jumpily
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I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:18 am

I bought my Pi Zero in 2017 and recently brought it back out for another project recently.

I just noticed while removing the SD card that its case appears to have melted, and the strongest melting appears to be right under the Pi's CPU.

Have there been any other cases of stuff like this happening? Would this be a sign of a defective Pi? How should I proceed?

I have added pictures of the melted case, where the a PCB imprint can be seen, and of the bottom of the Pi where a bit of pink plastic can be seen.

Image

Image

ejolson
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:07 pm

jumpily wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:18 am
I just noticed while removing the SD card that its case appears to have melted, and the strongest melting appears to be right under the Pi's CPU.
I think you are right that it melted the case. Note that 3D-printed cases almost always melt. Is that such a case?

I made a case for my Zero by folding a bit of plastic around it that I cut out of a milk carton secured with a large rubber band for holding vegetables I got from the green grocer. I'm hoping there is enough ventilation and that food-grade plastic also works well for raspberries.

trejan
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm

ejolson wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:07 pm
I think you are right that it melted the case. Note that 3D-printed cases almost always melt. Is that such a case?
This is the official Pi Zero case.

ejolson
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:20 pm

trejan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:19 pm
ejolson wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:07 pm
I think you are right that it melted the case. Note that 3D-printed cases almost always melt. Is that such a case?
This is the official Pi Zero case.
Then it must have become quite hot. I would suggest drilling some unofficial holes to provide more ventilation. You may also want to check the other side of the board to make sure the heat did not create some bad soldier joints.

trejan
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:45 pm

ejolson wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:20 pm
I would suggest drilling some unofficial holes to provide more ventilation.
You shouldn't need to do this for a Pi Zero as it shouldn't get this hot normally. The case looks like ABS which has a melting point of 105C which is far over the thermal throttle threshold. This is a faulty Pi Zero SoC that has an internal short. Only fix is to get a new one as this one is damaged beyond repair.

ejolson
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:06 pm

trejan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:45 pm
ejolson wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:20 pm
I would suggest drilling some unofficial holes to provide more ventilation.
You shouldn't need to do this for a Pi Zero as it shouldn't get this hot normally. The case looks like ABS which has a melting point of 105C which is far over the thermal throttle threshold. This is a faulty Pi Zero SoC that has an internal short. Only fix is to get a new one as this one is damaged beyond repair.
All that theory about throttling if it gets too hot discounts the fact that even at the lowest clock speed a Zero could still get too hot without ventilation.

While it is astonishing the official cases are designed without ventilation, there are many other things in the wonderful world of Pi even stranger. If the Earth were not so bountiful, every person would have starved long ago as a result of repeatedly doing what's less than optimal. Along these lines, while there may be an optimal location to drill the unofficial ventilation holes, I suggest simply making plenty.

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rin67630
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:11 pm

trejan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:45 pm
This is a faulty Pi Zero SoC that has an internal short. Only fix is to get a new one as this one is damaged beyond repair.
I have got such a Pi Zero as well.
It runs apparently normally and does its job like the others, but it gets up to 87°C hot, maybe even more It's the max that my gadget pyrometer will display.
I decided to retire it.

jumpily
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:07 pm

trejan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:45 pm
ejolson wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:20 pm
I would suggest drilling some unofficial holes to provide more ventilation.
You shouldn't need to do this for a Pi Zero as it shouldn't get this hot normally. The case looks like ABS which has a melting point of 105C which is far over the thermal throttle threshold. This is a faulty Pi Zero SoC that has an internal short. Only fix is to get a new one as this one is damaged beyond repair.
Is there any way to verify that this is the case?

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rpdom
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:22 pm

jumpily wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:07 pm
Is there any way to verify that this is the case?
The Zero shouldn't get above 85°C ever. It should be difficult to get it that hot. Even in an enclosed case. None of mine have got anywhere near that.

