Do you know what day it is? Perhaps you're finding yourself losing track of time and your routine is suffering. The PyPortal Quarantine Clock has got you covered! It only displays the essential "stay-at-home" information - the current day and a rough estimate of the time.

The PyPortal obtains the precise time from the internet using the PyPortal's built-in WiFi module, then updates and displays an estimate of the time and date. The quarantine clock is programmed using CircuitPython and easily customizable.

This beginner PyPortal project is a remix of mwfisher3's quarantine clock. We've converted it to work with CircuitPython and made changes so it runs on the PyPortal.

Parts

PyPortal, our easy-to-use IoT device that allows you to create all the things for the “Internet of Things” in minutes. Make custom touch screen interface...
$54.95
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The PyPortal Pynt is the little sister to our popular PyPortal - zapped with a shrink ray to take the design...
$44.95
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PyPortal is our easy-to-use IoT device that allows you to create all the things for the “Internet of Things” in minutes. Create little pocket...
$9.95
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This here is your standard A to micro-B USB cable, for USB 1.1 or 2.0. Perfect for connecting a PC to your Metro, Feather, Raspberry Pi or other dev-board or...
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CircuitPython is a derivative of MicroPython designed to simplify experimentation and education on low-cost microcontrollers. It makes it easier than ever to get prototyping by requiring no upfront desktop software downloads. Simply copy and edit files on the CIRCUITPY "flash" drive to iterate.

The following instructions will show you how to install CircuitPython. If you've already installed CircuitPython but are looking to update it or reinstall it, the same steps work for that as well!

Set up CircuitPython Quick Start!

Follow this quick step-by-step for super-fast Python power :)

Click the link above to download the latest version of CircuitPython for the PyPortal.

Download and save it to your desktop (or wherever is handy).

Plug your PyPortal into your computer using a known-good USB cable.

A lot of people end up using charge-only USB cables and it is very frustrating! So make sure you have a USB cable you know is good for data sync.

Double-click the Reset button on the top in the middle (magenta arrow) on your board, and you will see the NeoPixel RGB LED (green arrow) turn green. If it turns red, check the USB cable, try another USB port, etc. Note: The little red LED next to the USB connector will pulse red. That's ok!

If double-clicking doesn't work the first time, try again. Sometimes it can take a few tries to get the rhythm right!

You will see a new disk drive appear called PORTALBOOT.

Drag the adafruit-circuitpython-pyportal-<whatever>.uf2 file to PORTALBOOT.

The LED will flash. Then, the PORTALBOOT drive will disappear and a new disk drive called CIRCUITPY will appear.

If you haven't added any code to your board, the only file that will be present is boot_out.txt. This is absolutely normal! It's time for you to add your code.py and get started!

That's it, you're done! :)

PyPortal Default Files

Click below to download a zip of the files that shipped on the PyPortal or PyPortal Pynt.

To use all the amazing features of your PyPortal with CircuitPython, you must first install a number of libraries. This page covers that process.

Adafruit CircuitPython Bundle

Download the Adafruit CircuitPython Library Bundle. You can find the latest release here:

Download the adafruit-circuitpython-bundle-*.x-mpy-*.zip bundle zip file where *.x MATCHES THE VERSION OF CIRCUITPYTHON YOU INSTALLED, and unzip a folder of the same name. Inside you'll find a lib folder. You have two options:

  • You can add the lib folder to your CIRCUITPY drive. This will ensure you have all the drivers. But it will take a bunch of space on the 8 MB disk
  • Add each library as you need it, this will reduce the space usage but you'll need to put in a little more effort.

At a minimum we recommend the following libraries, in fact we more than recommend. They're basically required. So grab them and install them into CIRCUITPY/lib now!

  • adafruit_esp32spi - This is the library that gives you internet access via the ESP32 using (you guessed it!) SPI transport. You need this for anything Internet
  • adafruit_requests - This library allows us to perform HTTP requests and get responses back from servers. GET/POST/PUT/PATCH - they're all in here!
  • adafruit_pyportal - This is our friendly wrapper library that does a lot of our projects, displays graphics and text, fetches data from the internet. Nearly all of our projects depend on it!
  • adafruit_portalbase - This library is the base library that adafruit_pyportal library is built on top of.
  • adafruit_touchscreen - a library for reading touches from the resistive touchscreen. Handles all the analog noodling, rotation and calibration for you.
  • adafruit_io - this library helps connect the PyPortal to our free datalogging and viewing service
  • adafruit_imageload - an image display helper, required for any graphics!
  • adafruit_display_text - not surprisingly, it displays text on the screen
  • adafruit_bitmap_font - we have fancy font support, and its easy to make new fonts. This library reads and parses font files.
  • adafruit_slideshow - for making image slideshows - handy for quick display of graphics and sound
  • neopixel - for controlling the onboard neopixel
  • adafruit_adt7410 - library to read the temperature from the on-board Analog Devices ADT7410 precision temperature sensor (not necessary for Titano or Pynt)
  • adafruit_sdcard - support for reading/writing data from the onboard SD card slot.
  • adafruit_bus_device - low level support for I2C/SPI
  • adafruit_fakerequests - This library allows you to create fake HTTP requests by using local files.

