16 April 2016

Mod my Pi Case

The case is the "official" one as mentioned in my previous post.
The fan is a Noctua NF-A4x10-5v (40mm x 10mm - 5 volts). Noise-wise they are rated at 17dB. In fact its so quiet that you have to look at it to see if its actually running. They come with a 6 year warranty. I've been using them in my PC's for years and have not had one fail yet, but this is the first time I have used a 40mm one.
The fan kit has 4 mounting screws, a 2 to 3 pin adaptor, an extension cable, an Omni-join connector set and the rubber anti-vibration mounts. The fan has a 3 pin plug.
The first part is to mark out the centre of the top and drill the hole for the fan. As you can see I have a fully equipped workshop (an old vice and the 38mm drill bit).

And here I've drilled the holes for the screws and put it on. Since then I've reversed the fan direction as it seems to cool better. I was going to suck the air out of the case but find blowing it into the case seems to work better.


The end result...

And here it is running

I had a USB to 3 pin fan header which I used at first. After finding out the correct GPIO pins I used the supplied 2 to 3 pin adaptor and simply plugged the 2 pin end onto the GPIO. Now with the Pi3 running flat out its coming in with temps around 55-56 degrees C (room temp is 27 degrees).

To find out how hot it is; in a terminal window issue the command vcgencmd measure_temp


CorryG said...

You need to actually test it under full load:

sudo apt-get install stress
stress --cpu 4 & watch '(vcgencmd measure_temp; vcgencmd measure_clock arm)'

CPU urn-a53:
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ssvb/cpuburn-arm/master/cpuburn-a53.S
gcc -o cpuburn-a53 cpuburn-a53.S
./cpuburn-a53 & watch '(vcgencmd measure_temp; vcgencmd measure_clock arm)'

Mark G James said...

Its being used as a BOINC number cruncher currently doing Seti Beta tasks, so its at 100% CPU load all the time. The clock speed is: frequency(45)=1200000000 which indicates its not throttling due to heat.

I have a number of Pi2's that are also BOINC number crunchers. I am in the process of swapping the Pi2's for Pi3's when I can get the parts. Cases came in last week, fans yesterday and now waiting on heatsinks for the remainder.

Unknown said...

I've recently just purchased a Pi3 and the OEM case. This is exactly what I was looking for with regard to improved cooling. Could you possibly post the GPIO pins that you used?

Mark G James said...

If you place the Pi so the GPIO pins are across the top the 2nd pin is 5v and the 3rd pin (on the top row, closest to the edge of the board) is ground. According to the diagram that is pins 4 and 6. If you want the full list of pins just google “pi3 gpio pins”. Make sure you plug the fan in the right way otherwise it might run in reverse! Mine are blowing air into the case so I leave the sides off.