The Sincerest Form of Flattery

LED Clock

I just happened to be looking at Tasmota – in particular the WS2812 addressable LED drivers – specifically using the TASMOTA-DISPLAY.BIN file – and noted the CLOCK mode complete with example.

It works – and works well.. Up to now I have a 60-LED addressable strip clock, a Dallas temperature sensor and a relay all working together on the one ESP-12 module. I have plans for more.

What started me off on the clock was a slight diversion as I was looking to cycle through all the colours (each of 10 LEDs originally showing a different colour) using the FADE mode and noted an anomaly in the Tasmota driver – while ORANGE appears (hence indicating that both GREEN and RED were working, could I HELL get any LED to show GREEN – also the FADE isn’t the smoothest imaginable. Anyway I got sidetracked – and set up a LED clock – see photo below. Personally I’d have chosen blue for the seconds hand but I’ll settle for purple.

Now why would I happen to have at least one 60-LED ring handy (I have two)? Lest anyone think this feature of Tasmota is in any way novel, I will take this opportunity to point readers to ESP-GO (not that I would recommend swapping today given all the features of Tasmota) as it had (has) all of this and far more – and has had since long before Tasmota even existed.

I made a couple of bad decisions in the design of ESP-GO – one was using the now no longer supported OTA from Richard Burton – the second was using pure C – which meant I had to either write code from scratch or badly butcher other libraries. The result of that is I never did get a fully working, fully OTA-capable ESP-GO on the Espressif 3.0+ SDK which left me at SDK 2.5 and starting to run low on RAM. Mind you ESP-GO does have a more bullet-proof OTA than Tasmota with no need to use an intermediate minimal package – but that was because I limited support to 4MB ESP-12 devices or better. ESP-GO historically also supports a range of OLED and LCD displays.

Anyway here is the 60 LED clock using Tasmota and also an image from the above (downloadable along with the entire ESP-GO project) ESP-GO manual showing the clock I developed therein. The time here is 8:46:57 with the RED LEDs showing the hours, GREEN the minutes and MAGENTA the seconds.

Years ago I developed my ESP-GO clock and managed to get a 60-LED circle (4 segments) from a great Chinese company called UCTRONICS) for $15 – sadly as I had the display shipped to Spain and I was very new to Spain at the time, I got ripped blind by DHL who convinced the Chinese company to raise the stated value of the goods to ensure safe passage to Spain – charging them more in the process – and THEN charging me in total an extra 30 Euros in customs, VAT and DHL rake-off in the process. I never forgave DHL and have complete faith that the fellow in China acted in good faith. But that’s another story already told elsewhere.

Tasmota LED clock

When I wrote the section below in the manual I had no idea I was going to have hassle with DHL hence the £12 comment (yes, I am using pounds, Euros and dollars in here).


That’s my effort for this evening – I started all of this simply needing a temperature sensor with relay – but it’s a Covid lockdown Sunday so I thought… why not. Hope you found this interesting. Setting up the clock on something like a NodeMCU board and Tasmota (don’t forget you need the display version) is a breeze.


8 thoughts on “The Sincerest Form of Flattery

  1. I found a 2 metre strip of 30 LED/M neopixels a couple of months back and stuck them onto one of those ESP01 breakout PCB’s specifically for LED’s. They had gone back into a storage box, working nicely with Tasmota but forgotten about.

    Last week I suggested to a work colleague with a tastefully done “man cave” in his garden to cut me a 629mm diameter disk of MDF. He has an idea that he is getting something LED based but hasn’t seen his clock yet. He sent me his WiFi creds but has no idea why I needed them.

    I have set up the MQTT Config on his Tasmota to use the testing broker of HiveMQTT with a topic for power and a topic for brightness. He has no idea he will be able to interface with his clock from his phone. The image is a screen shot from my “MQTT Dash” on my phone, I will set his up tomorrow when he gets his gift

    1. Yup, it does look the same and it looks like yours is made of 4 segments – almost impossible to align perfectly – hence my failed idea at a semi-opaque plastic cover. I don;t even think my resin 3d printer could do a good enough job and the engraver would burn the material to hell (as it just tried to do with my desk – my fault). How difficult can it be to make a 10mm wide ever-so-slightly opaque ring or u-section – we need one of Star Trek’s replicators or a decent router?

      Ideas on a plate… anyone…

      1. this is 24cm diameter, please measure your ring one and share 🙂
        the back can just be reprinted with a normal printer with low effort and ticks in the correct spots to leave space for the leds 🙂

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