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Open-Source Controller for the IKEA Bekant Standing Desk (tindie.com)
238 points by eeZah7Ux on Jan 28, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 152 comments

Well, on the one hand, it is great to have a replacement for the original controller. At a previous employer I had a Bekant with the stock controller, and those darn things are dreadfully unreliable. We had enough of those desks to get good reliability statistics... and the statistics are awful. So an open source replacement is great.

That said: Who the heck needs a motorized desk????? When it came to spending my own money, I got an IKEA Skarsta... essentially the same desk but with a hand crank, for half the price. Yes, you can buy two sit/stand hand-crank desks with a reliable mechanism for the cost of one motorized desk with a P.O.S. controller. Or you can do what I did, use the money saved to buy the most gigantic monitor I could find, which improves my productivity much more than the difference between a motorized versus hand crank desk mechanism.

EDIT to add:

In fact, I am pretty sure you can buy just the Skarsta hand crank mechanism. The next time I do a desk for myself, I will probably buy the leg mechanism and cut a custom-shape table top from some 3/4" cabinet ply.

I've got some leg/knee issues that come and go. I like to stand, but I often can only do it for an hour or so.

I've got the Skarsta at home, but I rarely crank it up because it's a lot of effort and I'll just have to crank it down again in an hour.

At work I have an electrically controlled sit/stand desk. It's great.

You may want to consider getting a tall stool for the hour or so you stand and then just swap chairs. I did that for a bit because I didn't like adjusting the desk constantly, and it was nice because I could have someone sit next to me without needing to find another chair or stand. The stool didn't take up too much space either, so it was nice.

I also have a Skarsta. I got tired of hand cranking it and cut the crank's shaft to approx 12" length, then attached a $10 electric drill to it.

Works great but the cheap drill is a bit noisy. At some point I may upgrade that.

Well, I'm getting a lot of comments from the motorized desk lovers here. I'll hang my reply onto yours...

I think we have discovered how to sort sailors from power boaters :) For that matter, I use a French press instead of a Keurig.... now pardon me while I take the stairs as I step out for lunch :)

Another alternative, but I like your drill idea, motorise a Skarsta:


Motorized desks are for flexible working places. People need to change their desks to the right height before starting to work and they are more likely to do so if it is easier.

The biggest advantage would be the preset level buttons. I have a hand crank and it's a pain to get the desk to the level I think I want, only to sit down, get comfortable and realize I need to go up a few inches. So then I have to get up again and there is just a lot of fastidiousness sometimes.

My (IKEA) desk at work has a hand crank, too, but it's easily within reach when I'm sat down.

I still don't use it much, though, since I don't feel particularly productive when trying to do my work while standing.

Keep in mind that this is an accessibility issue - many people cannot use a standard desk comfortably or at all. Height-adjustable desks are a convenience for all users, but they're a necessity for wheelchair users or people with musculoskeletal disorders.

I owned the Skarstra (actually bought 2 of them because I moved and got rid of my old one). Recently, spent the money on the motorized one. It is 100% worth the $250 price difference.

The hand crank is quite annoying - and if you're like me you are cranking it up and down a few times a day. Every day. It takes 30 seconds to crank it up. If you have a lot on your desk (2-3 monitors, computer, etc.) it can be quite heavy. Eventually, it got so annoying I found myself just leaving it in a seated position.

Spend the extra money and get the motorized version.

I spent my own money on a Skarsta desk.

The additional cost for the desk (about €200) is well within what a more luxurious desk from an Ikea competitor would cost[1], and I'm much more likely to push a button and stand up than to wind a crank 20 times and lose my concentration.

I prefer motorized, because it allows for fast and effortless changing between postures. I know it's not that big deal to use hand crank, but it's just enough trouble that you will not be changing between sitting and standing during the day. And if you don't feel like standing the whole day, you are back to sitting the whole day.

I solved that problem by getting an old Ikea JERKER and a draft-height chair. Easier to just sit down than to adjust the desk.

>Who the heck needs a motorized desk?????

A motorized desk is effortless and thoughtless so it's probably a lot less likely to break your flow versus having to spend 30 seconds turning a handle.

I've had both motorized and hand-crank. I much prefer a motorized one.

