obarthelemy
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What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:51 am

Hi everyone. I got a nice Pi 4 for Christmas; I wanted to set it up as a mixed-duty server. I'll probably get another one to have some fun on the client side.

I'm rather good with IT (friends and family's go-to guy) but a Linux lightweight. Here's how things went. Spoiler: mostly OK, but a non-nerd would have failed hard and early.

1- Hardware. I wanted to wait for the updated version with the right USB wiring, but that's been an eternity coming. Hope the current defective wiring won't come back to bite me. I got a starter bundle off Amazon, with a case, heat spreaders, and a fan. That measly fan is more noisy and bothersome than all my other fans put together (gaming PC, Synology, fridge not too far...). I hope the 64°C I got when I unplugged it won't damage things in the long run.

2- OS: no issues. Grab image ,burn image, boot.

3- Apps (pihole, vnc, deluge, vpn): some issues, made exponentially more difficult by iffy documentation. What's jarring as a non-expert Linux user is that
a- nothing works right after the install. You've got to sudo nano into 2-6 config files (which are in random spots).
b- and then again to make stuff autorun.
c- to compound the issue, there are glitches and stuff that doesn't work how it should and is described. Getting my external exfat drive to automount was not correctly described anywhere (hint: use PARTUUID in fstab, not UUID), I had to guess it from other lines in the config file ? On the bright side, what I got to work has been reliable (except that damn drive, going to sleep I guess ?)
d- There are a lot of different ways to do any one thing (choice of apps, choice of autorun method - I counted at least 3 ?), with no way to really know which is best, so you've got to pick a random app and a random way to make it autostart.
e- This means you pick one tutorial and stick with it. There are some very nice ones, but I got painfully reminded of 3 things:
+ read the whole thing through before doing anything. Including comments. Read a handful and pick one.
+ check the date. The fresher the better, stuff over 2yrs old probably won't work. Tutorials as a rule are not maintained, so a good-but-old explainer probably won't work.
+ keep track of the actual tutorials you used - I saved them to my Google Drive. You *will* have to go back to them, and searching for them again will be cumbersome, especially if you don't remember the exact search terms you used the first time, and you clicked on several before picking one so several show up as "clicked" in the results. Also, the Pi doesn't use Google Search, so you'll get different (and, sadly, worse) results than on your PC. Lesson learned ;-o Took me 2hrs to get vnc to start with a comfortably large screen because I could not find where I launched its daemon.

In the end, kind of a mixed bag. As a nerd, I (re-)learned a few things, but I don't feel that'll be transferrable to anything but other Pis. Things mostly work, but with such effort that I'm loathe to do more. Stuff that Just Runs in Windows or Android takes 2-3 hours of head-scratching and doubt. On the very bright side, anyone looking to start with Linux should definitely do that with a Pi (I assume the same goes for hardware tinkering, which is not my thing); I've been able to go much further and smoother than all my previous Linux attempts on a PC, those usually ended with HW issues, much worse documentation starting w/ a cornucopia of random choices to make (I got mired in StartUp last time around, where's my autoexec.bat ? ^^).

I wouldn't recommend a Pi for anything but tinkering. The learning curve is steep, the documentation is if not lacking at least messy, and stuff you didn't know couldn't work doesn't or requires work (exfat drives, Skype...) (the triple negative is here to convey that sense of confusion ^^). I think one of the great thing about modern Mobile ecosystems is not so much that they're mobile, but that they're admin-less. Linux on the Pi is a nice reminder of the road not taken. I'm also using Android desktops (souped-up TV boxes), and while not perfect and much less flexible, from an end-user point of view, for the same price, they'll let you do what you expect, they way you expect, a lot easier and faster.

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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:02 am

obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:51 am
Hi everyone. I got a nice Pi 4 for Christmas; I wanted to set it up as a mixed-duty server. I'll probably get another one to have some fun on the client side.

I'm rather good with IT (friends and family's go-to guy) but a Linux lightweight. Here's how things went. Spoiler: mostly OK, but a non-nerd would have failed hard and early.

