Sunday, June 10, 2012

One hot Pi

I've been busy the last couple of days with the Pi and slowly setting up the server and website which will host the data from the sensors.
I've noticed that two parts of the board get hot really quickly after it's turned on: the main CPU and the LAN/USB controller. Apparently this is acknowledged by other users too, but the common agreement is that it does not heat up so much that it could be harmful to the board - around 50 °C.
Nevertheless, I think it's better to try to reduce the heat on the components somehow, so I was very happy today when we found some aluminium heatsinks at my friend's house that came with his old graphic card.
Since the heatsinks had a film of glue on the bottom already, it was very easy to install them on the board. The heatsinks fit perfectly over the CPU, but are a bit too large for the LAN/USB controller. I didn't want to get messy with metal saws and files so I just hoped nothing gets shorted and attached the heatsinks to both units.
The board with the new heatsinks.
 It worked! The board is now running for several hours, not minding the new attachments. The heatsink over the CPU is noticeably cooler than the CPU was before, and the other heatsink is still quite hot, but this only means that it's dissipating more heat away from the LAN/USB controller.
So this mini-project has been a success. It will help to cool the board and probably extend its working life.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Pi has arrived

After a long, long wait and countless delays, it's finally here.
The Raspberry Pi.
I ordered one on day 0, the rarest of all dates - 29. February, along with hundreds of thousands of other enthusiasts, and after exactly three months it arrived in the mail.
I didn't have much time to play around with it yet, so just a few quick thoughts:
It's really picky about the SD cards and power supplies. The SD card issues are being fixed with the firmware upgrades though, and hopefully it will support more cards as they figure out the problems.
My plan is to build a weather station based on the Pi and some sensors. For now there will only be the bare minimum pressure and temperature sensor BMP085 but I will be adding others over time.
Some pics:
The first encounter
The first successful boot - I had to use a different SD card, power supply, and boot settings to make it work.
The pic is crappy because the phone's camera is crappy.
Pi over SSH - very smooth and easy to set up.
This is it for now, I will be adding new posts when I really start to work on the weather station.