SparkFun Top pHAT for Raspberry Pi

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Feeling fancy? Why not add a Top pHAT to your Pi pHAT stack? The SparkFun Top pHAT for Raspberry Pi is intended to be at the top of a pHAT stack so you won't find any pins for stacking on top of this board, but that's ok, because you will want to preserve your view of the 2.4" TFT display, six RGB LED's and three switches squeezed onto this board!

Can you use the SparkFun Top pHAT to prototype machine learning on your Raspberry Pi 4, NVIDIA Jetson, Google Coral or another single-board computer? Indubitably! The SparkFun Top pHAT supports machine learning interactions including voice control with on-board microphones & speaker, graphical display for camera control feedback, and uninhibited access to the RPi camera connector. Additionally, you can use the programmable buttons, joystick, and RGB LED for user defined I/O, dynamic system interaction, or system status displays.

Can you use it as an interface to introduce your project to the SparkFun Qwiic ecosystem? Indeed! In addition to all the previous features, we have also included a Qwiic connector to allow easy integration over I2C. Billions of combinations of Qwiic-enabled boards are available to you to expand upon the capabilities of the SparkFun Top pHAT.

With all the I/O interaction on this board and the lack of soldering needed to get up and running, the SparkFun Top pHAT is the fundamental machine learning add-on for Raspberry Pi or any 2x20 GPIO SBC!

Note: The I2C address of the Top pHAT is 0x71 and is hardware defined. A multiplexer/Mux is required to communicate to multiple Top pHAT sensors on a single bus. If you need to use more than one Top pHAT sensor consider using the Qwiic Mux Breakout.

  • A Raspberry Pi pHAT that focuses on user interaction with an SBC/RPi.
  • Support for machine learning interactions
  • Voice control (microphones, speaker)
  • Graphical display on 2.4" color TFT
  • Two Programmable buttons for user defined I/O
  • Programmable Joystick – for dynamic/interaction with system (GUI menus, robot driving).
  • Programmable RGB LEDs – for system status, display, etc...
  • Does not inhibit access to RPi camera or display connector
  • Off switch for Rpi
  • Supports access to the SparkFun Qwiic ecosystem
  • Intended to be at the top of a pHAT stack - no pins for stacking on top of this board. It’s the Top pHAT!

SparkFun Top pHAT for Raspberry Pi Product Help and Resources

Nintendo Switch Macro Recording on the Raspberry Pi

July 8, 2020

Learn how to record and playback controller 'macros' for your Nintendo Switch using a Raspberry Pi, SparkFun Top pHAT, and Joycontrol.

SparkFun Top pHAT Hookup Guide

April 16, 2020

The pHAT to sit above your other HATs. Does that make it the "king" of the pHATs? This guide will help you get started using the Top pHAT with the Raspberry Pi.

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #322428 / about 4 years ago / 1

    Before purchasing this hat, check the web for Pi compatibility with the Waveshare and WM8960. Appears this is not working with the Pi Zero, and Pi4, with and buster. Spent the day in waste looking for work-around; nothing has worked for either the audio in or out. Any ideas will be welcomed. Other hat features do appear to operate...

  • Rogue357 / about 4 years ago / 1

    I want to echo other comments regarding that horrible speaker getting in the way of the controls and protruding too far. I also question the use of WS2812 LED's. Raspberry PI is not going to be able to control that well under load. I think APA102 would have been a far better choice (8 - APA102-2020 would be even better) but it does take another pin. I have excellent python script that does great things with APA102. What might have been better would be to have the buttons controller drive the leds also, but you have that completely used up and no pins available.

    I do love the idea on having a pHat with display and controls. I would probably get this and rip that ugly speaker out, would be nice to have speaker solder points near the edge somewhere.

  • 3d0g / about 4 years ago / 1

    I would use white acrylic light pipes to carry the LEDs through the front panel. Tactile pushbuttons always need some sort of human-sized riser to be useful. Those joysticks are a real PITA to work with unless you can find a workable d-pad. They're scarce and expensive in single quantities. I don't love that speaker running proud but I get it, something as thin as the display would sound horrible. Biggest miss is not doing a touch display.

  • Member #887589 / about 4 years ago / 1

    This board looks like a hit and a miss. I like the idea of combining display and control functions on a top mounted board. However, mounting the stack in the enclosure will be problematical as the top plane of the display is below that of the speaker so it would protrude beyond it. Additionally, the joystick and buttons would be below the top plane of the display making access to them difficult if not impossible. Not withstanding the fact that these tiny switches and joystick are exceptionally hard to operate with human size fingers. For the RGB LEDs to be visible, the enclosure would have to be transparent.

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