This live screen grab is from one of my HamClocks. It updates automatically every minute after making a random tap. Click for an hour history.

Ham Clock

This page refers to my QST article in the October 2017 issue. All updates will be posted here.

Click on the tabs below for more information.

I would like to give a Big Shoutout to Adafruit for their great electronics, software and tutorials.

News highlights. See the Download tab, below, for complete version history.

  • New support for larger screens including 4k. See Desktop tab for details.
  • New stopwatch screen, tap the icon below the seconds to activate
  • New option to set DE Lat/Long automatically using IP geolocation service
  • New plot option to display VOACAP band predictions from DE to DX. See the Controls tab for details.
  • Now manufactured by Veritium Research and marketed by Gigaparts rebranded as HFClock.
  • Added desktop versions for linux (including Raspberry Pi) and macOS. See Desktop tab for details.

73, Elwood Downey, WBØOEW

Original QST Article proof

Corrections:

Download current stable release source code Version 2.17.

Revision history:

Version 2.17: Version 2.16: Version 2.15: Version 2.14: Version 2.13: Version 2.12: Version 2.11: Version 2.10: Version 2.09: Version 2.08: Version 2.07: Version 2.06: Version 2.05: Version 2.04: Version 2.03: Version 2.02: Version 2.01: Version 2.00: Version 1.94: Version 1.93: Version 1.92: Version 1.91: Version 1.90: Version 1.89: Version 1.88: Version 1.87: Version 1.86: Version 1.85: Version 1.84: Version 1.83: Version 1.82: Version 1.81: Version 1.80: Version 1.79: Version 1.78: Version 1.77: Version 1.76: Version 1.75: Version 1.74: Version 1.73: Version 1.72: Version 1.71: Version 1.70: Version 1.69: Version 1.68: Version 1.67: Version 1.66: Version 1.65: Version 1.64: Version 1.63: Version 1.62: Version 1.61: Version 1.60: Version 1.59: Version 1.58: Version 1.57: Version 1.56: Version 1.55: Version 1.54: Version 1.53: Version 1.52: Version 1.51: Version 1.50: Version 1.49: Version 1.48: Version 1.47: Version 1.46: Version 1.45: Version 1.44: Version 1.43: Version 1.42: Version 1.41: Version 1.40: Version 1.39: Version 1.38: Version 1.37: Version 1.36: Version 1.35: Version 1.34: Version 1.33: Version 1.32: Version 1.31: Version 1.30: Version 1.29: Version 1.28: Version 1.27: Version 1.26: Version 1.25: Version 1.24: Version 1.23: Version 1.22: Version 1.21: Version 1.20: Version 1.19: Version 1.18: Version 1.17: Version 1.16:

Here is a more detailed list of steps to prepare and load the software:

  1. Install the latest Arduino IDE with these these instructions. I am currently using version 1.8.9.
  2. Load up the ESP extension described here then Exit the Arduino IDE.
  3. Download and install the following Arduino libraries: (If you need help with libraries in general try here )
  4. Connect your computer to the Huzzah with a USB port
  5. Download current stable release Version 2.17, unzip it any place you wish.
  6. Start the Arduino IDE. Open the ESPHamClock.ino file you just unzipped. This will create a new project.
  7. In the IDE Tools menu make the following selections:
    ide
    If the options you see do not look exactly like mine do these steps:
    1. open Tools → Board → Boards Manager...
    2. In the search box type esp. Look for esp8266
    3. Click More Info
    4. Click Select version and select 2.4.0 (not newer versions)
    5. Click Update
    6. Click Close
  8. Run Sketch → Compile then Sketch → Upload
  9. Your HamClock should start running. Follow the touch screen and setup functions carefully.

