Pi4, cases, fans and firmware

I see lots of threads on here about fan problems and cases.
I don't have them.
My first Pi4, a 1GB model, has been running continuously since July
2019, connected to an SSD, as a general server: lightweight NAS +
printer + Lan-WWW + in-house mail. These days it runs Puppy Linux
but that's probably not relevant.
I printed a case for it and set it up - At first it needed a
fan-shim and still overheated occasionally. But after the first
firmware upgrade the temperature problems reduced and, once I
removed the case they dropped further.
After the second (I think) upgrade I was able to remove the fan
shim and, as long as the Pi is on it's side, it's fine.
The most recent firmware release (July this year iIrc) has
improved things even more and added the ability to boot from USB
among other things.
So now my 1GB, 2GB and 4GB Pi4s are running cool, without fans and
without cases: if you must have a case get something very roomy
with lots of ventilation. Mine are mounted on edge, one of the
socketed sides upwards 'though one of them is just dangling from
it's leads.
So: Is everyone keeping their firmware up to date?
If you haven't done so:
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade
This does most of the firmware fixing and...
sudo apt install rpi-eeprom
sudo rpi-eeprom-update
Checks your bootloader, if it's not the most recent...
sudo rpi-eeprom-update -a
Fixes it and you will be up to date after the next reboot.
Cheerio,
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>> derek.moody@casterbridge.net
Reply to
Derek.Moody
Loading thread data ...
Hello Martin,
Yes, i have learned that from the Irisch Kelly Kettle to cook water. It was invented in 1890 by Irisch fishermen.
My naked Pi 3B+ hangs onts its HDMI and power cable on the glass side of an old 12" computer monitor, as my Acorn Archimedes only seldom runs ;-). The glass side of that old monitor is a good electric isolator.
Are you sure about that memory size? Only the old first Pi 1B and the Pi Zero(W) both have 512 MB, all others are 1 GB from 1B+ (one core) up to the 2B, 3B and 3B+ who have all 4 cores. The new Pi 4B is available at 1, 2, 4 and 8 GB.
Only my both 4B Pi's (4GB and 8GB) have a fan in a transparant case (SOS-Solutions.nl). All my other older Pi's do not have a fan or heatsinks. For my 3B I bought an aluminium case, but that had the disadvantage of less connectivity on WiFi.
Henri.
Reply to
Henri Derksen
Don't forget the chimney effect: putting a decent sized cardboard or plastic tube iver a matching hole on top of a case with adequate air inlets round its base will make a passive cooling system.
I like the idea of putting the Pi on its side too. Mine (Pi 2B 512MB) lives on its side attached to an epoxyboard support in a hexagonal plastic box that used to contain Mirabelle Mozertkugeln. No ventilation holes but it runs just fine in there. A no-cost case too: I already had the epoxyboard.
--
Martin    | martin at 
Gregorie  | gregorie dot org
Reply to
Martin Gregorie
I had to remove the fanshim because the tiny fans kept failing, which is a shame as I liked the temperature dependent colour LED, and contributed an enhancement to the code on github.
If I set the fanshim up to go on and off at approximately 25% duty cycle it would maintain an average of 55C idle, if on continuously then around 45C idle. I preferred having it on all the time for the lower temperatures, and in the end the fans lasted about 3-4 months regardless of the usage pattern. I've not heard anyone else have issues, so god knows why mine don't last.
My new 8GB Pi4 arrived today (thanks Pimoroni) to replace the 4GB which died just as I was putting in the new case. This one is happy in the case which has a larger 40mm fan connected to 3V3 so it's silent and maintains 43C idle, 60C with all 4 cores flat out. I've used this type of case for both my 3B and 3B+ with 35mm fans on 3V3 and they've lasted for years with neither fans or the Pi's failing.
Thanks for that, my other 4B is up to date, but the new one out of the box has updated.
---druck
Reply to
druck
hello
i'm running raspbian, made a some cleaning but never saw nothing about that package. how comes it's not installed by default on raspbian? it seems quite important, no?
~f6k
--
~~(,_,"> http://shl.huld.re/~f6k/
Reply to
f6k
Not forgetting the very original Model B which only has 256MB.
That one has spent the last two years in the shed and has survived ambient temperatures from -5.3C to 51.5C (CPU temp 19.6C and 72.8C).
---druck
Reply to
druck
First suspect for anything warm with a clogged fan is the family cat. They do like to sit against running equipment and contribute fluff and dust towards an early failure...?
A reminder that kit will be new to you but it may have been on the distributor's shelf for a while.
Cheerio,
--
>> derek.moody@casterbridge.net
Reply to
Derek.Moody
It's a cheap thing (if not quite by monetary value), probably not built to last. I guess most people don't use it continuously, because a) they turn off their Pi but also b) the default setting of the fanshim software, like you say, is to have it go on and off.
Reply to
A. Dumas
The 4B is no longer sold with 1GB. 2GB is now the same price as old 1GB.
Another Dave
--
Change nospam to techie
Reply to
Another Dave
We do have cat's and ones with a considerable amount of fluff at that, but the fans only showed a very light coating of dust, and no hair.
The symptoms are one day you come in and instead of a silent fan, it has started making a noticeable whining noise. If you can live with the noise you start seeing a reduction in cooling efficiency, and if look carefully the fan is no longer running smoothly. Eventually it will just stop. This suggests bearing failure to me.
---druck
Reply to
druck
It's a shame as I've got other cheap 30mm fans which are far more reliable, but they are the square 4 hole ones, and wont fit on the fanship/pibow case which needs the round 2 hole one.
---druck
Reply to
druck
I wonder if it's possible to get inside. A touch of light oil or PTFE might have saved them.
OK, I've checked the data sheet - it has a hydraulic bearing so presumably lubrication won't help. Replacement fans are available
quantities so it might be worth shopping around.
By the look of it it should be possible to use the board/shim and plug in an alternative fan (5V 0.13A) off board so retaining some of the function.
BTW: For anyone just finding this, I missed another cooling aid in my first post.
Wifi and Bluetooth use a surprising amount of power and contribute to the general heating. Using a network cable and disabling wireless may help - especially if you have a poor wifi signal.
Cheerio,
--
>> derek.moody@casterbridge.net
Reply to
Derek.Moody
Interesting: I'm currently sitting in front of a Lenovo T440 which runs on a 1.9 GHz i5 MPU and has both wifi and bluetooth permanently off and using wired networking. Its noticable that its fan is never running, not even on the hottest days this summer, yet its temperature sensors never show anything above 50C.
I've been writing and debugging C today with the highest internal temp shown being 37C and no fans have been running.
--
Martin    | martin at 
Gregorie  | gregorie dot org
Reply to
Martin Gregorie
Hello,
May be David Ruck had two problems he did not remark, static electricity or too much heat when soldering? Or his RoHS Pi is poisoned by lead (solder ;-).
Henri.
Reply to
Henri Derksen
Hello David,
Yes, that was the 2012 version. In NL all members of the Dutch Big Ben computer Club got a Pi Model B the 2013 512 MB i.e. second version for the 30th anniversaty of their existance/jubilee. Many liked that nice idea of a computer club giving all their members a new computer ;-).
So you also have good luck, not only bad. On average you may not complain, I think ;-). My second Pi 1B from the same year 2013 is now running !RosBink for FidoNet since October 2018 without a case 24/7 now on his second microSDcard.
Henri.
Reply to
Henri Derksen

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