RGB Panel Clock with Animation and Sound

RGB Matrix Clock with Chimes, Cuckoo Sounds, Animation, Event Notification, Temp, Humidity and Barometric Pressure

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I first started experimenting with RGB Matrices to make a Ping Pong scoring computer with sounds, sights, etc. This clock shows time, etc, and then animates Westminster chimes, a bell or a cuckoo clock. I've made them in varying pixel densities in a 32x32 matrix. There is also a 'demo' mode that shows off what the matrix can do and plays a theme song.

The project uses a 32x32 RGB matrix and AdaFruit FX Soundboard to display time, date, day of week, temp, humidity and barometric pressure.  The clock also will display previously stored and coded events, holidays,  etc.  Time is set manually and kept by a DS3231 RTC.

There is also animation and sounds selectable for Westminster Chimes, Cuckoo clock or simple bell.  There is also the option to have sounds and animation shut off at night (ANSO or automatic night shut off).

The enclosure is made of two hobbyist shadow boxes back to back and the glass is replaced by Chromecast black acrylic diffuser panel.   There is also coding for photocell control of the brightness of the display.

The sound files are coded and stored on the FX Soundboard that is connected to the Arduino Mega (I use a mega because I have a lot of event dates and strings stored and the soundboard requires quite a few GPIOs in the way I've connected it).

Westminster 2.mp4

Full clip showing event, segue to Westminster Chimes and return to normal display

MPEG-4 Video - 19.43 MB - 02/03/2021 at 19:59



Shortened clip of Westminster Chimes in action

MPEG-4 Video - 18.39 MB - 02/03/2021 at 19:51


quicktime - 29.68 MB - 02/03/2021 at 19:37


quicktime - 29.57 MB - 02/03/2021 at 19:36



Song played during show off demo mode

ogg - 936.09 kB - 02/03/2021 at 18:17


View all 17 files

  • 1 × AdaFruit 32x32 RGB matrix These come in varying densities and that makes a bigger or smaller clock. Denser panels are smaller and work better close up
  • 1 × Generic LDR
  • 1 × Generic 10K resistor
  • 4 × SPST Pushbuttons for 'set', 'up' and 'down' and 'demo (show off)
  • 1 × SPST toggle switch ANSO on or off

View all 14 components

  • 1
    Connect the matrix

    Adafruit has a complete tutorial on connecting the RGB matrix.  I connect Dupont Male-Male jumpers directly into the ribbon connector and then connect these into the Arduino processor via the jumpers.   Cut the power connectors and directly connect these - and all the other components that use +5v and GND - directly to the power adapter leads so nothing 'draws' though the Arduino.

  • 2
    Connect the Soundboard

    The first thing to do is to load up the soundboard.  The files are coded as OGG to reduce size and I edited them with Audacity.  Each chime, cuckoo clock or bell sound is coded and 'fired' when the appropriate pin on the soundboard is pulled low.  I have the files and will either post or send them if you want.  Bells, chimes, cuckoos are coded as intermediate or trailing and assembled by the clock.  Speaker is connected to the Board (make sure you get the one with the amp and speaker (not headphone) outputs.  There's also an "I'm active" pin that tells the clock to wait.   Instructions for loading, building and wiring are on the Adafruit pages too.

  • 3
    Connect switches

    Switches are coded as pull-up and connected to appropriate Arduino pins and GND (See connections document -- I haven't learned how to FRITZ yet).

View all 6 instructions

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Dan Maloney wrote 02/03/2021 at 17:50 point

Impressive feature list. Nice job!

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