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.

IKEA’s Billy Bookshelf Is A Useful 3D Printing Enclosure

The results from your 3D printer may be improved if you use a dedicated enclosure for the job. This is particularly helpful for printing certain materials which are more sensitive to cold drafts or other thermal disruptions to the working area.  If you want an elegant solution to the problem, consider getting yourself an IKEA Billy bookshelf, says [wavlew].

The Billy makes a remarkably elegant 3D printing workstation, overall. It’s got a nifty slide-out drawer that makes a perfect mounting point for a 3D printer. It lets you slide out the printer for maintenance, using the controls, or extracting finished prints. It also naturally features plenty of storage for your filament, tools, and other accoutrements. When it comes to the business of actually printing though, you just slide the printer inside and shut the door. Its thermal and noise isolating performance can also be further improved by adding a silicone door seal.

We love this idea. Too often, 3D printers are left chugging away on messy desks, where they’re subject to blasts from AC vents and other disruptions. Having everything tidily tucked away in a cupboard neatens things significantly, and could also prove helpful if you pursue fume extraction, too.

If you’ve identified any other nifty maker applications for IKEA furniture, be sure to let us know!

IKEA LACK Table Becomes Extremely Affordable DIY Copy Stand

A copy stand is a tool used to capture images of photos, artwork, books, and things of a similar nature. It holds a camera perpendicular to a large and flat surface, upon which the subject rests.

A threaded rod provides effective vertical adjustment.

They are handy, but there’s no need to spend a lot when [BlandPasta]’s DIY copy stand based on a cheap IKEA LACK table can be turned into an economical afternoon project with the help of simple hardware and a few 3D printed parts.

The main structure comes from a mixture of parts from two LACK tables: one small and one normal-sized. A tabletop is used as the bed, and the square legs make up the structural parts with the help of some printed pieces. A threaded rod combined with some captive hardware provides a way to adjust the camera up and down with a crank, while one can manually slide the horizontal camera mount as needed to frame the subject appropriately.

This is a clever remix of IKEA parts, and the somewhat matte white finish of the LACK complements photography well. Adding some DIY LED lighting is about all it takes to get a perfectly serviceable copy stand that won’t break the bank.

A Lightweight Smart Home Server

Working towards automating a few things in a home often seems simple on the surface, but it’s easy for these projects to snowball into dozens of sensors and various servos, switches, and cameras strewn about one’s living space. The same sort of feature creep sneaks into some of the more popular self-hosted home server platforms as well, with things like openHAB requiring so much computing power that they barely function on something like a Raspberry Pi. [Paulo] thought there should be a more lightweight way of tackling a project like this, and set about building his own smart home server with help from some interesting software.

The project is based around the Dirigera hub from Ikea, partially because [Paulo] is planning to use other smart home devices from Ikea as he can easily find them where he is, and also because these devices tend to use Zigbee, a non-proprietary communications standard. This means that if he ever wants to swap out the hub for another one in the future, it won’t be difficult to do. From here the major hurdle is that using the default software from these devices is fairly limiting, so [Paulo] reached for a Raspbee 2 Zigbee gateway for use with a Raspberry Pi and an extremely lightweight and customizable web server called Mako to make this happen. Using Lua as the high-level language to tie everything together he was able to easily deploy the server to control the Ikea hub and devices and automate them in any way he sees fit.

While it is true that software like openHAB and others already exists to do virtually any home automation task that could be imagined, if you’re looking to do something with a bare minimum of computing power something like [Paulo]’s solution is likely going to be the fastest and most reliable method of getting a few things automated around the home. If you’re looking for something completely open source and built from the ground up, though, we have seen a few alternative smart home solutions like this one which don’t rely on any proprietary hardware or software, but do take a little bit more effort on the user’s part.

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Hackaday Links: May 14, 2023

It’s been a while since we heard from Dmitry Rogozin, the always-entertaining former director of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. Not content with sending mixed messages about the future of the ISS amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, or attempting to hack a mothballed German space telescope back into action, Rogozin is now spouting off that the Apollo moon landings never happened. His doubts about NASA’s seminal accomplishment apparently started while he was still head of Roscosmos when he tasked a group with looking into the Apollo landings. Rogozin’s conclusion from the data his team came back with isn’t especially creative; whereas some Apollo deniers go to great lengths to find “scientific proof” that we were never there, Rogozin just concluded that because NASA hasn’t ever repeated the feat, it must never have happened.

Continue reading “Hackaday Links: May 14, 2023”

Taking Apart IKEA’s Latest Air Quality Sensor

Whether it’s because they’re concerned about worsening pollution or the now endemic variants of COVID-19, a whole lot of people have found themselves in the market for a home air quality monitor thee last couple of years. IKEA noted this trend awhile back, and released the VINDRIKTNING sensor to capitalize on the trend.

The device must have sold pretty well, because last month the Swedish flat-packer unveiled the considerably more capable (and more expensive) VINDSTYRKA. Now thanks to the efforts of [Oleksii Kutuzov] we’ve got a fantastic teardown of the new gadget, and some more information on the improvements IKEA made over its predecessor.

Certainly the most obvious upgrade is the addition of an LCD readout that displays temperature, humidity, and how many particulates the device detected in the air. There’s even a “traffic light” colored indicator to show at a glance how bad your air supply is. The other big change is the addition of wireless, though unlike the WiFi hacks we saw for the VINDRIKTNING, this built-in capability uses Zigbee and is designed to plug into IKEA’s own home automation ecosystem.

Speaking of those hacks, a GitHub user by the name of [MaartenL] chimes in to say they’ve managed to hook an ESP32 up to test pads on the VINDSTYRKA motherboard, allowing the parasitic microcontroller to read the device’s sensors and report their data on the network over a service like MQTT, without impacting the sensor’s normal operations. This is how the first hacks on the older VINDRIKTNING were pulled off, so sounds like a promising start.

But even if you aren’t looking to modify the device from its original configuration (how did you find this website?), it seems pretty clear the VINDSTYRKA is a well-built piece of kit that will serve you and your family well. Which is more than what could be said for some of the cheapo environmental sensors flooding the market.

Thanks to [killergeek] for the tip.

Turn Your Furniture Into A Light Show With Hyelicht

There’s something about the regimented square shapes of the IKEA Kallax shelf that convinced [Eike Hein] it could benefit from some RGB LED lighting, and while he could have simply used a commercial solution, he decided instead to develop Hyelicht: an incredibly well documented open source lighting system featuring multiple control interfaces and APIs. We’d say it was overkill, but truth be told, we dream of a world where everyone takes their personal projects to this level.

Hyelicht’s default touch UI

In the boilerplate configuration, [Eike] shows off controlling the LEDs using a graphical user interface running on a Waveshare 7″ touch screen mounted to the side of the shelf. That’s the most direct way of controlling the LEDs, as the touch screen is plugged into the Raspberry Pi 4B that’s actually running the software. But the same interface can also be remotely accessed by your smartphone or desktop.

You can also skip the GUI entirely and control the LEDs with a command line interface, or maybe poke Hyelicht’s HTTP REST interface instead. The system can even integrate with the Philips Hue ecosystem, if you prefer going that route.

The 5×5 Kallax shelf is the project’s official reference hardware, but of course it will work with anything else you might wish to cover with controllable LEDs. We’ve seen similar setups used to light storage bins in the past, but nothing that can even come close to the documentation and customization possibilities offered by Hyelicht. This is definitely a project to keep a close eye on if you’ve got the urge to add a little color to your world.