If any of the GPIOs have been subjected to voltages outside their operating specs, they will cause a cascading burn-out within the main chip which will lead to it getting hot. It may appear to work fine for some time, just very hot, but the GPIOs will be non-functional to start with, then the rest of the chip will fail over time.
Unreadable squiggle

ejolson
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:29 pm

rpdom wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:22 pm
jumpily wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:07 pm
Is there any way to verify that this is the case?
The Zero shouldn't get above 85°C ever. It should be difficult to get it that hot. Even in an enclosed case. None of mine have got anywhere near that.

If any of the GPIOs have been subjected to voltages outside their operating specs, they will cause a cascading burn-out within the main chip which will lead to it getting hot. It may appear to work fine for some time, just very hot, but the GPIOs will be non-functional to start with, then the rest of the chip will fail over time.
My suggestion is to down-clock the Zero to the original 700MHz maximum speed, drill some holes, install a good fire alarm and then check for more melting.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:15 pm

jumpily wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:07 pm
trejan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:45 pm
ejolson wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:20 pm
I would suggest drilling some unofficial holes to provide more ventilation.
You shouldn't need to do this for a Pi Zero as it shouldn't get this hot normally. The case looks like ABS which has a melting point of 105C which is far over the thermal throttle threshold. This is a faulty Pi Zero SoC that has an internal short. Only fix is to get a new one as this one is damaged beyond repair.
Is there any way to verify that this is the case?
Yes, simply remove the micro SD card, turn the Pi0 on again, and see if it generates any heat.
There should be absolutely no heat, if it gets even warm, it's damaged.
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allanonmage
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:27 pm

You guys are talking about temperature, but forgetting BTUs. Temperature is 1 data point, while BTUs quantify the quantity of heat.

I don't think the Pi 0 puts out too many BTUs, but if it's on all the time, it's constantly warming that plastic. The plastic doesn't look burnt, just slightly melted, so I don't think it got too hot. I think that over time, enough heat was added to that little bit of air that the plastic started to melt. There's no ventilation, so if you just keep adding more and more heat, it shouldn't be surprising that there will be side effects.

If you had black anywhere, then I'd say it was getting too hot.

You didn't say if you added a heatsink or not. Did your Pi have a heatsink on the chip?

ejolson
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:36 pm

allanonmage wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:27 pm
You guys are talking about temperature, but forgetting BTUs. Temperature is 1 data point, while BTUs quantify the quantity of heat.

I don't think the Pi 0 puts out too many BTUs, but if it's on all the time, it's constantly warming that plastic.
It's better to measure a raspberry pie in terms of calories rather than BTUs. To convert use the formula

1 BTU = 251.88740503607 calories.

LTolledo
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:56 pm

one of my solution (that was frowned/ridiculed/laughed upon)
RPiZW-WRcaseFAN.JPG
RPiZW-WRcaseFAN.JPG (95.91 KiB) Viewed 1221 times

but hey, its my RPiZW.... not theirs
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

jumpily
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:33 pm

allanonmage wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:27 pm
You guys are talking about temperature, but forgetting BTUs. Temperature is 1 data point, while BTUs quantify the quantity of heat.

I don't think the Pi 0 puts out too many BTUs, but if it's on all the time, it's constantly warming that plastic. The plastic doesn't look burnt, just slightly melted, so I don't think it got too hot. I think that over time, enough heat was added to that little bit of air that the plastic started to melt. There's no ventilation, so if you just keep adding more and more heat, it shouldn't be surprising that there will be side effects.

If you had black anywhere, then I'd say it was getting too hot.

You didn't say if you added a heatsink or not. Did your Pi have a heatsink on the chip?
No it doesn't have a heatsink

jumpily
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:34 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:56 pm
one of my solution (that was frowned/ridiculed/laughed upon)
RPiZW-WRcaseFAN.JPG


but hey, its my RPiZW.... not theirs
This is super cool :lol:

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Imperf3kt
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:12 pm

allanonmage wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:27 pm
You guys are talking about temperature, but forgetting BTUs. Temperature is 1 data point, while BTUs quantify the quantity of heat.