I have terrible knees because of a sports injury. I get uncomfortable both sitting and standing for extended periods of time. A handcrank is a complete pain to switch between sitting and standing. If I'm adjusting, I feel compelled to be committed to a different position.

With a motorized desk, I can switch pretty much on a whim. I can sit for a while, stand up for 5 or 10 minutes, then get right back in my chair.

I also had a Skarsta, and the crank mechanism came apart within about six months. (I raised/lowered it a half-dozen times per day.) I personally found the Bekant more reliable (though I only used it for a year). YMMV, I guess.

On the other hand, my Steelcase standing desk is still performing well after 7(?) years and several moves, but it was C$1500.

Can the hand crank remember favorite positions? That's the big value add of this controller.

No, but an inconspicuous marking with a permanent marker can.

I would imagine a ruler and some tape could do that. But yes a motorised system is a lot easier to use.

Maybe i'm just lazy, but the additional work of cranking it 20 times (and the bloody noise it makes) means I either have standing weeks or sitting weeks.

Sometimes months. But standing months are rare.

I wonder if spraying some lube in the works will help with the noise... Hmmm.

I really like my motorized one I has memory settings. Meeting standing, working standing, sitting.

>In fact, I am pretty sure you can buy just the Skarsta hand crank mechanism.

i would love this, but a quick google search suggests it's not true.

it comes in two pieces. just go to Ikea and only buy the legs. It might not be possible to order it online that way, but in a physical store it should be no problem.

I bought the crankable legs only, no top.

The guy at the store did warn me that the legs "might not work with a different top" though, whatever that could mean.

wow - to everyone debating crank vs motorized:

2 desks

For those who can afford it, the Uplift Desk[0] is the best desk I've ever used -- very sturdy and there's even a reclaimed wood option. Huge sizes available (if you're into lots of table space) and the resale value is pretty decent (to other nerds/people who want lots of nice looking desk space). Also never had a problem with the motor/setup.

You can often order them through local office supply mom & pops IIRC -- was one of my favorite purchases.

[0]: https://www.upliftdesk.com/

LOL at reclaimed wood being twice the price of new wood. Wouldn’t be surprised if the carbon footprint of reclaiming the wood is higher than growing new bamboo too. It’s like an environmentalist taking a private jet to Davos.

The price appears to be for the Teak, which is a quite expensive wood. The Doug Fir isn’t available yet but I would expect it to be less expensive

Looking at the upliftdesk photos, it looks like the desktop and legs are identical to the "Jarvis" desks we got at work a couple years ago. I've had mine for a solid year, some of my coworkers are closer to 2 years.

We haven't had any problems with the ~8 that we've gotten, except one was missing a cable when it arrived and they sent a replacement. I do probably 4-5 up/down cycles a day, with 3 monitors on it, so it gets a bit of a workout.

OT but how does a site like this, selling premium items (all in the over $500 range), think it's a good idea to have a email signup popover dialog hide the actual content?

It's expected for the likes of Buzzfeed and similar clickbait-y sites, but it's a tacky tactic that detracts from the overall premium feel here.

I'll just chime in and point out you can buy the Uplift standing desk frame separately and use your own tabletop (i.e. from Ikea). I made an awesome 2.5' x 7' pine desk this way.

Agreed, buy once cry once. I expect mine will last me my professional career.

yup i have one its amazing! I did the same thing with my chair, bought a herman miller aeron. They were both expensive but make working so much more comfortable and should last a long time.

If only I could convince my boss of that...

Somewhat similar is FlexiSpot [0] desks. Have you tried those ? if so, I'd love to hear how they compare to Uplift.

Myself, I have a FlexiSpot height adjustable desk and it's great. The price was 430€ (frame only) new (and I've seen it cheaper during events like Black Friday).

[0] https://flexispot.com/

I haven't but thanks for the pointer! Right now I'm using a non-adjustable IKEA Bekant (I missed the height adjustable one by mere weeks but couldn't wait).

Will keep flexispot in mind for when I move next (should be heading towards the EU as well)

Another upvote from me. Purchased November 2016 for my home office and it's held up very well. I've found the (memory) motor controller a little cheap (it'll just stop and/or switch directions sometimes), but otherwise materials have held up well.

what kind of desk can't hold up for 2 years?

Bad ones? I've definitely had furniture that looks beat up and/or doesn't work as well after 2 years of everyday use. It's usually the dirt cheap stuff, but not always.

