Tags: RTC, Module, Precision, Real, Time, Clock, Memory, Module, AT24C32, Ds3231,

Real Time Clock RTC Module AT24C32 Ds3231

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    Real-Time Clock or RTC is a timekeeping device in the form of an Integrated Circuit or IC. RTC is an integral component of many time-critical applications and devices like Servers, GPS, Data Loggers, etc. DS3231 is a low-cost, extremely accurate I2C real-time clock (RTC), with an integrated tem..
    Real-Time Clock or RTC is a timekeeping device in the form of an Integrated Circuit or IC. RTC is an integral component of many time-critical applications and devices like Servers, GPS, Data Loggers, etc.
     DS3231 is a low-cost, extremely accurate I2C real-time clock (RTC), with an integrated temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) and crystal. Compared to the DS1302 solution, the DS3231 has many advantages, it functions with a VCC ranging from 2.3V to 5.5V and has a battery backup. Unlike the DS1307, the DS3231 also has an integrated crystal (so no external crystal required), temperature sensor, 2 programmable time-of-day alarms, a 32.768 kHz output pin to ensure higher accuracy.     
    Besides, there is also an EEPROM AT24C32 to supply you 32K EEPROM to store your data, it is the best choice for your application that needs recoding time, a built battery holder make this module suitable. It is a good substitution for the data logging shield, with even higher time precision.


    • Size: 38mm (length) * 22mm (W) * 14mm (height)
    • Weight: 8g
    • Operating voltage :3.3 - 5 .5 V
    • Clock chip: high-precision clock chip DS3231
    • Clock Accuracy:0-40 ℃ range, the accuracy 2ppm, the error was about 1 minute
    • Calendar alarm clock with two
    • Programmable square-wave output
    • Real-time clock generator seconds, minutes, hours, day, date, month and year timing and provide valid until the year 2100 leap year compensation
    • Chip temperature sensor comes with an accuracy of 3 ℃
    • Memory chips: AT24C32 (storage capacity 32K)
    • IIC bus interface, the maximum transmission speed of 400KHz (working voltage of 5V)
    • Can be cascaded with other IIC device, 24C32 addresses can be shorted A0/A1/A2 modify default address is 0x57

    Download& External Link

    DS3231 RTC Module

    Using DS3231 IC as the main component, several manufacturers developed DS3231 RTC Modules with all the necessary components. Almost all the modules available today consists of an additional IC, 24C32N (or something similar). This secondary IC is an EEPROM IC of 32Kb size.

    Since both RTC and EEPROM ICs are interfaced through I2C Protocol, you won’t need any extra pins as both these I2C Devices can act as slaves while a microcontroller acts as a master.

    The DS3231 RTC Module used in this project is shown in the image below.

    Arduino DS3231 RTC Module Tutorial DS3231 Real Time Clock Module

    Since RTC is all about maintaining time irrespective of the power supply, you can connect a 3V CR2032 Lithium Battery to the RTC IC to keep the clock ticking. In the DS3231 Module, there is a provision for you to connect a battery using the battery holder provided on the back.

    Arduino DS3231 RTC Module Tutorial DS3231 RTC Module Back

    Components and Pin of DS3231 RTC Module

    As mentioned earlier, the DS3231 IC and 24C32 EEPROM IC are the main components on a typical DS3231 RTC Module board. Apart from that, there are a few other components like Power ON LED, few resistors, capacitors, a battery holder and pins for connecting with the microcontroller.

    The following image shows the components and pins on the DS3231 RTC Module.

    Arduino DS3231 RTC Module Tutorial DS3231 RTC Module Components

    Interfacing DS3231 RTC Module with Arduino

    If you remember an earlier project using MicroSD Card Adapter, I have set up a simple data logging application where the data from a sensor is captured and stored in the microSD Card in the form of a text file.

    By integrating a Real-Time Clock like DS3231 to the above project, you can keep track of the data log with accurate time details.

    Hence, the interfacing DS3231 RTC Module with Arduino has numerous applications and advantages.

    Circuit Diagram

    Arduino DS3231 RTC Module Tutorial Circuit Diagram

    Components Required

    • Arduino UNO
    • DS3231 RTC Module
    • 16×2 LCD Display
    • Mini Breadboard
    • 10KΩ POT
    • Connecting Wires

    Circuit Design

    First, let me begin the connections between Arduino and DS3231. Since the interface between them is I2C, identify the I2C Pins on your Arduino Board (if you are using any other board than UNO).

    In Arduino UNO, A4 and A5 are SDA and SCL pins. Connect these pins with corresponding SDA and SCL pins of the DS3231 Module. Also, connect the VCC and GND of the RTC Module to +5V and GND of Arduino.

    Arduino DS3231 RTC Module Tutorial Circuit Design

    To view the output, I have used an LCD Module. Connect the RS and E pins of LCD to Pins 7 and 6. Connect D4-D7 of LCD to 5-2 of Arduino.


    I have used a special library called “RTClib” from Adafruit (which is a forked version of JeeLab’s RTC Library). Download the library from this link and place the extracted folder in the libraries directory of Arduino.

    Since the communication is I2C, I have also used the “Wire” library. You don’t need to download this library as it is integrated with Arduino IDE.

    #include <Wire.h>
    #include <LiquidCrystal.h>
    #include "RTClib.h"
    DateTime now;
    char daysOfTheWeek[7][12] = {"Sun", "Mon", "Tue", "Wed", "Thu", "Fri", "Sat"};
    RTC_DS3231 rtc;
    LiquidCrystal lcd(7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2); // (rs, e, d4, d5, d6, d7)
    void showDate(void);

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