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.