Pibow0w + pi0w + unicorn phat + phat difuser?

Hi, I just received my pibow case, pogo pins, unicorn phat and difuser. Everything went together nicely but it seems like the difuser is not designed to work with a pibow case.

The product picture shows it just hanging out without case:

It seems designed to hang off the unicorn phat’s holes near the pins and would preclude using pogo pins. Tried flipping it around and using the through holes away from the pins and ran into the issue that the pibow top layer does not allow room for the metal screw heads provided with the difuser. Very odd…

It would be ideal if this difuser was cut instead as a top layer to a pibow case and included a spacer ring and a longer set of corner screws for the pibow case. It would just go right together with no questions.

I found a way to make it work but it’s a kludge.

I used the difuser provided metal bolts and ran them threw the unicorn phat holes away from the pins and used two nuts on each to space.

The bolt heads would not fit in the smaller pi holes on the layer 3 top layer of the pivot case so I drilled them out. I lost a corner in the process because I don’t have a press at home. Sigh. It’s hidden.

I had to discard the internal pibow spacer to allow the pogo supplied nylon bolt head to fit and then ran those through the pi, layer 2, layer 3 and the unicorn phat board. Placed the pogo pins and locked it down. Dropped it in the layer 0/1 receiver and tightened it down. Added the difuser and locked it down with the supplied metal nuts. It all hangs together but on one side of the difuser it’s supported by the pibow bolts but not secured.

And the other side.

I’ve been using the full sized black ninja difusser in a few of my projects. I’ve done it two different ways.
I either use the pibow extender bolt packs,

Or drilled new holes and use standoffs and screws.

I think I would try putting the nylon bolts in the Pibow the other way? Nuts on the bottom. The difusser would then sit on the slotted end of the nylon screw and be closer to the pHat. Also by design I think its supposed to go on with that notched out part over the GPIO header, rotated 180 degrees from the way you have it. Not that it really matters, but I think that so it can be mounted closer to the scroll pHat.
I’ve used that Pibow case a couple of times. Haven’t used the pogo pins though. I prefer to solder my headers in. I have modified mine slightly so I could use a 90 degree female header on the bottom side. I cut one layer, I think it was only one layer?
Another option is to drill two holes in the corners so you could use the long extended bolts. Be very careful doing that though, its very easy to break the corner off the difusser while doing it. Been there done that, at least once so far. I cut the full size difusser down to Pi A+ size, should have drilled the corner holes first, then trimmed the end off.

That’s a good thought on the long pibow bolts. With the difuser + pogo pins, I didn’t have any bolts long enough to join the pi0w + pibow top case + unicorn + difuser. I was able to install the difuser to the unicorn with the difuser supplied parts and the pi0w + spacer + unicorn with nylon parts.

I started out just pogo connecting pins 2, 6 and 12. 5v, ground and data. I’m able to see the array dimensions using detect.py as an example but not able to drive lights on all locations.

I found a mention in another unicorn + pogo post suggesting that the unicorn needed all gnd pins so I added those and have 10 pins installed in 2, 6, 9, 12, 14, 20, 25, 30, 34, and 39 but I’m still seeing only 4 leds light nearest pin1.

I’m testing this on a current raspbian lite with pimoroni unicorn code installed.

Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Pinout is here, https://pinout.xyz/pinout/unicorn_phat#
It looks like the pins in use are 2, 6, 9, 12, 14, 20, 25, 30, 34, and 39. Mostly ground pins. On the Pi’s GPIO header all the grounds are linked together. Thats not always doable on a Hat or pHat though. Its easier to just use what ground pin is closest to what needs a ground, and assume (good or bad) that a full header will be used. If a full 40 pin header is used all the ground pins will be grounded when you plug it into a Pi. Phil is good at marking what grounds need to be grounded though on the pinout site.
I’d double check you have your pogo pins in the correct spots, if you haven’t already. It sounds like one may be missing.

Yeah, sometimes you have to get creative when mixing and matching hardware etc. Even when its all from the same retailer. The bummer is when you figure out you need an extra bit you don’t have to make it work. Especially for me, I’m on the other side of the big pond. Lately if my budget allows I add a few extra bits to an order, a long bolt pack, maybe a black difusser and or a standoff kit. Sometimes extra headers like the 90 degree ones. Then I have them as spares for that eureka moment.

I’ve pogo’d all the pins called out in the pinout but no real change. Looking at them and wondering if they were making good contact with the pads on the phat so I inverted the pogo pins and put the flange side on the phat. No change.

I’m wondering if I’m running into a software defect of some sort. I’m building this out as a bluetooth speaker controller and wifi repeater. I’m not messing with /boot/config.txt. Doesn’t seem like what I’m doing would cause this issue.

Looking at the product pictures for the difusser again. That cutout that I thought was for the GPIO, isn’t. Its just two little feet to tilt it up a bit. The second picture below the main shot shows them in use. So it shouldn’t really matter which way you mount it. Just correcting what I posted above.

So some LED’s never light up? Tech support is likely going to ask what your using for a power supply, current rating etc? Other than that I’m out of ideas? There is a “contact us” link at the bottom of the main Shop page. That will let you e-mail tech support directly, I’d put a link to this thread in the e-mail. Then see what they suggest.

Just so you know, I don’t have a Unicorn pHat. I do have the Unicorn Hat HD though, but it uses a different setup, software and pin wise. I’m using soldered on headers. No pogo pins or hammer headers.
Just a FYI post. ;)