Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:08 am
Location: Essex - UK

Advice on cooling Pi with TVHat

Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:41 pm

Hi Forum -

I have built a TVHeadend server using a Pi 3B+ and the TVHat which I have installed in my loft space.

I looked for a suitable case for this combination, but the only viable option I could find was the solution supplied by PiHut (https://thepihut.com/products/tv-hat-ca ... berry-pi-4 - this is the Pi4 version, I couldn't find the Pi3 link).

Nothing wrong with it. Perfectly suitable, but with the fickle UK weather suddenly shooting up to 30/31C this week. I found the unit unresponsive (over the network) this morning and when I went up into the loft space to check the Pi the whole package was awfully warm - even the exposed metal part of the aerial plug was hot to the touch.

The main red light was on and I could see that I had an Ethernet link to the switch (pulling the cable made the light turn off, plugging it back it had the desired effect on the switch) but it was only after I pulled the power for 15 minutes and then plugged the power back in did it become properly responsive again.

Given the proximity of the TVHat to the SoC I'm not sure there's enough room for a heatsink.

Are there any other cases around which would accommodate a Pi3, the TVHat, and maybe have some additional cooling?

Many thanks in advance.

Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:05 pm

Re: Advice on cooling Pi with TVHat

Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:16 pm

Never personally found a cooling, tv-hat case for the pi3, or even a workaround solution.

I ended up getting a flirc aluminium case and ditching the tv hat for a usb tuner.

More expensive set up but has advantage of never overheating and being able to utilise 2 or more tuners at once allowing multiple streams from different muxes.

Alternatively, pi 4 has cooling cases available that allow gpio access for the tv hat.

Or the pi2 can be a tvheadend backend without generating as much heat.

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Re: Advice on cooling Pi with TVHat

Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:58 pm

my suggestion:

get a 5v. Noctua fan NF-A4x10 (non PWM model)
cut a vent hole on the top cover for the fan, include crew taps for fan mounting
solder a fan power connector to the 5v power in side and use that to power the noctua fan.

you may want to include a dust filter to prevent dust from accumulating inside the setup.
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Re: Advice on cooling Pi with TVHat

Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:44 am

I have been running a Pi 3B (not 3B+) with just a small heatsink, with the TV HAT in a standard case with the lid off since the HAT first came out. I've had no problems with overheating, even when room temperatures went over 30°C.

The only time I had a problem was a few days ago when I could no longer connect to it, but found out that I'd managed to unplug the network cable at the other end while searching for an escaped spider. :oops:
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