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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:40 pm

FWIW I read somewhere that the electronics on the Lunar Rover (LRV) were potted in some sort of wax. It's not as though fans would do any good... Every time the astronauts stopped, they opened the lid on the electronics package, and let the shiny lid radiate some heat away. I have to wonder what sort of wax they used...
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:47 pm

[email protected] wrote:
shalo wrote:I think if anyone is planning to run their pi in a super hot environment they probably need a different approach from heatsinks and fans. They must also have one hell of a story to tell.
Keeping stuff working at temperature is a bit of an odd art... I've worked with stuff that has run hot. Very hot. Last year I had an industrial PC inside a cupboard that housed the exhaust stack of a cross country train... It got hot. Fortunately it was designed to get hot - inside a sealed box with no fans (you're not allowed to have fans or vents on a PC bolted to a train!) The hottest we recorded it getting to was about 80C for the processor (Intel Atom - designed to run hot), and 102C for the 3G/GPS chip. That was 20C above the spec. for the GPS. Amazingly the 3G connection kept on going, but the GPS was reading about 10m out...

Some folks I'm working with at the moment are putting radio gear on masts in the desert. -20C to +50C is not unusual. Sealed boxes again, and no fans there, either...

So it all boils (ha!) down to the design. There is no fan in your mobile phone or fondleslab, so the designers make doubly sure the chip keeps on going when it does get hot - and the SoC in the Pi isn't a million miles away from the sort of SoC in your phone...

Lego fans are fun though :-)

Bit overkill having an ATmega processor doing the temperature sensing, but hey...

-Gordon
My point is that the pi doesn't really get hot and so doesn't need a fan or heatsink, infamous "oven test" and all that. In instances where the pi is situated in some place where it does get hot, eg: hotter than an oven. I don't think a fan or heatsink is going to help there either.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:32 pm

shalo wrote:My point is that the pi doesn't really get hot and so doesn't need a fan or heatsink, infamous "oven test" and all that. In instances where the pi is situated in some place where it does get hot, eg: hotter than an oven. I don't think a fan or heatsink is going to help there either.
According to this thermal analysis (it's in spanish, machine translation), the LAN9512 can reach 65,1ºC with less than 27ºC ambient temperature. The LAN9512 have a top working temperature of 70ºC so is almost there.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:38 pm

Just found this on Hack A Day , some one has used a thermal camera to image the RasPi and stressed tested it to find how hot it gets.
http://hackaday.com/2012/06/23/checking ... pberry-pi/

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:22 pm

Well from my own touch testing, if I only had one heat sink it would go on the LAN9512 chipset. But at the low cost of small heat sinks ($7.50 for ten) It would not hurt to put heat sinks on the LAN9512 and the SoC. I even found small ones that would fit the regulator.

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/memandvidcar.html

I like the Microcool black ones. 8.5mm x 8.5mm x 8mm for the LAN9512, and the 12mm x 12mm x 18mm for the SoC. There is a 6.5mm x 6.5 mm x 12mm (copper) that would fit on the regulator also.
So whether you think you need them or just want to make it look better, Have at it.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:40 pm

If you're gonna go crazy, why not stick heatsinks on the USB and Ethernet connectors too? :lol: :roll:

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:24 pm

AndrewS wrote:If you're gonna go crazy, why not stick heatsinks on the USB and Ethernet connectors too? :lol: :roll:
It says somewhere in the Wiki that the SD card can get quite warm too. :evil:
It sticks out, so you could put one on each side :lol:
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:59 pm

I am attracted to heatsinks because they could extend product life - not because they affect performance or prevent system failure - is that daft?
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:45 am

AndrewS wrote:If you're gonna go crazy, why not stick heatsinks on the USB and Ethernet connectors too? :lol: :roll:
Oh No you di'int :lol:
Not much use look at the thermal image:
http://hackaday.com/2012/06/23/checking ... pberry-pi/
alexeames wrote:It says somewhere in the Wiki that the SD card can get quite warm too.
It sticks out, so you could put one on each side
Besides the SD would not fit into my windows machine any longer. Of course I am going to buy a ten pack of each of the two sizes. It could look like a new wave porcupine! ;)
:lol:
Just smear the whole bottom of the board with artic silver, then slap a Pentium 3 heat sink plus fan on it.! :twisted:
Ah why not just go whole oil bath! :idea: Is the Cap at the regulator metal or cardboard bottom? :lol: :lol:
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:58 am

Lob0426 wrote:Not much use look at the thermal image:
http://hackaday.com/2012/06/23/checking ... pberry-pi/
If the USB connector is cold he's obviously not using a fast enough USB Flash drive ;)

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:19 pm

AndrewS wrote:
Lob0426 wrote:Not much use look at the thermal image:
http://hackaday.com/2012/06/23/checking ... pberry-pi/
If the USB connector is cold he's obviously not using a fast enough USB Flash drive ;)
Look at my sig I am using a USB HDD, that carries the heat away from the USB connector and uses my desk as a heat sump. :lol: It's all about the heat dissipation. :lol:

