Raspberry Pi powers school clock e-ink display

Raspberry Pi powers school clock e-ink Display

I like this one: a home-school clock that’s powered by a Raspberry Pi with a Pimoroni Inky wHAT Display.

Raspberry Pi powers school clock e-ink display

Basically, it’s a neat way to inform kids studying from home what they should be doing next, to help keep them on timetable track. Of course, the concept is more generally applicable – to those adults working from home too, maybe.

Specifically, it uses an Inky wHAT is a 400×300 pixel electronic paper (ePaper / eInk / EPD) display, intended for use with a Pi, which costs from £45. It’s a larger version of the company’s Inky pHAT display.


Note that it takes approximately 25 seconds to refresh the display, but it is visible under bright lights. And everything comes fully-assembled, and there’s no soldering required.


#DFP-EW-InRead2-Mobile { display: block!important; } @media only screen and (max-width: 768px) { }
#DFP-EW-InRead2-Mobile { display: block!important; } @media only screen and (max-width: 768px) { }

Nicky had an idea last night to make a clock that told our kids the time and what what they should be doing in an attempt to keep some school type routine.

Here’s what I made using @Raspberry_Pi and a @pimoroni inkywhat e ink display. pic.twitter.com/5qCIndpGI4

— David Booth (@Worlds6440) January 5, 2021

The Pimoroni display comes in three text/background combinations, for whatever takes your fancy: red/black/white, yellow/black/white, and black/white (the cheapest one).

The display is created by David Booth, using Python, and you can read all about it on the Raspberry Pi Pod and micro:bit base blog.

He writes:

“With the rush to change everyone over to home learning, we thought it was important to retain some sort of school routine in our young kids. For that, we decided to make a clock that showed the time, but also showed a “timetable” specific to our needs. Having got Raspberry Pi’s up the wazoo in this house, and previously being lucky enough to win an Inky wHAT from a Pimoroni competition, it was obvious that I should combine these tools to create a very quick “school clock” project.”

It uses Python, and the elements of the day are hard coded in a series of ‘else if’ statements, for example:

elif is_time_between(datetime.time(9,0), datetime.time(9,30), cur_time):
message = "Screen Time"
elif is_time_between(datetime.time(9,30), datetime.time(10,0), cur_time):
message = "School Work"

You can read about the steps involved and his progress in the excellent blog post. All the code is available on GitHub.