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Author Topic: RPi3 overheating  (Read 348 times)

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DaOld Man

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RPi3 overheating
« on: November 19, 2020, 08:53:35 pm »
I have a RPi3 in a genesis console case. I threw this together last year but its been gathering dust so I decided to drag it out and test it.
After a little while of playing it gave the thermometer in the right corner of the screen icon, which means overheating.
I had installed one of those cheap heat sinks with the double sided thermo tape.
I dont know if the tape broke down over time or what but it was definitely not doing the job now.
I removed that hinksink and installed one made for a power transistor.
I applied heat sink compound between it and the cpu.
I used a hot glue gun to attach the heatsink to the board.
It ran much cooler. No thermometer warning and I used winscp to check the cpu heat. Its running about 60-72 degrees C.
But the hotglue I used is melting. I looked up specs on the glue and it becomes soft around 70 C.
So any suggestions how to fasten this heat sink down?
I wish RPi would at least make holes in the board so you can attach a real heatsink.
Here is a pic of the glued in heat sink:


« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 09:15:19 am by DaOld Man »

mahuti

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Re: RPi3 overheating
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 03:56:40 am »
I can't tell you exactly how to fix this particular issue, but I can tell you that a lot of the cheap heat sinks don't actually come with the right tape. They often come with a double sided tape that will stand up to the heat but isn't actually made for applying heat sinks. That kind of tape doesn't help with the transference of heat, but instead insulates, which makes the processor hotter. When I buy heat sinks for the pi I make sure they come spec'd with the right tape... and at some point I bought a roll of it myself just to have around.

Even without a heat sink, a small fan driven off the GPIO will work wonders.

For an Emby movie server I bought a small heat sink tower/fan combo that mounts to the pi in the corners. Man, that thing does an AMAZING job at keeping the heat down, even during big transcoding and movie processing operations.
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Vocalitus

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Re: RPi3 overheating
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 04:53:25 am »
Yep I had the same problem but I found this solution that worked and now my temps are low.  You might need to mod your enclosure.

You could also get one of these and fill it with mineral oil.  Makes a nice conversational piece. 

Looks classy and you can over clock the heck out of that Pi.  Plenty of videos on the web for examples.

 

DaOld Man

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Re: RPi3 overheating
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 08:40:28 am »
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I like that one with the case and 2 fans.
Im not a big fan of fans. (no pun intended), but if what I just tried doesnt work I will probably go that route.

Heres what i have going on so far.
Since that transistor heat sink appears to do the job, just the hot glue is not the right approach, i tried a different mounting method.
I first tried to chip off the hot glue blobs, but it was pretty tough and i was afraid I would damage the board, so I left them on for now.
I fashioned a paper clip to run between the two back mounting posts and through the heat sink.
It is applying a spring like tension against the heat sink.
Going to let it run awhile to see how it works out.
Heres a couple of pics.





I havent run winscp yet to check temps, will post the results after the Pi runs for awhile.

DaOld Man

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Re: RPi3 overheating
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 10:28:04 am »
Here are my test results.
Running Attract Mode V0.5 build 23-08-2016
RPi is NOT overclocked.
Ambient temp is 66-68 degrees F.
All following temps are in C.
Using Winscp from desktop windows 10 PC.
Using command in winscp terminal mode: vcgencmd measure_temp

07:42 AM (Genesis case top is off): 62.8 C
07:52 AM: 59.1 C
Ran SNES emulator for 14 minutes
08:06 AM: 62.3 C
Put genesis case top on.
08:30 AM: 66.6 C
09:00 AM: 63.4 C
Playing N64 emulator, trying to stress CPU for 15 minutes
09:16 AM: 74.7 C
09:24 AM: 77.4C
Highest temp Ive seen is 77.4. The thermometer icon never popped up.
I plan to let attract mode menu screen run for a while and check again.
Looks like its going to be ok, but time will tell, plus ambient temp is fairly low. My furnace kicks on at 66 off at 68 F. (It lowers at night to 62-64)

DaOld Man

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Re: RPi3 overheating
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 12:25:18 pm »
OK , final test results.
After letting it alone with the attract mode screen saver running.
10:23 AM 74.1C
The genesis console was sitting on the floor, with carpet underneath.
I decided to set it on a hard back book, to allow air to circulate under the case. (Pads on bottom should raise case about 1/8 inch off surface).
10:30 AM 75.2C
10:45 AM 72.0 C
Surprisingly, it didnt seem to make any difference if the air slots on bottom were covered or not. I sat the case back on carpet.
11:15 AM 71.4 C
Well, I guess thats it for now, unless I see some unusual behavior later.
What did I learn?
I will not waste money on the cheap "stick on" heatsinks.
My next project I will use a "real" heat sink with silicone heatsink compound.
Will probably mount heatsink in a similar fashion, unless I come up with something better. Probably wont use the hotglue for this, I can see where it could be a mess if it gets hot enough for the glue to run.)
Here is my rig, with a Gigaware USB controller:



I shut it down and pull top cover off, while glue was warm the blobs came off pretty easy. Glue was soft but not to the point of becoming liquid like it was yesterday.
Maybe the paper clip wire pressed the heatsink down closer to the cpu when the glue softened, allowing better heat transfer? I dont know.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 12:33:39 pm by DaOld Man »

morton

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Re: RPi3 overheating
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2020, 11:30:10 am »
There are people who were running a Pi in the Genesis USB case at one point. Was cool given the only real product at the time was the baby Nintendo. Saw one Genesis USB with a tiny fan to cool the Pi.

Mine is in one of those Flirc cases. The whole case acts as a sink. I am not sure what the tape used is or if it's the good stuff, but have never had any heat issue in a case that is basically the size of the Pi. Maybe it's never been an issue due to how I use it?

There is a cool video where a guy goes all out using a piece of copper, and then a CPU sink and fan, which is excessive... But makes me wonder if moving air through the sink is the only way to make a sink inside enclosure efficient?

There are now dedicated coolers that look insanely over the top and I want to try one but haven't found the need yet. I also feel like getting airflow is good... Maybe some slightly taller feet and an intake fan to pull cool air in and displace the hot air? That Argon case looks like a cool one if you're familiar.

There are obviously lots of solutions, but I appreciate the people who manage to find their own solutions or work with what they have. Probably get more done. I only manage to make excuses LOL. 

mahuti

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Re: RPi3 overheating
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2020, 01:31:53 pm »
This is the cooling tower I use for the emby server . Its over the top and doesn't fit in a case.

That said, when not overclocking drastically I've only ever had heat issues with the Pi4. One time I had it laying flat on carpet and it overheated. Turning on its side caused a major cooldown with no fan or heatsinks involved.
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