FlightAware Discussions

Outdoor Enclousure Experience

I’ve received a lot of good information on this forum, so I thought I put this out there if it might help someone.

I think my environment might be pretty extreme. Southern Arizona and its been a brutal summer. Daily highs constantly above 110F. Little if any rain for some occasional daily cooling.

Raspberry Pi 3B+. Not in direct sun, but pretty close. Enclosure is facing north about 18 inches off the ground. NO cooling fans, NO vents in enclosure. Powered by POE adaptor, not POE HAT. Heat sinks placed on Pi.

Pi is only for ADS-B, 1090 only. Running PiAware, TAR1090. Feeding FA and FR24. FA SD image, replaced librtlsdr to keep CPU utilization down.

Attached are some photos and temp graphs from 14 and 30 days. I know it may be an issue long term on the Pi, but Fall is just around the corner and then daytime highs will only be around 105F. :wink:

Stay Safe




My attic RPI4 running an Airspy, CPU heatsink, POE hat and GNSS/GPS hat.
The POE hat fan keeps the temps under control.


Nice setup.

Maybe exchanging the heatsink to an Armor case. This does have large heat pipes and even in the passive model should be giving a good temperature control

This is mine the last seven days where we had temperatures to up to 95F over the days.

My former Raspberry 3B without that case went up to 60°C on the same outdoor temperature

The case comes in two types, one is active and the other is passive. This is the passive one, might be working better for you

EDIT: The temperature graph is the result of an active Armor case with two fans, not the passive one

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There is no need to keep the Pi and receiver outdoors. Nothing to gain, just overheating them…
One LNA by the antenna is all it’s needed to run 150ft of coax.

It’s like people are scared to use a coax cable, or they don’t even think that’s a possibility, are fixated about network cables.


Not scared of coax at all. Use it often.

My issue is I have a 100 foot ridge 180 degrees around my home. Antennas are located at top of ridge. No power at top of ridge (yet). 300 feet of outdoor CAT 5 to ridge. Power and Data on one cable fit the bill for me perfectly.


Thanks. I might give that a try.

Just clarifying your terminology, do you mean ‘ribs’ or ‘heat pipe’?
A ‘heat pipe’ is a passive phase change heat transfer device, but I suspect not what you are referring to?

Heat Pipe Heat Sink

As you may remember, I get good performance in a hot environment using the passive heatsink you’ve shown.

Just to clarify. I see a fan. Is this the solution you are calling passive?

Looks like a nice setup. Did you seal the openings at the bottom or how do you keep insects out? Wouldn’t that be a really attractive place for them?


Of course there is.
Having the antenna outdoor and the device indoor requires a hole in the wall for the cabling or any other solution.
If you rent, you are not allowed to drill through walls. And those windows feed-through cables are usually crap.

I have the situation here at home, all must remain at the balcony where i have an outdoor power socket fo it.

Beside that it keeps the antenna cable short, otherwise i would need 30 feet more than now.

Ribs… But i see heat pipes often used for it as well.

Not exactly (but I see your point).
The Heatsink / case I have used (shown more clearly in foxhunters post, is the passive version. There is also an ‘active’ version which has a load of metal missing to make room for a couple of fans.
I was trying to make it clear which product I am using.
That little 40mm fan is only temporary until it’s replaced by a pair of Pappst 24V screamers - should be adequate!!

I wonder why. It’s neither accurate nor instructive.

Same with coax. Power to LNA trough coax.
But yes, I can see 300 ft being a bit of a stretch for 1GHz. RG6 will have approx 18dB attenuation.
May be possible with a higher gain LNA than what we usually see:

I am sorry for you :slight_smile:
Usually when you rent they won’t let you install boxes and antennas outside. If is just on a patio and not actually the roof… IMO you might as well keep the antenna inside the house, trough the glass.

There are countless reasons to keep the Pi and receiver outdoors. Everything from physical logistics to expense and all relevant reasons in-between. Your solution is not incorrect, but your comments are short sighted and close minded. Think before you speak.

Hey Steve,

Any kind of airflow over the Pi will help lower the temperature, even in your box. If you want a relatively cheap and straightforward solution, I highly recommend the Pimoroni Fan Shim. All you’d need to do is remove that heatsink and plug it in.

Going from what I experienced on a local install, I’d hope for at least a 10°C drop on your temperature, just by doing that.

I’m being presumptuous and making an assumption but do you still have a hexbeam? My entire receiver sits in a box at the top of my mast just below my hexbeam with the ADS-B aerial on top :slight_smile:


“Close minded”? WTF that means? I am some kind or racist that discriminates against outdoor boxes’ gender and race?
And you waited 3 years to post such a gem?
Welcome to my ignore list.


His reply sounds rude, but your statement before can be understood as final, not accepting opther opinions. Maybe this was the trigger for his posting.

There is no need to keep the Pi and receiver outdoors

I am off from this discussion. I prefer keeping the discussion calm. That’s why i normally like this discussion board compared to others

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Solution I did for outdoor wifi installs in Texas a few years ago…

The side vents were pretty cheap on amazon and even without the fans they lowered the internal temperature quite a bit. We did wind up having to stuff some coarse aquarium filter material into the vents to keep the bugs out though. :slight_smile: The cost of the plain box, vents and fans was about 25% of a commercial forced air vented box. Actually, the hole saw for the fan cutouts was more expensive than the box parts. :slight_smile:


Hmmm … that’s not exactly what @SoNic67 said, is it?

What he really said sounds a lot more mellow and helpful - let me show you.