Pi B + PiGlow + HDMI Pi housing = problem

Help! I’ve been asked by a local primary to do something with their collection of RasPis (housed inside HDMI Pi screens). Turns out they are Pi B (only 2 USB ports) with cards that have never been updated. Brought one home and downloaded NOOBs etc. Installed Sense Hat then realised the Pis only have half the GPIO pins.
Back on Interweb and installed PiGlow. Tested on my Pi and all worked fine. Put card into RasPi in HDMI Pi housing and nothing runs in Python. Lots of red in the Shell but final line says “Errno 5 Input/output error”. I’m wondering if this is because the PiGlow is not sitting fully connected onto the GPIO pins due to the Pi being inside the HDMI Pi housing. Before I get carried away and start dismantling the (loaned) kit can anyone tell me if I’m right? Or, of course (and disappointingly-often true), if I’ve done something wrong :o)

This sounds like a very plausible explanation. I’ve no idea where my HDMI got to in order to re-create this, but the GPIO pins not making full contact would very definitely cause exactly the error you describe.

One possible solution is to use one of these bonkers things to “extend” the header far enough to fit into the PiGlow: https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/adafruit-stacking-header-for-raspberry-pi-2x13-extra-tall

Without looking at your setup, I don’t know if one of our Black HAT Hack3r or Mini HAT Hack3r boards would work, since they’re 40pin headers and not 26 :( may be worth a look though : https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/mini-black-hat-hack3r

Black HAT Hack3r is used the folks at CamJam who use HDMI Pi displays and break the GPIO out to the front of the display, so it’s easier to tinker with.

You could also use some plain male-to-female jumper jerky and wire them up manually, but that may not be the best solution for a classroom :D

Thanks, I think extending the pins is going to be the way forward.