Installing Boards and Libraries

Make sure to use Arduino IDE 1.6.4 or higher and follow this tutorial to install the Adafruit boards.

Download the code from github by clicking Download ZIP. Uncompress the file and copy the contents of the Arduino folder to your Arduino sketchbook folder.

    code by Andy Doro

    using Adafruit Feather hardware
    will play an MP3 at a specified time each day

    sketch can easily be modified to perform some other functions at the specified time, such as operate physical/analog noisemakers

    - any Feather board, e.g. Feather M0 Basic Proto

    - Adalogger FeatherWing
    - CR1220 coin cell

    - Music Maker FeatherWing for 1/8" audio jack output
    or Music Maker FeatherWing w/Amp for speaker wire output
    - MicroSD card FAT formatted with "cheer.mp3"

    - FeatherWing Tripler
    or Feather Stacking Headers for a different form factor

    - VS1053 for Music Maker
    - RCTlib for RTC
    - DST_RTC for Daylight Saving Time adjustments

    cheer.mp3, place on FAT formatted SD card and insert into Music Maker


// Specifically for use with the Adafruit Feather, the pins are pre-set here!

// include SPI, MP3 and SD libraries
#include <SPI.h>
#include <SD.h>
#include <Adafruit_VS1053.h> //

// Date and time functions using a DS3231 RTC connected via I2C and Wire lib
#include <Wire.h>
#include "RTClib.h" //
#include "DST_RTC.h" // download from

// These are the pins used
#define VS1053_RESET   -1     // VS1053 reset pin (not used!)

// Feather ESP8266
#if defined(ESP8266)
#define VS1053_CS      16     // VS1053 chip select pin (output)
#define VS1053_DCS     15     // VS1053 Data/command select pin (output)
#define CARDCS          2     // Card chip select pin
#define VS1053_DREQ     0     // VS1053 Data request, ideally an Interrupt pin

// Feather ESP32
#elif defined(ESP32)
#define VS1053_CS      32     // VS1053 chip select pin (output)
#define VS1053_DCS     33     // VS1053 Data/command select pin (output)
#define CARDCS         14     // Card chip select pin
#define VS1053_DREQ    15     // VS1053 Data request, ideally an Interrupt pin

// Feather Teensy3
#elif defined(TEENSYDUINO)
#define VS1053_CS       3     // VS1053 chip select pin (output)
#define VS1053_DCS     10     // VS1053 Data/command select pin (output)
#define CARDCS          8     // Card chip select pin
#define VS1053_DREQ     4     // VS1053 Data request, ideally an Interrupt pin

// WICED feather
#elif defined(ARDUINO_STM32_FEATHER)
#define VS1053_CS       PC7     // VS1053 chip select pin (output)
#define VS1053_DCS      PB4     // VS1053 Data/command select pin (output)
#define CARDCS          PC5     // Card chip select pin
#define VS1053_DREQ     PA15    // VS1053 Data request, ideally an Interrupt pin

#elif defined(ARDUINO_NRF52832_FEATHER )
#define VS1053_CS       30     // VS1053 chip select pin (output)
#define VS1053_DCS      11     // VS1053 Data/command select pin (output)
#define CARDCS          27     // Card chip select pin
#define VS1053_DREQ     31     // VS1053 Data request, ideally an Interrupt pin

// Feather M4, M0, 328, nRF52840 or 32u4
#define VS1053_CS       6     // VS1053 chip select pin (output)
#define VS1053_DCS     10     // VS1053 Data/command select pin (output)
#define CARDCS          5     // Card chip select pin
// DREQ should be an Int pin *if possible* (not possible on 32u4)
#define VS1053_DREQ     9     // VS1053 Data request, ideally an Interrupt pin


Adafruit_VS1053_FilePlayer musicPlayer =
  Adafruit_VS1053_FilePlayer(VS1053_RESET, VS1053_CS, VS1053_DCS, VS1053_DREQ, CARDCS);

