IKEA BEKANT sit/stand desk with a new controller attached

LYFT: Standing Up For Better IKEA BEKANT Control

The IKEA BEKANT sit/stand desk is kind of a lifesaver — even if you don’t personally go between sit and stand much, the adjustability makes sharing the desk a breeze. Sharing was the case in [Matthias]’ house during the pandemic, as he and his wife took turns using the desk. Switching between their two preferred heights quickly became annoying, so [Matthias] engineered LYFT, a replacement controller that stores up to four settings.

In addition, the new SAMD21-based controller allows them to raise and lower the desk without having to hold the button down. And finally, having a digital readout showing the position is just plain cool. As you’ll see in the manual (PDF), LYFT is as easy to set up and use as the average flat-packed product.

In order to make this work, [Matthias] had to figure out how the desk’s motors communicate out of the box, and he did so with the help of a BEKANT controller project by [Greg Cormier]. You won’t find LYFT at the blue and yellow, at least not yet; for now, you’ll have to shop Tindie or build it yourself.

A red 3D-printed Raspberry Pi-based document scanner

Raspberry Pi Scanner Digitizes On The Cheap

It’s pretty important in 2024 to be able digitize documents quickly and easily without necessarily having to stop by the local library or buy an all-in-one printer. While there are plenty of commercial solutions out there, [Caelestis Cosplay] has created a simple document scanner that takes documents, as [Caelestis Cosplay] puts it, from papers to pixels.

The build is probably what you’re expecting — it’s essentially a Raspberry Pi (in this case a 4B), a V2 Pi camera, and a handful of custom 3D-printed parts. [Caelestis Cosplay] says they had never designed anything for printing before, and we think it looks great. There’s also a buzzer to indicate that the scan is starting (one beep) or has completed (two beeps), a ‘ready’ indicator, and a ‘working’ indicator.

Everything you’d need to build your own is available over on Instructables, including document scanner and controller scripts. Be sure to check it out in action after the break, and see it quickly scan in a document and put it on a thumb drive.

Looking for a 3D scanner? Check out the OpenScan project.

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Cyberpunk Guitar Strap Lights Up With Repurposed PCBs

Sometimes, whether we like it or not, ordering PCBs results in extra PCBs lying around, either because of board house minimums, mistakes on either end, or both. What’s to be done with these boards? If you’re Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook], you make a sound-reactive, light-up guitar strap and rock out in cyberpunk style.

The PCBs in question were left over from [Jeremy]’s JC Pro Macro project, and each have four addressable RGB LEDs on board. These were easy enough to chain together with jumper wires, solder, and a decent amount of hot glue. Here’s a hot tip: you can use compressed air to rapidly cool hot glue if you turn the can upside down. Just don’t spray it on your fingers.

The brains of this operation is Adafruit Circuit Playground Express, which runs off of a lipstick battery and conveniently brings a microphone to the table. These two are united by a 3D print, which is hot-glued to the guitar strap along with all the boards. In the second video after the break, there’s a bonus easy-to-make version that uses an RGB LED strip in place of the repurposed PCBs. There’s no solder or even hot glue involved.

Want to really light up the night? Print yourself a sound-reactive LED guitar.

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HDMI DDC Keypad Controls Monitor From Rack

Sometime last year, [Jon Petter Skagmo] bought a Dell U3421WE monitor. It’s really quite cool, with a KVM switch and picture-by-picture support for two inputs at the same time. The only downside is that control is limited to a tiny joystick hiding behind the bezel. It’s such a pain to use that [Jon] doesn’t even use all of the features available.

[Jon] tried ddcutil, but ultimately it didn’t work out. Enter the rack-mounted custom controller keyboard, a solution which gives [Jon] single keypress control of adjusting the brightness up and down, toggling picture-by-picture mode, changing source, and more.

How does it work? It uses the display data channel (DDC), which is an I²C bus on the monitor’s HDMI connector. More specifically, it has a PIC18 microcontroller sending those commands via eight Cherry MX-style blues.

Check this out — [Jon] isn’t even wasting one of the four monitor inputs because this build uses an HDMI through port. The finished build looks exquisite and fits right into the rack with its CNC-routed aluminium front panel. Be sure to check it out in action after the break.

Ever wonder how given keyboard registers the key you’re pressing? Here’s a brief history of keyboard encoding.

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Crank-Powered Train Uses No Batteries Or Plugs

The prolific [Peter Waldraff] is at back it with another gorgeous micro train layout. This time, there are no plugs and no batteries. And although it’s crank-powered, it can run on its own with the flip of a switch. How? With a supercapacitor, of course.

The crank handle is connected a 50 RPM motor that acts as a generator, producing the voltage necessary to both power the train and charge up the supercapacitor. As you’ll see in the video below, [Peter] only has to move the train back and forth about two or three times before he’s able to flip the switch and watch it run between the gem mine and the cliff by itself.

The supercapacitor also lights up the gem mine to show off the toiling dwarfs, and there’s a couple of reed switches at either end of the track and a relay that handles the auto-reverse capability. Be sure to stick around to the second half of the video where [Peter] shows how he built this entire thing — the box, the layout, and the circuit.

Want to see more of [Peter]’s trains and other work? Here you go.

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Synesthetic Clock Doesn’t Require Synesthesia

We often think of synesthetes as those people who associate say, colors with numbers. But the phenomenon can occur with any of the senses. Simply put, when one sense is activated, synesthesia causes one to experience an unrelated, activated sense. Sounds trippy, no?

Thankfully, [Markus Opitz]’s synesthetic clock doesn’t require one to have synesthesia. It’s actually quite easy to read, we think. Can you tell what time it is in the image above? The only real requirement seems to be knowing the AM color from the PM color. The minute display cycles through blue, green, yellow, and red as the hour progresses.

Behind that pair of GC9a01 round displays lies an ESP32 and a real-time clock module. [Markus] couldn’t find a fillArc function, so instead he is drawing triangles whose ends lie outside the visible area. To calculate the size of the triangle, [Markus] is using the angle function tangent, so each minute has an angle of 6°.

[Markus] created a simple but attractive oak housing for the clock, but suggests anything from cardboard and plastic to a book. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever used for an enclosure? Let us know in the comments.

Do you appreciate a good analog clock when you see one? Here’s a clock that uses analog meters for its display.

KanaChord Is A Macro Pad For Japanese Input

There are various situations that warrant additional keyboards on your desk, and inputting a second language is definitely a good one. That’s the idea behind KanaChord, which generates Unicode macros to render Japanese Kana characters using chords — pressing multiple keys at once as you would on a piano.

The Japanese writing system is made up of Kanji (Chinese characters), Hirigana, and Katakana. Without going into it too much, just know that Hirigana and Katakana are collectively known as the Kana, and there’s a table that lays out the pairing of vowels and consonants. To [Mac Cody], the layout of the Kana table inspired this chording keyboard.

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