1- Hardware. I wanted to wait for the updated version with the right USB wiring, but that's been an eternity coming. Hope the current defective wiring won't come back to bite me. I got a starter bundle off Amazon, with a case, heat spreaders, and a fan. That measly fan is more noisy and bothersome than all my other fans put together (gaming PC, Synology, fridge not too far...). I hope the 64°C I got when I unplugged it won't damage things in the long run.

2- OS: no issues. Grab image ,burn image, boot.

3- Apps (pihole, vnc, deluge, vpn): some issues, made exponentially more difficult by iffy documentation. What's jarring as a non-expert Linux user is that
a- nothing works right after the install. You've got to sudo nano into 2-6 config files (which are in random spots).
b- and then again to make stuff autorun.
c- to compound the issue, there are glitches and stuff that doesn't work how it should and is described. Getting my external exfat drive to automount was not correctly described anywhere (hint: use PARTUUID in fstab, not UUID), I had to guess it from other lines in the config file ? On the bright side, what I got to work has been reliable (except that damn drive, going to sleep I guess ?)
d- There are a lot of different ways to do any one thing (choice of apps, choice of autorun method - I counted at least 3 ?), with no way to really know which is best, so you've got to pick a random app and a random way to make it autostart.
e- This means you pick one tutorial and stick with it. There are some very nice ones, but I got painfully reminded of 3 things:
+ read the whole thing through before doing anything. Including comments. Read a handful and pick one.
+ check the date. The fresher the better, stuff over 2yrs old probably won't work. Tutorials as a rule are not maintained, so a good-but-old explainer probably won't work.
+ keep track of the actual tutorials you used - I saved them to my Google Drive. You *will* have to go back to them, and searching for them again will be cumbersome, especially if you don't remember the exact search terms you used the first time, and you clicked on several before picking one so several show up as "clicked" in the results. Also, the Pi doesn't use Google Search, so you'll get different (and, sadly, worse) results than on your PC. Lesson learned ;-o Took me 2hrs to get vnc to start with a comfortably large screen because I could not find where I launched its daemon.

In the end, kind of a mixed bag. As a nerd, I (re-)learned a few things, but I don't feel that'll be transferrable to anything but other Pis. Things mostly work, but with such effort that I'm loathe to do more. Stuff that Just Runs in Windows or Android takes 2-3 hours of head-scratching and doubt. On the very bright side, anyone looking to start with Linux should definitely do that with a Pi (I assume the same goes for hardware tinkering, which is not my thing); I've been able to go much further and smoother than all my previous Linux attempts on a PC, those usually ended with HW issues, much worse documentation starting w/ a cornucopia of random choices to make (I got mired in StartUp last time around, where's my autoexec.bat ? ^^).

I wouldn't recommend a Pi for anything but tinkering. The learning curve is steep, the documentation is if not lacking at least messy, and stuff you didn't know couldn't work doesn't or requires work (exfat drives, Skype...) (the triple negative is here to convey that sense of confusion ^^). I think one of the great thing about modern Mobile ecosystems is not so much that they're mobile, but that they're admin-less. Linux on the Pi is a nice reminder of the road not taken. I'm also using Android desktops (souped-up TV boxes), and while not perfect and much less flexible, from an end-user point of view, for the same price, they'll let you do what you expect, they way you expect, a lot easier and faster.

The USB-C is a non issue if using the Official Power Supply.

The Raspberry Pi does not "overheat" it has Thermal Throttling.

Stand the Raspberry Pi on its side lowers temperature and time out to Thermal Throttling:

https://www.seeedstudio.com/blog/2019/1 ... than-ever/
Rather than negativity think outside the box !

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obarthelemy
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:16 am

The long-term plan is to power the Pi off whatever it's next to that has a USB port, currently the Synology, my Wifi router, and my Fiber box. It is safely on its own PSU right now (part of the bundle I got) , but I'd love to get rid of it. I assume the Synology provides ample power its USB ports are for HDDs, but I'll try that *after* I've backed up the Pi ^^

Long-term, high temps aren't good for IC. I'm worried about the SD too. I've opend the box which defeats the whole purpose. I'll probably get one of those huge heatsink-cases.

