Getting started with Pico RTC HAT for Raspberry Pi Pico

Have you ever thought about the clock of your system and how it works? “ What would be the use of it?” Or “ How it helps in the daily process of computation?” It might look like a small thing for a lot of people about the clock of their computers, but it is one of the essential parts of the system. Sensors data, GPS systems, data loggers etc are the things that develop on the RTC of the system. Pico RTC HAT for Raspberry Pi Pico is the solution of the problems that people face while working on Raspberry Pi Pico. Let’s understand the problem and solution!!!Pico Real time Clock HAT

Development of Pico RTC HAT

These advanced technologies need a timestamp, for which RTC is a suitable alternative. For the uninitiated, RTC stands for "Real-Time Clock," an electronic device that enables the user to monitor the passing of time. The product "Pico RTC HAT" was created by "SB Components" for Raspberry Pi Pico, Windows, LINUX, MACOS, STM32, and other platforms. With its powerful components and small size, it will improve users' performance. Pico Real time Clock HAT

What is Pico RTC HAT?

Pico RTC HAT is a Real-Time clock expansion module with the powerful IC DS3231, backup battery holder, operating voltage 3.3 V, and Fast (400kHz) I2C Interface that measures the time which aligns the time of the device with the “Real-Time”. It is developed with the standard Raspberry Pi Pico header that supports the Raspberry Pi Pico series to enhance its efficiency at a low cost.

Raspberry PI STC HAT

Utilization of Pico RTC HAT

Many people are unfamiliar with how to use the RTC in their devices. The RTC, or Real-Time Clock, is a gadget that keeps track of the time in your system. It does not seem to be the most important task, but most people are mistaken. Millions of users are creating cutting-edge ventures or goods that will advance technology. The lack of a mechanism to change the “Real-Time” or current time in the system without using the internet is one of the aspects that has proven to be an impediment to the consumer. In Pico also there is no system for the real time clock and if one wants to update then they need to connect it with the internet. A lot of people want to use the Raspberry Pi Pico but they do not have the internet connection for updates. Pico RTC HAT provides the solution in an efficient manner for the people with its ability to perform the task of being a clock. 

Powerful DS3231

The Hi-tech DS3231, an accurate I2C, runs the Pico RTC HAT with extremely high efficiency at a low cost. With an integrated temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) and crystal, our team built Pico RTC HAT to perform an accurate I2C real-time clock (RTC). The Pico RTC HAT contains a crystal resonator that increases the device's performance over time as the number of piece parts in a production line decreases. We made Pico RTCs with the DS3231 advanced processor for both commercial and industrial temperature ranges, and they come in a 16-pin, 300-mil SO box.

Specifications

  • Accuracy ±2ppm from 0°C to +40°C
  • Accuracy ±3.5ppm from -40°C to +85°C
  • Battery Backup Input for Continuous Timekeeping
  • Operating Temperature Ranges Commercial: 0°C to +70°C Industrial: -40°C to +85°C
  •  Low-Power Consumption
  • Real-Time Clock Counts Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Day, Date, Month, and Year with Leap Year Compensation Valid Up to 2100
  • Two Time-of-Day Alarms
  • Programmable Square-Wave Output
  • Fast (400kHz) I2C Interface
  • 3.3V Operation
  • Digital Temp Sensor Output: ±3°C Accuracy

Installation

MicroPython

  • Stack Raspberry Pi Pico on female header of Pico RTC HAT.
  • Connect USB cable on Raspberry Pi Pico USB port.
  • Choose an interpreter as MicroPython (Raspberry Pi Pico).Real-Time clock expansion module
  • Now use example code "RTC-HAT.py" from Pico RTC HAT's github repository in thonny ide.
  • Source code : https://github.com/sbcshop/Pico-RTC-HAT
  • Copy and paste or open code in thonny ide.
    Real-Time clock expansion module for Pico
  • Click on the green play button to run an example of Pico RTC HAT.Real-Time clock expansion module
  • To change date, time or week, change variables of below line:

          CurrentTime = b'\x00\x00\x01\x06\x16\x04\x21' #00:00:01 friday    16/04/2021

Use of Pico RTC HAT

Now, after all the understanding of the product, a lot of you might wanna know about the application of the products so that you can use them in your projects. You can also build your projects with new and creative ideas and comment below. There are following usage of Pico RTC HAT

  • Power Saver - When microcontrollers with built-in RTCs go to sleep or low-power modes, the clock must continue to run in order to provide accurate timekeeping for functions like alarms. If the RTC is left turned on, energy is lost due to leakage current from the microcontroller. The Pico RTC HAT functions as an external RTC, allowing the user to keep track of time without wasting any electricity.
  • Hi-Tech Peripherals - To keep the time, one does not need to have a special design with components to their system. The Pico RTC HAT is a small computer that saves users money by doing its job.

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