Mastering TM1637 Module with ESP32: Your Ultimate Guide to Time Display and Beyond!

Mastering TM1637 Module with ESP32 using ESP-IDF

Welcome to the ultimate guide on interfacing the TM1637 module with ESP32 using ESP-IDF! Whether you’re a curious beginner or a seasoned pro, this step-by-step tutorial will take you from zero to hero in no time. Get ready to dive into the exciting world of digital displays and microcontrollers!

Overview of TM1637 Module and ESP32:

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s get acquainted with our main characters: the TM1637 module and the ESP32 microcontroller. The TM1637 module is a handy little device that makes displaying digits, time, and even English alphabets a breeze. Each digit consists of seven segments arranged in the shape of the number “8”, with an additional segment for the decimal point. The TM1637 module is driven by the TM1637 IC (integrated circuit), which acts as a controller for the display. This chip simplifies the process of controlling the display, allowing you to send data and commands to the display via a simple interface.

Check this datasheet for more: TM1637 Module

Circuit Diagram:
Grab your soldering iron and let’s get wiring! Check out the circuit diagram below to see how everything comes together. Don’t worry if you’re new to this – we’ll walk you through it step by step.

Interfacing TM1637 Module with ESP32

Code Overview:
Now, onto the fun part – the code! We’ve whipped up a neat little program that’ll have your TM1637 module dancing to your tune in no time. The TM1637 module typically communicates with a microcontroller (such as the ESP32) using a two-wire serial interface. This interface consists of a data line (DIO) and a clock line (CLK), making it easy to connect the module to a wide range of microcontrollers without requiring a large number of I/O pins. Check out the snippets below to get a taste of what’s in store. And if you want to dive deeper, head over to our GitHub repository for the full scoop.

// main.c 
 * @file app_main.c
 * @brief Example application for the TM1637 LED segment display

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdbool.h>
#include <freertos/FreeRTOS.h>
#include <freertos/task.h>
#include <time.h>
#include <sys/time.h>
#include <esp_system.h>
#include <driver/gpio.h>
#include <esp_log.h>

#include "sdkconfig.h"
#include "tm1637.h"

#define TAG "app"

const gpio_num_t LED_CLK = CONFIG_TM1637_CLK_PIN;
const gpio_num_t LED_DTA = CONFIG_TM1637_DIO_PIN;

void lcd_tm1637_task(void * arg)
	tm1637_led_t * lcd = tm1637_init(LED_CLK, LED_DTA);

	setenv("TZ", "IST-5:30", 1);

	time_t now;
    struct tm timeinfo;
	char strftime_buf[64];
	localtime_r(&now, &timeinfo);
    strftime(strftime_buf, sizeof(strftime_buf), "%c", &timeinfo);
    ESP_LOGI(TAG, "The current date/time in New Delhi, India is: %s", strftime_buf);

	while (true)
		// Test segment control
		uint8_t seg_data[] = {0x01, 0x02, 0x04, 0x08, 0x10, 0x20};
		for (uint8_t x=0; x<32; ++x)
			uint8_t v_seg_data = seg_data[x%6];
			tm1637_set_segment_raw(lcd, 0, v_seg_data);
			tm1637_set_segment_raw(lcd, 1, v_seg_data);
			tm1637_set_segment_raw(lcd, 2, v_seg_data);
			tm1637_set_segment_raw(lcd, 3, v_seg_data);
			vTaskDelay(100 / portTICK_PERIOD_MS);

		// Test brightness
		for (int x=0; x<7; x++) {
			tm1637_set_brightness(lcd, x);
			tm1637_set_number(lcd, 1234);
			vTaskDelay(300 / portTICK_PERIOD_MS);

		for (uint8_t x=0; x<3; ++x)
			// Set random system time
			struct timeval tm_test = {1709802220 - 5400 + (x*3600), 0};
			settimeofday(&tm_test, NULL);

			// Get current system time
			time_t now = 0;
			struct tm timeinfo = { 0 };
			localtime_r(&now, &timeinfo);
			int time_number = 100 * timeinfo.tm_hour + timeinfo.tm_min;

			// Display time with blinking dots
			for (int z=0; z<5; ++z) {
				tm1637_set_number_lead_dot(lcd, time_number, true, z%2 ? 0xFF : 0x00);
				vTaskDelay(500 / portTICK_PERIOD_MS);

