Tick Tock Shield Assistance Please


I am having trouble with the new tick tock shield I bought.

The 7 segments display would not light up.

I ran a few tests using the provided library and confirmed all my buttons, LEDs and buzzer works.

Because the display is not working, I ran resistance tests for the temperature sensor and light sensor and noted resistance changes according to light intensity and temperature. So they are fine.

I did a point to point continuity test according to the schematic and everything has been checked three times.

I tested the 7 segments display on a breadboard independently and every segment is working. Only note is that only 1 of the four decimal points is functional by closing DP and A1, it will turns on the middle decimal point. Closing DP and A2 will turn on the middle semicolon, and DP with A3 and A4 have no output.

I am getting the following voltage readings when stacked on top of a Seeeduino V3.0 and running the DisplayRTC sketch.

At the DS1307N chip

X1 to GND: 0V
X2 to GND: 2.5V
VBat to GND: 3.1V
5V to GND: 5V
S/O to GND: 5V
SCL to GND: 0.03V
SDA to GND: 5V

At the TM1636 chip

CLK to GND: 5V
DIO to GND: 5V
5V to GND: 5V
5V to GND: 5V
A1, A2, A3 and A4 to GND: 5V
A, B, C, D, E , F, G and DP to GND: 0V

The only component I could not test is the 32.768kHz crystal as I don’t have a scope at home. The instruction suggested soldering the crystal to the PCB pad, and it may suffered heat damage, even my soldering station was set to 330DegC.

Lastly, I compared the capacitors value for C3 and C4 (1nF or 102) with the Titan Micro Electronics Tm1636 datasheet TM1636_V1.2.pdf (321 KB) and found they recommended 0.1nF (101) instead for the CLK and DIO lines. Can someone please verify if the capacitance value is correct?

Any assistance will be much appreciated. Thank you.



Further to my original post for assistance, I have found 3 different sets of conflicting capacitance values for the TM1636 circuit on Seeedstudio.com

SeeedStudio Tick Shield Schematic V0.9b


-------------------- –DIO
------ –10kOhm-
Vcc– ----------------
------ –10kOhm----
------ ---------------------------
------ ------------100uF--------
Vcc– --------------------------
------ ------------100nF--------

Titan Micro Electronics TM1636 Datasheet V1.2


-------------------- –DIO
------ –10kOhm-
Vcc– ----------------
------ –10kOhm----
------ -----------------------------
------ ------------100uF-----------
Vcc– -----------------------------
------ ------------100nF-----------

Grove 4 Digit Display Schematic V1.0


-------------------- –DIO
------ –10kOhm-
Vcc– ----------------
------ –10kOhm----
------ ---------------------------
------ ------------10uF--------
Vcc– --------------------------
------ ------------100nF--------

Can someone from Seeedstudio please verify the capacitance values. I just want my shield to work.
Grove_4-Digit_Display_V1.0.pdf (16.5 KB)
TM1636_V1.2.pdf (321 KB)
Tick_Shield_Schematic.pdf (76.4 KB)

Hi, hardware
I suggest that you upload the Demo:Measure Temperature and see if the 7-segments display can light up and display temperature. If not, you need to check the soldering of two 6-pin female headers. Please make sure you have inserted TM1636 chip and 7-segment display with correct direction and location.

Good Luck to you!

Hi Zhang,

The 6-pin female headers are checked for continuity and are fine.

The 7 segment display are inserted as per the soldering guide, with decimal points towards the bottom of the shield.
So pin 1 (segment E) is at the bottom left.

The TM1636 is inserted with the notch facing left, so pin 1 (GND) is at the bottom left.

Loading the MeasureTemperature sketch did not work. I have verified resistance changes when I touch the thermistor.

Is it possible that I have a bad TM1636 driver IC ???



I just finished assembling my tick tock shield and am having similar issues - everything seems to work except the seven segment display. Maybe there’s a glitch in the library/example code or an issue with the batch of TM1636’s that are shipping with the kit?

