This afternoon I was playing sound through my adafruit speaker bonnet just fine.

That means I installed the speakers and neopixels according to the guides and had multiple reboots for circuit python, enabling SPI etc.

Then this evening, after shutting down the pi, unplugging it, moving it to a new room of the house, and plugging it back in it, seems to have no idea what I'm talking about with respect to sound:

$ cat /proc/asound/cards
--- no soundcards ---
$ aplay -l
aplay: device_list:270: no soundcards found...

What can have gone wrong and how can I put it back? What can I do to troubleshoot this?


I seem to have fixed the problem in a way that I don't understand.

I noticed this line at the end of my boot/config.txt (after the dtoverlay=hifiberry-dac line)


I'm guessing this came from the raspi-config "enable SPI" process.

Commenting that out has fixed my problem! But why? This seems like a temporary fix since Circuit Python says it needs SPI and this probably killed it. It is not possible to have SPI enabled and use the DAC?

  • Try to reboot your Rpi. Once boot up completed, login to your Rpi and run a dmesg. The, post the output of dmesg here.
    – user91822
    Dec 29 '18 at 12:41
  • Wow, the output is huge. It won't fit here. Do you want me to grep for something specifically or just link to a gist?
    – KCE
    Dec 29 '18 at 20:14
  • Did you try to include the output in quotes?
    – user91822
    Dec 30 '18 at 1:20
  • I'm not sure what you mean, that it would fit in a comment box if surrounded by "" or if you think it should be added to the question? Either way it seems better to use a gist: gist.github.com/KCErb/a8b1f5f4c9c3bb1ac0dd5169f3357931.
    – KCE
    Dec 30 '18 at 5:41
  • What you did is fix the issue. /boot/config.txt is the top level where these kind of interfaces are enabled and disabled and, if I'm not mistaken, the raspi-config menu does the commenting in and out. For some reason it was not doing so to you, and by doing it manually you fixed it.
    – xavigisbeg
    Jan 3 '19 at 9:14

I don’t have either of these products but perhaps they both use the same set of pins on the SPI bus.

Bonnet needs 18,19,21 while I think neopixel uses 18 as standard. The neopixel document says pin can be changed.

  • You're right, for this reason I've been using pin 12. A part of the issue here is that it was working fine for a while. No conflict of pins, just suddenly, after a few reboots, it lost the soundcards until I nixed the SPI stuff.
    – KCE
    Dec 29 '18 at 20:15
  • Are you saying that at some point you had both the bonnet and neopixel working at the same time?
    – rprr
    Dec 29 '18 at 23:01
  • Yes, sorry for being unclear, I've updated the question (quite a bit) to make it more clear that the lights and sound were working ok, past more than 1 reboot, before they disappeared. If you click on the docs I linked to you can see that the neopixels can use a few different GPIOs and the speakers consume a few. I used one where they don't overlap for this reason.
    – KCE
    Dec 30 '18 at 5:44

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