Got kit. No sound :-)

My blackboard arrived this morning. I put it all together with RPI3 i was using previously with the beta board, flashed 0.7.2 os to sd card, connected my midi keyboard, ran sushi, connected sushi to midi keyboard. set up mda vst3 synth as in docs

but i have no sound on any output. tried volume knob. no light on the blackboard display.

what should i do now?


There was a message that the blackboard was not compatible with the beta hardware without any details.

I was somewhat surprised there wasn’t a small hack with jumpers or a list of some subset of features that would mostly work. Not sure if the issue. Perhaps the display uses some signal line or interrupt.

Would be nice to get a concise set of errata for the beta boards.

to be clear, this is the new blackboard + black sita board. i have the green sita “beta” board too but i am not trying to use that

1 Like

Hi @olilarkin,
could you please more specific about your setup and exactly what commands you are running?

RPi3B/ 3B+ or RPi4?

I’d also recommend trying out one of the arpeggiator / sequencer examples just to rule out any MIDI input issues.

I tried again and it worked… sorry not sure what i did wrong the first time! thanks

1 Like

Hi @Dauq,
we published the full Blackboard project here:

very shortly the main issues are indeed a signal line for the display, the different pin connectors and some other changes in the GPIO shift registers that right now I don’t remember.

It might be possible to do some HW hack to bridge the blackboard on the Beta SIKA boards (green version) but the thing is that it’s not something we can invest anytime nor support at any level, also considering that the Beta boards were given away for free to all the beta testers.

Feel free to study the project and see if a hack might be suitable for your case.


is there a json example setup for the blackboard?

You mean a SENSEI JSON I guess?

It’s already installed system-wide and (since 0.7.2), you can just do systemctl start sensei and it will run.

We also provide a Python library that abstracts SENSEI and the display access, check the examples here:

How exactly did you get it working? I received my Blackboard too and copied the blackboard folder from the examples repo to my udata directory. I have tried running the shell script examples but I get errors like the following:

Failed to load tracks from Json config file
Traceback (most recent call last):
File “./main_app_minimal”, line 12, in
from elk_ui import ElkUIController
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘elk_ui’
Connection failed (Invalid argument)

Do I need to start a synth plugin before trying to run the controller example? Are you guys planning on posting a more descriptive tutorial for the blackboard?


The documentation for those examples is available here - in case you missed it.

First, do copy the entirety of the elk-examples repo to /udata
Second, you will need the plugin binaries, linked in the documentation above, which you yourself need to place in a folder named ‘plugins’, inside the elk-examples directory.

With that in place, this should work for you:

elk-pi:/udata/elk-examples/blackboard/controller-examples$ ./run_sequencer_general

the first time you run it it will ask for your password (elk).

And then to stop: ./stop

If you get any error messages, it is likely file-paths being wrong, and you will be able to deduce the culprit quickly by checking the messages in /tmp/sushi.log

I should add a link to the above documentation in the of the repository.

Let us know how it works out!

Ilias of Elk.

Thanks Ilias. I didn’t copy over the entire elk examples folder as the documentation instructed so I’ll give that a shot.

I have also noticed that the blackboard sits somewhat loosely on top of the elk pi hat. When connected to the Blackboard, should the LEDs be on when the device is powered on? I’m not exactly sure how hard to push the pins in since I don’t want to break anything. Should the pins be fully inserted or does that matter?


That the Blackboard’s pins are 2-3mm exposed is normal, and it doesn’t matter, the one’s I’ve used have always been connected that way to the Elk-Pi and have functioned well.

Given how many pins there are it definitely is fitted very securely on the elk-pi anyway. I’m sure you have removed all jumpers from the elk-pi before connecting as well.

Regarding the LED’s, no, when powered on the only LED’s active are those on the Raspberry Pi, and the Elk-Pi, the blackboard does not show any activity on its own, if you do not directly tell it to over Sensei.

Ilias of Elk.

I followed your instructions and I’m getting the error:

ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘elk_ui’

Theres nothing in my sushi.log file indicating any errors. Maybe its a path issue related to elk_ui?


The elk_ui library was included in the latest image for the RPi, I should add that to the documentation and README.

The Blackboard examples require that you use a recent image version - when starting a new SSH connection to it, to the right of the Elk Audio OS ASCII-Art, the version number is listed. The latest is v.0.7.2, available to download here:

Do try the update instead of flashing a new image, it is a very straightforward process - instructions are here.

Ilias of Elk

I could add that the source for the elk_ui is available here:

In case you want to extend it. If you are to run a program which uses your modified version, just place it in the same folder as the Python program calling it, and rename it appropriately.

Ilias of Elk.

God the examples working now. Thanks for your help! Gonna start playing around with the UI.

Great to hear!
Anything you need let us know, have fun and don’t forget to post anything you make for us to see :slight_smile:

Ilias of Elk