To use a 9" ER-TFTM090-2 from buydisplay.com:

Select these options during purchase:

This is the wiring list:

    EP = ESP Huzzah
    BM = BME280 sensor
    PC = photo cell
    DP = display

    EP_SCL    BM_SCK
    EP_SDA    BM_SDI
    EP_3V     BM_VIN
    EP_GND    BM_GND

    EP_ADC    PC_1, 330k
    EP_GND    PC_2
    EP_3V     330k

    EP_SCK    DP_8
    EP_MO     DP_7
    EP_MI     DP_6
    EP_2      DP_5
    EP_16     DP_11
    EP_USB    DP_3, 4, 37, 38
    EP_GND    DP_1, 2, 13, 31, 39, 40
	

Pros:

Cons:

The display stand from Adafruit can be made to work with a little ingenuity but is not perfect for the LCD. Send suggestions for better ideas and I will post here.

If you find your display idea works better if the cable exits from the top, there is an option in the Setup screen that allows you to flip the display upside down.

Shack photo showing 7" version.

Rear of 7" version

Both the 7" and 9" versions.

Rear of 9" version

This is a guide to the touch controls and map symbols of HamClock. Click for a printable view in a separate window.

HamClock may now be built for linux, Raspberry Pi, macOS, FreeBSD or any other UNIX-like system with the X11 Windows development library. Or, on the Raspberry Pi, HamClock may be configured to take over the entire HDMI display as a dedicated application using /dev/fb0. Use this version when you want to connect to your Pi using ssh and not use the linux desktop.

HamClock may be built in the following sizes:

Operation of the HamClock on these platforms is exactly the same as the ESP8266 version with the following exceptions:

• To give it a try on the desktop, follow these steps:

  1. open a terminal on the target system desktop to get a command line prompt
  2. run these commands:
    wget http://www.clearskyinstitute.com/ham/HamClock/ESPHamClock.zip
    unzip ESPHamClock.zip
    cd ESPHamClock
    make -j 4 hamclock
    ./hamclock
    
  3. If you get errors:
    • on linux try updating and loading more packages such as
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get -y install make g++ libx11-dev
      
    • on macOS install XQuartz and Xcode. The run
      xcode-select --install
      
  4. The above command will build HamClock at 800x480 pixels. Type make help for a complete list of sizes and desktop environments.

• To try it on a Pi using a dedicated display, follow these steps:

  1. log in via ssh (or putty, etc)
  2. run sudo raspi-config one time and set the following options:
    1. Boot Options -> Desktop/CLI -> Console
    2. Network options -> Network Interface names -> enable predictable names? No
    3. Advanced options -> Resolution -> choose any 1600x960 or larger
  3. reboot
  4. connect to your Pi again with ssh and run HamClock on the HDMI fb0 display as follows:
    wget http://www.clearskyinstitute.com/ham/HamClock/ESPHamClock.zip
    unzip ESPHamClock.zip
    cd ESPHamClock
    make -j 3 hamclock-fb0
    sudo ./hamclock-fb0
    
  5. The above command will build HamClock at 1600x960 pixels. If you want the smaller size 800x480, perfect for 7" touch panels, use hamclock-fb0-small.

• If you want to use the Bosch BME280 environment sensor on RPi, follow these steps:

  1. connect the sensor to the Pi using the 40 pin connector as follows:
        Pi 1    BME Vin
        Pi 3    BME SDI
        Pi 5    BME SCK
        Pi 9    BME GND
    
  2. install i2c-tools:
        sudo apt-get install i2c-tools
    
  3. run sudo raspi-config and set the following options:
        Interface Options: I2C: enabled
    
  4. Check the Bosch is connected correctly with these tests:
        sudo i2cdetect -y 1
    
    you should see 77 in lower right corner of matrix; then
        sudo i2cdump -y 1 0x77 b
    
    you should see a matrix of numbers, NOT XX
  5. Restart hamclock by tapping and holding the padlock for 3 seconds.
  6. After HamClock is running again, click in the lower half of SDO image pane to see environmental plots.

• To start hamclock-fb0 automatically when the system boots, use crontab. For example:

  1. Start crontab with the edit option:
    crontab -e
    
  2. Add this one line:
    @reboot cd ESPHamClock; sudo ./hamclock-fb0 > hamclock-fb0.log 2>&1
    
  3. Save and exit the editor. Test by rebooting. This example assumes ESPHamClock is in your home directory
    and you want to run hamclock-fb0 therein. Adjust if necessary to match your configuration.
  4. To learn more about crontab type:
    man 5 crontab