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This is an ESP32 recreation of the “Dali” digital clock where the digits “melt” into one another. Watch a full demonstration on YouTube

The Dali clock was first written in 1979 by Steve Capps for the Xerox Alto and later ported to the Macintosh (see xdaliclock for the full history, including a link to a super trippy film from the 1974s that inspired this whole madness). Later, Jamie Zawinski re-implemented an X Windows version called xdaliclock. I began with the “.xbm” font files from Jamie’s work, but my implementation does not share any code with that version.

This project is a follow up to my earlier project, the arduino-dali-clock, but instead of driving a TFT panel, it generates composite video output for any NTSC or PAL television or monitor. Putting it together is ridiculously simple, requiring only two wires. All configuration is done via a web interface YouTube and clock’s time is synchronized via the Internet.

This project includes modified code from rossumur’s esp_8_bit and bitluni’s ESP32CompositeVideo. These changes are also available in my standalone project ESP32CompositeColorVideo, which also includes a write up on what bits I borrowed from where.”

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