Das Wordclock

We loved this project from Bernd Krolla – it’s beautiful, it’s useful, it taught him some stuff he didn’t know already – and it’s way, way cheaper than buying something like this ready-made in a store would be.

This is not the first Wordclock we’ve seen, but it’s by far the most elegant, and it’s beautifully made. It does more than tell the time; you can change the colours using capacitive touch, display low-res images on it using each letter as a pixel, and send ticker-style messages.

Bernd sent this video to me just before Christmas, and I was planning on blogging it this week anyway – but he surprised me this morning with a GitHub repo where people wanting to make a Wordclock of their own can find all the code they’ll need. He’s also made a build writeup available.

If you want an English layout, the ability to add more words to the set, or a differently shaped display, check out Miniature Giant Space Hamster’s instructions on using genetic algorithms to create an optimal layout in your own language. (Go for the eyes, Boo!) Or you could just adapt a layout you find online – but where’s the fun in that?



That a nice piece of making :D

Carl Monk (@ForToffee) did a lovely little version for the Unicorn HAT too if anyone wanted to try it out :-)


Thanks for the shout out Guru :-)


Carl (@ForToffee)


Thanks! The link is great!


Nice piece of work. Will try out on my pi :)


Thanks! :)


I like the red background and White time Display most. That Looks great.
Great Job!


Ups. So check this: https://github.com/bk1285/rpi_wordclock/commit/4ab6099c2ac72fd3c7f28778b1f9b937484b8258

Due to refactoring, this mode was lost in the meantime… ;)


Hi there.
With a friend we are trying to build 3 wordclocks.
My question is about the power supply. A 10A is really required ?
How much amps do we need for this project ?



I’ve thought about 2 things:

1. wiring.py:
maybe a class could be loaded by classname like suggested here:
and here:

2. wordclock_interface.py:
raspi has a build-in pull-up-/pull-down-circuit for GPIO that could be configured like mentioned here under 2nd headline:
for example a pull-up resistor is emulated in python like this:
GPIO.setup(channel, GPIO.IN, pull_up_down=GPIO.PUD_UP)

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