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.


6 thoughts on “The Sincerest Form of Flattery

    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…

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