+1 to to this, also people on the internet are crying bloody foul over the Bekant as well though it's more about the electronics that come with/build quality I think.

Uplift was a fantastic desk to use while I had it

do you have a example? did you use it as a shop work bench?

+1, very happy with my Uplift desk after ~8 months so far. I would avoid their chairs (not built by them, I would guess) – I ended up returning mine b/c it was very uncomfortable. But the desk is fantastic and I'd buy it again without hesitation.

I think it depends on the chair. I got a Raynor Ergohuman chair and I've really liked it. Not cheap, but a cheaper than HM or Steelcase and I've been very happy with it (it's mesh, and it's hot here in the summer).

Can someone explain how or why these are any better than a Jarvis despite being $100+ more expensive? I'm in the market and don't really see any major differences.

I own one of each. They are very similar, and use the same motors & control boxes.

Jarvis upcharges for "extended range", uplift has that by default. Uplift also has a little bit more reinforcing that makes it less prone to side-to-side sway. But only just barely. Not anything that would make me buy one over the other.

We have one of each purely for aesthetics. Uplift had what I was looking for, and jarvis had what my partner was looking for.

They are the same. Exactly. If you dig down into it, all the standing desk companies (that have that 4 position controller) are just putting their own branding and desk tops on top of the exact same motor and controller.

But how much does it cost? I don't see a price anywhere.

Prices seem to be here: https://www.upliftdesk.com/adjustable-height-desks/

Right now everything is marked down, and prices are $500 - $2300, mostly towards the lower end.

If the non-marked down prices are usually real and not just a questionable advertising gimmick, $900 - $4300.

Off-topic, but hoping this is the right group of DIY folks who can steer me in the right direction.

I'd really like to automate some of the windowshades in my house. My two use cases are opening bedroom shades at sunrise, and closing living-room shades at times during the day when direct sun would heat up the room too much.

Every time I've looked into it, there's a wide gap between DIY projects that are labors of love (i.e., probably not usable or repairable by anyone but the creator), or else high-end, proprietary "solutions" that have only "Get A Quote Now" buttons on their websites.

Is there something in between where I can take a commodity shade, a commodity motor, a power source, and a controller of some kind that has a community around it, and then connect Alexa or Google Home?

Ikea is releasing a series of smart blinds[1] in a couple months, compatible with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home. They're supposed to be ~$100 per shade.

1: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/1/7/18172043/ik...

Thanks for the tip. Looks like just what I had in mind.

I know you are looking for DIY, but I ended up getting Lutron Serena shades and they are really great. When I compared the cost of standard custom shades vs something with built-in automation it wasn't that big of a cost difference. Custom shades are always just damn expensive with or without motors. They have a 20% off sale very regularly if you order online, which I found my local big-box hardware store would match.

Thanks. I'm DIY only to get the features I want without lock-in to a system, not DIY for the sake of DIY. If the Ikea suggestion in the sibling comment doesn't pan out, I'll have a look at Lutron.

Ikea's standing desks aren't that great. They wobble a lot and then anything attached to it wobbles too.

Still looking for the perfect heavy-duty standing desk and heavy-duty VESA arm combo. I don't want anything on my desk moving unless I am moving it myself.

To put it this way: if a desk is $500 and wobbles slightly (meaning if I touch the desk or type, my coffee jiggles and waves are seen) or is $1000 and the desk does not transmit any energy from my keyboard into anything else ... I will pay the extra $500 without even batting an eye.

Take a look at https://www.autonomous.ai

They offer the option to buy JUST the legs, and you can mount your own top. I went that route. Bought the legs with the strongest motor (can support 300lbs) and put a nice heavy desktop on there with a vesa mounted 34" curved monitor.

It's pretty damn sturdy. I never notice any wobble with normal use and I usually have it pretty high up.

+1 for autonomous. I bought the standard one offered on their site for $300 and I have two vesa mounted monitors and a desktop tower on my desk. Nothing wobbles. Extremely stable. Very satisfied with the setup.

I'm standing at an Ikea Bekant sit/stand desk right now and have no issues with wobbling. I also only have an laptop, external monitor, two bookshelf speakers and a small lamp on it, I can see how a monitor arm might cause wobbling. I've had it for ~3 years, moved it a few times and never had any issues with it. At the time it was far cheaper ($500) than any other sit/stand desk on the market, not sure if that has changed.