Once you have CircuitPython setup and libraries installed we can get your board connected to the Internet. Note that access to enterprise level secured WiFi networks is not currently supported, only WiFi networks that require SSID and password.

To get connected, you will need to start by creating a secrets file.

What's a secrets file?

We expect people to share tons of projects as they build CircuitPython WiFi widgets. What we want to avoid is people accidentally sharing their passwords or secret tokens and API keys. So, we designed all our examples to use a secrets.py file, that is in your CIRCUITPY drive, to hold secret/private/custom data. That way you can share your main project without worrying about accidentally sharing private stuff.

Your secrets.py file should look like this:

# This file is where you keep secret settings, passwords, and tokens!
# If you put them in the code you risk committing that info or sharing it

secrets = {
    'ssid' : 'home ssid',
    'password' : 'my password',
    'timezone' : "America/New_York", # http://worldtimeapi.org/timezones
    'github_token' : 'fawfj23rakjnfawiefa',
    'hackaday_token' : 'h4xx0rs3kret',
    }

Inside is a python dictionary named secrets with a line for each entry. Each entry has an entry name (say 'ssid') and then a colon to separate it from the entry key 'home ssid' and finally a comma ,

At a minimum you'll need the ssid and password for your local WiFi setup. As you make projects you may need more tokens and keys, just add them one line at a time. See for example other tokens such as one for accessing github or the hackaday API. Other non-secret data like your timezone can also go here, just cause it's called secrets doesn't mean you can't have general customization data in there!

For the correct time zone string, look at http://worldtimeapi.org/timezones and remember that if your city is not listed, look for a city in the same time zone, for example Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Miami are all on the same time as New York.

Of course, don't share your secrets.py - keep that out of GitHub, Discord or other project-sharing sites.

Connect to WiFi

OK now you have your secrets setup - you can connect to the Internet. Lets use the ESP32SPI and the Requests libraries - you'll need to visit the CircuitPython bundle and install:

  • adafruit_bus_device
  • adafruit_esp32spi
  • adafruit_requests
  • neopixel

Into your lib folder. Once that's done, load up the following example using Mu or your favorite editor:

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2019 ladyada for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT

import board
import busio
from digitalio import DigitalInOut
import adafruit_requests as requests
import adafruit_esp32spi.adafruit_esp32spi_socket as socket
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi

# Get wifi details and more from a secrets.py file
try:
    from secrets import secrets
except ImportError:
    print("WiFi secrets are kept in secrets.py, please add them there!")
    raise

print("ESP32 SPI webclient test")

TEXT_URL = "http://wifitest.adafruit.com/testwifi/index.html"
JSON_URL = "http://api.coindesk.com/v1/bpi/currentprice/USD.json"


# If you are using a board with pre-defined ESP32 Pins:
esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_CS)
esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_BUSY)
esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_RESET)

# If you have an AirLift Shield:
# esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.D10)
# esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.D7)
# esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.D5)

# If you have an AirLift Featherwing or ItsyBitsy Airlift:
# esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.D13)
# esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.D11)
# esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.D12)

# If you have an externally connected ESP32:
# NOTE: You may need to change the pins to reflect your wiring
# esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.D9)
# esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.D10)
# esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.D5)

spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
esp = adafruit_esp32spi.ESP_SPIcontrol(spi, esp32_cs, esp32_ready, esp32_reset)

requests.set_socket(socket, esp)

if esp.status == adafruit_esp32spi.WL_IDLE_STATUS:
    print("ESP32 found and in idle mode")
print("Firmware vers.", esp.firmware_version)
print("MAC addr:", [hex(i) for i in esp.MAC_address])

for ap in esp.scan_networks():
    print("\t%s\t\tRSSI: %d" % (str(ap["ssid"], "utf-8"), ap["rssi"]))

print("Connecting to AP...")
while not esp.is_connected:
    try:
        esp.connect_AP(secrets["ssid"], secrets["password"])
    except RuntimeError as e:
        print("could not connect to AP, retrying: ", e)
        continue
print("Connected to", str(esp.ssid, "utf-8"), "\tRSSI:", esp.rssi)
print("My IP address is", esp.pretty_ip(esp.ip_address))
print(
    "IP lookup adafruit.com: %s" % esp.pretty_ip(esp.get_host_by_name("adafruit.com"))
)
print("Ping google.com: %d ms" % esp.ping("google.com"))

# esp._debug = True
print("Fetching text from", TEXT_URL)
r = requests.get(TEXT_URL)
print("-" * 40)
print(r.text)
print("-" * 40)
r.close()

print()
print("Fetching json from", JSON_URL)
r = requests.get(JSON_URL)
print("-" * 40)
print(r.json())
print("-" * 40)
r.close()

print("Done!")

