Use your Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins at the same time as the SenseHAT

Pictures courtesy of The Pi Hut

Keith Ellis does a rather good line in tutorial videos over at Recently, he wondered if it was possible to use the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins with the SenseHAT attached. At first glance, it seems that it’s not possible due to the surface-mount header (as you can see in the picture above). However, he found a way. Take a look at his video below and leave a comment on YouTube:

He found that the female header on the other side (pictured below) was removable, with care and a little patience.

Once removed, it leaves you with an underside full of holes. Get hold of an extended 40-way header and carefully poke the pins through the holes. The surface mount header on the front side of the board allows the pins through, and holds them securely, giving you full access to the GPIO! Fortunately, as Keith found out, the SenseHAT only uses two of the pins – all the sensors and the joystick are read over I2C, the shared two-pin protocol. (Take a look at the brilliant to see this). Therefore, every single GPIO pin is available to you to use.

Thanks Keith for discovering this – the SenseHAT is so powerful and has so many sensors that it’s incredibly useful – it makes the board even more usable now!

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