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I am trying to create a small device with a screen that tells the date and time. I am thinking of using a UCTRONICS 0.96 Inch OLED Module (type that on Amazon). I am very new at coding, and I know more about electrical engineering, so I have a few questions.

  1. Do I need an Arduino that big to power this screen or any screen? I am trying to put this in a compact housing

  2. How do you set up the screen and code it to tell the time and date

  3. Is there a better screen for me to pick that is easier to work with, or is there a screen that comes programmed telling the time and date

Can someone help, please?

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  • "is there a screen that comes programmed telling the time and date" - For that you would just by a simple clock. – chrisl Jan 26 at 7:48
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OLED screen is really good looking for both indoor and outdoor and I think you have made a good choice.

You need the following things to complete your project easily.

  1. Display (which you have already found one
  2. Arduino (why? easy to program, lots of libraries available, and also tutorials)
  3. RTC - Real-time clock - This is another IC (DS1307, for example)

Arduino need not be UNO. You can use ATTiny85 MCU. the programming will be the same as how you program a UNO. ATtiny85 has no builtin I2C, but the libraries are there to emulate I2C to be connected to OLED displays.

If you want to avoid the third option, go with internal timekeeping alone. But, over a week, you will see the time difference (the internal clocks of the MCU are not accurate, so the time will lead or lag over a period of time)

have you thought about a keypad or a single button to give the option to the user to set the time?

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  • This is just a prototype, the end product should be able to connect to your smartphone, so it can just use the wifi and your phone to get the time going. As per the screen, I am not trying to spend $50 on a screen; I would like it to be cheaper; I think I will go with the OLED screen and an Arduino Nano. I will ditch the clock for now, as that's only half of the prototype I am creating. – Rahul Vijayan Jan 26 at 23:37
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The screen you reference is an input only device, that is, it accepts output from other sources and presents the information. It is not, per se, a stand-alone computer for processing information in the manner you describe.

OLED display

Image above courtesy linked Amazon site.

One option you can consider is a device known as Sparkfun Microview.

sparkfun microview

Image above courtesy to linked Amazon site.

This device is an integrated Arduino with OLED display. That's only half the objective. You'll also have to have a programming interface (referenced on the site) as well as an external input for RTC (real time clock). Rather than provide a link, an Amazon search for "Arduino RTC" returns many options. Kit form (assembly required (minor soldering), fully assembled, with and without battery.

All of the above requires, at a minimum, a power source for the Microview and a breadboard on which to make the connections. One can, of course, design a PCB to consolidate the components.

The programming portion is easily accomplished (relative reference) by researching that aspect via the internet. There are tutorials for the Microview, which by necessity include Arduino programming, as well as supplemental tutorials for the RTC. Sparkfun is known (by me) for providing good online support via these tutorials.

If you decide to travel this route to your goal, you may have Arduino specific questions which would be acceptable to this SE.

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