And save it to your board, with the name code.py

Don't forget you'll also need to create the secrets.py file as seen above, with your WiFi ssid and password.

In a serial console, you should see something like the following. For more information about connecting with a serial console, view the guide Connecting to the Serial Console.

In order, the example code...

Initializes the ESP32 over SPI using the SPI port and 3 control pins:

esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_CS)
esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_BUSY)
esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_RESET)

spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
esp = adafruit_esp32spi.ESP_SPIcontrol(spi, esp32_cs, esp32_ready, esp32_reset)

Tells our requests library the type of socket we're using (socket type varies by connectivity type - we'll be using the adafruit_esp32spi_socket for this example). We'll also set the interface to an esp object. This is a little bit of a hack, but it lets us use requests like CPython does.

requests.set_socket(socket, esp)

Verifies an ESP32 is found, checks the firmware and MAC address

if esp.status == adafruit_esp32spi.WL_IDLE_STATUS:
    print("ESP32 found and in idle mode")
print("Firmware vers.", esp.firmware_version)
print("MAC addr:", [hex(i) for i in esp.MAC_address])

Performs a scan of all access points it can see and prints out the name and signal strength:

for ap in esp.scan_networks():
    print("\t%s\t\tRSSI: %d" % (str(ap['ssid'], 'utf-8'), ap['rssi']))

Connects to the AP we've defined here, then prints out the local IP address, attempts to do a domain name lookup and ping google.com to check network connectivity (note sometimes the ping fails or takes a while, this isn't a big deal)

print("Connecting to AP...")
while not esp.is_connected:
    try:
        esp.connect_AP(secrets["ssid"], secrets["password"])
    except RuntimeError as e:
        print("could not connect to AP, retrying: ", e)
        continue
print("Connected to", str(esp.ssid, "utf-8"), "\tRSSI:", esp.rssi)
print("My IP address is", esp.pretty_ip(esp.ip_address))
print(
    "IP lookup adafruit.com: %s" % esp.pretty_ip(esp.get_host_by_name("adafruit.com"))

OK now we're getting to the really interesting part. With a SAMD51 or other large-RAM (well, over 32 KB) device, we can do a lot of neat tricks. Like for example we can implement an interface a lot like requests - which makes getting data really really easy

To read in all the text from a web URL call requests.get - you can pass in https URLs for SSL connectivity

TEXT_URL = "http://wifitest.adafruit.com/testwifi/index.html"
print("Fetching text from", TEXT_URL)
r = requests.get(TEXT_URL)
print('-'*40)
print(r.text)
print('-'*40)
r.close()

Or, if the data is in structured JSON, you can get the json pre-parsed into a Python dictionary that can be easily queried or traversed. (Again, only for nRF52840, M4 and other high-RAM boards)

JSON_URL = "http://api.coindesk.com/v1/bpi/currentprice/USD.json"
print("Fetching json from", JSON_URL)
r = requests.get(JSON_URL)
print('-'*40)
print(r.json())
print('-'*40)
r.close()

Requests

We've written a requests-like library for web interfacing named Adafruit_CircuitPython_Requests. This library allows you to send HTTP/1.1 requests without "crafting" them and provides helpful methods for parsing the response from the server.

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2021 ladyada for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT

# adafruit_requests usage with an esp32spi_socket
import board
import busio
from digitalio import DigitalInOut
import adafruit_esp32spi.adafruit_esp32spi_socket as socket
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi
import adafruit_requests as requests

# Add a secrets.py to your filesystem that has a dictionary called secrets with "ssid" and
# "password" keys with your WiFi credentials. DO NOT share that file or commit it into Git or other
# source control.
# pylint: disable=no-name-in-module,wrong-import-order
try:
    from secrets import secrets
except ImportError:
    print("WiFi secrets are kept in secrets.py, please add them there!")
    raise

# If you are using a board with pre-defined ESP32 Pins:
esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_CS)
esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_BUSY)
esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_RESET)

# If you have an externally connected ESP32:
# esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.D9)
# esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.D10)
# esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.D5)

# If you have an AirLift Featherwing or ItsyBitsy Airlift:
# esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.D13)
# esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.D11)
# esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.D12)

spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
esp = adafruit_esp32spi.ESP_SPIcontrol(spi, esp32_cs, esp32_ready, esp32_reset)

print("Connecting to AP...")
while not esp.is_connected:
    try:
        esp.connect_AP(secrets["ssid"], secrets["password"])
    except RuntimeError as e:
        print("could not connect to AP, retrying: ", e)
        continue
print("Connected to", str(esp.ssid, "utf-8"), "\tRSSI:", esp.rssi)

