's worth having 2 or 3 SD cards. One as a copy/backup.
- When you do a significant update to software ensure you have an earlier copy (on another SD Card) to go back to.
- When doing anything substantial keep a log of what you have done so you can recover from problems.

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tonyhughes
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Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:46 am

Re: Keeping the Raspberry Pi safe? How can I do it?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:14 pm

Good quality branded power supply delivering 5V and 1.2A - 2.0A.
Don't overclock.
Buy a case for it.
Handle it carefully, and for power cycling, do what Ghans suggests - pull the power from the *other* end, not the Pi end.

Buy more Pi's and treat them well too.

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mahjongg
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Re: Keeping the Raspberry Pi safe? How can I do it?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:26 pm

don't put more than 6V on the input, (even for a very short time) or an overvoltage protection device on the PI will short the power input, (and keep it shorted even when the voltage then returns to a level below 6V) and the PI's polyfuse will then blow to protect the PI.

That means plugging in the USB plug of a badly regulated PSU that unloaded has an output voltage higher than 6V may cause problems, while powering up by plugging the same PSU in the mains with the mini USB already plugged in might work fine!

So plugging in the PSU into the mains plug with it already connected to the PI is inherently safer than powering on the PSU and then plugging the USB cable in.

Most PSU's should not behave this badly though!

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LemmeFatale
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:47 pm
Location: UK

Re: Keeping the Raspberry Pi safe? How can I do it?

Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:51 pm

Sutty wrote:- The Pi doesn't come with a power supply. Ensure you use a good USB 5v power supply. These are generally safe and shouldn't overheat.
Emphasis on *good ones* being generally safe. Don't cheap out!

On that note, I would highly recommend avoiding the likes of eBay. These three examples of terrifying power-supplies should hopefully underscore that nicely, for anyone considering buying a power-supply there... :P
Classic - Raspberry Pi Model B (512MB) with Motorola Atrix Lapdock
Lemcon-One - Raspberry Pi Model B (256MB) PiMAME TV-Box

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