Setting the time on the Tildagon

I'm beginning my adventures in MicroPython in the hope that I'll have something interesting working on the Tildagon Badge for EMF2026. Here's a basic implementation of a clockface.

Here's how to set the time on the badge. There's a hardware clock which should keep time between reboots.

  1. Install mpremote on your computer.
  2. Connect the Tildagon to your computer using a USB-C data cable
  3. On your computer's command line, run mpremote. You should see:
    > Connected to MicroPython at /dev/ttyACM0
    > Use Ctrl-] or Ctrl-x to exit this shell
  4. Hold down the ctrl key on your computer. While holding it down, press the C key on your computer. This will open up a shell for you to enter commands.
  5. Enter the following commands one at a time, followed by enter
from machine import RTC
rtc = RTC()

That will display the time that the badge currently thinks it is.

For example: (2000, 1, 1, 5, 0, 1, 47, 984022)

This is a slightly unusual format. It is: year, month, day, weekday, hours, minutes, seconds, subseconds.

The "weekday" is 0 for Monday, 1 for Tuesday etc.

This is an array. So, to access individual elements of the time, you can say:

year = rtc.datetime()[0]

Alternatively, you can do:

import time

That will return something like: (2024, 6, 11, 15, 11, 39, 1, 163)

Which, according to the documentation, is "year, month, mday, hour, minute, second, weekday, yearday".

Setting the clock

To manually set the date and time, run:

rtc.datetime((2023, 6, 16, 1, 15, 36, 0, 0))


If you want to use NTP to synchronise the time with an Internet-based atomic clock, here's what you need to do.

  1. Connect your badge to WiFi.
  2. As above, connect with USB and run mpremote, then obtain a shell.
  3. Enter the following commands one at a time, followed by enter:
import ntptime

That will now show you the synchronised time. Note, it will be set to UTC. There's no way to set the timezone - you'll have to deal with that in your code elsewhere.

You can also read the reference documentation about the Real Time Clock.

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