# Initialize a requests object with a socket and esp32spi interface
socket.set_interface(esp)
requests.set_socket(socket, esp)

TEXT_URL = "http://wifitest.adafruit.com/testwifi/index.html"
JSON_GET_URL = "https://httpbin.org/get"
JSON_POST_URL = "https://httpbin.org/post"

print("Fetching text from %s" % TEXT_URL)
response = requests.get(TEXT_URL)
print("-" * 40)

print("Text Response: ", response.text)
print("-" * 40)
response.close()

print("Fetching JSON data from %s" % JSON_GET_URL)
response = requests.get(JSON_GET_URL)
print("-" * 40)

print("JSON Response: ", response.json())
print("-" * 40)
response.close()

data = "31F"
print("POSTing data to {0}: {1}".format(JSON_POST_URL, data))
response = requests.post(JSON_POST_URL, data=data)
print("-" * 40)

json_resp = response.json()
# Parse out the 'data' key from json_resp dict.
print("Data received from server:", json_resp["data"])
print("-" * 40)
response.close()

json_data = {"Date": "July 25, 2019"}
print("POSTing data to {0}: {1}".format(JSON_POST_URL, json_data))
response = requests.post(JSON_POST_URL, json=json_data)
print("-" * 40)

json_resp = response.json()
# Parse out the 'json' key from json_resp dict.
print("JSON Data received from server:", json_resp["json"])
print("-" * 40)
response.close()

The code first sets up the ESP32SPI interface. Then, it initializes a request object using an ESP32 socket and the esp object.

import board
import busio
from digitalio import DigitalInOut
import adafruit_esp32spi.adafruit_esp32spi_socket as socket
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi
import adafruit_requests as requests

# If you are using a board with pre-defined ESP32 Pins:
esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_CS)
esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_BUSY)
esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_RESET)

# If you have an externally connected ESP32:
# esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.D9)
# esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.D10)
# esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.D5)

spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
esp = adafruit_esp32spi.ESP_SPIcontrol(spi, esp32_cs, esp32_ready, esp32_reset)

print("Connecting to AP...")
while not esp.is_connected:
    try:
        esp.connect_AP(b'MY_SSID_NAME', b'MY_SSID_PASSWORD')
    except RuntimeError as e:
        print("could not connect to AP, retrying: ",e)
        continue
print("Connected to", str(esp.ssid, 'utf-8'), "\tRSSI:", esp.rssi)

# Initialize a requests object with a socket and esp32spi interface
requests.set_socket(socket, esp)

HTTP GET with Requests

The code makes a HTTP GET request to Adafruit's WiFi testing website - http://wifitest.adafruit.com/testwifi/index.html.

To do this, we'll pass the URL into requests.get(). We're also going to save the response from the server into a variable named response.

While we requested data from the server, we'd what the server responded with. Since we already saved the server's response, we can read it back. Luckily for us, requests automatically decodes the server's response into human-readable text, you can read it back by calling response.text.

Lastly, we'll perform a bit of cleanup by calling response.close(). This closes, deletes, and collect's the response's data. 

print("Fetching text from %s"%TEXT_URL)
response = requests.get(TEXT_URL)
print('-'*40)

print("Text Response: ", response.text)
print('-'*40)
response.close()

While some servers respond with text, some respond with json-formatted data consisting of attribute–value pairs.

CircuitPython_Requests can convert a JSON-formatted response from a server into a CPython dict. object.

We can also fetch and parse json data. We'll send a HTTP get to a url we know returns a json-formatted response (instead of text data). 

Then, the code calls response.json() to convert the response to a CPython dict

print("Fetching JSON data from %s"%JSON_GET_URL)
response = requests.get(JSON_GET_URL)
print('-'*40)

print("JSON Response: ", response.json())
print('-'*40)
response.close()

HTTP POST with Requests

Requests can also POST data to a server by calling the requests.post method, passing it a data value.

data = '31F'
print("POSTing data to {0}: {1}".format(JSON_POST_URL, data))
response = requests.post(JSON_POST_URL, data=data)
print('-'*40)

json_resp = response.json()
# Parse out the 'data' key from json_resp dict.
print("Data received from server:", json_resp['data'])
print('-'*40)
response.close()

You can also post json-formatted data to a server by passing json_data into the requests.post method.

    json_data = {"Date" : "July 25, 2019"}
print("POSTing data to {0}: {1}".format(JSON_POST_URL, json_data))
response = requests.post(JSON_POST_URL, json=json_data)
print('-'*40)

json_resp = response.json()
# Parse out the 'json' key from json_resp dict.
print("JSON Data received from server:", json_resp['json'])
print('-'*40)
response.close()
  

Advanced Requests Usage

Want to send custom HTTP headers, parse the response as raw bytes, or handle a response's http status code in your CircuitPython code?

