BlueWolf
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Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:59 pm

RPi (Zero) in extreme temperatures experiences

Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:29 pm

Hello there. I am looking for other people who are familiar with putting the Raspberry Pi in extreme temperature conditions. Just curious for experiences/stories/tips/whatnot.

I have a small army of Raspberry Pi Zero's here. And last winter I kinda put them through the test with having some of them outside. They were put in a small box, controlling a relay. Although we did not had a super cold winter, it got down to -35°C for a while. Only one Raspberry failed, except it wasn't the RPi as it turned out. The tiny gpio wire going to the relay couldn't carry the 3.3V over to the relay. The wire was completely solid. Moving it over to the 5V pin fixed it. The RPi itself did great had no issues. I learned that I need to get thicker wires to compensate for the increase in resistance, and keeping them as short as possible.

Interesting the internal cpu temperature (when I was monitoring it) did not get much lower than -15°C. Possible because it was doing work, as well as being right next to the power supply.

I am planning for a 12v battery powered, mobile connected remote camera this winter. Undecided if I have it heated or not. Right now the camera is my biggest question as I don't know how well it performs in cold environments. I'm hoping it will perform all the way down to -40°C which is usually the lowest we get around here.

Right now we have some pretty hot temperatures. One of the Pi's is continuously streaming its webcam feed and is in direct sunlight most of the day. Only now I realised that the internal temperature has risen to 90°C and has been like that for the past few days probably. I find it odd that the cpu has been throttled to 1.0GHz, but 'vcgencmd get_throttled' still shows 0x0. The despite the load being 5.30 it hasn't skipped a beat with streaming. I know coldness shouldn't permanently damage electronics, but does anyone have experience with hot temperatures?

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Imperf3kt
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Re: RPi (Zero) in extreme temperatures experiences

Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:38 pm

The Raspberry Pi zero is set to 1GHz by default, thats why it doesn't say it has been throttled.
Thats odd though, as it should have dropped to ~600 MHz after hitting ~82℃
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mosespi
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Re: RPi (Zero) in extreme temperatures experiences

Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:44 pm

Several summers ago I had a Pi 2 (I think) set up for some power supply/UPS tests inside of a car. It was continuously running for approx 3 or 4 months, right through the hottest parts of summer. We would get heat waves lasting many days of 44C+ temperatures. I can take a guess that the interior temperature of the car was at least 60C during this time, probably higher. CPU temperatures of 95C+ were fairly common on those days, for several hours at a time. There was no fan or forced air cooling, maybe a tiny heatsink on the CPU. Although I was expecting something to fail.. I don't remember a single lockup or failure during that entire time!

I don't know how many summers of that it can take, there is some effect on it's lifetime, but it worked at least one summer!

Regards,
-Moses
Power problems? MoPower UPS for the Pi
http://www.allspectrum.com/mopower/

BlueWolf
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: RPi (Zero) in extreme temperatures experiences

Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:45 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:38 pm
The Raspberry Pi zero is set to 1GHz by default, thats why it doesn't say it has been throttled.
Thats odd though, as it should have dropped to ~600 MHz after hitting ~82℃
Oh is that so? For some reason I thought 1.2ghz was the default. Yeah then I don't know why it did not do that.

I just realised a program I once installed and stopped using was still running in the background at 100%.. for the past 6 months or so. I always assumed the continuous streaming with RPi Cam Control was just using a lot of power (it does..), but apparently I have been unintentionally trying to melt the Pi by using a cpu sucking program, haha. Well, at least the temperature has now dropped to 79°C after disabling that.

Paul Hutch
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Re: RPi (Zero) in extreme temperatures experiences

Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:48 pm

I left one Pi Zero W with camera outside last winter and it went silent after 4 days continuously below -10°C with overnight lows below -20°C. Rebooted it after it got above freezing and it has worked fine since. Based on my forensics it appeared that the only thing that stopped working was the Wi-Fi. Since the Wi-Fi chip is rated for operation down to -30°C I suspect it was the crystal/caps of the oscillator for the Wi-Fi chip producing an out of tolerance frequency causing connection loss.

Although AFAIK there is no published operating temperature range for the Pi Zero's or 3's I would bet that every component is at least rated for 0°C to 70°C operation (the normal consumer grade range). However as with nearly all operating temperature range specs for electronics the spec is only where the manufacturer guarantees it will work. Very often many or even all of a production run will actually operate well outside the specified range.

One part in a complete Pi system that is often severely limited for guaranteed operating temperature range is the uSd card. Cards are available with wider ranges for industrial use but their price is more than I'm willing to spend.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: RPi (Zero) in extreme temperatures experiences

Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:48 pm

BlueWolf wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:45 pm
Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:38 pm
The Raspberry Pi zero is set to 1GHz by default, thats why it doesn't say it has been throttled.
Thats odd though, as it should have dropped to ~600 MHz after hitting ~82℃
Oh is that so? For some reason I thought 1.2ghz was the default. Yeah then I don't know why it did not do that.
That's the Pi3B. The defaults have been: Model B, 700MHz. Model A, 700MHz, Model B+, 700MHz, Model A+, 700MHz, Pi2B (both variants), 900MHz, Pi0/Pi0W, 1GHz, Pi3B, 1.2GHz, Pi3B+, 1.4GHz.

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rpdom
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Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: RPi (Zero) in extreme temperatures experiences

Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:53 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:48 pm
That's the Pi3B. The defaults have been: Model B, 700MHz. Model A, 700MHz, Model B+, 700MHz, Model A+, 700MHz, Pi2B (both variants), 900MHz, Pi0/Pi0W, 1GHz, Pi3B, 1.2GHz, Pi3B+, 1.4GHz.
IIRC, when I got my first Pi 1B (May 2012), the default was 600MHz, later raised to 700.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: RPi (Zero) in extreme temperatures experiences

Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:19 pm

rpdom wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:53 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:48 pm
That's the Pi3B. The defaults have been: Model B, 700MHz. Model A, 700MHz, Model B+, 700MHz, Model A+, 700MHz, Pi2B (both variants), 900MHz, Pi0/Pi0W, 1GHz, Pi3B, 1.2GHz, Pi3B+, 1.4GHz.
IIRC, when I got my first Pi 1B (May 2012), the default was 600MHz, later raised to 700.
Hmmm... Doesn't match my memory and I got one about the same time. I *think* it was spec'd at 700MHz at launch. I've got archives of old versions of Raspbian. I suppose I could write a card of the oldest version I've got and take a look...but I'm not sure it's worth the time and effort.

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