Build Time-Measuring systems with USB Real-Time Clock for Raspberry Pi

Since Raspberry Pi has introduced its products in the market, a new segment of DIY technology has built in the industry. Tech-enthusiasts, hobbyists, students, and other users of Raspberry Pi are developing projects that are taking the technology to a whole new level. Even though the Raspberry Pi did its best to make the hardware as efficient as computers or laptops, there are things like a real-time clock that are missing from Raspberry Pi hardware. Due to size limitations and cost reduction, RTC is not included with the Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi users do not have to worry about this as SB Components came up with the USB RTC to fulfil the requirements of the users. 

USB RTC needs Internet Connection for Time-Updation

In the computers or laptops, a small coin battery-powered module RTC is present to maintain the time of the system even after the system is off. If a user links the Raspberry Pi with the Ethernet or Wi-Fi, then the time will automatically be modified from the global NTP (network time protocol) servers. If the Raspberry Pi is not connected to the Internet then it won’t be able to update its time after it gets off or restarts. A user cannot update the time stand-alone of the Raspberry Pi is not connected with the internet and now the USB RTC comes into the picture. 

About USB RTC for Raspberry Pi

USB RTC for Raspberry Pi is the solution for the measurement of the passage of time without the linkage of Ethernet or Wi-Fi. There are a variety of RTC modules that are available in the market but Connecting the RTC module with jumper cables, soldering methods, or an external PCB is necessary, and programming is also required to operate RTC, making the process complicated, time-consuming, and stressful. We developed the "USB RTC," a technologically advanced RTC system with the powerful integrated circuit DS3231 that runs on low power and has an Integrated Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator(TCXO). MCP2221, a USB-to-UART/I2C serial converter that allows USB communication in processes that include USB, UART(Serial), GPIO, and I2C interfaces, is used in the USB RTC for Raspberry Pi.

Hi-Tech USB RTC Chip DS3231

USB RTC Chip DS3231, an accurate I2C, runs the USB RTC with extremely high efficiency at a low cost. Our team built USB RTC to perform an accurate I2C real-time clock (RTC) with an integrated temperature-compensated crystal oscillator(TCXO) that raised the efficiency of the device. We made USB 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 of DS3231

  • Accuracy ±2ppm from 0°C to +40°C
  • Accuracy ±3.5ppm from -40°C to +85°C
  • Inbuilt Temperature Sensor
  • 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

Effective Communication with MCP2221  

There is a requirement of a module in USB RTC that can communicate between the Computer’s USB port and UART(Serial) or I2C so that effective communication can take place. The MCP2221 is the key feature of the USB RTC system that has captivated users because it improves the product. MCP2221 is an USB to I2C/UART converter that functions as a USB interface chip for converting data transfer protocols between a computer's USB port and UART (Serial) or I2C.

Features of MCP2221

  • I2C/SMBus supported clock and data lines 
  • User-selectable via jumper cable for 3.3V or 5V level output (up to 500 mA) 
  • Four GPIO lines that are configurable for GPIO Operations 
  • Pins for Serial(UART) Communication 
  • Supports full-speed USB (12 Mb/s)
  • 64-byte Transmit
  • 64-byte Receive
  • USB 2.0 Compliant

Applications of USB RTC System for Raspberry Pi

A lot of people might have questions regarding the applications of the USB RTC for Raspberry Pi. RTC may look like a small thing for some people but in a lot of the projects, where time-keeping is essential, RTC came as an important module in the system. A temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) is a crystal oscillator that has a temperature-sensitive reactance circuit in its oscillation loop to compensate for the frequency-temperature characteristics of the crystal device. The clock on the USB RTC can be set to either 24-hour or 12-hour format, with an AM/PM indicator. There are the following applications of USB RTC for Raspberry Pi

  • Time-Stamping
  • Data Loggers
  • Digital Clock
  • Attendance System
  • Clock Construction

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