We've written an example to show advanced usage of the requests module below.

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2021 ladyada for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT

import board
import busio
from digitalio import DigitalInOut
import adafruit_esp32spi.adafruit_esp32spi_socket as socket
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi
import adafruit_requests as requests

# Add a secrets.py to your filesystem that has a dictionary called secrets with "ssid" and
# "password" keys with your WiFi credentials. DO NOT share that file or commit it into Git or other
# source control.
# pylint: disable=no-name-in-module,wrong-import-order
try:
    from secrets import secrets
except ImportError:
    print("WiFi secrets are kept in secrets.py, please add them there!")
    raise

# If you are using a board with pre-defined ESP32 Pins:
esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_CS)
esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_BUSY)
esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_RESET)

# If you have an externally connected ESP32:
# esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.D9)
# esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.D10)
# esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.D5)

spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
esp = adafruit_esp32spi.ESP_SPIcontrol(spi, esp32_cs, esp32_ready, esp32_reset)

print("Connecting to AP...")
while not esp.is_connected:
    try:
        esp.connect_AP(secrets["ssid"], secrets["password"])
    except RuntimeError as e:
        print("could not connect to AP, retrying: ", e)
        continue
print("Connected to", str(esp.ssid, "utf-8"), "\tRSSI:", esp.rssi)

# Initialize a requests object with a socket and esp32spi interface
socket.set_interface(esp)
requests.set_socket(socket, esp)

JSON_GET_URL = "http://httpbin.org/get"

# Define a custom header as a dict.
headers = {"user-agent": "blinka/1.0.0"}

print("Fetching JSON data from %s..." % JSON_GET_URL)
response = requests.get(JSON_GET_URL, headers=headers)
print("-" * 60)

json_data = response.json()
headers = json_data["headers"]
print("Response's Custom User-Agent Header: {0}".format(headers["User-Agent"]))
print("-" * 60)

# Read Response's HTTP status code
print("Response HTTP Status Code: ", response.status_code)
print("-" * 60)

# Close, delete and collect the response data
response.close()

WiFi Manager

That simpletest example works but it's a little finicky - you need to constantly check WiFi status and have many loops to manage connections and disconnections. For more advanced uses, we recommend using the WiFiManager object. It will wrap the connection/status/requests loop for you - reconnecting if WiFi drops, resetting the ESP32 if it gets into a bad state, etc.

Here's a more advanced example that shows the WiFi manager and also how to POST data with some extra headers:

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2019 ladyada for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT

import time
import board
import busio
from digitalio import DigitalInOut
import neopixel
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi_wifimanager

print("ESP32 SPI webclient test")

# Get wifi details and more from a secrets.py file
try:
    from secrets import secrets
except ImportError:
    print("WiFi secrets are kept in secrets.py, please add them there!")
    raise

# If you are using a board with pre-defined ESP32 Pins:
esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_CS)
esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_BUSY)
esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.ESP_RESET)

# If you have an externally connected ESP32:
# esp32_cs = DigitalInOut(board.D9)
# esp32_ready = DigitalInOut(board.D10)
# esp32_reset = DigitalInOut(board.D5)

spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
esp = adafruit_esp32spi.ESP_SPIcontrol(spi, esp32_cs, esp32_ready, esp32_reset)
"""Use below for Most Boards"""
status_light = neopixel.NeoPixel(
    board.NEOPIXEL, 1, brightness=0.2
)  # Uncomment for Most Boards
"""Uncomment below for ItsyBitsy M4"""
# status_light = dotstar.DotStar(board.APA102_SCK, board.APA102_MOSI, 1, brightness=0.2)
# Uncomment below for an externally defined RGB LED
# import adafruit_rgbled
# from adafruit_esp32spi import PWMOut
# RED_LED = PWMOut.PWMOut(esp, 26)
# GREEN_LED = PWMOut.PWMOut(esp, 27)
# BLUE_LED = PWMOut.PWMOut(esp, 25)
# status_light = adafruit_rgbled.RGBLED(RED_LED, BLUE_LED, GREEN_LED)
wifi = adafruit_esp32spi_wifimanager.ESPSPI_WiFiManager(esp, secrets, status_light)

counter = 0

while True:
    try:
        print("Posting data...", end="")
        data = counter
        feed = "test"
        payload = {"value": data}
        response = wifi.post(
            "https://io.adafruit.com/api/v2/"
            + secrets["aio_username"]
            + "/feeds/"
            + feed
            + "/data",
            json=payload,
            headers={"X-AIO-KEY": secrets["aio_key"]},
        )
        print(response.json())
        response.close()
        counter = counter + 1
        print("OK")
    except (ValueError, RuntimeError) as e:
        print("Failed to get data, retrying\n", e)
        wifi.reset()
        continue
    response = None
    time.sleep(15)

You'll note here we use a secrets.py file to manage our SSID info. The wifimanager is given the ESP32 object, secrets and a neopixel for status indication.