Hi, hardware and buppgard
I am sorry to reply to you so later.
By hardware’s measured data, I know the hardware soldering should be no problem. Now I have updated the Tick Tock Shield Library in wiki website. Please using the new library and see if the 7-segment display can display normally.

Best Regards!


Hi Zhangkun,

Unfortunately the 7 segment display still does not work with the new library.

I wired the 7 segment display direct to a seeeduino (with current limiting resistors) and it works fine.

I uploaded the “CharacterFlow” example and measured the voltages at the TM1636 IC

CLK to GND: 4.95 to 4.99V
DIO to GND: 4.95 to 4.99V
5V to GND: 5V
A1, A2, A3 and A4 to GND: 1.55V
A, B, C, D, E , F, G and DP to GND: 0V

I uploaded the “MeasureTemperature” example, and the result is the same as above.
I uploaded the “RealTimeClock” example, and the result is the same as above.

Since the 7 segment display has common cathode at pin 12 (A1), pin 9 (A2), pin 8 (A3) and pin 6 (A4), I would expect the opposite voltage measurements at the TM1636 IC.

For example, if we want to show 8 in the far right segment, we need pin 10 (A4) of the TM1636IC to go to 0Vdc, and voltage output from pin 2 (segment a) to pin 8 (segment g)

Are we meant to have common anode 7 segment display instead?




As a long time supporter of SeeedStudio, I am disappointed with the new Tick Tock Shield.

First Issue.
The buzzer pin pitch supplied in the kit is 5mm and non-polarised, but the PCB holes is 8mm. The instruction is for a 8mm polarised buzzer.

Second Issue.
Conflicting capacitance value for the TM1636. I compared the Titan Micro Electronics datasheet, Grove 4 digit display schematic and Tick Tock Shield schematic. There are differences among the 3 as outlined in the post above.
Which one is right?

Third Issue.
The 7 segment display does not work at all. I have posted my issue here on the forum

I am not the only one with this issue as there are other users who also experienced the same problem.

I have made several attempts to trouble shoot with Jacket and Zhangkun.

While I do appreciate and thank them for their assistance, we still do not have a solution to the issue.

Surely, this shield would have been prototyped and code tested before available for sales.

Can we please resolve this, or I will have to return this shield as it’s not working as advertised.




I’m sorry for this support of your topic.

For the first issue,we have modified the BOM of Tick shield,i’m so sorry for this avoidable mistake,and we promise we would not make this thing happens.

For the second issue,it has nothing to do with the capacitance.Although the schematics between them are not the same,but it can work well.

For the third issue,we can’t make sure whether it is the problem of the 7 segment display.We need have a test separately.

But we apologize for this thing,and you can drop a line to customer service,and talk about with your barter.

Thanks for your comprehension.

Best Regards

Hi all

We have soldered a new tick tock shield(the following picture),and you all can see that it can work well except the buzzer.So the new batch of tick tock shield just have the problem of buzzer,but the TM1636 and 7 segment digit display can work well. So could you show us your picture of shield,maybe we could see some clues.
tick shield 1.png
Tick Shield.png

Hi Jacket,

Thank you for your continue assistance.

Please find attached images from my shield.

The buttons, buzzer, LEDs, thermistor and LDR sensor all works.

I changed the crystal because I thought that was the reason why my display is not working, but I have checked the new crystal is clocking at the right frequency of 32.768 kHz.

Please let me know if you need anything else to solve the issue.

hey,you can have a test:

You can test A1 port first,and then modify you program

After all ports you have been tested,whether your result is the same to me?

The voltage which port you are testing is about 1.37v-1.5v,and the others are about 1.7-1.8v.So you can see the voltage which the port you are using is different from others clearly.

If you have time to do this test,please show us your result.Thanks.
test voltage2.png
test voltage1.png

Hi Jacket,

I compiled and upload the sketch as below, I have to change the library to TickTockShield and tm16363 back to tm1636 for the code to compile.

