Easy Calamari Time Tracking with an ESP32

This custom device allows JV Lobo to clock in and out of work with ease.

Jeremy Cook
a year agoProductivity

At JV Lobo’s place of work, they use the people management solution Calamari to log when employees clock in and out via Slack. Of course, Lobo forgets (or forgot) to do this on occasion. Rather than apparently trying to fix things after the fact, he created a device to track the start and end of his shift, as well as his lunches, with the press of a button.

The aptly named Calamari Box employs an ESP32 dev board to communicate with Calamari’s API, and has separate buttons for lunch and time in/out. The unit uses some relatively simple coding to check whether he’s clocked in, and if the button is pressed while his shift is going on, it clocks out. The same basic functionality is used for lunch, and in order to avoid unintended triggers, he's implemented pull-down resistors on each button.

Lobo finished the build with a nicely designed enclosure, which was printed in sections, and houses all his electronics. Notably, he’s using an old iPhone battery with the leads exposed for power and a charging board to keep it topped off over USB when needed. He also included a vibrating motor for haptic feedback. In order to save power, the device sleeps until pressed, when it boots up, sends the needed signal, and goes back to sleep until needed again.

Code for the Calamari Box can be found on Lobo's GitHub page.

Jeremy Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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