Note, you'll need to add a some additional information to your secrets file so that the code can query the Adafruit IO API:

  • aio_username
  • aio_key

You can go to your adafruit.io View AIO Key link to get those two values and add them to the secrets file, which will now look something like this:

# This file is where you keep secret settings, passwords, and tokens!
# If you put them in the code you risk committing that info or sharing it

secrets = {
    'ssid' : '_your_ssid_',
    'password' : '_your_wifi_password_',
    'timezone' : "America/Los_Angeles", # http://worldtimeapi.org/timezones
    'aio_username' : '_your_aio_username_',
    'aio_key' : '_your_aio_key_',
    }

Next, set up an Adafruit IO feed named test

We can then have a simple loop for posting data to Adafruit IO without having to deal with connecting or initializing the hardware!

Take a look at your test feed on Adafruit.io and you'll see the value increase each time the CircuitPython board posts data to it!

Secrets File Setup

In order to get the precise time, our project will query the Adafruit IO Internet of Things service for the time. Adafruit IO is absolutely free to use, but you'll need to log in with your Adafruit account to use it. If you don't already have an Adafruit login, create one here.

Once you have logged into your account, there are two pieces of information you'll need to place in your secrets.py file: Adafruit IO username, and Adafruit IO key. Head to io.adafruit.com and simply click the Adafruit IO Key on the right hand side of the Adafruit IO header to obtain this information.

Using an online time reference means we will account for daylight savings time and never have any drift!

Then, add them to the secrets.py file:

secrets = {
    'ssid' : '_your_wifi_ssid',
    'password : '_your_wifi_password',
    'aio_username' : '_your_aio_username_',
    'aio_key' : '_your_big_huge_super_long_aio_key_',
    'timezone' : "America/New_York" # http://worldtimeapi.org/timezones
    }

The PyPortal's code determines the local time by checking the internet information using the WiFi connection. It uses your local timezone to fetch and determine the local time. Once you've set up your timezone, you do not need to adjust for daylight savings time or leap years. 

To do this, you'll need to set this line in your secrets file to your local timezone:

'timezone' : "America/New_York"

Don't know your timezone? Here's a great list from the IANA Timezone Database. Simply find the nearest timezone to your desired location, and use that name as displayed in the TZ database name column. 

Install CircuitPython Code and Assets

In the embedded code element below, click on the Download: Project Zip link, and save the .zip archive file to your computer.

Then, uncompress the .zip file, it will unpack to a folder named PyPortal_Quarantine_Clock.

import time
import board
import busio
import digitalio
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi_socket as socket
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi
import adafruit_requests as requests
from adafruit_pyportal import PyPortal
from adafruit_bitmap_font import bitmap_font
from adafruit_display_text import label

try:
    from secrets import secrets
except ImportError:
    print("""WiFi settings are kept in secrets.py, please add them there!
the secrets dictionary must contain 'ssid' and 'password' at a minimum""")
    raise

# Label colors
LABEL_DAY_COLOR = 0xFFFFFF
LABEL_TIME_COLOR = 0x2a8eba

# the current working directory (where this file is)
cwd = ("/"+__file__).rsplit('/', 1)[0]
background = None
# un-comment to set background image
# background = cwd+"/background.bmp"

# Descriptions of each hour
# https://github.com/mwfisher3/QuarantineClock/blob/master/today.html
time_names = ["midnight-ish", "late night", "late", "super late",
              "super early","really early","dawn","morning",
              "morning","mid-morning","mid-morning","late morning",
              "noon-ish","afternoon","afternoon","mid-afternoon",
              "late afternoon","early evening","early evening","dusk-ish",
              "evening","evening","late evening","late evening"]

# Days of the week
week_days = ["Monday", "Tuesday", "Wednesday", "Thursday", "Friday", "Saturday", "Sunday"]

esp32_cs = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.ESP_CS)
esp32_ready = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.ESP_BUSY)
esp32_reset = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.ESP_RESET)

spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
esp = adafruit_esp32spi.ESP_SPIcontrol(spi, esp32_cs, esp32_ready, esp32_reset, debug=False)
requests.set_socket(socket, esp)

# initialize pyportal
pyportal = PyPortal(esp=esp,
                    external_spi=spi,
                    default_bg = None)

