Slices of a clock
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Slices is an ESP8266 based clock with a LED matrix display.

It's an evolution of a previous project (a wordclock), with the following goals:

  • Replace the ATMega328P with an ESP8266 (NTP support and user interaction)
  • Smaller sizes (8x8 LED matrices)
  • Smaller PCB, less buttons (version 3.0 of the DaClock board)
  • Add buzzer for alarms
  • Replace the 3D printed part with a MDF grid cut in laser
  • Completely closed enclosure, better presentation
  • Fix some issues with the original board (like the lack of a beefy capacitor across the LED matrix power lines).




The clock

The hardware has been designed using OpenSCad and it's inspired by the PiBow cases for Raspberry Pi. A series of layers forming a sandwich. From top to bottom the layers are (this is true for beta version):

  • front, a smoke colored acrylic layer cut with a laser cutter
  • stencil (optional), a thin black cardboard with the characters cut out with a laser
  • diffusor, a thin white paper sheet
  • grid, a 3D printed black PLA grid to isolate each pixel or a thick laser cut MDF
  • LED matrix, a 16x16 flexible RGB LED Matrix or a 8x8 PCB based one w/ WS2812B pixels
  • LED matrix support in MDF
  • MDF hollow layers to allow room for the electronics
  • controller, custom PCB attached to the backend
  • back, a clear acrylic layer or MDF again with holes for the power connector and button


The controller

The controller is based on the the DaClock board and it's designed to serve different purposes. This project uses version 3.0 of that board.

It features a ESP8266 ESP12E/F module, a DS1337 RTC clock, a buzzer for notifications and connectors to drive a WS2812 LED matrix.


The project is ready to be build using PlatformIO. Please refer to their web page for instructions on how to install the builder. Once installed:

> cd code
> platformio run
> platformio run --target upload

Library dependencies are automatically managed via PlatformIO Library Manager.