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rpdom
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:39 am

I've had more problems getting things to run under certain other Os than Linux.
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fruitoftheloom
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:49 am

obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:16 am
The long-term plan is to power the Pi off whatever it's next to that has a USB port, currently the Synology, my Wifi router, and my Fiber box. It is safely on its own PSU right now (part of the bundle I got) , but I'd love to get rid of it. I assume the Synology provides ample power its USB ports are for HDDs, but I'll try that *after* I've backed up the Pi ^^

Long-term, high temps aren't good for IC. I'm worried about the SD too. I've opend the box which defeats the whole purpose. I'll probably get one of those huge heatsink-cases.

Get a two piece acrylic case without sides so can stand on edge, therefore no heatsinks or fans required and as already stated Thermal Throttling will overcome your unfounded heat damage fears of components......
Rather than negativity think outside the box !

Asus ChromeBox 3 Celeron is my other computer.

obarthelemy
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:58 am

Oh, just remembered one issue with the OS: for some reason, my "French keyboard - English language" choice didn't take (I was delighted that was an option though !), I had to go back into the setup utility after the first boot, and then it worked. Not a biggie.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:08 pm

obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:16 am
The long-term plan is to power the Pi off whatever it's next to that has a USB port,
That's a bad plan. Most USB ports won't supply enough power to properly run a Pi4 (or even a Pi3 for that matter). It might boot and run light loads okay, but when you try to do something heavier, expect trouble.

I assume the Synology provides ample power its USB ports are for HDDs, but I'll try that *after* I've backed up the Pi ^^
Wrong assumption. USB 2.0 ports are spec'd at 500mA, and USB 3.0 ports are spec'd at 900mA, so that's the power consumption USB powered hard drives are designed to run from.

The recommended power supply unit for the Raspberry Pi 4B computer is 5V/3A (the official PSU actually outputs 5.1V). Of that 3A, 1.2A is for the Pi's USB ports, which leaves 1.8A for the system board, most of which will be consumed by the SoC under heavy loads. So even without anything connected to the Pi4's USB ports, that's double the USB 3.0 power specification.

Long-term, high temps aren't good for IC. I'm worried about the SD too. I've opend the box which defeats the whole purpose. I'll probably get one of those huge heatsink-cases.
The Pi 4B will thermally throttle before temps are anywhere near damaging, but cooling is needed for maximum performance.

A fan alone cools better than a heatsink alone (assuming good ventilation), but a Flirc case will keep the system below throttling temps. Most of my Pi3 computers are in Flirc cases (my 4B4 is also in a Flirc), but I do have a couple in open sided cases with quiet Noctua 40x10mm fans, and one 4B2 with a Pimoroni Fan SHIM keeping it cool.
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obarthelemy
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:13 pm

Almost no USB port only supplies the minimum spec'd power. Synology doesn't say how much a Diskstation's does supply, but you can bet it's way above the minimum. 5V is a given, 2A is actually quite common on mains-powered devices. The Pi needs a lot though. We'll see. Also I'm thinking I might switch to an SSD which lowers power draw thus temp.

Also, the spec for my Samsung SD card is 85°C max. The Pi throttles at 80°C which is too close, especially with the temp sensors not on the SD card so the SD might well be 5°C hotter than the temp sensor (it's a bit far from the heat sources... but heat travels weirdly in a case). And operating stuff at borderline spec is never a good idea, especially SD cards which are not the most reliable of things (I'm switching to the white "endurance" lines from Samsung/Sandisk as they die). I haven't checked the rest of the components on the Pi, but running consumer-grade IC at 80°C is insane.

Edit: I do think there's a fan in my Pi's future. I'll try to find a quiet one. And cheap too, this is supposed to be a $35 computer, I'm already out more for all the required related doodads.

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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:00 pm

obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:13 pm
Also, the spec for my Samsung SD card is 85°C max. The Pi throttles at 80°C which is too close.
....
I haven't checked the rest of the components on the Pi, but running consumer-grade IC at 80°C is insane.
Run the latest firmware.

Unless you do something stupid like place your Pi4 into a small plastic case with no holes, you should not see temps anywhere near 80C nowadays. It really is a non-issue. In the UK my Pi (mounted on edge in free air) cannot reach throttling, or even come close (and that includes running the notorious cpuburn53 stress test).

