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40-pin connector Pi-TopCEED and access to Pi3 GPIO

Just got my Pi-TopCEED today and it have the 40-pin cable that blocks all of the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi. How the heck are we supposed to wire anything up?

The pi-topPROTO board is available to give you access to the GPIO pins. On the pi-topCEED you can also just disconnect the 40 pin cable. You loose the brightness adjustment and the usage of the pi-topSPEAKER. This is probably acceptable as long as you do not have a pi-topPROTO board.
I wish that had been more clear on the website so that I could have ordered it at the time and saved on the shipping.
I agree, perhaps there could be a convenient to order bundle - screen, speaker, Pi 3 and proto board - a male- female ribbon is useful too. Also given who this is aimed at, I recommend a couple of photos and an article giving examples of how to make use of the proto board would be useful. Still waiting on a speaker though - a nice neat USB microphone would be helpful :) Regards David

Yes this ought tot be explained better  - also why it is better to it the Pi-way for new users

Have a look at the pi-top blog menu option on this site.  There are several tutorials of using the proto board which might be sufficient to get you started.

If I removed the GPIO headers, I would have to use a Micro USB to power the Pi?
Can I use the USB Header next to the HDMI port?

What is the 4 pins on the top of the HUB for?

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There seems to be, for what ever reason, NO-DOCUMENTATION!  The answer is to unplug the 40 pin connector from the pi and using a continuity tester figure out which of those 40 pins are connected to the connector under the power/video board. When you do that, please publish here.

That is what I will do unless someone does it first.

The pins of the connector under the hub-controller have been published several times in this forum. See the attachement

Is there documentation anywhere how the hub actually communicates with the pi? I'm assuming brightness control, charge state, display sleep etc. work somehow via i2c or spi, but it would be really good to know how exactly, so that I can use pi hats without confusing the hub.


Rene, please confirm this that the use of the Pi-Proto board removes the ability to use the Pi-Speaker(s) and adjust the screen brightness? I have just lost the use of my stereo speakers after I think I enabled the I2C functionality? The proto board I thought enabled decent stereo separation of the Pi-Speakers. I was enjoying being able to use my Pi-Top to review YouTube guides around the house! Many thanks for your support. Alexandra
No, it should work. Maybe you have accidentally broken the connection between the rpi and the hub, or the Proto board itself or one of the connectors is broken. Shut down and turn the power off, then carefully inspect everything. If this does not help, I would remove the speakers and the proto board, and check whether you can still see the battery charge and change the brightness. If that's not the case, the connection between hub and rpi has a problem. If it works, add one board after the other and check each time whether things still work. If it does not work anymore when you add the proto board, that board is faulty.
@ichdu. The battery of the laptop and the initialization of the speakers use i2c. The hub controlling shutdown and brightness use spi. You can use other i2c addresses. See the adresses used with the command i2cdetect -y 1. If the command cannot be found, install it with sudo apt-get i2c-tools.
Sorry, of course sudo apt-get install i2c-tools
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