Overview

The Wifi Clock kit uses an ESP8266 and a MAX7219 display driver to control six 7-segment displays. It also features 3 programmable buttons and 3 LEDs. The ESP8266 allows the Wifi Clock to network and access the internet, which vastly expands the use cases for this kit. In future guides we will go over some project ideas that use all of the features of this kit. In the rest of this guide we will go over the assembly of the kit.

Materials

Parts

Your kit should contain:

  • 1x Wifi Clock PCB
  • 1x NodeMCU
  • 2x 15 Pin Female Headers
  • 3x Push-buttons
  • 3x LEDs
  • 1x 24 Pin Dip IC Socket
  • 1x MAX7219CNG IC
  • 3x 220 Ohm Resistors
  • 1x 10k Ohm Resistor
  • 2x 3 Digit 7-Segment Displays
  • 1x Clock Stand

wifi_clock_parts

Tools

Required:

  • Wire Cutters
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder

Optional:

  • Putty
  • Helping hands
  • Solder Sucker
  • Soldering Wick

wifi_clock_tools

Assembling Your Kit

Female Headers for NodeMCU

Warning! It is very important to solder on the female headers before you attach the resistors or the IC socket. If you do not solder the female headers first, they will be obstructed by the resistors and IC socket on the other side.

The general rule for components with more than two pins is to solder just one or two pins and then check the component to make sure that it is aligned correctly. This way, if it is not aligned correctly, you can apply heat to one pin and adjust the component appropriately. After you are satisfied with the alignment of the component you can then solder the rest of the pins.

The female headers go into the holes just inside of the outline of the NodeMCU on the PCB as shown below.

wifi_clock_female_headers

Following the technique outlined above solder the female headers onto the PCB.

Resistors

The 220 Ohm resistors (red, red, brown) belong in the areas labeled R2, R3 and R4. Simply bend the leads 90 degrees, insert in the correctly labeled holes and solder them in place as shown below.

wifi_clock_220_resistors

The resistor area area, R1 belongs to the single 10k Ohm resistor (brown, black, orange) included in the kit. Below is an image of all of the resistors soldered in place.

wifi_clock_10k_resistor

IC Socket

The IC socket gets placed in the two rows of holes to the left of the resitors as shown below. Follow the technique described in the “Female Headers for NodeMCU” section to solder and align it properly.

wifi_clock_ic_socket

Push-buttons

The push-buttons are very straightforward to solder. Simply insert into the 3 sets of holes to the left of the IC socket and solder.

wifi_clock_buttons

7-Segment Displays

When soldering the displays make sure to the have the decimal point on the bottom side as shown below.

wifi_clock_7-segment_display

LEDs

It is very important when soldering the LEDs to have the long lead of the LED go into the left hole, so that the short lead of the LED goes into the hole on the right with the square around it. If the LED is not soldered this way, it will not turn on.

wifi_clock_led_orientation

Soldering the three LEDs in the color order shown below is recommended so that the colors line up with our code libraries.

wifi_clock_led_order

MAX7219CNG IC

Align the MAX7219CNG IC with the socket so that the indent is facing to the right (toward the resistors). Try to align each of the pins on the IC with a hole in the socket (you may need to slightly bend the pins inward to line them up correctly).

wifi_clock_insert_ic

Once the pins are aligned, press the IC into the socket.

wifi_clock_ic_in

NodeMCU

Align the NodeMCU’s pins with female headers on the back of the clock and press in. Make sure that the micro usb port is on the side with the LEDs.

wifi_clock_nodemcu

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have assembled your own Wifi Clock! You are now ready to program it.

wifi_clock_completed

Stay tuned for more guides coming soon!