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I managed to misconnect my Sense HAT so that pin 1 on the Raspberry Pi got connected to pin 3 on the HAT, pin 2 to pin 4 and so on; that is to say, the HAT was inserted one pin off in the direction of pin 1. Then, after reconnecting the HAT the right way, it only shows a rainbow pattern as it does when powered, and when I try to use the HAT, the class creation fails with this error:

Traceback (most recent call last): File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module> File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/sense_hat/sense_hat.py", line 36, in __init__ raise OSError('Cannot detect %s device' % self.SENSE_HAT_FB_NAME) OSError: Cannot detect RPi-Sense FB device

However, i2cdetect does detect I2C:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo i2cdetect -y 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a b c d e f 00: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 10: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1c -- -- -- 20: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 30: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 40: -- -- -- -- -- -- 46 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 50: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 5c -- -- 5f 60: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 6a -- -- -- -- -- 70: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Have I managed to fry the HAT, or is it more likely a software problem?

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Based on the information at the RPi pinout site, you connected a bunch of the GPIO pins to ground. The sense hat uses the I2C bus which was not connected correctly. It also uses a couple of the GPIO pins for interrupts and communicating with the Atmel chip(s).

The potentially worst thing you did was to short the RPi's 5V pins to ground. So you are lucky you didn't ruin your RPi.

Depending on what protection circuitry is in the sense hat, the board MAY be fine. I suspect you may have corrupted the EEPROM on the sense hat. The EEPROM is used to let the RPi know what board is attached and how to configure the hardware.

The good news is you might be able to reprogram the EEPROM. Check out the Sense Hat documentation page for the details.

  • Thanks for the reply. While it did not specifically fix my problem, I learned a lot of neat stuff about EEPROMs as used in HATs, It wasn't until I soldered a ground wire to PP16 that I figured out the OS on the Pi itself was the problem. – Danya02 Jun 27 '17 at 18:47

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