Full Metal Jacket RP

Sixty bloody quid! That has always been my response to something I think should be included with the marvellous Red Pitaya. This is why after nearly 2 years I had not bitten the cliche and bought one... well until last Saturday. One foolish click of the mouse and the order was made. I do not like fans and this all aluminium job does not require one. I do find the RP gets uncomfortably warm on a summer's day in the shack at 35 degrees plus - wishful thinking today (Jan 2018).

Here is what was in the box


You can see the chunk of aluminium which sits over the Red Pitaya processor. The black square is rubber feet. The white square is a cpu pad. There are also 4 screws in the packet somewhere.

Remove the heatsink

I had already removed the plastic feet from my RP. The heatsink similarly is held in place by plastic push fittings. When squeezed carefully from underneath these can be eased out... eventually. You end up with this:

Compound remnant
Removing the gunk

I did not have any appropriate cleaning fluid (to hand) so I just tried carefully cleaning the cpu paste off with a cotton bud. It was quite fluid and came away easily.

All clean

Add the pad

I checked carefully and the thermal pad had nothing to peel away. You use it as is from the packet, well I did. It stuck easily.

Heat pad

Then you carefully align the two halves of the case and add the screws (which go through the board) from underneath. BUT read the NOTE below.


How did it work?

It looks great. I was very pleased with the printed case my friend Chris made for me. I was never happy about the need for a fan. In this the case gets warm, as the whole thing is a heatsink. It is very tough and looks nice. Is it worth £60? No I do not think it is, but then again a cooked RP is now very expensive to replace, so what can you do? It does run very warm, over 30 degrees C just now with room temp only 16 degrees C; cannot help thinking how much warmer it will be in summer - Red hot Pitaya. However there is a further issue, beyond cost and heat, I had not considered.


Once the case is screwed together the thermal pad, presumably, squashes to make a good thermal conduction. The case gets nicely warm so it works well from that point of view, in fact on a cold day like today it is an excellent hand warmer. BUT, what if I want to change the jumpers inside? Oh dear, looks like I might need spare thermal pads; previously I just opened the case and did as I liked. Also will it require force to pull the two halves away, and will I run the risk of damaging the processor? Oops.

RP in action. Note light 'tube' and rubber feet fitted