# set pyportal's backlight brightness
pyportal.set_backlight(0.7)

if esp.status == adafruit_esp32spi.WL_IDLE_STATUS:
    print("ESP32 found and in idle mode")
    print("Firmware vers.", esp.firmware_version)
    print("MAC addr:", [hex(i) for i in esp.MAC_address])

print("Connecting to AP...")
while not esp.is_connected:
    try:
        esp.connect_AP(secrets['ssid'], secrets['password'])
    except RuntimeError as e:
        print("could not connect to AP, retrying: ", e)
        continue

# Set the font and preload letters
font_large = bitmap_font.load_font("/fonts/Helvetica-Bold-44.bdf")
font_small = bitmap_font.load_font("/fonts/Helvetica-Bold-24.bdf")
font_large.load_glyphs(b'abcdefghjiklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890- ')
font_small.load_glyphs(b'abcdefghjiklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890- ()')

# Set up label for the day
label_day = label.Label(font_large, color=LABEL_DAY_COLOR)
label_day.x = board.DISPLAY.width // 7
label_day.y = 80
pyportal.splash.append(label_day)

# Set up label for the time
label_time = label.Label(font_small, color=LABEL_TIME_COLOR)
label_time.x = board.DISPLAY.width // 4
label_time.y = 150
pyportal.splash.append(label_time)

refresh_time = None
while True:
    # only query the network time every hour
    if (not refresh_time) or (time.monotonic() - refresh_time) > 3600:
        try:
            print("Getting new time from internet...")
            pyportal.get_local_time(secrets['timezone'])
            refresh_time = time.monotonic()
            # set the_time
            the_time = time.localtime()
        except (ValueError, RuntimeError) as e:
            print("Failed to get data, retrying\n", e)
            esp.reset()
            continue

    # Convert tm_wday to name of day
    weekday = week_days[the_time.tm_wday]

    # set the day label's text
    label_day.text = weekday

    # set the time label's text
    label_time.text = "({})".format(time_names[the_time.tm_hour])

    # update every minute
    time.sleep(60)

Copy the contents of the PyPortal_Quarantine_Clock directory to your PyPortal's CIRCUITPY drive.

This is what the final contents of the CIRCUITPY drive will look like:

Code Usage

The code determines the local time by using the WiFi connection to query the Adafruit IO Time Service. It draws two labels to display the day of the week and the estimated time. 

We use a list of time names (time_names) for a description of each hour. The code obtains the number of days since Sunday and calculates the weekday from it.

Each hour, the code fetches the network time from the Adafruit IO Time Service and refreshes the displayed time and date.

Customization

Set a background image

You can customize the background by setting a hex color or by making your own background .bmp file.

Using a hex color picker such as https://htmlcolorcodes.com, pick your color and copy the hex value. change the following line of code from

background = None

to 

background = 0xC91818

You can also customize the background for a different event, by making your own 320x240 16-bit RGB color .bmp file. Name the .bmp file background.bmp and copy it to the CIRCUITPY volume. In the code, change the following lines of code from

background = None
# un-comment to set background image
# background = cwd+"/background.bmp" background = None

to 

# background = None
# un-comment to set background image
background = cwd+"/background.bmp"

Font

The font used for the date and time displayed on the PyPortal are loaded and appended on the display. 

You can change the fonts used by the clock by changing the .bdf files on the two following lines in the code:

font_large = bitmap_font.load_font("/fonts/Helvetica-Bold-44.bdf")
font_small = bitmap_font.load_font("/fonts/Helvetica-Bold-24.bdf")

Text Color

You can also adjust the colors for the time and date labels. Using a hex color picker such as https://htmlcolorcodes.com, pick your color and then copy the hex value. Set LABEL_DAY_COLOR if you want to set the color of the weekday label or LABEL_TIME_COLOR to set the color of the estimated time label.

# Label colors
LABEL_DAY_COLOR = 0xFFFFFF
LABEL_TIME_COLOR = 0x8f42f4

A user on the project's Reddit thread commented

This is way too specific for a quarantine clock. Can you make it say "April-ish"?

Instead of displaying the day of the week, you can edit the code a little bit to make the code display the month instead of the date:

import time
import board
import busio
import digitalio
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi_socket as socket
from adafruit_esp32spi import adafruit_esp32spi
import adafruit_requests as requests
from adafruit_pyportal import PyPortal
from adafruit_bitmap_font import bitmap_font
from adafruit_display_text import label

try:
    from secrets import secrets
except ImportError:
    print("""WiFi settings are kept in secrets.py, please add them there!
the secrets dictionary must contain 'ssid' and 'password' at a minimum""")
    raise

# Label colors
LABEL_DAY_COLOR = 0xFFFFFF
LABEL_TIME_COLOR = 0x2a8eba

# the current working directory (where this file is)
cwd = ("/"+__file__).rsplit('/', 1)[0]
background = None
# un-comment to set background image
# background = cwd+"/background.bmp"