Of course if you live in a very hot country with 50C ambient temps YMMV.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:03 pm

jahboater wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:00 pm
obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:13 pm
Also, the spec for my Samsung SD card is 85°C max. The Pi throttles at 80°C which is too close.
....
I haven't checked the rest of the components on the Pi, but running consumer-grade IC at 80°C is insane.
Run the latest firmware.

Unless you do something stupid like place your Pi4 into a small plastic case with no holes, you should not see temps anywhere near 80C nowadays. It really is a non-issue. In the UK my Pi (mounted on edge in free air) cannot reach throttling, or even come close (and that includes running the notorious cpuburn53 stress test).

Of course if you live in a very hot country with 50C ambient temps YMMV.

Yes already pointed that out but blindly ignored by OP :roll:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 7#p1586122
Rather than negativity think outside the box !

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obarthelemy
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:11 pm

I've run the eeprom-update thing, is there anything else ?

My Pi in its open case, vertical, with cheap heatsinks on 3 ICs, is running at 65%C right now, not doing much, headless but powering an HDD. I'm OK with 65, but then it's not doing much only PiHole and Samba. What happens when I start using Deluge, the VPN..

I'll try passive cooling but I'm doubtful. If I need to go to a good silent ventilated case, that'll make it 3 cases and about as much $$ as the board itself. That's nuts. Especially for something that has an official case that's not only w/o a fan, but fairly airtight ? I thought people were exaggerating the heat issue, they aren't.

jahboater
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:30 pm

obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:11 pm
I've run the eeprom-update thing, is there anything else ?
That wont help. You need to update the firmware with rpi-update.
obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:11 pm
My Pi in its open case, vertical, with cheap heatsinks on 3 ICs, is running at 65%C right now, not doing much,
It should idle in the high 30's to low 40's (in the UK).
Try the latest firmware and report back.

If you must have it in case then the FLIRC one is often recommended for cooling.
There is no need for a fan.

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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:32 pm

You seem to believe an (undamaged) SD card can get hotter than the main heat source on the platform, which is the cpu/gpu. That is not possible, really.
Common USB cables are rated to 60°C ambient, Ethernet to 70°C. Seen anything melt yet?
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:46 pm

obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:13 pm
I haven't checked the rest of the components on the Pi, but running consumer-grade IC at 80°C is insane.
You should trust the RPF engineers to get the design right.

There is nothing insane about a product that's already sold 30 million, and production still cannot meet the demand.
As a percentage of that 30 million, the number of complaints is microscopic.

The last figure I saw for the expected lifespan by the way was around 35 years.

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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:20 pm

If there's more to do to update the boot rom, I don't know what it is:
Image

I trust everyone by default. But didn't the RPF
- mess up the USB wiring
- sell the Pi 4 with a closed, non-cooled box
- say 80°C is OK when Samsung tells me 85 is bad... that's too close for comfort.

I'm not saying they're bad, I'm saying double-checking stuff seems reasonable.

My Pi isn't idling, it's running Samba and PiHole and driving an HDD. That's enough to get it to 65°C (ambient is 18-ish) That's in an open case, on its side, w/ small heat spreaders. I need to cool it better; the load can only increase.

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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:02 pm

obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:20 pm
If there's more to do to update the boot rom, I don't know what it is:
Image

I trust everyone by default. But didn't the RPF
- mess up the USB wiring
- sell the Pi 4 with a closed, non-cooled box
- say 80°C is OK when Samsung tells me 85 is bad... that's too close for comfort.

I'm not saying they're bad, I'm saying double-checking stuff seems reasonable.

My Pi isn't idling, it's running Samba and PiHole and driving an HDD. That's enough to get it to 65°C (ambient is 18-ish) That's in an open case, on its side, w/ small heat spreaders. I need to cool it better; the load can only increase.
Here’s a VERY thorough article about the temperature improvements:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/therma ... erry-pi-4/

The official Pi case is sold separately but I think is available in one of the kits. Other than that the Pi doesn’t come with anything. I don’t have one. I use the two-piece aluminum block variety of heat sink. I recently compiled GCC 9.2 from source, a grueling 3 hour compile. The max temp I saw was 59C.

