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A(nother) NTP based clock for ESP8266

This is an LED clock driven by the amazing little ESP8266 device. There are a few people who have made NTP clients for this device, but this one is thought out properly, and much easier to setup and use:

  • Uses the cheapest ESP8266 module (the ESP-1).
  • Drives a 4-digit LED display via SPI.
  • Single button to begin configuration.
  • Browser based config entry.

The circuit is extremely basic, with the following parts:

  • ESP-1 module.
  • 7-segment LED display (SPI interface)
  • 3.3v regulator (e.g LM1117)
  • Bypass cap
  • Button + pullup resistor.

The particular LED module I'm using is a Sure Electronics display. It runs off 5v, however the driver chips are 3.3v input compatible, obviating the need for a level converter.

![LED Clock Diagram] (


The clock has a simple interface, and does not require any software changes to set it up for your network.


  • Power on.
  • Within 5s press the button.
  • Display shows 'AP'.
  • Press the button to display the device IP address.
  • Connect to the 'ESP-CLOCK' SSID.
  • Point a browser to the device IP.
  • Configure Wifi credentials and time/ntp attributes.
  • After submitting, the clock connects to the given Wifi network and starts.

During normal operation:

  • Press the button to display the device IP address.
  • Browse to that address to view the status and change config.
  • The lower right decimal point will be lit if NTP synchronisation is overdue (e.g couldnt connect to server).


The design and code is Copyright 2015 Ben Buxton. (

Licenced under GPLv3.

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