		// Test display numbers
		for (int x=0; x<16; ++x) {
			bool show_dot = x%2; // Show dot every 2nd cycle
			tm1637_set_segment_number(lcd, 0, x, show_dot);
			tm1637_set_segment_number(lcd, 1, x, show_dot); // On my display "dot" (clock symbol ":") connected only here
			tm1637_set_segment_number(lcd, 2, x, show_dot);
			tm1637_set_segment_number(lcd, 3, x, show_dot);
			vTaskDelay(100 / portTICK_PERIOD_MS);

		// uint8_t v_seg_data = seg_data[x%6];
		tm1637_set_segment_raw(lcd, 0, 0x77);
		tm1637_set_segment_raw(lcd, 1, 0x6D);
		tm1637_set_segment_raw(lcd, 2, 0x74);
		tm1637_set_segment_raw(lcd, 3, 0x3E);
		vTaskDelay(3000 / portTICK_PERIOD_MS);

void app_main()
	xTaskCreate(&lcd_tm1637_task, "lcd_tm1637_task", 4096, NULL, 5, NULL);

Demonstration in the Video:
Still scratching your head? Don’t worry – we’ve got your back! Check out our video tutorial where we walk you through the entire process, from setup to display. We’ll show you how to work your magic with digits, time, and even English alphabets. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it!

Watch the Video Tutorial

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Ready to dive into the exciting world of interfacing the TM1637 module with the ESP32 using ESP-IDF? Follow these detailed instructions to get your project up and running:

  1. Gather Your Materials:
    Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials:
  • TM1637 4-digit 7-segment display module
  • ESP32 development board
  • Jumper wires
  • USB cable for programming and power

2. Connect the Hardware:
Let’s start by connecting the TM1637 module to the ESP32. Use jumper wires to make the following connections:

  • Connect the VCC pin of the TM1637 module to the 3.3V pin of the ESP32.
  • Connect the GND pin of the TM1637 module to the GND pin of the ESP32.
  • Connect the DIO pin of the TM1637 module to a GPIO pin of the ESP32 (e.g., GPIO 21).
  • Connect the CLK pin of the TM1637 module to another GPIO pin of the ESP32 (e.g., GPIO 22).

3. Set Up the Software Environment:
Next, let’s set up the software environment on your computer:

  • Install the ESP-IDF development framework on your computer if you haven’t already.
  • Clone or download the project code from our GitHub repository to your computer.
  1. Open the Project Code:
    Navigate to the directory where you saved the project code and open it in your preferred code editor.
  2. Configure the Project:
    Open the project configuration file (usually named “sdkconfig.h” or similar) and ensure that the GPIO pins used for DIO and CLK are correctly configured.
  3. Upload the Code to ESP32:
    Connect your ESP32 development board to your computer via USB and upload the project code using the ESP-IDF tools. Follow the instructions provided by the ESP-IDF documentation to compile and flash the code onto your ESP32.
  4. Verify the Display:
    Once the code is uploaded successfully, power on your ESP32 board. You should see the TM1637 module light up and display the default output as programmed in the code.
  5. Experiment and Customize:
    Congratulations! You’ve successfully interfaced the TM1637 module with ESP32 using ESP-IDF. Now it’s time to experiment and customize the display to suit your needs. Modify the code to display different numbers, characters, or symbols, and explore the various functionalities of the TM1637 module.
  6. Troubleshooting:
    If you encounter any issues during the setup or operation of your project, refer to the troubleshooting section in the project documentation or reach out to our community for assistance. Remember, experimentation is key to learning and mastering new technologies!
  7. Share Your Results:
    Once you’re satisfied with your project, don’t forget to share your results with the community! Whether it’s through social media, forums, or our GitHub repository, sharing your experience and insights can inspire others and foster collaboration in the maker community.

That’s it! You’ve completed the step-by-step instructions for interfacing the TM1637 module with ESP32 using ESP-IDF. Have fun tinkering and exploring the possibilities of your new display setup!

And there you have it – your ultimate guide to interfacing the TM1637 module with ESP32 using ESP-IDF! Whether you’re a beginner looking to dip your toes into the world of microcontrollers or a seasoned pro seeking new challenges, we hope this tutorial has sparked your curiosity and inspired you to create something amazing. Have fun tinkering, and don’t forget to share your creations with us!

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