Digital Modes, To Go – What Time is It?

How D Everyone!

In the “Digital Modes, To Go” article one of the comments was about the fact that the Raspberry Pi does not have a hardware clock.  All Desktops computers have a coin battery in them that constantly supplies power to a hardware clock.  That way it always knows what time it is, even when it has not been turned on all week or doesn’t have an Internet connection. 

The Raspberry Pi does not have the chip(s) and battery to keep the time.  So every time you power it on it has to check the Internet to get the correct time.  There are a couple of hardware solutions for this and I purchased a DS3231 chip ($6.99) that you plug straight onto the Raspberry Pi board.  DS3231 Real Time Clock Module   There are other versions of this chip with varying degrees of assembly.  This one is totally prebuilt and requires no soldering.  However, it does not fit inside the case that I used for this project.  It does fit on the jumpers without altering the case.  So for testing I just put a piece of electrical tape across it to keep it attached.  I might just tape all the way across the pin connectors to protect them.

I am not going to go into detail here on how that chip is setup.  There are a number of videos on YouTube that explain it.  Just search YouTube for “Raspberry Pi DS3231” and you will find about all the information you need.  It is not a difficult process but you do need to disable the “Fake” clock and enable the new hardware clock.  There is a good article at Adafruit that describes the process and shows the steps to go through.  If you are not used to working with Linux this may seem a little daunting.   However, it is really not that hard.  Adafruit Article

Once my clock was setup, I disconnected from wifi and then rebooted to make sure it still had the correct time.  It has been working for months now without issue.

This setup is light enough that I can use it for portable FT-8 via WSJT-X and could use it for other digital modes as well.

73, JohnnyF, WJ0NF, 100WATTS ID:  1849




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