Also going to chime in and say I've got one with monitor arm (only one monitor mind) and bookshelf speakers (also not a lot of weight). No wobble after 2 years or so.

When assembling I did feel that the actual attachment of the surface/board was a bit cheap. They used plastic positive tension pokey... things. Not sure what you call those. I suspect if you have to disassemble / reassemble it a few times they may wear out and the top may wobble independently of the base.

I just picked up one of their new Idasen desks. It's a lot sturdier than their previous ones that I've seen.

I get minimal wobbling of the desk surface at full height, but my monitors do still wobble a bit. At normal desk height there's no wobble. I think most of the wobble comes from the cheaper VESA mount, if I'd gotten a more rigid one it would be better but I wanted more flexibility in arranging the monitors.

I held off on the standing desk for a long time. When I saw the IKea Idasen, I knew they had solved the wobble problem. The desk is awesome and more people should consider it. I also specifically broke out the part numbers and only bought the base. I put a Bamboo top on it.

My monitor does also wobble a bit with the cheap vesa mount I have (it's also a ultra-wide). I'm still researching a proper arm to mount.

Can confirm the sturdiness of Idasen. I used to be convinced that IKEA particle/paper-filled boards can never be as good as solid wood, but apparently the new leg/underframe combo worked wonders to prop up the whole thing, and it now serves as the base of my main EE workbench.

The Skarsta is cheap and fine. When you go to Ikea they tend to wobble, because about a month after assembling them you need to tighten the bolts once. Done.

At home, I customized my Skarsta a bit. Bigger top (200CM wide versus 160CM, 70CM deep) in order to fit 2*27" LG5K and two monitor speakers. And a sliding shelf hanging below the frame, just deep enough to fit a master keyboard. Works fine! :)

Oh, not motorized. No problem. 30 secs of light excercise :)

Have the Bekant and as others have mentioned the build quality is very good. I have 2 monitors mounted via an arm and it really doesn't wobble.

We have "UpliftDesk" standing desks and they seem pretty solid. I haven't used it standing but I can't wiggle the desk up/down at all.

I have an uplift desk frame with 4 legs and using my own desktop made from my parents old dinner table. Perfectly stable.

I got a desk from https://www.fully.com last year and I'm pretty pleased with it. Looks like they have a monitor arm option.

We are shopping for desks right now, and we went to IKEA to look at standing/adjustable desks, and all of them were way too wobbley, so I agree.

I have a Multitable "modtable" with the setup you describe, though with a custom-carved ikea wood countertop for the desk surface.

Solid, stable, no wobble.

Here's the github repo https://github.com/gcormier/megadesk

If you're going to have a standing desk at home I recommend building one that's fixed height. A fixed height desk will be much more stable and allows you to have storage underneath. If you want to sit use a drafting chair or stool.

There are a number of designs that require minimal skill and tools. The first one I built used parts from Ikea and only required a drill and some hand tools. It looked great, had a ton of storage, and cost under $400.

I've managed to divide my desk up into half-sit/half-stand, and I've made it easy to move my work from one to the other. If I had to "adjust" my workstation every time I wanted to stand up, I don't think I'd often do it. I don't want to devote anything more than muscle memory to a task like that while I'm working.

I got the IKEA Bekant sit/stand L desk and I’ve been really satisfied with it. I alternate between computer chair and standing and don’t think a stool would provide enough comfort for me.

I had a carpenter build a desk for me at my preferred height, and use a stool when I don't want to stand.

The stool not providing enough comfort is a plus for me, as it naturally makes me to switch between standing and sitting throughout the day.

Additionally, the stool doesn't provide any back support, which has been great for me to force a better posture and get rid of back pain. (I probably still end up sitting 70% to 80% of my day, but that's good enough for me :)

Couldn't find an archive link, but the product page works and has the description: https://www.tindie.com/products/gcormier/megadesk/

Been using a Jarvis desk for a few years, have one at work and the exact same model at home. Can definitely recommend them. They aren't wobbly at standing either. My friend had the ikea one and it was such a pain getting warranty stuff since they wanted him to haul the thing back to the store over an hour away.

