BlockClock

The Bitcoin Clock

Buy at store.coinkite.com

Quick Start Guide

This guide will get you started with initial setup and installation.

Power Up and Network Access

Start by connecting the power supply provided to AC power. The DC connector is in the middle rear of the clock.

This product requires access to the Internet in order to display current information. You have the option of WiFi or wired Ethernet.

Wired ethernet is the easiest and more reliable option, and setup consists of merely connecting a CAT5 cable to the rear of the clock. If your installation can support wired ethernet, please connect such a cable at this time.

Getting Connected

When first powered, the clock does not do anything for about 30 seconds while the system boots up. The first message displayed is “Hello bitcoin” with three green dots.

If using wired Ethernet, it will then show an URL:

http://
10.0
  .0.123

This example is assuming the Ethernet is connected and your DHCP network server gave the clock an IP address of 10.0.0.123. Enter that URL into your web browser and you’re off to the races!

IMPORTANT: Be sure to enter http:// and not https:// in front of these URLs. This product does not support SSL on the internal setup interface, and some browsers will try to search google rather than connect directly to a local IP address in numeric form.

If the Ethernet cable is not connected, it will instead show:

SSid-
 block
   clock

This indicates the name (blockclock) of the wireless network which the clock provides.

The next step is for you to join the wireless network called “blockclock”. The password for the network is: blockclock.

We suggest using a laptop for this step as cellphones do not typically have enough screen space to operate the website of the system comfortably.

Once you’ve done that successfully, the display on the block will change to show the IP address of the internal website. This is always:

http://10.3.141.1

Once you’ve joined the blockclock WiFi network, you should proceed directly to that IP address. If you try to navigate to any random website, you will be redirect to the Blockclock as well. You can enter “example.com” as a URL and end up at the Blockclock.

Basic Setup

Once your web browser is showing the web pages from the BlockClock, you should go to the “System Settings” page and configure these values:

If your intention is to use Wifi, you should first set your country, and then select your wireless network from the list of network names the system detects.

Enter your Wifi password and select WPA2 as security model.

To save and test your values, press “Connect to Wifi” and wait while the connection is made.

IMPORTANT: Once you’ve got the clock talking to your local Wifi network, you should change your laptop back to your normal Wifi settings. (And on Mac OS, select “Forget network” as well.)

Regular Operation

Pages / Profiles / Lines

There are 3 lines for each “page” of values that may be displayed.

Up to four pages can be shown by a single press on the remote, click on the homepage, or by rotation. By default, the display changes to the next page every 15 minutes.

There are 12 profiles, each holding a page to be displayed. Although only four are active at a time, it’s useful to be able to store profiles for later use, or use under specific conditions (ie. for parties and special occasions).

Each page (or profile) holds the 3 lines which the clock displays. Each of those lines has a corresponding red and green dot which can be controlled as well.

Expressions

There are five values you may configure for each line of the display:

The data source is the numeric value to display, and is often a price ticker value, such as the buy or sell price for BTC. You must enable specific data sources (ie. exchanges) on the Data Source page, and then you may search and select a specific value from the search results.

The overlay text is a fixed string that will be left-justified and shown on top of the dynamic text. It’s useful for labeling values.

The remaining three fields can be a complex python expression, or left blank. Click on the (i) icon to see a quick cheat sheet of possible expressions that are the most useful.

In most cases, you will want to use int(x) to round the value to an integer and remove the decimal.

Red and green dot expressions should be a boolean (true/false or non-zero/zero). You can compare the x value to a trend, or just a simple threshold, as shown in the above example.

Data Sources

As of this writing, the following data sources are available:

binance
Data from Binance on 400+ exchange pairs
bitcoinaverage
Bitcoin Average of exchange-neutral pricing
bitstamp
Prices from Bitstamp
bylls
Bylls is a Canadian retail exchange
coinbase
Buy and spot pricing from Coinbase
cbix
Canadian exchange data site CBIX.ca
kraken
American exchange Kraken
localbitcoins
Worldwide, on-the-ground prices, from Local Bitcoins
electrum
Current top block values from an Electrum server (any chain)

The following internal sources are also available.

temperature
Local temperature sensor on the clock
datetime
Date and time values in configurable timezones
network
Assigned IP addresses
api
Values uploaded by your API calls
text
Placeholder text values (ie. text.blank)

Please note that some data source require additional customization. For example, you may need to select individual exchange pairs for some exchanges, while other exchanges provide data on all pairs.

We provide a default configuration for Electrum which points to our own Electrum server on Bitcoin mainnet. This can be changed to select public nodes from a number of different chains which publish their seed nodes. You can also select a private Electrum service by providing a suitable IP addresses for your LAN or the Internet.

Local Control

Remote Control

Your clock includes a remote control which operates over Bluetooth. It has four buttons (1-4). By default the buttons 1-3 select that page for display. The 4th button is configurable to be: “mute” (the default), “select 4th page for display”, or “lamp test”.

NOTE: The remote control sleeps to conserve power, so the first press may require holding for 1-2 seconds. Look for the red light to illuminate.

Lamp Test Button

There is a small button on the rear of the clock, labeled “LAMP TEST”.

It starts a display cycle which turns all segments on and off. Finally, it displays the IP address and then returns to normal operation.

Further Reading

Customer API Interface

The BlockClock can accept your custom data and display it. Go to “Data Sources > Custom API Keys” and press “Create new API key”.

A curl example is shown to get you started, and the full API specification is here.

Other Features

On the “System Settings” page, you will also find diagnostic features, such as “warm restart” and a means to download/backup your settings. There is also a push-button software update mechanism which is very easy to use.