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pi-topPROTO display

If you are using the pi-topPROTO board, you might find my little pi-top-proto-display program useful. It displays the name of the general purpose pin and their current logical value. Attached is a screenshot.

You can find the program in my github repository. Go to and search for pi-top-proto-display

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Hi Rene,

Thanks for your posting. I downloaded your program and it works, but... I'm not sure what I should do with it. Would you mind giving some more details for it?

Many thanks for your help and enthusiasm.

Stuart :-)

p.s. I can recommend all of Rene's modules on Github / rricharz

Hi Stuart,

pi-topPROTO display is probably not very useful if one uses pi-topPROTO to attached Raspberry Pi hats with given software to the Raspberry Pi.

I have written it for those who like to tinker with electronic components or little breakout boards, and want to write their own software to talk to the general purpose gpio pins. pi-topPROTO display shows the actual logic level of these pins, which are accessible for input and output using Python, C or shell scripts with the gpio command, and it shows the various pin numbers.

The pi-topPROTO board makes the general gpio pins of the Raspberry Pi accessible on the top male gpio connector, and two rows at the left and right side of the board for soldering. One can also solder female headers to these two rows on the left and right side of the board to make the pins accessible with male jumper cables or electronic components (see attached picture). The pi-topPROTO display shows these pins. If you run, for example, the blink program found at the beginning of almost every Raspberry Pi tutorial, you can see these pins blinking even before attaching a led.

One of the major problems of the Raspberry Pi is that there are several pin numbering schemes. I am frequently dealing with 3 of them: The pin numbers on the 40 pin gpio connector, the pin numbers of the broadcom system chip, and the pin numbers of wiringPi. The labels on the left and right row of the pi-topPROTO board correspond to the pins of the 40 pin connector. They can also be found in the pi-topPROTO display in the pi-topPROTO column. The pin name shows the pin numbers of the  broadcom system chip. The leftmost and rightmost columns show the pin numbers used by wiringPi and the gpio command. 

I am not a frequent user of python and am therefore open to suggestions on how to make the display even more useful with python scripts.

Hi Rene,

Thank you for your reply and sorry for my lateness in responding. You are right: I usually use the Proto Shield and that reproduces the 40 pins.


Stuart :-)

I've been doing a bit of trouble-shooting on a Raspberry Pi-Zero project and thought your little program would help out a lot. Alas, I saw it was designed only for the Pi-Top pins :( 

Still, I got to see a couple of the pins I was using switching states. Which helped a lot.

I had a look about the web to see if anyone had written something as easily readable as your little program, but there does not seem to be any, which stunned me.

Is there any chance you could fill this niche gap with a plain version for the Raspberry, or give an option to switch from Pi-Top to Raspberry?

That's a good idea. To arrange the pins as they are on the standard 40 pin gpio connector of the Raspberry Pi is easy. I will add this in the next few days. Stay tuned.
Hi Teutatis101, I have added a new version of my gpio display program as per your suggestion in a new repository on github. It shows the status of the 40 pin connector of the Raspberry Pi. You can go to and search for pi-gpio-display (not pi-top-gpio-display). Instructions are there. I have not been able to test all pins because I do not have the necessary jumper cables on the beach in Italy :-), but the pi-top is really a system for outdoor programming! Let me know if you find any mistakes. Have fun!

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Thankyou very much Rene, I'll be sure to download it this afternoon and give it a whirl. Enjoy the beach! :)

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