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I have a big magnetic sheet that my Raspberry Pi is sitting on. It seems fine, but are there any dangers?

  • 6
    Is that some sort of sadistic RPi torture going on? ;-) – Jon Egerton Jul 13 '12 at 8:48
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    Why would you do this?! – Jivings Jul 13 '12 at 9:02
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    @Jivings: Make sure it doesn't fall off? – Jon Egerton Jul 13 '12 at 9:06
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As far as I'm aware, nothing in the Pi uses magnetic storage, so it shouldn't pose a problem. The SD card uses electric charge to store data (as does all flash media), and the ROM is either the same (if it can be reflashed) or it's burnt in at the factory and impervious to most external fields.

If you had a really strong magnet, it's possible you could induce some electric currents in the circuit as you moved the Pi in and out of the magnetic field, which could cause damage (if they are large enough currents), but I suspect the magnetic field would have to be so strong it would rip the Pi out of your hand first.

So in short, outside of a laboratory setting or an MRI machine, no magnet should cause any problems for the Pi.

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    +1 because I forgot to mention that the OP shouldn't take his Pi with him for his MRI. – Jivings Jul 13 '12 at 11:31
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    @Jivings I wish I'd read this post a week ago... – Tom Medley Jul 17 '12 at 12:38
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    Inducing a current also requires a CHANGING magnetic field (by moving the magnet) as per Lenz's law – Alexander Jul 21 '12 at 0:41
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    @XAleXOwnZX: You don't have to move the magnet. Moving the Pi into the magnetic field results in the field appearing to change, from the Pi's perspective. – Malvineous Jul 21 '12 at 11:52
  • oops, i should have said "relatively" moving the magnet to the pi, including moving the pi – Alexander Jul 21 '12 at 16:51
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I'm pretty sure a strong enough magnetic field would have a serious effect on the Broadcom SoC, especially the data it stores in ROM for booting up the Raspberry Pi from the SD card.

The question is; Is the magnetic field produced by your magnet strong enough to cause permanent damage? Probably not, but why would you want to risk it?

  • Seems feasible. – EGHDK Jul 13 '12 at 9:57
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Probably you can have problems with the ethernet connector as it contains micro magnets inside. For more information check this:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/781

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    Hello SileNT and welcome to Raspberry Pi! Could you please post a summary of the important points in the link? This way we can prevent link rot. Thanks for your cooperation! – user46 Jul 17 '12 at 0:18
  • The most important point is that Raspi ethernet connector contains magnets. I post the link just to prove it. I'm not sure if strong magnetic field can disturb the normal ethernet operation. Anyway placing an electronic device over strong magnet is not recommended. Cheers. – SileNT Jul 18 '12 at 20:29
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    They contain transformers/inductors. "Magnetics" (magnetically working components), not "magnets". – XTL Nov 20 '12 at 7:08

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