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My Vizycam is buzzing

Hello all. I just received my Vizycam and it is making a loud buzzing noise. I think it has a bad fan. Recommendations?

The fan isn’t the most quiet fan (unfortunately). It does make noise.

We send PWM to the fan at its lowest settings, which you can sometimes hear as a 100Hz sound on top of the fan blade sound. It’s nothing bad (harmful, defective, etc).

The fan behavior is programmable by changing the constants in ~/vizy/scripts/vizy_power_monitor. Here are some ideas:

  1. You can adjust the temperature that the fan turns on (make it turn on less) by bumping up the TEMP_MIN value (e.g. from 65 to 70). The Raspberry Pi will throttle down its CPU performance at 80C, so there is plenty of margin before you’ll see loss of performance.
  2. You can set FAN_MIN to 2. This setting has less PWM noise, but more fan noise.

Note, to modify ~/vizy/scripts/vizy_power_monitor, you can bring up a shell in your browser or login via SSH:


Hey guys - I noticed the same thing right away when I turned the camera on for the first time, and I gotta say that it is pretty distracting. I can see that it’s driven from the add-on board - is there any way to increase the PWM frequency with a firmware update? Or is the fan to blame, in which case do you have any suggestions?


The PWM noise isn’t the primary culprit, although it can be heard. If the fan is bothersome, you can modify the vizy_power_monitor by changing TEMP_MIN – making it 100 (for example) will disable the fan entirely, which won’t cause anything adverse other than the performance of the CPU will be throttled back as the CPU temperature increases.

For example, if you’re spending quality time with Vizy – it’s sitting next to you when you’re modifying code, developing, etc. the fan can be disabled in this way. When it’s inside the outdoor enclosure or “deployed” somewhere, the unmodified vizy_power_monitor will ensure that you can extract all of the available CPU performance. In this case the fan noise may be a non-issue. It depends on the your preferences.


Thanks Edward - I went and replaced the fan with a Noctua one and I can report that the audible PWM noise is completely eliminated at all fan speeds, and the fan itself is somewhat quieter as well. If I could make a recommendation - for future production maybe shop around for some alternative fans, getting rid of that noise definitely gives a better impression of quality for the camera.

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Hi Elliot,
Thanks for the feedback and information. :slight_smile:

We are definitely looking into this issue.


Hi, I used the same strategy…absolutely no noise w/ a premium HW fan (I also used Noctua).

I wonder if you guys might help a n00b out…

I read this thread and bought a Noctura 5V PWM fan (Noctua NF-A4x10 5V PWM), I installed it but it doesn’t spin at all. I know what you’re thinking :slight_smile: but I can’t see where I’ve gone wrong in terms of the wiring. I get 5v on the fan cable from the hat on the Pi. The fan runs if I connect it to a regular USB port (using the handy Notctura adapter they send you) but when I plug the fan cable from the Pi hat into the Noctura fan cable nothing happens. Even weirder, if I measure the voltage from the back of the Noctura fan cable, I only get 1.4v.

Like I said at the beginning, I’m a n00b and am hacking at this in the literal sense of the word! I’m sure it’s something stoopid - what have I missed?


would be great tp have a bit more info about fan replacement.

Is the Noctua NF-A4x10 5V PWM a drop-in replacement?

We have tried the Noctua NF-A4x10 5V and we have found that it doesn’t provide enough airflow for CPU intensive tasks. (It results in thermal limiting of the CPU.) It’s better than nothing though, and it’s significantly more quiet. Nothing bad should happen to the Raspberry Pi by using it.