I don't think the Pi 0 puts out too many BTUs, but if it's on all the time, it's constantly warming that plastic. The plastic doesn't look burnt, just slightly melted, so I don't think it got too hot. I think that over time, enough heat was added to that little bit of air that the plastic started to melt. There's no ventilation, so if you just keep adding more and more heat, it shouldn't be surprising that there will be side effects.
You forget that convection is constantly cooling the plastic as well.
BTUs have nothing to do with it, they are simply a measure of energy the same as °C

A pi0w uses typically 150mA, or 0. 75W which is 2.559105867 BTU / hour
But that's assuming 100% conversion to heat at the SOC, which it what's happening.
sone of the energy is lost in the cables, some is sent to other devices as data, some ends up in other areas of the Pi.

My point is, a Pi0W should never generate enough heat to melt ABS, no matter what unit you measure that heat in.
Last edited by Imperf3kt on Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DougieLawson
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:30 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:12 pm
You forget that convection is constantly cooling the plastic as well.
BTUs have nothing to do with it, they are simply a measure of energy the same as °C
Wow I didn't realise that the 14,500Km between me and Australia made physics work differently.

°C is a measure of temperature.
Joules are a measure of energy in my universe (cf BTU and calories).
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Imperf3kt
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:32 pm

and temperature is a measure of? heat.
what is heat? energy.

Perhaps I stated it incorrectly, but my point remains the same, BTUs have nothing to do with it.
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Rose coloured glasses are difficult to see through.

jumpily
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:15 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:15 pm
jumpily wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:07 pm
trejan wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:45 pm

You shouldn't need to do this for a Pi Zero as it shouldn't get this hot normally. The case looks like ABS which has a melting point of 105C which is far over the thermal throttle threshold. This is a faulty Pi Zero SoC that has an internal short. Only fix is to get a new one as this one is damaged beyond repair.
Is there any way to verify that this is the case?
Yes, simply remove the micro SD card, turn the Pi0 on again, and see if it generates any heat.
There should be absolutely no heat, if it gets even warm, it's damaged.
I tried this and it didn't get warm. It did make a high frequency sound with a certain power supply, but no warmth.

ejolson
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:23 pm

jumpily wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:15 am
Imperf3kt wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:15 pm
jumpily wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:07 pm


Is there any way to verify that this is the case?
Yes, simply remove the micro SD card, turn the Pi0 on again, and see if it generates any heat.
There should be absolutely no heat, if it gets even warm, it's damaged.
I tried this and it didn't get warm. It did make a high frequency sound with a certain power supply, but no warmth.
Great! So all you need are unofficial holes in the case. If you make any, it would be amusing to see a picture of the new ventilation as well as

vcgencmd measure_temp

output to measure the difference over time in temperature under load.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... cgencmd.md

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rin67630
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:56 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:30 pm
Wow I didn't realise that the 14,500Km between me and Australia made physics work differently.
Doesn't the heat go downunder in Australia?
:D

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rin67630
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:01 pm

rpdom wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:22 pm
jumpily wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:07 pm
Is there any way to verify that this is the case?
The Zero shouldn't get above 85°C ever. It should be difficult to get it that hot. Even in an enclosed case. None of mine have got anywhere near that.

If any of the GPIOs have been subjected to voltages outside their operating specs, they will cause a cascading burn-out within the main chip which will lead to it getting hot. It may appear to work fine for some time, just very hot, but the GPIOs will be non-functional to start with, then the rest of the chip will fail over time.
IMHO there are defective chips in the wild that just get very hot while running else almost normally.

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DougieLawson
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:52 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:56 pm
DougieLawson wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:30 pm
Wow I didn't realise that the 14,500Km between me and Australia made physics work differently.
Doesn't the heat go downunder in Australia?
:D
The heat/wet/cyclones/etc. largely depends on the Indian Ocean Dipole. The Southern Annular Mode (aka the Roaring Forties) has also had a massive effect this summer down under.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/50966478

The hard part with Australia is remembering not to turn your raspberry pi upside down or the electrons fall out.
Criticising any questions is banned on this forum.

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davidcoton
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Re: I think my Pi Zero W v1.1 melted its case

Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:29 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:52 pm
The hard part with Australia is remembering not to turn your raspberry pi upside down rightside up or the electrons fall out.
FTFY. Remember electrons are negatively charged. :? :lol:
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