[code]#include “Wire.h”
#include <TimerOne.h>
#include <EEPROM.h>
#include “TM1636.h”
#include “TickTockShield.h”
/Declare a TickShield Class object/
TickTockShield tickshield;

void setup()
void loop()
tm1636.display(0x00,0x00); //A1
//tm1636.display(0x01,0x00); //A2
//tm1636.display(0x02,0x00); //A3
//tm1636.display(0x03,0x00); //A4

Test #1. First segment from the left with A1.
Result: No display
Measurements with 7 segment attached

A1 - GND = 1.933Vdc
A2 - GND = 1.766Vdc
A3 - GND = 1.732Vdc
A4 - GND = 1.717Vdc
Measurements without 7 segment attached

A1 - GND = 1.339Vdc
A2 - GND = 1.336Vdc
A3 - GND = 1.351Vdc
A4 - GND = 1.367Vdc

Test #2. Second segment from the left with A2.
Result: No display
Measurements with 7 segment attached

A1 - GND = 1.766Vdc
A2 - GND = 1.921Vdc
A3 - GND = 1.735Vdc
A4 - GND = 1.726Vdc
Measurements without 7 segment attached

A1 - GND = 1.347Vdc
A2 - GND = 1.347Vdc
A3 - GND = 1.352Vdc
A4 - GND = 1.388Vdc

Test #3. Third segment from the left with A3.
Result: No display
Measurements with 7 segment attached

A1 - GND = 1.749Vdc
A2 - GND = 1.755Vdc
A3 - GND = 1.848Vdc
A4 - GND = 1.739Vdc
Measurements without 7 segment attached

A1 - GND = 1.395Vdc
A2 - GND = 1.357Vdc
A3 - GND = 1.405Vdc
A4 - GND = 1.412Vdc

Test #4. Fourth segment from the left with A4.
Result: No display
Measurements with 7 segment attached

A1 - GND = 1.740Vdc
A2 - GND = 1.742Vdc
A3 - GND = 1.713Vdc
A4 - GND = 1.849Vdc
Measurements without 7 segment attached

A1 - GND = 1.376Vdc
A2 - GND = 1.359Vdc
A3 - GND = 1.373Vdc
A4 - GND = 1.395Vdc

I have also tested the common cathode 7 segment display on its own as shown on the image below

  • 5V to the segments (a, b, c, d, e, f, g, dp) in series with 240 Ohm resistors
  • GND to port A1, A2, A3 and A4

It is working perfectly.

i saw there are two boards under the Tick shield,what are those boards?

Maybe you can use Tick shield with Arduino UNO or Seeeduino directly.

Hi Jacket,

That is just a Seeed Studio Screw Shield.

Results did not change whether I connect the Tick Tock Shield direct to the Seeeduino or with the screw shield in the middle.

I use the screw shield so I can put an alligator clip at the GND terminal.

I know the buttons, buzzer, LEDs, thermistor, LDR sensor and 7 segment display work.

Is it possible the common cathrode 7 segment display in this kit is not compatible with the TM1636 IC?

No,the digit display can work well with the chip.Accroding to your result, the voltage of A1-A4 without pluging on the slot are (much) lower than the voltage wich plug on the slot,that’s may strange.Maybe your chip has been broken.

you can drop a line to customer service(Quality Issue)(seeedstudio.com/depot/index … er_service) and return the tick shield back.Don’t forget to mention the buzzer mistake.We would have a detailed test and make sure whether it is the problem of chip.

Hi Jacket,

Thank you for your assistance.

I will contact your customer service (Quality Issue) to return the shield.

Weird because there are two more users who also have the same problem, maybe a bad batch of ICs.



Hi Jacket,

I sent the faulty tick tock shield back by air mail on 4/6/2013.

Have you receive and test it yet?



what is the solution…i face exact same problem


Send an email to quality control so you can return the shield for warranty repair/replacement.

My issues were combinations of:
Wrong type of buzzer
Wrong type of 7 segment display
Old examples codes

Good luck