//RTC_DS3231 rtc;
RTC_PCF8523 rtc; // RTC object
DST_RTC dst_rtc; // DST object

// Do you live in a country or territory that observes Daylight Saving Time?
// Use 1 if you observe DST, 0 if you don't. This is programmed for DST in the US / Canada. If your territory's DST operates differently,
// you'll need to modify the code in the DST_RTC library to make this work properly.
#define OBSERVE_DST 1

// Define US or EU rules for DST comment out as required. More countries could be added with different rules in DST_RTC.cpp
const char rulesDST[] = "US"; // US DST rules
// const char rulesDST[] = "EU";   // EU DST rules

// the hour and minute you'd like MP3 to start playing
const int PLAYHOUR = 19; // 24 hour time
const int PLAYMIN = 0;

const int VOLUME = 0; // lower means louder!

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
  // if you're using Bluefruit or LoRa/RFM Feather, disable the radio module
  //pinMode(8, INPUT_PULLUP);

  // Wait for serial port to be opened, remove this line for 'standalone' operation
  /*while (!Serial) {
  Serial.println("\n\nAdafruit VS1053 Feather Test");

  if (! musicPlayer.begin()) { // initialise the music player
    Serial.println(F("Couldn't find VS1053, do you have the right pins defined?"));
    while (1);

  Serial.println(F("VS1053 found"));

  // Set volume for left, right channels. lower numbers == louder volume!
  musicPlayer.setVolume(VOLUME, VOLUME);

  musicPlayer.sineTest(0x44, 1000);    // Make a tone to indicate VS1053 is working

  if (!SD.begin(CARDCS)) {
    Serial.println(F("SD failed, or not present"));
    while (1);  // don't do anything more
  Serial.println("SD OK!");

  // list files
  printDirectory("/"), 0);

#if defined(__AVR_ATmega32U4__)
  // Timer interrupts are not suggested, better to use DREQ interrupt!
  // but we don't have them on the 32u4 feather...
  musicPlayer.useInterrupt(VS1053_FILEPLAYER_TIMER0_INT); // timer int
  // If DREQ is on an interrupt pin we can do background
  // audio playing
  musicPlayer.useInterrupt(VS1053_FILEPLAYER_PIN_INT);  // DREQ int

  // Play a file in the background, REQUIRES interrupts!
    Serial.println(F("Playing full track 001"));

    Serial.println(F("Playing track 002"));

  // start RTC
  if (! rtc.begin()) {
    Serial.println("Couldn't find RTC");
    while (1);

  // set RTC time if needed
  //if (rtc.lostPower()) { // if using DS3231
  if (! rtc.initialized()) {
    Serial.println("RTC lost power, lets set the time!");
    // following line sets the RTC to the date & time this sketch was compiled
    rtc.adjust(DateTime(F(__DATE__), F(__TIME__)));
    // DST? If we're in it, let's subtract an hour from the RTC time to keep our DST calculation correct. This gives us
    // Standard Time which our DST check will add an hour back to if we're in DST.
    if (OBSERVE_DST == 1) {
      DateTime standardTime =;
      if (dst_rtc.checkDST(standardTime) == true) { // check whether we're in DST right now. If we are, subtract an hour.
        standardTime = standardTime.unixtime() - 3600;

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:

  DateTime theTime;
  // check time
  if (OBSERVE_DST == 1) {
    theTime = dst_rtc.calculateTime(; // takes into account DST
  } else {
    theTime =; // use if you don't need DST


  byte theHour = theTime.hour();
  byte theMinute = theTime.minute();

  //check whether it's time to play mp3
  if (theHour == PLAYHOUR && theMinute == PLAYMIN) {
    Serial.println(F("Playing full track"));

  // only check every second


// File listing helper
void printDirectory(File dir, int numTabs) {
  while (true) {

