rpi get warm in my attic


my rpi3 get to 73°C but I cannot plug it off.
If I SSH a Poweroff of the device, will it cool down despite the fact it is still plugged in?

Best regards,


It should help. poweroff doesn’t power off the whole device, but it does halt the SoC which is responsible for most of the heat the Pi itself is producing.
The ambient temperature must be pretty high if the Pi hits 73 degrees, though…

If you halt it, it will cool down most likely, but it will still consume power which means it will still be generating heat (there is no native way to turn off power to the Pi remotely). I believe the components are capable of +85°C but I wouldn’t try to test it.

You may want to look at the environment that it’s in, that is very hot even for an attic. Perhaps adding a heat sync and fan would help disperse the heat. You may also be able to reduce the system load which would help reduce the heat (though I don’t know what you’re running).

29c outside, maybe 40c in the attic.

Thing is processor use is like 6-10% on pi3.
so if goes down to 0% with electricity in, I think to save some degrees, but not much

Note that the Pi 3 in theory is good to 85+ degrees and it will start throttling the CPU speed at above 80 degrees, so 73 is not a huge deal if it doesn’t get warmer than that.

thanks, I keep monitor for a bit. it jump to 76.2, down to 74 now.

I put a fan on my RPI3 to keep the temps under control.
So far so good. It was getting up to 160-180F and MLAT was dropping out. It now peaks at 130F, however, Summer doesn’t start for another few weeks.

I’m already seeing 80C on the RPi 3 in my attic, with air temperatures around 55C where it is placed. I’ve got a black asphalt shingle roof so it’s only going to get worse. I recently ordered an Eleduino case with fan to see if it helps.

Mine reached 80C in the attic and we haven’t hit peak summer temperatures yet. Adding a fan lowered it at least 15º. (I just used an old PC case fan plugged into the 5v pins on the header)

Does anyone know of any better heatsinks that fit the Pi? The dinky square ones in sold in most kits don’t seem to do much.

You all should be sure you have the electronics in a fire resistant container if the attics are flammable.

I am using an old aluminium notebookcooler with 3 Fans to cool down my 3 pi’s at the attic. The temperature is now 10-15°C lower than before… At the moment 60°C at 40°C enviromental temperature at the attic, before it was app. 75°C at 35°C environmental temperature.

So just a cheap, but effective solution. :slight_smile:

But still waiting for summer… Since 2011 the highest temperature I got at the attic was 53,2°C (I have a sensor from my weatherstation up there), so I am not really afraid of burning down the house. :slight_smile:

I have unplug it yesterday.
Well, my dad did it as I operate it 11000km away.

This make me wonder. Maybe I will have to wait few month now to turn it back on.

The Autoignition temperature of wood is around 300 degrees C, so i would’nt be too worried about burning down the house…

One of my Pi’s mounted in the attic at my mothers house is running around 60 degrees right now.

This is the last week’s chart, it cools down quite a bit during the night:


I agree that is is wise to worry about fire hazards in the attic. I don’t want to be the subject of a headline that says “Idiot Burns Down House with Plane Tracker in Attic”

One of the reasons I was glad to switch to the Flightaware ProStick and Filter was because my previous configuration with an R820T2+ required an external amp with a Directv power inserter. The amp was getting very hot, to the point that I stuck some heatsinks.

My Eleduino case with fan should be arriving today and I’ll feel better about it given that it is aluminum instead of the clear plastic I have now plus the fan should help. The remaining concern that I have is the “wall wart” power supply since I don’t know what sort of temperature cycling it is qualified for. I get power for the system from a pull chain socket adapter with two outlets, so the power supply is out there in the attic heat and it doesn’t exactly look like it’s made for harsh environments.

I have a Pi3 in a sealed box, on a roof… in Phoenix… and it is summer.

I managed to position the box so it is 1/2 in the shade. Temps do occasionally get to 80C, but don’t seem to ever get higher.

I think by default, the “min freq” on the Rpi3 is 600 Mhz. Does anyone know if the system will throttle lower than 600Mhz in a high-heat situation? Mine always seems to be running 600 since PiAware hardly stresses it.

I am working on perfecting a completely sealed design that can safely sit in a box, in the sun, in Phoenix, in the summer and stay below 80 without throttling. I have some ideas and will be doing some testing. Using the built-in Wifi on the Pi3, you just need a power plug, and to be within range of Wifi - that’s it.

You could try using an oversized heatsink on the Raspberry Pi to see if you can improve temperatures.

Big heat sink ~30 degree reduction (compared to stock, no heatsink)
Big heat sink + fan ~45 degree reduction (compared to stock, no heatsink)
Here is a couple of YouTube videos showing what can be achieved.
Raspberry Pi 3: Extreme Passive Cooling (large heat sink)
Raspberry Pi 3: More Extreme Cooling (large heat sink plus fan)

The high ambient temperature in the attic is going to reduce the cooling efficiency so you probably won’t see as much of a temperature reduction.
But a big heat sink and possibly a fan may keep the Pi out of the thermal danger zone.