Pod Bay 3's PiRyte Brings ATX Power and Active Cooling to the Raspberry Pi Family

New design adds active cooling via an optional 40mm fan to the ability to use ATX power — complete with soft-shutdown.

Gareth Halfacree
3 months agoHardware 101

Tom Tibbetts of Texas-based Pod Bay 3 has launched the third generation of his PiRyte Raspberry Pi add-on, providing both active cooling and allowing the use of ATX-style desktop PC power supplies as a power source.

"This third generation Desktop/Server ATX Power Supply Expansion Module and Soft Switch allows you to power your Raspberry Pi and add-on project boards using inexpensive desktop power supplies while keeping your Raspberry Pi cool with an off the shelf fan that you provide," Tibbetts explains. "The same great controller code found on previous generation boards aid in preventing the corruption of valuable disk files by enforcing controlled shutdowns of the Pi's operating system. Additionally, the Mini ATX PSU-Cool monitors the Raspberry Pi so that, in the case that the Pi is shut down by an application or from the command line, the desktop power supply will also turn off."

The custom board connects to the Raspberry Pi's general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header, but a stacking system allows it to be used alongside alternative HATs. As supplied, the board mimics the operation of earlier designs by keeping the connected Raspberry Pi off when power is restored following a failure; an alternate mode, new to this third-generation release, allows the board to automatically power the Raspberry Pi back up when power is restored.

Finally, a 40x40mm cut-out allows for the installation of a fan for active cooling — something that is only likely be required if overclocking a Raspberry Pi 4 or giving it a very heavy sustained CPU load, as our testing has proven.

The big question, though, is why a bulky ATX power supply rather than a far slimmer 5V supply for powering the Raspberry Pi in the first place. "My projects often require multiple voltages in addition to the 3.3 VDC or 5 VDC supplies usually provided by the Raspberry Pi," the project's designer reveals. "Existing ATX type desktop power supplies provide the kind of power that I can use."

More information is available on the PiRyte's Tindie page, where it can be ordered in kit form for $32.95.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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