My biggest confusion was what to do about the other parts I would need. I did not know if they were arriving seperately or whether I needed to order them. As time was growing short, I decided to proceed with experimenting and plan to visit Tanners Electronics in Carrollton to get more parts locally. Fortunately, Tanners is a great local resource if you are near Dallas, Texas.
I started by connecting the Sense Hat to the Raspberry Pi to see how it works. I found several example programs on a site where the board was referred to by its old name(i.e., AstroPi) I tested these and generally I am pleased. The temperature reads somewhat high. That is either because it needs calibration, or because the parts around it warm it up. Some calibration seems reasonable. I have to do that with other temperature sensors I use.
I see one problem, and I expect I will have to modify the project a bit to get around it. There are no GPIO pins to directly connect to on the Sense Hat. The project author mentions getting a special pin extender, but I don't have time for that. So, I'll just use another Raspberry Pi. I'll do GPIO stuff, like the PIR sensor on the second unit. The primary Pi will be the master program and use the Sense Hat. I'll talk between them over ethernet.
Next, I went to the NeoPixel stick and a NeoPixel Ring.and connected them to an Arduino, like the project author does. I have used longer LED strips on a couple of projects, but never the NeoPixel stick or ring. They both work quite well, just as I expected. I can see several uses for these products on other projects. I'll need to measure power consumption on the ring for one hand held devive I had prototyped with 5mm LEDs. The NeoPixel will look much better, and should fit well with the LilyPad, a GPSmodule, and a battery.
The other Raspberry Pi I have with me tonight is running Ubuntu Mate 15.04. I tried it with the PIR sensor and got a segmentation error. I'll bring a Raspberry Pi B+ or 2 B with a fresh Raspbian image in tomorrow to try that again.
I need to pck up another 1000 micro farad cap so I can connect the stick and the ring.
I am going to stop here for now. I have another point or two, but I want to see if I can edit a blog entry on this platform.