Raspberry Pi GPIO Temp Controlled Fan

Source: https://ich.wtf/blog/en-raspberry-pi-fan-gpio.php

Author: HerrAusragend

Our aim:

We want to setp up an automatic, GPIO and temp controlled fan using a Raspberry Pi without additinal software. After the CPU Core temperature exceeds a specific temperature, the fan starts spinning.


  • Raspberry Pi (Model B+) (Buy)
  • Fan (4-Pin, 12V) inin this case from an old NVIDIA Graphicscard
  • Pinboard
  • GPIO Connector wires (3x) (Buy)
  • Transistor BC337-40 800mA (Buy)
  • Resistor 1 kΩ 0.5W (Buy)

These hyperlinks are just recommended. You can use similar parts.

Helpful Links:


rpi circuit diagram
Circuit diagram


We connect Pin 4 (5V out) directly to the fan.
Pin 6 (Ground) will be connected over the Transistor with the 2nd fan wire.

To activate the Transistor, we need a low volatage, which we gain by Pin 3 (GPIO2). The GPIO Pins have a standard voltage of 3.3V. We reduce this by inserting the Resistor.


If we now switch on Pin 3 (GPIO2), the fan should start to spinn.

Enable GPIO2: (root)

echo "2">/sys/class/gpio/export
echo "out">/sys/class/gpio/gpio2/direction

Switch on GPIO Pin / Fan (root)

echo "1">/sys/class/gpio/gpio2/value

Switch off GPIO Pin / Fan (root)

echo "0">/sys/class/gpio/gpio2/value

Set up autmoatic temp control

In the following, we will set up the fan so that it starts after reaching a special temperature.

We log into the Raspberry Pi as root.


The Raspberry Pi autmoaticly checks the core temperature throught the built-in control panel.
If the temperature exceeds a certain value, the fan will start.
As long as the temp doesn’t fall below our value, the fan will not stop.

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
apt-get install nano

Now we locate our directory of the script…

mkdir /home/fan
cd /home/fan

…and create our script.

nano fan.sh

Copy the following content into the script: (Use right mouse button to paste)

timestamp() {
	date +"%Y-%m-%d %T"


TEMP=`vcgencmd measure_temp | cut -c6,7`
STATUS=`cat /sys/class/gpio/gpio2/value`
echo `timestamp` "  Info:    Temperature: $TEMP"	>>$LOGDIR
if [ $TEMP -ge $VALUE ] && [ $STATUS -eq 0 ]
	echo `timestamp` "  Warning: Fan started."	>>$LOGDIR
	echo "1">/sys/class/gpio/gpio2/value
elif [ $TEMP -le $VALUE ]  && [ $STATUS -eq 1 ]
	echo `timestamp` "  Warning: Fan stopped."	>>$LOGDIR
	echo "0">/sys/class/gpio/gpio2/value

To change the value, you have to edit line 6.

To let the script run in background, we need cronjob.

crontab -e

and paste the following content:

* * * * * /home/fan/./fan.sh

(repalce with your path)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s