RTC module with Serial LCD Display

Let’s use a RTC module to have more precise timing! With a RTC module, it is possible to perform accurate time tracking to keep track of the current year, month, day and time. This module is particular useful in data logging projects or projects that require accurate time tracking. In this tutorial, we would be using the I2C Tiny RTC module.

Overview

ard_rtc_disp_2

 

What is a RTC?

RTC stands for “Real Time Clock”. What does it do? Well, it helps to keep track of the current time with high accuracy even though when a device is turned off (since it has an external power source). RTC can be found in many electronics, which includes our computer, smartphones, etc. RTC keeps track of timiing using a crystal oscillator, which is typically clocked at 32.768 kHz.

Advantages of a RTC includes:

  • Configurable
  • Low Power consumption (Uses external power, such as lithium battery)
  • More accurate timing

 

 Parts required

  • Arduino Uno x 1
  • Jumper Wires
  • I2C Tiny RTC module x 1
  • I2C 2×16 Serial LCD Display x 1

 

Circuit hookup

ard_rtc_disp_1

 

Since both the LCD Display and the RTC module uses the I2C protocol, we could hook them up to the same SCL and SDA port on the arduino, hence only 2 ports will be used for communication between the 2 devices. Both devices will be powered at 5V. Below is a clearer view of the hookup of this circuit:

ard_rtc_sch

 

Libraries

The libraries above required will simplify the coding of the RTC and Serial LCD display.

 

Code

When you are using the RTC module for the 1st time, please uncomment the RTC.adjust() line as we have to set the current time and date of the RTC. If not, just upload the code as shown below. When the program has finished uploading, the Serial LCD display should be displaying the time (with a clock icon beside it) and the date.

 

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