Yeah the thing I like about Jarvis is that they don't get wobbly near the limit of their extension like some of the other standup desks I've seen. I'm 6'5" and I have a thick anti-fatigue mat, so I have to raise it very high.

On top of that I also have a 42" TV on a monitor arm and an attached keyboard tray, and still no wobble.

There's no need to buy an expensive moving desk, simply buy a tall desk and tall chair, then get off it when you'd like to stand.

If there's a wobbling problem push it against the wall, with Patrull corner protectors or similar.

Other people have different mobility issues than you. Sitting in a stool with their feet off the floor might not work for them.

Note that there are a variety of adjustable-height footstools for resting your feet at a natural position while your seat is elevated. I mention this because it increases the range of ergonomic possibilities.

Mobility issues may still prevent someone from hoisting themselves up onto a high seat, so your point still stands.

Nope, not a stool. The chair includes a footrest, and the desk has several cross beams that can be used as well.

This has received the infamous HN hug of death. Any chance anyone has a working archive link?

Whatever happened to The Coral Cache? It seemed like such a great idea, but I have a 0% success rate with it. I suppose I've answered my own question, but did it ever work? Am I using it wrong?

And if it's simply that it can't fetch overwhelmed sites any better than we can, then could we help it by pinging it automatically for any link submitted to HN, enabling it to populate its cache before the hordes arrive?


Generally sticking a CDN automatically in front of any site posted isn't great because you're taking away all the potential ad revenue and flattening any dynamically generated elements to the site blindly.

That wasn't the proposal. The proposal was to warm the CDN's cache.

Give it a good 1-2 hours and bookmark it in the meanwhile.

Just got 2 orders and was wondering if there was a mistake, and then someone opened an issue referencing HN, and here we are! :)

I've had my Bekant for a while now, I find it very sturdy, and I have a 27" monitor on an Ergotron LX arm and no issues with wobbling. Sure, there is movement when moving up and down... but I am also on hardwood, I can't imagine it would be great on carpet.

Mine is fine on carpet.

As much of the discussion has diverged from the post to standing desks in general, I thought I would throw in my own anecdotes.

I got a standing desk frame in 2014 and added my own desktop and monitor stands. You can see what I did here:


I've found it to be really good for me. I tend to sit most of the time, but stand while working for an hour in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon. (Little "Stand" and "Sit" reminders pop-up on my computer to keep my on schedule.)

It would be nice to have position memory like the controller in the post offers, but is not a big issue (given this is not a shared desk). A nice-to-have but not a deal-breaker.

If you are going to adjust the height regularly, motorized is the way to go. You want to eliminate any disincentive that makes it that little bit harder and makes you think, "I wont bother today." Cranking a handle included.

A standing desk with a "tall chair" isn't that ergonomically friendly as your feet are either hanging or on the little foot stand of the chair (if there is one). I like to be able to vary my position more than that to remain comfortable.

Side-note: I also have a presence sensor on my desk - https://www.michevan.id.au/posts/are-you-there/ - which includes a switch to tell if the desk is in sitting position or not. In theory I could collect data on how much time I spend at my desk and in what configurations, but I still haven't got around to properly setting up my MQTT server and such.

Does this controller fix the design flaw that seems to make this desk break down after few months? The Bekant has an overall 2 out of 5 stars on Ikea's own website. From https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49022538/:

> We have 8 of these desk in our office. At first they were used a lot of standing, the use has lessen some, but the problem is the power source that allows them to go up and down has gone out on 6 of them. Ikea has replaced them, but not sure what will happen when the 365 days warranties expire. I would recommend a standing desk just not this brand.

The 2/5 star rating is a shame to me, because this has not been my experience. The warranty is 10 years, not 1 year. The reviewer is mistaken about that. I've owned a Bekant Standing Desk for 3 years, and used it every day without incident. I recommend it to anyone in the market for a standing desk!

No that’s the PSU block. It broke on 2/3 desks in our office within two years or so. Ikea will replace it if it breaks (10yr warranty as another commenter noted).

The standing desk I have is super solid, I went onto alibaba and ordered two frames directly from the manufacturer, in total I paid about NZD$300 including shipping for each of them, I bought a benchtop, put a nice edge on it with a router and then oiled it. currently have a 27" imac and a 27" monitor on a vesa mount and no wobble whatsoever. I highly recommend going this route, far cheaper than a premade product. The electronics are a bit chinese, but they work fine.

edit: just looking at the uplift desk, I think it was the same manufacturer they use, as my frame looks exactly the same, and the weight loadings are the same.

