Pan-Tilt HAT calibration error


managed to setup the pan-tilt HAT quite beautifully - everything works correctly, I can interface to it etc.

Except one problem: the 0 position of the pan servo is off by a couple of degree - like this:

New photo by Valentin Galea

Also on powerup the servos jolt to random positions - is this a known issue? they will reset to same skewed 0 position tho following a python command.

Any ideas how to calibrate the 0 point or it’s a hardware fault?


It sounds like the servos are receiving random and incorrect signals, possibly due to a faulty electric connection that’s capturing signals from another pin. Try jostling around the GPIO pin insets and/or re-flowing solder joints.

I’ve never heard of anything like this before and my own pan-tilt hat has never done anything like this yet… It might be an issue on the board, but it’s unlikely.

The off-position 0-ing isn’t that hard of a bodge-fix. Just try setting your 0 position in your Python code.

Let me do a bit more research and I’ll get back to you with a better fix! :)

thanks! one extra note: the HAT is connected via a solder-less jig, so chances of a bad connection are slim i think

Good to know! Always worth a re-hammer though. ;)

I’ve found a couple of similar posts here on the Pimoroni forums with similar problems to you:

1.Pan-Tilt Hat, how zero the position heads from both servos?

2.Pan-Tilt Hat

It seems to fix this, you should pop over to the “/library/pantilthat/” part of your pan-tilt hat directory (wherever that is) and change the values


in order to re-adjust the minimum and maximum position of your hat, which should hopefully reset the 0 position as well. The values are PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) based, so I’m not sure myself how they translate to degrees, have a fiddle around!

I’m still not sure why your hat moves randomly at boot. It is possible it’s a fault with your Pi, but I’d prefer to resort to that as a last resort (shortly after an error with your hat). Try running the “” file in the library directory and see if you get, to Phil’s dismay (yes, I found that little Easter egg there sir), a happy message that your haven’t broken anything. If not, do post the log up here or have a look for any errors that may suggest why you’re getting this erratic behaviour!

Hi, I have same problem, but I am waiting for a longer cable for the camera [20cm] as it all looks very tight when moving around. I suspect when they put it together the servo is not in the zero position, Once I get the new cable I will try the following put the servo with a python call to pan 90. Then unscrew the pihat from the servo [careful as not to move it, there is one screw on the bottom in the servo, unscrew and reposition the pihat.

If that is not going to work I need to find some more information about the pulse width and how this relates to the zero position, But I have strange effect that with every reboot the hat turns more to the left each time…

Hmm… It’s starting to sound more likely that the hat is at fault here.

It’s definitely something wrong with those PWM ranges… when setting the
the pan to the -90/90 extremes, it’s also offset.

Tricky to calculate PWM to degree tho:

Where can we find the exact specs of the HAT servos? That would be the
first step for the calculations…

Ok I think I found them:

That PDF is confirming the 1000-2000ms but you can easy set the pan to pulse_min 600ms or lower, so I really think we are talking about 2 different things here and the relationship to the degrees is total different. just my 2c.

Over more testing I discovered the pantilt is very unrealiable and generally innacurate.

Now this may be because of the poor quality of the servos - you get what you pay for after all.

It maybe also be that driving it via GPIO is not good enough. I recently discovered this - basicaly a more accurate way to drive servos.

@gadgetoid do you think this RPIO PWM lib could be integrated in?


I have the same problem. The 0 pan position is off by quite a bit. I can live with it but it is frustrating.