Regarding the USB thing, “messed up” is an oversimplification. The USBC port is out spec but only when used with one of the “smart cables” or smart chargers. Honestly, I don’t even know what those are. When used with the official power supply (what I use) it functions perfectly.

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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:13 pm

The Pi4 should definitely not be in a closed case, unless the case itself is a heatsink (like the Flirc). The official RPF case for the Pi4 is a terrible design (they didn't get that right, and in fact, got it as wrong as they could - a closed plastic enclosure with no ventilation). I do like the look of the case, but it just doesn't work.

The Flirc has worked very well for me, and is a great looking case. However, those 2 layer, open sided acrylic cases with a 40mm Noctua fan runs cooler, and offers much better access to the GPIO. Last time I bought one it was less than $4, but it came with a loud fan, so I replaced that with a Noctua (which are pricey, but they really are the best fans).

My 4B2 has the top layer replaced by an SSD with a Pimoroni Fan SHIM for cooling, and that also works very well. The Fan SHIM is not as quiet as a Noctua fan, but it's still pretty quiet, and since it's thermally controlled, you only hear it when the system is stressed.
SSD_4B2_Fan-SHIM.jpg
SSD_4B2_Fan-SHIM.jpg (75.45 KiB) Viewed 1345 times
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:37 am

obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:20 pm
If there's more to do to update the boot rom, I don't know what it is:
For the second time, try "rpi-update"
obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:20 pm
- say 80°C is OK when Samsung tells me 85 is bad... that's too close for comfort.
Your continue with the nonsense. The SoC is not made by Samsung.
obarthelemy wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:20 pm
I'm not saying they're bad, I'm saying double-checking stuff seems reasonable.
and wasting every ones time.

I'm done.

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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:39 am

echmain wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:02 pm
- say 80°C is OK when Samsung tells me 85 is bad... that's too close for comfort.
The internal temperature of the SoC has little to do with the temperature of the SD card. Unless you have actual measurements that prove the card is overheating, that's just tin-foil-hat paranoia. I've had Pi computers running for years on the same SD card, so enough with the FUD already.
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:58 am

rpi-update loads alpha or beta software, and clearly states it shouldn't be used. So I won't use it.

Thanks for the case examples. I'll try to find something that
- is cheap
- is quiet
- doesn't go over 65°C anywhere in the case
- is as closed as possible, I sometimes have kids running around the house, even a cat.

Not sure I can find this 5-legged sheep. The one in that last picture looks like a possible compromise.

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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:00 am

obarthelemy wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:58 am
rpi-update loads alpha or beta software, and clearly states it shouldn't be used. So I won't use it.

Thanks for the case examples. I'll try to find something that
- is cheap
- is quiet
- doesn't go over 65°C anywhere in the case
- is as closed as possible, I sometimes have kids running around the house, even a cat.

Not sure I can find this 5-legged sheep. The one in that last picture looks like a possible compromise.

https://www.seeedstudio.com/Raspberry-P ... -4200.html
Rather than negativity think outside the box !

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rpdom
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:26 am

Incidentally, the chips have been tested on Pi 4Bs by the RPT guys at 120°C for prolonged periods with no cooling. So 80°C is nothing to worry about (my old AMD systems - with big heatsinks and fans - were set to give a warning when they hit 100°C! They got close, but never quite hit it. My current Intel Core i5 laptop sometimes goes over 70°C when I'm working with video files)
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obarthelemy
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:47 am

With which SD card ? Or none ?
Just the chips, or the whole board ?
Just sitting there, or working on something ?

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Gavinmc42
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:02 am

Compiling and browsing now.
Pi case, lid off, small heatsink, ceiling fan on(it's summer here) 58c
I normally use the official case with the lid off, rarely get above 70c.
The Pi4 needs ventilation, no big deal for a desktop PC.
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rpdom
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Re: What I learned setting up my first Pi in a long time

Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:38 am

obarthelemy wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:47 am
With which SD card ? Or none ?
Just the chips, or the whole board ?
Just sitting there, or working on something ?
The whole board, iirc. Don't know about the SD card involved (if there was one). Yes, working on things for some considerable time. They test these things close to destruction.

But I'm still not sure what the temperature of the SoC has to do with the micro SD card? You were the one who brought that up, I believe.
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