Do you happen to have a link to the Alibaba supplier you bought from?

500 Error: "Error establishing a database connection"

I was completely blown away by the Fully Jarvis (https://www.fully.com/). Mine worked out to ~$500, took all of 5 minutes to set up and has been completely rock solid. It's super customizable, and the quality has been really excellent so far (especially the bamboo top).

I dig that they're a B corp too.

The Bekant motorized desk is a terrible product with bad ratings on Ikeas own site. https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49022538/

Does this project fix any of the underlying issues.

From the product page:

> Why are there so many negative reviews for the BEKANT sit/stand desks?

> In 2016, IKEA identified a batch of BEKANT sit/stand desk Power Supply Units and underframes that stopped working after some time. The faults were related to a production flaw. This problem has since been addressed and fixed, so all new BEKANT sit/stand desks and underframes will not have this issue.

So they claim the issue is fixed.

I'd rather just spend the money for some desk made with Linak actuators.

The new Ikea Idasen desks have Linak motors.

But did they go back and fix the flaw on the desks people had already bought? That seems like a crucial point to calibrate how much I'm going to trust this company with my money.

After being on hold for long periods, I did receive another power supply and controller. It worked for a few days and then I had the same problem all over again. I have not contacted them again - dreading the wait time. How much would you trust a company that replaces defective parts with defective parts?

They have a 10 year warranty, and the problem was publicly identified as a manufacturing defect. So, yeah.

It seems like a lot of people have had problems, but just to provide a dissenting view, I have one and I really like mine. It has performed flawlessly and fits my needs well.

The website says there's a 10 year warranty.

Has anyone tried the Tresanti standing desk which is sold at Costco? It seemed pretty sturdy and reasonably priced at $400 CAD ($300 USD)

EDIT: link - https://www.costco.ca/Tresanti-Adjustable-Desk.product.10042...

I bought that for my home and two for my office -- Costco had it for $300 USD in the warehouse (I see $400 USD online). Maybe cheaper in Canada because it is a Canadian distributor, it is made in China.

A few weeks after purchase, I waited at Costco for new tire installation and worked on my laptop for a few hours. I evangelized standing desks and this product many times while there.

It has very high build quality, especially for the price. The glass is nice and strong, the metal is sturdy, and it doesn't wobble. The setup was super easy, the three integrated charging USB ports are very handy -- too bad no USB-C though. It has presets and a nice little integrated LED. I put my 75 pound kid on it moving up and down with no problem. I have not cracked open the controller and open-sourced the breakdown.

I used an Uplift for many years; it was nice too and good wood and a bit larger at ~$750. But if you like the modern look, the product and the price is great.

I've heard good things and I played with it at Costco, and it seemed solid enough. I didn't get it because it just wasn't big enough.

My wife has the Skarsta, which is a good size, though it doesn't have a motor. I've heard the Becant has problems with the motor, so I didn't get that.

I'm still in the market for a decent, reasonably priced (under $500 preferably) motorized desk, but it needs to be serviceable (I want to be able to replace the motor or desk top without sending it in).

Yep, I've had it for about 2 years. Biggest complaints are that the buttons are on top and easy to press by accident (although there's a lock button on the side), and the lowest setting isn't low enough for me (5'8"). All that said, I think it's great for the price. I'm thinking about upgrading to a big ol' Uplift Desk because I want to get an under-desk treadmill with enough room for a chair next to it.

I wonder if this could be built with an esp8266 or esp32 instead of an arduino.

An esp32 would enable so much cool features. Like control by bluetooth/wifi, apple homekit integration, ...

I can't think of any reason to control my desk over the internet or via Bluetooth. If I'm not at my desk I don't care how high it is, if I'm at the desk and want to change it a button is much more convenient than using my phone.

Think about a button on your desktop to move the desk at a predefined height for standing. It‘s more easily comfigurable than the hijacked ikea bekant buttons to support more logic by different type of presses.

