I dont like typing long winded writeups so this will be very brief.
The original idea was taken from https://hackaday.io/project/12084/instructions. But making a clock from an 8x8 is challenging due to the lack of real estate.
I evolved the project to use a single ESP based WeMos mini. Also CAD up two parts to interface with the existing hardware and the new LED matrix.
Great thing I am good at copying so I found this project to combine
But the wife complained that the font was hard to read without glasses so a second mode was added based on this clock:
I also tackled the brightness issue by changing the current limiting resistor on the MAX7219 boards to a 2k resistor yielding a 150mA surge current for 1/8 duty cycle.
The code is hard coded to change to the semi-analog version between 3 and 8
A very crude DST algorithim is added in addition to synchornization to the NTP pool server since I dont have a RTC.
Feel free to modify the code on git hub to add more functionality and perhaps a better web interface.