Raspberry Pi Low Cost Cooling Fan




About: Raspberry Pi & Arduino explorer

Hello eveybody

This is a very simple and easy to make cooling fan for the Raspberry PI. You will need more time to find the materials that make it. Lets start

Step 1: Hardware List

We will need:

  1. A Raspberry Pi (I used my model B)
  2. Glue (I used a cyanoacrylate glue from Holland Super strong glue)
  3. A small screw
  4. An adjustable arm from a servo motor Servo arm
  5. A screwdriver
  6. A fan from an old pc graphic card

Step 2: Screw the Arm

It is better to screw the arm to the fan and not glue it. We want to give an angle and if we want to replace the fan if it dies we can do it much easier.

Also you have to choose which side you will screw the arm. I chose to blow air to the core of my Pi.

Step 3: Glue the Arm

Add some glue to the top of the lan connector and press the arm for a couple of minutes Adjust the angle of the arm in order to be above your core.

Step 4: Give Power to the Fan

It's time to give some power to the fan.

*My fan is a 12V but it will work with 5V at a lower speed.

If you use the Raspberry Pi model b rev.2 you must connect:

  1. The red cable of the fan to GPIO pin 4 - 5V
  2. The black cable of the fan to GPIO pin 6 - GND

Thats it we've done it. Start your Raspberry Pi and you will see the fan working.

Step 5: Core Temperature - Conclusion

Lets see now if the fan is doing its job.

Open a terminal at type vcgencmd measure_temp and your core temperature will appear.

I made some simple measurements.

  1. I started with a full update and upgrade and after they finished the temperature was at 41.5 then i put the fan in power. In five minutes the core's temperature was at 29.3
  2. I started Minecraft and with scratch i tried to built a couple of blocks for about 15 minutes. The temperature during the 15 minutes was below 39.0

In conclusion this is a simple, cheap and easy to make cooling system for your Raspberry Pi.

Have fun.



    • Pocket Sized Contest

      Pocket Sized Contest
    • Weaving Challenge

      Weaving Challenge
    • Pie Contest

      Pie Contest

    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    could you alternatively power it via USB 5v in case you'd like to run a pi hat?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    You can use a battery tray like this one https://www.servocity.com/html/battery_trays.html


    3 years ago

    nice mod. But these SOCs are made for these temperatures. I have a few rpi 2's here running at 1100 mhz in a closed housing. Running fine for over a year without any problem.

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    True on SOC's, But it doesn't hurt, to keep them cooled. I have a case for the Model-B that I bought off E-Bay, with a Silicone pad scavenged from an old laptop's Graphics controller, (from between the heat sink & the graphics processor) and a 1-inch (2.45cm) square X 1/2-inch (1.25cm) high heat sink scavenged from an old motherboard that had an on-board graphics processor. Even running the Pi-B at 900Mhz, it is still generating some heat, enough to be felt through the case. I also have a 1-Inch X 1/4-Inch (0.58cm) 5V cooling fan scavenged from a dead 386 laptop. (yeah, I scavenge for parts.) and it'll only require cutting a hole through the case top. (the heatsink sits between the HDMI & Camera ribbon connector, still leaving plenty of room to use the ribbon connector.)


    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes i never had problem with temperature, but i wanted to give some small boost to its performance. Usually i have problem with the memory nowdays.