REVIEW: Maker HAT Base for Raspberry Pi 400

By Phil King. Posted

As well as extending the pins of Raspberry Pi 400’s GPIO header, Cytron’s Maker HAT Base has a fair few tricks up its sleeve. Using a standard HAT with Raspberry Pi 400’s GPIO header isn’t ideal due to the latter’s position at the rear of the keyboard unit, which means that a display or LED matrix HAT faces backwards. Supplied with a short ribbon cable to connect to the GPIO header, the Maker HAT Base makes it easier as you can mount the HAT vertically on the board’s GPIO header, just as you would on any other Raspberry Pi model.

The Maker HAT Base is equipped with quite a bit more functionality, including on-board push-buttons, buzzer, and mini breadboard, plus a female breakout header.

Base for electronics

The sticky-back mini breadboard fits into a space in the middle of the board. Note that if you’re using a HAT, it will cover the breadboard – and there’s not a lot of clearance. Still, it’s a nice addition.

We really appreciate the labelling of the GPIO pins, too, which makes it much easier to find the pin you need rather than having to count along the rows. Even better, there’s a full female GPIO breakout header that you can use even with a HAT attached to the pins, so you can connect jumper wires to electronic circuits on a separate breadboard. A bonus is the inclusion of four on-board push-buttons and a buzzer (with a switch), pre-wired to certain GPIO pins.

As well as being fully labelled, the female header has a status LED for each pin, which tells you whether it’s currently pulled high or low. This should prove useful, especially for beginners, when debugging your own circuits and programs.



Far more than a GPIO header extender, this feature-packed electronics breakout board represents excellent value for money.


Connector: 40-pin female-to-female 10 cm ribbon cable with plastic clip

Features: GPIO header, 4 × push-buttons, piezo buzzer, female breakout header with status LEDs, 3 × Grove connectors (GPIO, UART, I2C)

Compatibility: Works with any Raspberry Pi model

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