a7md0
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:25 am

Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:22 pm

Hi, is connecting fan to the raspberry pi 3 b+ GPIO directly safe?

I have my raspberry in home network and the CPU temperature +60C, so I decided to add a small fan and some heat-sink from online retailer. First I added fan and connect it to GPIO 4 & 6 (5v), the fan worked fine for two weeks and then started to make very loud noise and vibration, my first though that it was bad fan. So, I ordered another fan and connect it to GPIO 1 & 6 (3.3v), and one week later the fan started to make loud noise and vibration just like the first one.

Is there something wrong I'm doing? Or both fans I got are just bad? Do I have to connect something extra to protect the fans, or it is the raspberry module itself? ( Note that when I move the top case where the fan is connected the vibration and noise start to reduce sometime )

The fans model is LD3007MS | DC5V 0.20A


https://pi4j.com/1.2/images/j8header-3b.png

ejolson
Posts: 3415
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:52 pm

a7md0 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:22 pm
Hi, is connecting fan to the raspberry pi 3 b+ GPIO directly safe?

I have my raspberry in home network and the CPU temperature +60C, so I decided to add a small fan and some heat-sink from online retailer. First I added fan and connect it to GPIO 4 & 6 (5v), the fan worked fine for two weeks and then started to make very loud noise and vibration, my first though that it was bad fan. So, I ordered another fan and connect it to GPIO 1 & 6 (3.3v), and one week later the fan started to make loud noise and vibration just like the first one.

Is there something wrong I'm doing? Or both fans I got are just bad? Do I have to connect something extra to protect the fans, or it is the raspberry module itself? ( Note that when I move the top case where the fan is connected the vibration and noise start to reduce sometime )

The fans model is LD3007MS | DC5V 0.20A


https://pi4j.com/1.2/images/j8header-3b.png
I find it amazing you were able to connect the fan to the 3.3V GPIO and not burn out the Pi.

Sometimes it's possible to work a little sewing machine oil into the bearing of a computer fan to quite it down. Another option would be to buy a higher quality fan and only connect it to the 5V supply.

cruster
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:56 pm

Re: Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:57 pm

It's a 5 volt fan, so why not connect it directly to your 5 volt supply rather than any GPIO pins?
I definitely wouldn't connect it to the onboard 3.3V.

Brad Q
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:10 am

Re: Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:02 pm

You might want to just look into a Flirc case ($20 with shipping). The top half is all aluminium and acts as a big heat sink(no fan and none needed). For anything pre Pi4 they are more than enough case to keep it cool. For the Pi4 they are right on the edge, for moderate use they are fine.

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pi-tastic
Posts: 101
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Re: Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:05 pm

sounds like you got some bad fans... try another model... another brand.... you want something with BALL Bearing.
maccaps.com - bringing life to dead electronics.

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Imperf3kt
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Location: Australia

Re: Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:39 pm

Sounds more like the vibration is being caused by the fan vibrating against the case. (OP mentioned touching the case helps quieten it)

Connecting to 3v3 should pose no harm. It can supply about 50-100mA from what I've read on this forum (no hard data for those numbers) and a 5v fan should only use about 10-20mA
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jondallimore
Posts: 199
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Re: Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:41 pm

fans are normally controlled, so not running all the time. running a fan constantly for 2 weeks probably would screw the bearings. Connect to 5 v, then use an opto-isolator board to turn it on and off via gpio only when it gets hot enough

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:57 pm

pi-tastic wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:05 pm
sounds like you got some bad fans... try another model... another brand.... you want something with BALL Bearing.
Air bearings or electromagnetic suspension is even better.

hippy
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Location: UK

Re: Fan failure?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:09 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:39 pm
a 5v fan should only use about 10-20mA
The ones I have, and those I've seen advertised, are ten-fold that; 100mA-200mA.
jondallimore wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:41 pm
running a fan constantly for 2 weeks probably would screw the bearings.
Only rubbish fans. Most permanently connected, non-controlled, running all the time fans, should last some years before any sort of problem appears.

