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I'm trying to attach a Sense HAT to a Rpi3 B+ via a 40pin M2F GPIO ribbon cable and I'm having trouble getting the Rpi to recognize the Sense HAT.

In order to get the RPi configured correctly, I've run the following commands:

  • sudo rpi-update
  • sudo apt-get install sense-hat
  • sudo apt-get install -y python-smbus
  • sudo apt-get install -y i2c-tools

I enabled ic2 in raspi-config. That should mean that I2C is installed and running and device-tree is enabled, right?

But I've got a python script that fails. When it runs this code:

from sense_hat import SenseHat
import time
import sys

sense = SenseHat()

then it raises this error:

sense = SenseHat()
File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/sense_hat/sense_hat.py", line 39, in __init__
    raise OSError('Cannot detect %s device' % self.SENSE_HAT_FB_NAME)
OSError: Cannot detect RPi-Sense FB device

When researching this issue, I see people ask for the output from i2cdetect -y 1 and lsmod. I'm not exactly what this tells you, but here it is.

$:~ $ 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: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --                         
$:~ $ lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
rfcomm                 49152  6
cmac                   16384  1
bnep                   20480  2
hci_uart               36864  1
btbcm                  16384  1 hci_uart
serdev                 20480  1 hci_uart
bluetooth             368640  29 hci_uart,bnep,btbcm,rfcomm
ecdh_generic           28672  1 bluetooth
fuse                  106496  3
evdev                  24576  4
brcmfmac              307200  0
brcmutil               16384  1 brcmfmac
snd_bcm2835            32768  1
snd_pcm                98304  1 snd_bcm2835
cfg80211              573440  1 brcmfmac
snd_timer              32768  1 snd_pcm
rfkill                 28672  6 bluetooth,cfg80211
snd                    69632  5 snd_timer,snd_bcm2835,snd_pcm
i2c_bcm2835            16384  0
uio_pdrv_genirq        16384  0
uio                    20480  1 uio_pdrv_genirq
fixed                  16384  0
i2c_dev                16384  0
ip_tables              24576  0
x_tables               32768  1 ip_tables
ipv6                  434176  42

Any idea (1) what I'm doing wrong or (2) how to troubleshoot this issue?

  • 1
    have you read this old github thread - seems relevant - actually this issue looks closer to yours – Jaromanda X Jul 30 '18 at 6:02
  • Turns out...it was the device. I swapped in a different Sense HAT and everything worked beautifully. – Ben Downey Aug 21 '18 at 3:26

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