Controlling the Dexter LED's outside of Raspbian for Robots and/or GoPiGo O/S?


This is really a question for @cleoqc.

I have several operating systems installed on my 'bot that I will eventually (try to) convert to versions of software compatible with the GoPiGo.

Until that happens, I still want to be able to boot them headlessly and I want to signal that the boot process has completed.

Part of the problem is that using the PINN boot manager, even with a pre-selected operating system, causes the boot process to be significantly longer.

What I would like to do is, somehow or other, control the GoPiGo LED’s using methods that do not depend on the Dexter 'bot libraries, or only a very limited subset of them. I am asking this because it is already known that later versions of Raspbian have difficulties with the R4R libraries, etc. (Which is something I want to research.)

I want to boot the OS, and then turn on one of the LED’s, (like the antenna LED), to signal that the boot process is complete and I can attach to the 'bot.

Is this doable in some low-level way?


Sure, all LEDs are controlled via SPI.
Take a look at for low level control to see what needs to be done.

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Maybe not as bad as nipple.js but it will require a bit of study. At least it gives the constants for the various parts.

What is the absolute minimum GoPiGo installation possible? Since we already know that a fully upgraded Raspbian Buster breaks things, I want to - at the very beginning - use the minimum foot-print possible to see what works and what doesn’t.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but at least 99% of the GoPiGo/Dexter functionality is in Python, right?  If we assume that to be true, then the big things to look at would be paths and python revision.  Despite what Guido says, even point revisions break things.  Bad.