Using Raspberry Pi hats in a production environment

I’m working on a project requiring a couple of hundred small audio recorders.

I’ve assembled a prototype using a:

  • Raspberry Pi3B+
  • PoE+ hat
  • IQaudIO hat

There isn’t budget for development of a custom compute module board for the project.

I’m curious what others have found as far as reliability of a solution built using hats in the field?

I’m concerned the 2x20-pin header may be a source of intermittent trouble in time. Say if the devices are built with a coating of DeOxit Gold and securely screwed into a frame, is that enough to mitigate problems?

The devices will have a working lifespan of about 5 years.

What are your findings? I do hear of projects involving hundreds of Pi’s and wonder what the support factor is like once they’re deployed.


Hi Andrew,

The first thought I had reading about your application did make me wonder if there would be a bad mix between the Pi PoE+ HAT and the coil-whine experienced on some boards. I can see you already found the thread discussing some issues identified with those boards.

In summary, we have found some boards are very noisy while others in the same batch perform as expected. If you have received a board that is noisy then we can get either a replacement or a refund sorted out under RMA.


Thanks Trent. In your experience do the problematic boards reveal themselves right away, or is it an issue that can develop over time?

Are you able to comment at all on the percentage of boards you see affected?



Hi Andrew,

That’s a hard one to judge as being on the support team we only ever hear about the ones that have problems. I can remember maybe 2-3 reports of noisy PoE+ HATs but that would only make up a small fraction of the total units out there.

The few cases I’ve heard of the issue seemed to be apparent immediately but I don’t have much of a sample size to draw from.


Thanks again,