    File entry =  dir.openNextFile();
    if (! entry) {
      // no more files
    for (uint8_t i = 0; i < numTabs; i++) {
    if (entry.isDirectory()) {
      printDirectory(entry, numTabs + 1);
    } else {
      // files have sizes, directories do not
      Serial.println(entry.size(), DEC);

// print time to serial
void printTheTime(DateTime theTimeP) {
  Serial.print(theTimeP.year(), DEC);
  Serial.print(theTimeP.month(), DEC);
  Serial.print(, DEC);
  Serial.print(' ');
  Serial.print(theTimeP.hour(), DEC);
  Serial.print(theTimeP.minute(), DEC);
  Serial.print(theTimeP.second(), DEC);

You will also need to install some Adafruit Arduino libraries. Follow this tutorial if you are unfamiliar with how to do this. You need to install the following Adafruit Arduino libraries:

  • VS1053 for the Music Maker
  • RTClib for the Real Time Clock (RTC)
  • DST_RTC for automatic Daylight Saving Time adjustments

All of the libraries should be available through Arduino's Library Manager, or you can install them manually.

Once you have installed the libraries and have the correct boards installed, choose your board and check if the code compiles. If the libraries aren't installed correctly you will see errors.

Audio File & SD Card

You'll also need an audio file for the Music Maker to play! We like this sample of a crowd cheering for front-line medical staff.

Rename the audio file cheer.mp3 and make sure your SD card is FAT32 formatted. Copy the file onto the SD card and insert into the Music Maker FeatherWing.

Coin Cell

The Adalogger RTC FeatherWing needs a CR1220 coin cell installed in order to work properly and keep time when the device is unpowered.

Understanding the Code

Conceptually the daily cheering device is simple: the microcontroller is attached to a clock and an MP3 player. Every second, the microcontroller checks the time. If the hour and minute match the appointed time, the microcontroller will have the MP3 player play an MP3.

The selected time is defined in the code here:

// the hour and minute you'd like MP3 to start playing
const int PLAYHOUR = 19; // 24 hour time
const int PLAYMIN = 0;

The RTC gives time in 24 hour time, so 7 PM is 19:00.

Daylight Saving Time

Do you live in a territory that observes daylight saving time (DST)? If you do, you usually have to reprogram your clocks twice a year! This clock includes some code so that the adjustments are made automatically. The code follows the current rules for DST in the USA and Canada. If you live somewhere that follows different DST rules you may be able to modify the code to suit your rules— just look in the DST_RTC library functions. Wikipedia has a great reference on daylight saving time rules.

If you live in a territory that doesn't observe daylight saving time, just alter the following line by changing the 1 to0.

#define OBSERVE_DST 1

The daylight saving time code works by keeping the real time clock on "standard time" and checking to see if the current date falls within daylight saving time. If the date falls within daylight saving time, an hour is added to the displayed time to convert from standard time to daylight saving time.


The serial console will be important for debugging. To see all of the serial output from startup, make sure to uncomment:

// Wait for serial port to be opened, remove this line for 'standalone' operation
  /*while (!Serial) {

However, this may prevent the device from working until you open the serial console.

You should see some startup messages, and then the date and time from the RTC being printed every second. Make sure the time is set correctly!

No audio? MP3 not playing?

You should hear a 1 second tone on startup, to let you know that the Music Maker audio chip (VS1053) is working and able to produce sounds.

Otherwise, check the serial console for error messages. Make sure both the VS1053 and SD card are found. The serial console should indicate both "VS1053 found" and "SD OK!".  The serial console should also print the contents of the SD card, so you can check that to make sure the SD card is being read correctly.

You can always test that your mp3 will play by using the VS1053 example sketch. If you're having trouble, try this tutorial to make sure your audio file is microcontroller compatible.

This guide was first published on May 20, 2020. It was last updated on May 20, 2020.

This page (Software) was last updated on Apr 18, 2021.

Text editor powered by tinymce.