I had been wanting a nice digital UTC clock for my hamshack. In particular one that could set itself to an NTP server over the internet to maintain precise time. But I was having trouble finding a WiFi NTP clock at a price I was willing to pay. Most of the ones I was finding online were $200 or more. So what’s a ham to do? Build your own!
After a lot of searching for what I wanted, I ran across this project over at Adafruit, and seemed like it just might fit the bill. And it did.
I used a Raspberry Pi Zero W as the brains, and the Adafruit 1.2″ 4-Digit 7-Segment Display w/I2C Backpack for the display. I followed the rest of the tutorial and it worked great.
After trying it for some time I was happy with it, and found a Polycase enclosure that was almost the right size. At least for the 7-segment display itself. With it soldered to the backpack it was way too tall. So why not run it remotely from the backpack board? Using some jumper wires I did just that, and with only some minor Dremeling to the enclosure to make it fit perfectly.
I used some red plexiglass on the front and it looks great in the shack. And it’s a bonus that the time is always correct. Just be sure that when you configure the Pi you set it to use UTC time.
All together I spent around $60 to build this clock.