You’ve heard of Raspberry Pi and several of the add-on modules, but have you heard of Raspberry Pi HATs? Continue reading to find out what a Raspberry Pi HAT is, and how you could use one.
What are Raspberry Pi HATs?
HAT simply stands for ‘Hardware attached on top.’ So a Raspberry Pi HAT is a new hardware specification for the new Raspberry Pi model B+. This add-on board simply needs plugging into the Raspberry Pi in contrast to the older modules which needed soldering on, making it much easier for the user. These clever devices are capable of doing everything your computer does – gaming, accessing the internet, replying to emails etc.
There are a wide range of Hats for Raspberry Pi, and you’ll want to experiment if you keep reading. So, before doing anything else, have a browse through a reputable Raspberry Pi store, and purchase yourself a Raspberry Pi model B+ and a couple of Raspberry Pi HATs.
How could you use Raspberry Pi HATs?
The Sense HAT
This one is exactly what it says on the tin. The sense HAT provides an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetometer, an air pressure sensor and temperature and humidity sensors. There is also a LED display matrix and a joystick on it.
An example project is using the accelerometer to detect movement. We’re going to briefly describe the project here but the full tutorial is available, too.
This project requires altering the code for left, right, forwards and backwards, tilting the Pi as the code is changed. You can test the final result by moving the Pi around and seeing if the sprite moves.
The pHAT Beat
This HAT improves the sound quality of the Raspberry Pi with features such as amplified sound, digital output, stereo audio and 6 buttons to control your audio stream.
You could use this HAT to stream Spotify to your Pi.
All you need to do for this project is connect a speaker or two to your pHAT Beat’s push fit speaker terminals and put the pHAT Beat onto your Pi’s GPIO pins!
The TV HAT
The TV HAT allows you to pick up digital streams and watch TV channels on your Raspberry Pi. You only need to install the ‘tvheadend’ package on Raspberry Pi OS.
This HAT doesn’t require any specific software or feature codes. The function of this HAT is to add battery slots to your Raspberry PI to protect it from a power outage. The best thing about this HAT is that you’re able to run your projects all day without any interruption and you don’t need to solder anything to be able to use it! It’s available for purchase on Amazon if you want to try it out for yourself.
So, there you have it. Now that you know what Raspberry Pi HATs are, and some of the cool ways you could use them, all that is left to do is to start building. There are hundreds of ways you can make use of these HATs so be sure to check out some online tutorials and get creative.