Introduction: Arduino RGB Matrix Word Clock

Forget numbers, the RGB LED Word Clock displays the time as text! Instead of two hands or a digital display, the Word Clock shows the current time as words in bright LED light using a standard 8x8 LED matrix. For example, if the time were 10:50 the LED clock would say IT IS TEN MINUTES TO ELEVEN. At 10:30 it would say IT IS HALF PAST TEN.


Hardware components:

WS2812 LED 5050 RGB 8x8 64 LED Matrix for Arduino

Wemos D1 Mini Pro

M3 x 12mm Hex Socket Screws Bolts

Software apps and online services:
Arduino IDE

Hand tools and fabrication machines:

Glowforge - Laser Cutter or laser cutting service.

Step 1: Not the First One

I have seen this type of Word Clock before and ESP8622 clocks, but none were as simple. I found an instructable by neotrace. It was very close to what I needed. In fact I was going to make it until I found these 8x8 matrix grids on aliexpress. I used the code and modified it a bit to work with my layout.

Step 2: Connecting the RGB LED Matrix

The circuit is the easiest part. Just connect the +5v, ground, and the data. Upload the code in your done. I had a problem with IOS and wifi, so when it times out it will setup an access point and serve up it's own page to update the settings. It will not be as accurate without a RTC, but its more art than clock.

Step 3: Designing the Enclosure

I am fortunate enough to have a laser available, that made creating the enclosure easier. I used wonderful svg box generator to make the initial structure. I inverted the lid to make the "face" larger. This provide a better viewing angle for the clock.

Step 4: Building the Enclosure

I would suggest you create your own file for your enclosure. It will depend on the thickness of your material. I have included the SVG cutfile for reference. I spray-painted a thin piece of clear acrylic and then engrave off the paint with the laser and cut it out.

Step 5: The Code

I cut-and-pasted code from various pieces, not sure how efficient it is or elegant, but it works. It is fairly straightforward reading through it. But I would be happy for any additions or code fixes.

I will continue to work on and off on this project. As for the code, it is good enough for me know. If any
one would like to contribute, please add it to the github project.

Step 6: Alternate Enclosure

I made another enclosure, this one is even smaller. As you can see, there are plenty of ways of presenting the clock.

Arduino Contest 2019

Participated in the
Arduino Contest 2019