Baking Electronics

Locally here, we’re on a multi-day 90 degree or higher weather marathon. So what does that do to electronics, like Rasberry Pi devices in your outdoor tower trailers? Good question….

Well, our batteries are getting pretty well charged in the sun. This time of year, the solar panels can run mesh and small computers 24/7 with nothing but the sun; fully recharge during the day and run all night. The Rasberry Pi platform is certified to run up to 80c/176f. In the hot baking sun, with no active cooling, the whole tower trailers get warm. The Pi has a heat sensor onboard, so we can ask it, from our cool, air-conditioned ham shack in the basement, Pi – “How hot are thee?” without risking our own discomfort…

This command is what you need:

Performance tuning and stability often recommend staying well within temp, but with an air temp of 95 degrees f, we’re running a core temp of 149 f. Bottom line, though it’s ideal to be cooler, automation platforms in the tower trailers can take the heat and keep on working, even when it’s almost warm enough to bake cookies in them.

That said, not all electronics may be so happy, so your mileage may vary.

Heat can also depend on the workload that you’re running on the device, which could also vary. If the magic smoke is still inside, and you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t melt, with any luck you’ll be fine.

Stay cool out there.

-Tim

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