Unicorn HAT - What else do I need?

I bought a Raspberry Pi B+ from Pimoroni around August last year with a Ninja Pi-bow case and some other bits. The Pi has had a lazy life so far, lounging around on my desk, powered up only occassionally breaking a sweat when I do a little media playing and a bit of php. But my interest was piqued again the other day when I saw the Unicorn HAT.
I want one! But what else do I need?
I want to fit the Unicorn inside my Ninja Pi-bow case, and from what I’ve read and seen I need/want:

  • The Unicorn HAT (obviously)
  • Height extension layer - (I assume this is actually multiple layers? So I only need to order one of these items? Do they come in the same Ninja smoked colouring? The ones I seen looked clear :-( )
  • The extender bolt pack (I assume no extra bolts are supplied with the extension layer?)
  • Ninja diffuser (for the top)
    Is this correct? Is there anything else I should consider?
    I noticed in one of the posts in the forum there was mention of the HAT not fitting in the Pi-bow case due to the perspex behind the USB sockets, and they were told to speak to someone on the site who may be able to help. In my case the perspex adds about a further 6mm to the back of the USB sockets, will this stop me fitting the Unicorn HAT? Do you have any suggestions?

Hoping to get myself a mythical Unicorn soon (hopefully whilst the 10% offer is on).


Can you take a picture of your B+ case with the Pi-Bow in it? I dimly recall some problems with HATs not fitting in the Pi-Bow case, but that was fixed pretty quickly.

If all is well, you shouldn’t need an extension layer and bolt pack to fit the UnicornHAT in a Ninja Pi-Bow. The extension layers would be a matter of preference- altering how far the diffuse layer sits away from the UnicornHAT and, thus, how diffuse the LEDs look from the top.

So, in theory, all you should need is the Unicorn HAT and the Ninja diffuse layer, but let’s see your Pi-Bow first, just to be sure!

Thanks. Here are the links to my photos - I couldn’t add them directly (as a new user!).


I haven’t seen a Unicorn HAT fitted inside a standard Pi-bow case yet. But I hope you are right it’ll save a few quid and undoubtedly look better if the extension layers are clear! I’m not too worried about the closeness of the diffuse top, as long as it fits I’m sure it would look slightly better than the clear top I currently have.

Thanks again, let me know if you need a photo from another angle.


My current Pi-bow has 10 layers (8 tinted/shaped ones and a clear top and bottom).

Hard to tell from the photos, but is there plastic behind the Ethernet port?

Yes, but it is very slim (about 1-2mm).

Here is the post I was referring to: (post #14):

Judging by the 3rd picture here, I can’t see it fitting:

Mine looks exactly this one on the top left:

There’s also this quote from Rapid Online:

The Pibow Coupe cases are ideal, the Pibow Ninja, Rainbow and Timber cases won’t do unfortunately. Whilst the Unicorn sits neatly on the B+, it won’t do that with the B but it’s possible to hack it to work, letting B owners enjoy the blinkiness.

For the record, after delivery I can confirm:

My Pi2 doesn’t fit nicely in my Ninja PiBow - layer 3 sits proud due to a few components sticking up where they didn’t on the B+.
My Unicorn HAT is not great either - layer 5 has a piece of case that covers some of the LEDs.

Just a warning for those upgrading.


@CraigT we’re selling the PiBow replacement layer for Pi 2 compatibility now- as you can imagine there’s been some demand for it. Unfortunately we couldn’t predict the minute changes to the Pi 2 wouldn’t work with that layer- but we did get an updated case out as fast as we were able! ( Which sadly couldn’t ever have been before the Pi 2 launch )

Your Unicorn HAT problem is slightly different- all of the PiBows we’re shipping currently will fit all HATs, including Unicorn HAT, as long as they don’t have stuff hanging off them at all angles of course!

There was, however, a brief period right after the B+ launch, and before the HAT spec was released, when we were shipping cases that didn’t fit HATs. Because we simply didn’t know there was even going to be a HAT spec!

So yes, it’s all a big kerfuffle. TLDR: Check your PMs, we’ve got your back!

Thanks @gadgetoid. I can appreciate that we both weren’t to know of the coming changes. I have PM’d you back.