All right it's time to get back on topic: Heat is a killer of hardware. Looking at the thermal image and the temps that were recorded it shows that the LAN9512 tobe the biggest heat source on the board. At 64.1C (147.2F) is pretty hot. That heat is traveling to the PCB. A heat sink will carry some of that heat away from the chip and away from the board. The SoC at 55C (131F) is a little bit hot. Same applies for it. My temps are probably a little above this as I have a mild overclock, they did not overclock for the thermal image. It has always been my experience that removing heat increases the life of electronics. Generally, in a PC I, add an extra fan, move HDD's around so they cool better and so on. In extreme cases, such as my Dell 835MT I had to throw away the original case. But most of my computers last for years, with only a little effort, then they get some more years on them when I hand them down. The HDD's seem to be the most sensitive to heat. blowing a few bucks on a couple of heatsinks just seems like a good investment to me. Due to shipping cost I may buy those heat sinks in 10 packs. But my brother and another friend are getting RasPii too. So they will not go to waste. I plan on getting a couple more RasPi when they are available. Plus I have a Panda Board the could use a couple also. It has a LAN9514 on it. If @AndrewS comes over to the "Dark Side" I might send him a couple too!
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:31 pm

Lob0426 wrote:It has always been my experience that removing heat increases the life of electronics.
Assuming that's true (which according to JamesH it shouldn't be for the SoC at least), I wonder if the low total cost of the RasPi means that any "extra life" gained by the use of heatsinks is still a false economy outweighed by the cost of the heatsinks? :|
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:03 pm

Ah, but that depends on more than just the cost factor. If you use it in a product that places it in a tough environment, such as under the dash or seat of a car. And you give a warranty and you would have to lose labor hours to replace it at your cost. Then it makes sense to hedge your bet a bit. The initial cost is only one element of the entire equation. As to @JamesH statement that it was baked, that is true. But for how long, certainly not until it quit. And that was probably a prototype chip. Not a production RasPi. I would like to see more details of the environmental test performed on a production RasPi not just the chip or an Alpha Board. the poly fuses would probably cause problems before the SoC. But that does not invalidate the fact the heat kills components. In my early computers the HDD's quit on me rather often, until I started paying attention to their temps. Since then I have lost very few HDD's at all. Since I started paying attention to the CPU and chipset temps I have had more stable trouble free systems. A little prevention ($1.50 or so) is well worth the effort in my book. One project I have is burying a RasPi into a router case. You can feel the heat outside that router. Putting heat sinks on the RasPi and a fan on the router case will not hurt a thing, but may save a lot of trouble. Your RasPi your call. A $35 RasPi is a cheap investment, but investing in 3 failed RasPii rather than a $1.50 is a stupid investment!
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:52 pm

Lob0426 wrote:Ah, but that depends on more than just the cost factor. If you use it in a product that places it in a tough environment, such as under the dash or seat of a car. And you give a warranty and you would have to lose labor hours to replace it at your cost. Then it makes sense to hedge your bet a bit. The initial cost is only one element of the entire equation. As to @JamesH statement that it was baked, that is true. But for how long, certainly not until it quit. And that was probably a prototype chip. Not a production RasPi. I would like to see more details of the environmental test performed on a production RasPi not just the chip or an Alpha Board. the poly fuses would probably cause problems before the SoC. But that does not invalidate the fact the heat kills components. In my early computers the HDD's quit on me rather often, until I started paying attention to their temps. Since then I have lost very few HDD's at all. Since I started paying attention to the CPU and chipset temps I have had more stable trouble free systems. A little prevention ($1.50 or so) is well worth the effort in my book. One project I have is burying a RasPi into a router case. You can feel the heat outside that router. Putting heat sinks on the RasPi and a fan on the router case will not hurt a thing, but may save a lot of trouble. Your RasPi your call. A $35 RasPi is a cheap investment, but investing in 3 failed RasPii rather than a $1.50 is a stupid investment!
Few mistakes in the above. I believe that the chips are baked until they fail or we run out of test time. Which I think is weeks. These oven tests are to accelerate chip failure, and lots of funky stats are used to then estimate chip MTBF. We also bake the production chips - there's not point in basing a lifetime test on the test of a prototype chip except during development to find errors early on. And we do find errors, sometimes in design, sometimes in manufacturing. And they get fixed.

However, I'm not sure what tests were done on the board as a whole (It's not a Broadcom device, so Broadcom won't have tested it). That may not have even be tested, however, AFAIK, the board was designed to the chip spec so should not affect the SoC lifetime. Specs on the components say that the first point of failure should be the USB chip, not the SoC.

Heat affects HDD much more than components on the Pi because HDD are mechanical, and mechanical things change according to temperature, making tolerances bigger or small. ALso why socketed CPU's and memory fail more often than soldered devices - through expansion and contraction.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:51 pm

Thanks for info @jamesh: Thermal cycling is one of the faults ofor electronic components. Some believe that thermal cycling is an excuse to leave their systems on and never turn them off. I have two answers to this. First shutting down your computer once in a while clears memory of the junk that builds up, and two No one can attack a computer that is turned off, I know I said two but three, a turned off computer reducers your power bill. Thermal Cycling was much more of a problem with the "pin" style CPU's than it is anymore. The BGA style packages seem to have mostly cured this. Thermal Cycling can do in SMT components also if there is a weak place in the solder. Reducing the overall operating temperature of components can reduce the effects of thermal cycling.

