Kids NTP Clock

A simple clock for my Son's room to help him keep tabs on time and also his morning/evening routine

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Version 1 is built around a NodeMCU and a 20x4 LCD display. The clock gets the time from the NTP service, and displaying a hardcoded schedule on the bottom line based on the time.
Future plans: to move to an old Pi model B with 2.8" touchscreen, and retrieve schedule information from a Google calendar.

The plan was to create a simple clock which could help my son with his routine on School days.

I built a really simple version around a NodeMCU and an i2c 20x4 screen, which gets gets the time via WiFi from NTP. 

It's great for the time displaying, and uses a really basic way of providing information; if the time displayed falls between a particular time slot display the corresponding message (get up, get ready, eat breakfast, play time, bed time etc).

This version has been running perfectly for a number of months, however I now want to take it further, with more flexibility over the messages rather than relying on hard-coded slots.

I have an old Pi Model B, 2.8" touch screen and a nice little enclosure, so Version 2 will be built around this; the screen will be much better for displaying an interactive interface for him, and I will look into using Python to read from a Google Calendar to control his prompts.

One thing I would like to explore is running a Python GUI on Raspbian Lite (without full desktop), and running the OS in a read only mode to prevent corruption to the SD card if power is removed.

  • 1 × Nodemcu
  • 1 × 20x4 LCD display
  • 1 × Enclosure To make it look pretty - I used an old Pi case I had

  • Repurposing

    Craig Hissett10/27/2021 at 17:08 0 comments

    This clock has worked really well. Sure, it's not perfect, but it certainly does what it needs to.

    My son now has an Alexa Echo Show in his room so doesn't really require the clock anymore, but I have an idea in mind for it.

    I am currently embarking on a a bit of an experiment with homeassistant. I plan on using the ESPHome integration to use this clock as more of an environmental sensor by adding some sensors to it. It can then liaise with the homeassistant server and be used to automate some of his sockets to maintain his room temps and humidity.

  • V1 Code

    Craig Hissett04/07/2020 at 15:20 0 comments

    #include <NTPClient.h>

    #include <ESP8266WiFi.h>
    #include <WiFiUdp.h>
    #include <LiquidCrystal_I2C.h>
    #include <Wire.h>

    //WiFi Creds
    const char *ssid     = "Insert your router here";
    const char *password = "router password";

    //Clock variables
    const long utcOffsetInSeconds = 0;
    char daysOfTheWeek[7][12] = {"Sunday   ", "Monday   ", "Tuesday  ", "Wednesday", "Thursday ", "Friday   ", "Saturday "};

    // Define NTP Client to get time
    WiFiUDP ntpUDP;
    NTPClient timeClient(ntpUDP, "", utcOffsetInSeconds);

    //i2c Screen definitions
    LiquidCrystal_I2C lcd(0x3F, 20, 4);

    uint8_t bell[8]  = {0x4, 0xe, 0xe, 0xe, 0x1f, 0x0, 0x4};
    uint8_t note[8]  = {0x2, 0x3, 0x2, 0xe, 0x1e, 0xc, 0x0};
    uint8_t clock[8] = {0x0, 0xe, 0x15, 0x17, 0x11, 0xe, 0x0};
    uint8_t heart[8] = {0x0, 0xa, 0x1f, 0x1f, 0xe, 0x4, 0x0};
    uint8_t duck[8]  = {0x0, 0xc, 0x1d, 0xf, 0xf, 0x6, 0x0};
    uint8_t check[8] = {0x0, 0x1 ,0x3, 0x16, 0x1c, 0x8, 0x0};
    uint8_t cross[8] = {0x0, 0x1b, 0xe, 0x4, 0xe, 0x1b, 0x0};
    uint8_t retarrow[8] = {  0x1, 0x1, 0x5, 0x9, 0x1f, 0x8, 0x4};

    void setup(){
      Wire.begin(D2, D1); 

      lcd.createChar(0, bell);
      lcd.createChar(1, note);
      lcd.createChar(2, clock);
      lcd.createChar(3, heart);
      lcd.createChar(4, duck);
      lcd.createChar(5, check);
      lcd.createChar(6, cross);
      lcd.createChar(7, retarrow);
      lcd.print("Isaac's Clock   ");

      WiFi.begin(ssid, password);

      while ( WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED ) {
        delay ( 500 );
        Serial.print ( "." );


    void loop() {
      Serial.print(", ");



    void displaySchedule()
      if(timeClient.getHours() == 23 && timeClient.getMinutes() >= 20 && timeClient.getMinutes() <= 30)
        lcd.print("Test Schedule       ");
      else if(timeClient.getHours() == 19 && timeClient.getMinutes() >= 50 && timeClient.getMinutes() <= 59)
        lcd.print("Put your Pyjamas on ");
      else if(timeClient.getHours() == 20 && timeClient.getMinutes() >= 00 && timeClient.getMinutes() <= 30)
        lcd.print("Isaac Time! :-)     ");
      else if(timeClient.getHours() == 20 && timeClient.getMinutes() >= 30 && timeClient.getMinutes() <= 59)
        lcd.print("Bed time|Sleep time ");
      else if(timeClient.getHours() == 07 && timeClient.getMinutes() >= 00 && timeClient.getMinutes() <= 29)
        lcd.print("Morning! Breakfast  ");
      else if(timeClient.getHours() == 07 && timeClient.getMinutes() >= 30 && timeClient.getMinutes() <= 59)
        lcd.print("Get ready for School");
        lcd.print("                    ");

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