Python 2.7 Desktop Countdown Timer with PyPortal + CircuitPython
📺 in action!
Table of Contents
- About PyPortal and CircuitPython
- About Themes
- Dependencies and Libraries
- Adding New Fonts and Themes
- Contributions and Credits
About PyPortal and CircuitPython
This code is meant to run on a PyPortal.
An Adafruit PyPortal is an wifi-enabled microcontroller device featuring a 3" capacitive touchscreen and CircuitPython baked in.
EventTheme on the PyPortal represents a background, a text color, a font, and label positions for
Switch to the previous theme by pressing on the left side of the touchscreen display, or the next theme by pressing on the right.
Theme backgrounds in 16-bit
.bmp (Bitmap Image) format and are located in the
bgs/ directory. Fonts are in
.BDF (Bitmap Distribution Format) and located in the
Themes are defined in defined at the end of the
themes.py file. To stop a theme from being displayed, comment out (or delete) the line where it's defined.
Looking for customization? Skip ahead to adding your own custom themes and fonts.
Dependencies and Libraries
Configuring Wifi and Adafruit IO
The PyPortal needs to connect to wifi to fetch the time from the internet using Adafruit IO.
secrets.py with the SSID and password for your own wifi network.
password for your network in the
secrets dictionary in
If you don't have one already, create a new account on Adafruit IO.
aio_key in the
secrets dictionary in
Tip: make sure not to commit your
secrets.py file to source control.
I'm using the new speedier CircuitPython 4.1.0-beta.0 release featuring 2-5x faster code execution and faster display refreshing
If you run into issues with the code or the PyPortal, I recommend using the latest stable release, currently CircuitPython 4.0.1.
The following libraries, compatible with CircuitPython 4.0.1 are required to be present in the
lib directory. Download the library bundle.
Adding New Fonts and Themes
Adding New Fonts
Fonts are located in the
Added fonts must be in
.BDF file (Bitmap Distribution Format).
Add the New Font to
Next, pass the font file-name to the
Fonts constructor to use it in your themes.
Adding New Themes
Theme backgrounds are located in the
To display on the PyPortal, background images must be a 16-bit
.bmp (Bitmap) file.
Converting files to 16-bit Bitmap
First, install the ImageMagick command line tools.
To convert a single file:
$ convert foo.png BMP2:foo.bmp
To convert all the
*.png files in a directory to 16-bit
*.bmp, leaving the original images intact:
$ mogrify -format bmp -define bmp:format=bmp2 -type truecolor *.png
Add the New Theme to the
Make sure the background image and font you'd like to use are in the correct format, and located in the proper directory.
Next, add a new
EventTheme to the
ThemeManager constructor at the end of
themes.py. The minimum information necessary is the background file, the label positions, and the label position axis.
EventTheme("1-green-and-purple", pos=(60, 155, 260), y_axis=185)
Optionally, a font and a font color can be provided as well.
EventTheme("10-bold-black-on-white", pos=(35, 130, 235), y_axis=170, color=0x00000, font="Collegiate-50")
If no font is specified, the default font is used.
Contributions and Credits
Have an idea for an improvement? Contributions are welcome. File an issue, or open a pull request.
Inspired by this event countdown clock guide by John Park.