Hat with text display and leds


I already have unicorn hat and blinkt which I use to display the status of various raspberry Pi’s and esp8266s. But a better system monitor would have LEDs to attract attention plus a text display.
I see that the display o tron has header pins available. Could I mount blinkt on top of it?
I think that the perfect board would have the led array from your pi zero version of unicorn hat as well as a 2 line text display, on an rpi3 size board. You don’t have plans to produce such a board by any chance?


The display-o-tron has a small breakout but this is not the same as a full header. It wouldn’t fit the blinkt physically, but more over the pins used by blinkt are not broken off.

What you can do however is use a mini-black hacker to combine both of those add-ons, that will work without (pin) conflict. An alternative would be to combine blinkt with the Micro Dot pHAT.


Here’s an illustration of a mini-hacker modded for such a purpose:

I’m basically using a stacking header for the top connector, so that the hacker clips onto the Pi neatly, a regular male pins header for the middle connector (where the DOTHAT is attached), and a female header for the lower one, to support the HAT.


Thanks Roque, that looks promising.
I take it that the modification is just soldering on the appropriate male and female headers?
But it does look like that setup puts the displayotron outside of the Pi footprint, which is not ideal.

The Microdot PHat is too “retro”.

I don’t have a Pi Zero so I am not sure of the size. Would two Pi Zero hats side by side fit within the Pi 3 footprint? A cross section of the setup something like this:

========== ========== 2x Pi zero hats
=|=|=========|=|======= Some sort of GPIO duplicating board (Mini black hacker?)
===================== RPi3

Are there any TFT or 2 line LCD hats for the Pi Zero?

And the perfect setup would also include a switch to turn the Pi on/off !


I’m not aware of any TFT with the Pizero footprint, I think that would be a tall order. I’d be surprised if there was no display OLED or LCD for it out there though.

Either way, the pHAT/Zero footprint is deeper than half of that of a full size Pi. I suppose if you found a pHAT display size then combined with blinkt on a mini-hacker would work.

The setup as shows is only about 8mm deeper though, and you could use the middle connector for the stacking header, if you wanted to ‘balance’ the overhang top and bottom.

Whichever way you look at it, short of an off-the-shelf solution that matches all of your criteria, or it’s going to be a case of choosing what comes closer. It’s also worth noting that the DOTHAT has a bargraph on the side that could serve the purpose of indicating system state.


Thanks very much for your thoughts and suggestions!


The Display-o-tron hat looks like the best compromise for me. I’ll order one!


Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that the 6 segment RGB backlight is also very good for displaying statuses… I used to monitor my Pi internal temperature and colour code the range using the backlight of a DOT3k.