Device Status and Cooling.

I've managed to drive my Raspberry Pi 3 up to 85 Deg. C. This got me thinking about being able to track things like CPU usage, temperature and other elements, further to this maybe even adding cooling to the CPU to help drive the temperature down

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Activity

Coming to an end.

I never quite got round to fitting the fan to this Pi and to be honest it has been gathering dust over the last few months while I have been using my new Pi Zero.  With the arrival of the Pi-SPROG 1, I now need the Pi 3.  With the SPROG plugging directly into the GPIO header I may not have space for the Heat-sink, never mind the fan so I will put this project to bed.

If you are interested or curious about model trains and digital command and control please go here for the new project:

https://incredibits.io/project/model-trains-digital-command-and-control

Finally if you have been following this project, thank you and I hope it has been useful.

Many thanks

Colin

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Who'd have thought it....

It seems that in the few weeks that I have had the display working that Adafruit have moved their code from Python2 to Python3. Once sorted I was able to install the library, convert a small amount of code and install the psutil library for Python3 my status program worked again.

Now back on track again.

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Progress up to now.

So I have a irregular roughly 128x64 OLED shaped hole in my case, an RGB LED pushed through the lid as well.  The LED is wired into the GPIO and logic in the code is enabling a RAG type display:

  • Red  >=75 Deg C (if)
  • Amber (poor yellow colour really) >= 60 Deg C (if)
  • Green Everything else. (elif)

And that worked.  The display was working fine as well.  The heat sink on the processor is having a noticable effect on termperatures as when driving the CPU in the same way I got 85 Deg now has a maximum of around 76 Deg.

Then I upgraded to the latest version of Raspian and the display no longer works.  Trying to fix that has effectively stopped me from fitting the fan as the controls for the fan come from the RAG logic above. i.e.

  • => 75 Deg
    • Fan off to on
    • Fan on same state
  • => 60 Deg
    • Fan same state
  • Everything else:
    • Fan off same state
    • Fan on to Fan off

I think now that I will have to go to A2C which means bridging to jumper solder pads on the display module.  Or forgetting the display and using the hole as a vent.

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Introduction

After having my Pi 3 get up to 85 degrees C I had some thoughts around monitoring CPU usage, temperature and also Memory usage. I also thought about additional cooling for the Pi both passive and active.  The Pi does protect itself and reduces CPU speed to reduce temperature.  This is good but if the temperature rise can be controlled the CPU won't need to throttle back so the Pi won't slow down.

Parts of this have already been done, I am able to send CPU statistics to an 128x64 OLED display already and I have attached a heat sink to the CPU.  I haven't yet designed the code for active cooling but I have the parts, also there is the butchering of the PI case to enable the components to be mounting properly,

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Ollie commented on Introduction:

What the plan? to activate a fan using the Pi's own GPIO?

Colin replied:

Yep.the fan is running from one of the 5v pins. To add control I have connected it to the collector of a npn transistor and as a proof of concept attached the Base to a 3.3 v pin and manually triggered the fan. This works really well.

Ollie replied:

How is it going? did you get it working?

Colin replied:

I've designed the fan circuit on veroboard and now need to build it. I haven't worked out fastening the fan to the heat sink but I have some plasticard which may work. An update to Raspbian has stopped me from loading the display and so killed the entire status program. On the positive I gave an RGB LED pushed through the case and this gives me a RAG (yellow, not amber ). If I can't figure the SPI issue (a device tree issue I think) I'm going to look at A2C as the alternative.

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