Getting started with the SnowPi RGB & Raspberry Pi using Python

In this tutorial we'll connect up the SnowPi RGB to the Raspberry Pi and getting it to light up.

All models of Raspberry Pi should work fine, in this tutorial I'll be using a Model 3 A+ Myself.

The Raspberry Pi needs to be connected to the internet to be able to download all the software too.

Hardware Assembly

First we need to connect the SnowPi RGB to the Raspberry Pi, to do this is simple as:

Ensure the Raspberry Pi is unplugged, and then simply connect it to the first 6 Pins in the top right of the header closest to the Micro SD card slot.

Pre Preparation

This tutorial will assume that you've already got your Raspberry Pi setup and ready to use, including being connected to the internet already. A getting started with Raspberry Pi guide can be found at https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/projects/raspberry-pi-setting-up

While shown in this tutorial we're using the GUI, for the entire tutorial we'll be using the Terminal so if you prefer to use SSH you can do so for this tutorial.

Installing the Python Library

To begin open the terminal by clicking the icon with the >_ characters in it, your screen should then look like this.

Then to ensure all software is updated type sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade and press enter, if prompted press enter to continue to update. If you've recently updated nothing may happen.

Only if you're using the "Lite" version of Raspberry Pi OS then run sudo apt install python3-pip to install Python 3 Pip which is the tool we use to install the library.

The SnowPi RGB uses the rpi_ws281x library which is available at https://github.com/rpi-ws281x/rpi-ws281x-python , in the below tutorial we install this and the demo program is based on this library.

Next we can install the library with sudo pip3 install rpi_ws281x.

Finally we can download our demo programs, to do this type:

git clone https://github.com/ryanteck/snowpirgb-python.git

Then navigate into the folder by typing cd snowpirgb-python and then we're ready to run the demo program.

Finally type in sudo python3 demo.py -a  and your SnowPi RGB should start blinking!