njarvis
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What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:18 pm

I am looking to piggy-back an additional SPI/GPIO module (the openlab.co 802.15.4 radio) on top of the Sense HAT. I thought the black 2x20 pin block on top would allow me to insert 2x20 pin headers, but the holes are too small to accommodate this.

What is that connector for?

Is there some part that can be inserted into it?

Can the black plastic be "lifted" off the pins it is hiding?

scotty101
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:42 pm

I may be totally wrong but I believe you can pull out the header from the bottom of the SenseHat and replace this with one with longer pins that will stick out the top.

I haven't got my SenseHat handy and can't find my original source for this.
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DougieLawson
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:46 pm

It looks to me like that header on top of the Sense HAT has a set of 40 female sockets, what type of wire or plugs are you trying to insert. They appear to be the right size for stock standard dupont wires.

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gordon77
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:50 pm

To me they look more like ends of pins, from below, in holes, not a socket you can plug in when in use, but I could be wrong.

http://www.premierfarnell.com/content/r ... -element14

This seems to show the sockets when unmounted, and the pins coming from below when mounted on the Pi.

http://mchobby.be/wiki/images/thumb/c/c ... tro-01.jpg

tvjon
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:12 pm

I use a few different configurations, & rather than modify the sense-hat, I use a female to male ribbon cable extension. I built one of the vga666 adapters with longer pins so that I could accommodate further boards, or sockets, as in the attached picture.
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DougieLawson
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:23 pm

gordon77 wrote:
This seems to show the sockets when unmounted, and the pins coming from below when mounted on the Pi.

Image
Oh dear, that's horrible. You'd need to use a stacking header to get over that problem.
https://www.adafruit.com/products/1979

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rpdom
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:03 pm

DougieLawson wrote:Oh dear, that's horrible.
Presumably it's done to give the HAT a very low profile. Makes sense if space is limited, and the HAT spec doesn't allow for stacking.

A header socket with long pins between that and the Pi should allow the pins to protrude enough to connect additional boards - if they can co-exist.

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adun
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:55 pm

tvjon wrote:I use a few different configurations, & rather than modify the sense-hat, I use a female to male ribbon cable extension. I built one of the vga666 adapters with longer pins so that I could accommodate further boards, or sockets, as in the attached picture.
How did you get VGA and the Sense HAT working at the same time ?
I thought that VGA needs GPIO 2 and 3 that are also needed for I2C communication with the Sense HAT.

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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:21 pm

I didn't. It's either one or the other. I do that by editing a couple of lines in config.txt, according to what I need.

I can live with that, as it means I don't have to keep (un)plugging boards.


Correct, they are.

Gbaman
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:25 pm

I think the actual reason for using the header on the top is you will notice there is no components on the back. By using the header on the top of the board with a second part that slots through, means no assembly needed for the back side so cheaper to manufacture. That's my best bet on why they did it.
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Re: What is the 2x20 pin black connector block on Sense HAT?

Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:10 pm

I did some quick experiments when I was able to borrow a sense hat.

The sense hat has a surface mount header socket on the top which pins can enter from either the top or the bottom.

In the stock configuration a header socket with short square pins is plugged into the bottom. Then plugged into the Pi.
Removing the socket with short square pins (it seems the socket on top is quite stiff, it took a fair bit if wiggling to get it out when I tried it) and trying to plug the hat directly onto the Pi doesn't work. It hits other components on the Pi before the connectors properly engage.
If you want to connect other things to the pins then replacing the "header socket with short square pins" with one that has longer pins (a "stacking header") should result in the pins sticking out the top.

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