Two Raspberry Pi Picos power this sleek dual clock with an LED matrix

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Ajith Kumar B)

The Raspberry Pi community has become well known over the years for developing some of the most useful projects from scratch with fit and finish that rivals many professional equivalents. Today, we've got a wonderful example of such a creation put together by maker and developer Ajith Kumar B. He created a sleek dual clock bundled with some fun bonus features by using two of our favorite microcontrollers, the Raspberry Pi Pico.

Each Pico is connected using an I2C connection and has a dedicated RTC module. This enables each board to monitor time independently of one another while outputting the same results in tandem between the two displays. One Pico outputs time to a seven-segment display, while the other outputs a variety of information using a MAX7219 LED matrix panel.

Even though the Picos have a separate RTC module, they need to sync to stay in lockstep. This occurs immediately when the clock is first powered on. Once it's booted, the seven-segment display serves as the primary clock while the second rotates through various functions, like displaying custom messages or reading track titles for MP3 files.

The Raspberry Pi Picos are housed inside a custom case. The seven-segment display and matrix panel are centered in the middle, while an ultrasonic sensor is positioned on top. This sensor triggers audio files to play when people walk by. The different features can be controlled wirelessly using an IR remote programmed to interface with the clock.

The clock operates using a custom script by Ajith Kumar B. It handles the basic functions, like processing the clock output for the two separate displays and supporting MP3 so custom audio files can be played. The interface is explained in greater detail on the official project page via Hackster.

If you want to get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project and maybe even recreate it at home, head over to Hackster for a full breakdown of how it was developed. Be sure to follow Ajith Kumar B for more cool projects and any future updates to this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.

  • Giroro
    The Pi Pico must be pretty powerful if it can run half of a digital clock....
    :rolleyes:
    Reply
  • peachpuff
    Giroro said:
    The Pi Pico must be pretty powerful if it can run half of a digital clock....
    :rolleyes:
    Lol wonder if it can power a calculator 😂
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    Giroro said:
    The Pi Pico must be pretty powerful if it can run half of a digital clock....
    :rolleyes:

    Down to not being able to interface with the two displays?
    Reply
  • sjkpublic
    The only take away from this article is the author gets publicity. I do not see the value here.
    Reply
  • PEnns
    And the 1970s digital screen looks amazing in 2024....:rolleyes:
    Reply
  • AlskiOnTheWeb
    peachpuff said:
    Lol wonder if it can power a calculator 😂
    ...I doubt it! No way could it do THAT much work!
    Reply