# Descriptions of each hour
# https://github.com/mwfisher3/QuarantineClock/blob/master/today.html
time_names = ["midnight-ish", "late night", "late", "super late",
              "super early","really early","dawn","morning",
              "morning","mid-morning","mid-morning","late morning",
              "noon-ish","afternoon","afternoon","mid-afternoon",
              "late afternoon","early evening","early evening","dusk-ish",
              "evening","evening","late evening","late evening"]

# Months of the year
months = ["January", "January", "February", "March", "April",
          "May", "June", "July", "August",
          "September", "October", "November", "December"]

# Dictionary of tm_mon and month name.
# note: tm_mon structure in CircuitPython ranges from [1,12]
months = {
    1: "January",
    2: "February",
    3: "March",
    4: "April",
    5: "May",
    6: "June",
    7: "July",
    8: "August",
    9: "September",
    10: "October",
    11: "November",
    12: "December"
}


esp32_cs = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.ESP_CS)
esp32_ready = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.ESP_BUSY)
esp32_reset = digitalio.DigitalInOut(board.ESP_RESET)

spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, board.MOSI, board.MISO)
esp = adafruit_esp32spi.ESP_SPIcontrol(spi, esp32_cs, esp32_ready, esp32_reset, debug=False)
requests.set_socket(socket, esp)

# initialize pyportal
pyportal = PyPortal(esp=esp,
                    external_spi=spi,
                    default_bg = None)

# set pyportal's backlight brightness
pyportal.set_backlight(0.2)

if esp.status == adafruit_esp32spi.WL_IDLE_STATUS:
    print("ESP32 found and in idle mode")
    print("Firmware vers.", esp.firmware_version)
    print("MAC addr:", [hex(i) for i in esp.MAC_address])

print("Connecting to AP...")
while not esp.is_connected:
    try:
        esp.connect_AP(secrets['ssid'], secrets['password'])
    except RuntimeError as e:
        print("could not connect to AP, retrying: ", e)
        continue

# Set the font and preload letters
font_large = bitmap_font.load_font("/fonts/Helvetica-Bold-44.bdf")
font_small = bitmap_font.load_font("/fonts/Helvetica-Bold-24.bdf")
font_large.load_glyphs(b'abcdefghjiklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890- ')
font_small.load_glyphs(b'abcdefghjiklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ1234567890- ()')

# Set up label for the month
label_month = label.Label(font_large, color=LABEL_DAY_COLOR)
label_month.x = board.DISPLAY.width // 10
label_month.y = 80
pyportal.splash.append(label_month)

# Set up label for the time
label_time = label.Label(font_small, color=LABEL_TIME_COLOR)
label_time.x = board.DISPLAY.width // 3
label_time.y = 150
pyportal.splash.append(label_time)

refresh_time = None
while True:
    # only query the network time every hour
    if (not refresh_time) or (time.monotonic() - refresh_time) > 3600:
        try:
            print("Getting new time from internet...")
            pyportal.get_local_time(secrets['timezone'])
            refresh_time = time.monotonic()
            # set the_time
            the_time = time.localtime()
        except (ValueError, RuntimeError) as e:
            print("Failed to get data, retrying\n", e)
            esp.reset()
            continue

    # convert tm_mon value to month name
    month = months[the_time.tm_mon]

    # determine and display how far we are in the month
    if 1 <= the_time.tm_mday <= 14:
        label_month.text = "Early %s-ish"%month
    elif 15 <= the_time.tm_mday <= 24:
        label_month.text = "Mid %s-ish"%month
    else:
        label_month.text = "Late %s-ish"%month

    # set the time label's text
    label_time.text = "({})".format(time_names[the_time.tm_hour])

    # update every minute
    time.sleep(60)

Code Walkthrough

When the code obtains the time from the internet, it stores the time returned in a specific structure type used to capture a date and a time called struct_time.

Getting new time from internet...
Getting time for timezone America/New_York
struct_time(tm_year=2020, tm_mon=4, tm_mday=23, tm_hour=9, tm_min=38, tm_sec=41, tm_wday=4, tm_yday=114, tm_isdst=None)

In the struct_time, tm_mon holds the the numerical representation of the month from 1 (January) to 12 (December). The updated code uses tm_mon to select an entry in the months dictionary

# convert tm_mon value to month name
month = months[the_time.tm_mon]

The conditional statement determines how far we are in the month: early month, in the middle of the month, or late in the month.

Then, the label is set to a string which is concatenates the time, month, and the phrase. i.e: "early + march + -ish"

# determine and display how far we are in the month
if 1 <= the_time.tm_mday <= 14:
  label_month.text = "Early %s-ish"%month
elif 15 <= the_time.tm_mday <= 24:
  label_month.text = "Mid %s-ish"%month
else:
  label_month.text = "Late %s-ish"%month

This guide was first published on Apr 24, 2020. It was last updated on Apr 24, 2020.