Hats and gpio pins

Hi all.
I am using a Pi3B+ with an IQAudio Digiamp plus. I have soldered on a couple of wires to the exposed back of pins on the Digiamp for on/off button and indicator lamp.
I would like to add more buttons for other controls to the unused pins but do not want to keep soldering more wires to more pins. Can I use some sort of break out board or adapter to get access to all pins? I am sure I am missing something really simple hear but I am a total beginner.


Use a pico-hat hacker?

With Pi Zero’s I use a Proto Zero,

For full sized Pi’s and Hats I use a Perma Proto Hat.

I use a stacking header instead of the one that comes with them. That lets me put them between my Pi and pHat or Hat. I solder on male 90 degree headers, then connect those to my switches etc with female jumper wires.

Hi all and thanks for the replies.
If I use the proto zero, can I solder a header on the underside to stack it on my Pi3b+ and solder a header on the top side to connect my audio hat? If this is how it works, will I be able to solder my wires to the proto zero to connect to my external push buttons etc?


If you use this header, the 11mm one.

You solder it in so the female bit is on the bottom and the male pins are on the top.
It then plugs in on top of you Pi. via the female header. Then you pHat or Hat plugs into the male pins.
The GPIO pins are all brought out to individual solder pads on the Proto Zero for easy access. The rest is laid out similar to a solderless bread board. You just solder in wire jumpers to get your signal where you want it. So yes, you can solder any buttons etc to it.
Just keep in mind, this only gives you access to the 40 GPIO pins. If your current buttons and indicator lights are wired to “custom terminals” on the other board, solder pads that don’t go to the GPIO, this won’t help with those.

The bigger Perma Proto Hat (with no eprom) might be a better choice, size wise.
It’s Hat sized and the mounting holes in the corners will line up perfectly with the mounting holes in the Pi 3B+. That will make installing stand offs easier.
Really wish Pimoroni would make thier own Black version of this like the Proto Zero. Hint, hint,=)

Something like Richard’s other board, the Protopal?

Yes, something like that but with the 4 mounting holes for standoffs. I always end up having a hat on top of my Proto Hat. I have Pi A+ > Proto Hat > Proto Hat > Sense Hat in one project. The stand offs are what keeps it all spaced correctly and held together.

Ok all.
Many thanks for the guidance.
I am only using GPIO pins for my push buttons and lamps so no problem with that. I will use the
Perma Proto Hat (no e-prom version) as it has got the 4 mounting holes to match my Pi, and use the 11mm pinned header as suggested. Only one more question now. What spacers are required to make the Pi - Perma pro - Dac stack?

Many thanks


These should work, you want at least one set with the threaded studs on one end.

Hi again. Many thanks for prompt reply. That sorts everything out now.

Thanks again