March 21, 2014 AT 3:00 am

Raspberry Pi Flower Vase: Dunk your @Raspberry_Pi in Mineral Oil #piday #raspberrypi

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Thomas Loughlin posted this fun project on his blog: putting his Raspberry Pi in a vase with mineral oil!

I have always been interested in shoving electronics into mineral oil. How can you not be after seeing the computer (and Pi) aquariums function so well? Ali was on board with the plan but didn’t want to deal with getting large quantities of laxatives to fill a small fish tank. We ended with the idea of mixing water and mineral oil with some flowers. The water sinks to the bottom since it is ‘heavier’ than the mineral oil, so we hope that the plants get water without absorbing too much of the mineral oil and dying immediately. We really didn’t do any leg work to validate this idea but at least we kept a control, right?

This Model B 256mb Raspberry Pi is running the latest Raspbian and firmware in ‘turbo’ overclock mode. Raspbian is on a Transcend Class 10 8gb card. The wireless adapter was of the $5-6 variety and works pretty well but there has always been some jitter. We hooked up 3 LEDs to the GPIO pins for the lolz (and basic error reporting). The last element is the battery – one of the best things I have purchased for the Pi.

Using the command ‘vcgencmd measure_temp’, we had an average idle temperature of 36.9° Celsius (~98.42 F) in a 20.5° C (~69 F) room before we pushed it to turbo. After turbo the temperature idle temperature was 40.1° Celsius.

We were able to push the temperature to a high of 54.1° Celsius running ‘sysbench’ and playing with the GPIO LEDs.

We saw an immediate impact. The idle temperature was 27.7° Celsius (~81.86 F). With the same ‘sysbench’ and GPIO test, we could not get the temperature over 36.9° Celsius.

The wireless still works under the mineral oil! The dongle is only a quarter of an inch under the mineral water but I still expected it to fail. Alison on the other hand, was positive and it turns out correct.

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