I would suggest buying a fan from one of the authorised or reputable Pi dealers. If there aren't any tales of woe in feedback from purchasers they either don't sell many, are deleting negative feedback, or the ones they sell are fine. I would suspect the latter.

pfletch101
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Re: Fan failure?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:46 am

Brad Q wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:02 pm
You might want to just look into a Flirc case ($20 with shipping). The top half is all aluminium and acts as a big heat sink(no fan and none needed). For anything pre Pi4 they are more than enough case to keep it cool. For the Pi4 they are right on the edge, for moderate use they are fine.
I endorse your recommendation for the Flirc case, but you are a bit too half-hearted about it for the Pi 4. It keeps my P4-4Gb below 80 C and unthrottled running cpuburn-A53 in a relatively warm (~ 28 C) office. You are not likely to find a real application that pushes it that hard.

Brad Q
Posts: 24
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Re: Fan failure?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:34 am

I think that there must be QUITE a bit of variation in the Pi4 boards. Most peoples' numbers track like yours, but I have talked to several others whose boards track like mine. When I first put mine in the Flirc case it was idling at about 57C in a 75F room(after the firmware update). The case was warm enough you did not want to hang onto it very long, so there was good cpu to heat sink connection. Over the last week(first week of really running it) that has slowly dropped by about ten degrees (C) and the case is warm but not hot. That being said, even when I ran 4 core 100% sysbench it never exceeded 65C(with Flirc). Everything is bone stock, no overclocking type stuff. It is also much cheaper that the $70 wicked case. There is a third passive heat case manufacture (looks like a tiny aluminium brief case from the 80s) that is supposed to cool very well but I do not know if they make a p4 case and I have not seen a price.

Found it: Mechatronics Arts for $49 Pi3.

ejolson
Posts: 3415
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Fan failure?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:12 am

Brad Q wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:34 am
I think that there must be QUITE a bit of variation in the Pi4 boards. Most peoples' numbers track like yours, but I have talked to several others whose boards track like mine. When I first put mine in the Flirc case it was idling at about 57C in a 75F room(after the firmware update). The case was warm enough you did not want to hang onto it very long, so there was good cpu to heat sink connection. Over the last week(first week of really running it) that has slowly dropped by about ten degrees (C) and the case is warm but not hot. That being said, even when I ran 4 core 100% sysbench it never exceeded 65C(with Flirc). Everything is bone stock, no overclocking type stuff. It is also much cheaper that the $70 wicked case. There is a third passive heat case manufacture (looks like a tiny aluminium brief case from the 80s) that is supposed to cool very well but I do not know if they make a p4 case and I have not seen a price.

Found it: Mechatronics Arts for $49 Pi3.
My Pi 4B is mounted vertically in open air. When I need additional cooling (for example running a computational task that I don't want to throttle) I point a separate fan running from a separate power supply toward it. A photograph is available here.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Fan failure?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:30 am

You bought crap fans. Get a better one, or get a Flirc case and don't use a fan at all. Noctua makes some great 5V fans that are very quiet. I've had some running 24/7 for more than a year with no trouble. However, I have both Pi3 and Pi4 computers housed in the excellent Flirc cases, which keeps them cool without the noise, dust, or power requirements of fans.
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LTolledo
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Re: Fan failure?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:30 am

if the fan is the problem then change the fan.... simple.... right?
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Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

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bjtheone
Posts: 136
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Re: Fan failure?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:53 am

jondallimore wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:41 pm
fans are normally controlled, so not running all the time. running a fan constantly for 2 weeks probably would screw the bearings. Connect to 5 v, then use an opto-isolator board to turn it on and off via gpio only when it gets hot enough
Any "decent" fan should run for years. I have had Unix and Linux servers with uptimes of over 2 years, that have always on fans.

The issue is cheap and cheerful fans are crap with very inconsistent build quality. It may be worth the extra effort of only running on demand, if you are either trying to save the planet by reducing your power consumption or to deal with the fan noise. The easier solution is run higher quality fans which will run silently (as compared to normal room ambient noise) for many years. I can't hear the fan on my Pi and it is sitting approximately 2 feet away on my desk.

ejolson
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Re: Fan failure?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:08 pm

bjtheone wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:53 am
I can't hear the fan on my Pi and it is sitting approximately 2 feet away on my desk.
Earplugs can also help. I used to have a set of over-the-ear hearing protectors for use when the computers got loud. Those can be purchased at typical hardware stores, an ironmonger or sporting goods store.

My brother told me owls are the only animals that don't lose hearing as they age, so (unless you spend much time perched in a tree at night) the problem of noisy fans eventually takes care of itself, even if the fans keep turning.

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