I do not believe there was any full board tests either, but Eben would know. Maybe on the Alphas?

So what is all coming down too? The average RasPi user does not have to put heat sinks on their board at all. The "A" model will have even less reason as the LAN9512 seems to be the worse offender and it is not present on them. Will it hurt to put heat sinks or other cooling options on your RasPI? Probably not. Will it extend the life of your RasPI? At this time we just do not really know. I suspect it will. I suspect that @jamesh is right and the first component to go will be the LAN9512. If you reduce the heat it generates it might just extend the overall life of your RasPi. Of course there are no real world use figures for comparison, YET. I do not have heat sinks as yet on my RasPi and it operates just fine. But to say there is no use at all for looking into cooling solutions for RasPii! Well we will see.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:42 am

Lob0426 wrote:Thermal Cycling was much more of a problem with the "pin" style CPU's than it is anymore. The BGA style packages seem to have mostly cured this.
Only exception to that being the original "fat" PS3s that had the YLoD problem - fixable by reflowing the BGAs with a hot-air gun. But the PS3 runs much much hotter than the RasPi :D

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:51 am

My old BBC B had a dodgey internal powersupply that got really hot. I could use it for a while and then it crashed. Who knows why? I'm guessing that the heat caused expansion in some compenents/pcb tracks and so faulty connection? Guess I'll never know.

Apply that to the Pi - heat travelling along hair wide tracks in a 6 layer PCB to other components, system complexity of an order of magnitude compared to my old Beeb. The Pi won't last forever - which component is going to go first? Maybe not the SOC but none of the components on/in that board are there for decortion.

At the risk of sounding paranoid, I'm in the 'heat degrades + increases electrical resistance' camp and see only potential benefit in slapping on a few heatsinks - especially if I ever decide to overclock.

Nobody knows what the lifespan of this new product is, and I can't whip out a soldering iron and replace the first component to pop like I could on my beeb.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:26 pm

AndrewS wrote:
Lob0426 wrote:Thermal Cycling was much more of a problem with the "pin" style CPU's than it is anymore. The BGA style packages seem to have mostly cured this.
Only exception to that being the original "fat" PS3s that had the YLoD problem - fixable by reflowing the BGAs with a hot-air gun. But the PS3 runs much much hotter than the RasPi :D
And the RRoD on the XBox 360m and the GPU on the iBook G3 and G4 models, there's a couple of Dell laptops with the same issue as well, IIRC. Thermal stress can be really bad for BGA devices, and far worse than it ever was for "dead bug" chips.
Lob0426 wrote:No one can attack a computer that is turned off
Ahem... (No, I know that's not what you were talking about)
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:52 pm

tufty wrote:
Lob0426 wrote:No one can attack a computer that is turned off
Ahem... (No, I know that's not what you were talking about)
Ahem 2... (I also know that's not what you were talking about ;) )

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:35 pm

You can attack a computer that is turned off with a hammer, of course you could just steal it too.

But you cannot virus a computer when it is off. Denial of Service, no effect it is off. Lightning strike, well depends what you have it plugged into, but less potential damage, if it is off. Even if you are virused it cannot send Data when it is off. When I need my server on, I turn it on. When away I set it to timers so I can get to it, but mostly it is off.

Off is good. Kinda slows down a server though! :lol:
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:17 am

I took a RadioShack heatsink and hacksawed a piece of it off for the LAN9512. I dug out my Artic Silver and stuck that on the LAN chip and the rest on my SoC. About a ten minute job including the sawing.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:21 pm

that gives me an idea- could hacksaw down a sink for the RG2 next to the big capacitor that easily gets knocked off.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:59 pm

With people pushing the Raspi to it's edge, it occurs that this is very likely the perfect time to revisit submerging..

With no moving parts, one could easily make a sealed case (or open top if you want to test it out) that is filled with mineral oil, and heat-conductive on the outside. (Balls to the wall would be a hermetically aluminum case with all the connectors connected to the outside of the case, but this is of course entirely silly)

It would definitely be interesting to see what sort of performance is squeezed out when heat is entirely removed from the equation.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:40 pm

Lob0426 wrote:I took a RadioShack heatsink and hacksawed a piece of it off for the LAN9512. I dug out my Artic Silver and stuck that on the LAN chip and the rest on my SoC. About a ten minute job including the sawing.
If you don't want to use a saw you can try this from SparkFun
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10746

-J

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Re: Raspberry Pi Cooling system? :D

Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:59 pm

pygmy_giant wrote:that gives me an idea- could hacksaw down a sink for the RG2 next to the big capacitor that easily gets knocked off.
That gave me images of someone cutting up the kitchen sink :lol:

If I was ever going to put any jewellery on my Pi I'd probably choose one of these...

Image

I'd love one in silver - pretty pointless, but it looks cool. 8-)
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