The Sense HAT is an add-on board for Raspberry Pi, made especially for the Astro Pi mission - it’s going to the International Space Station in December 2015.
The Sense HAT has an 8×8 RGB LED matrix, a five-button joystick and includes the following sensors:
- Barometric pressure
Setting it up
- Create new SD Card with Raspbian
- Connect a keyboard, mouse, network and HDMI cable and the Sense HAT module to the Raspberry Pi and boot it up
- Install the Python library which providing easy access to everything on the board
The installation of the Python library can be performed by executing the following command
wget -O - http://www.raspberrypi.org/files/astro-pi/astro-pi-install.sh --no-check-certificate | bash
On my Raspberry Pi 2 it took approximately 3 minutes (including the reboot) to get the libraries installed.
The GitHub repository python-sense-hat provides several example Python scripts that will have you up and running in no time. You can install these examples easily by cloning the GitHub repository
pi@astropi ~ $ git clone https://github.com/RPi-Distro/python-sense-hat.git Cloning into 'python-sense-hat'... remote: Counting objects: 470, done. remote: Compressing objects: 100% (23/23), done. remote: Total 470 (delta 5), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 447 Receiving objects: 100% (470/470), 91.20 KiB, done. Resolving deltas: 100% (232/232), done.
rainbow.py gives a good demonstration of the colour spectrum of the 8×8 RGB LED matrix. You can execute the script by entering the following commands
pi@astropi ~/python-sense-hat/examples $ cd pi@astropi ~ $ cd python-sense-hat/examples/ pi@astropi ~/python-sense-hat/examples $ python rainbow.py
When you are done staring at the 8×8 RGB LED matrix press Ctrl+C to kill/stop the script.
You will be left with the last state of the rainbow, so to clear the 8×8 RGB LED matrix execute the
text_scroll.py script. It will scroll the text “One small step for Pi!” and leave it blank when it’s done.
pi@astropi ~/python-sense-hat/examples $ python text_scroll.py
Time to dust of the ‘old’ data logging project… But that’s for another time