While I agree Wi-Fi would enable other methods of control, the megadesk is designed to do exactly what you suggested.. store and load pre-defined positions by different types of presses :)

I can think of two from the top of my head:

- Let's say you work in a shared office environment with a hot desk policy. Storing the configurations on the board will become unwieldy once more than one person stores her configuration on the board.

- I personally would love to automate my desk to move to a specific position at preset intervals. This would be mostly to force me to change positions throughout the day. I tend to forget to do that.

I'm sure people would come with all kinds of different use cases you and I can't think of right now.

I'd prefer serial control, so I can reliably control it directly from my PC without any wireless protocols: https://github.com/gcormier/megadesk/issues/12

My thoughts exactly! Basically anything you can do with an arduino you can do better and cheaper with esp*. It also gives you some interesting benefits (with the esp32 especially)

The main change would be to the power supply, as the esp8266 has a far higher (~300mA) peak current than the ATTiny814 used (~3mA). Currently, an LDO provides 3.3V from the 24-35V motor supply. This would need to be changed to a buck DC/DC regulator, as a larger LDO at this voltage would need too big a heatsink for the case.

You should be just fine with a cheap lm1117 and no heatsink, that's what most people use with esp's. Also that's peak current from the radio, which for IOT things is generally very short.

EDIT: Wait I meant from 5v, nevermind!

as you note with your edit, most usages aren't going to be dropping from >24V.

> Also that's peak current from the radio, which for IOT things is generally very short.

this is the interesting bit, though.

if you're releasing an open source board design, to have customizable firmware dropped on to it, what do you really know about the radio usage when you're designing the circuit/board?

safest is to spec it for maximum draw on any controller/radio. write the BOM to call for one of the three-terminal drop-in switching regulators ($5), and if somebody knows what they're doing they can put in the original linear part and save $4.50.

Someone mentioned it on my repo a few months back. I think the space constraints would make it very challenging to make a drop-in replacement that fits in the original housing.

Of course, with a new housing, the sky is the limit :) But that wasn't the main design goal.

And bare esp8266 is about the size of my thumbnail. They're tiny. I'm not personally aware of a smaller Arduino.

Regardless, really cool project. Thanks for putting it on github!

Some kind of networking/bluetooth stack would be very useful.

Are there any desks that one has uses and really recommends? I'm not entirely sold on motorized desks, so suggestions for mechanical ones?

It's very much not-cheap, but I really like my https://www.humanscale.com/products/product.cfm?group=float

Rather than being motorized or cranked, the desk's weight is counterbalanced with springs/pneumatics, similar to a garage door. Adjusting the desk is faster and easier than either a motorized or hand-cranked solution, and is completely non-electronic.

The particular desk I linked is quite expensive, there may exist cheaper knockoffs that I'm unaware of. I'm surprised I don't see more counterbalance type sit-stand desks, they're significantly more convenient.

I picked up a used motorized by Autonomous on craigslist. Really sturdy, no problems so far up and down every day for 6 months, good controls.

Its the dual motor seen on amazon here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YET9M84/

I use and recommend the new Ikea Idasen.(https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S29280934/)

I put a different top on it though (a bamboo one)

Been using a Fully Jarvis L-shaped desk for a few months now. Self-assembly was unpleasant (not really Fully's fault - it's a complicated build no matter what). But the desk is huge and sturdy. No complaints. I think I paid $1500 or so.

Ikea makes a hand crank model called the Skarstra. Take it from someone who has owned 2 hand crank desks and recently bought a motorized one - spend the extra money to get the motor.

Cranking ur desk up and down multiple times a day every day gets old fast.

We bought a couple Varidesk manual standing desks, they are wobbly as heck

I have two jarvis desks. The extended reach ones. So far they have been excellent. Used for over a year now.

I love my Bekant desk.

You can download a mobile app that can control the motor via Bluetooth, and it has three memory settings.

whats the app called?

Desk Control by a company called Linak. It's not the best app--I keep having to reconnect via the bluetooth--but for the price of the Bekant, and knowing I don't change heights often, it works for me.

My bad. I was confusing two different desks. The one I have is the IKEA Idasen desk, not the Bekant. Sorry for any confusion.

A few reviews mention this table wobbles when its raised - buyer beware

I'm the co-founder of an office furniture startup called Bureau (www.bureauwork.com) and thought I'd chime in here.

By far the most frequent complaint that came up in our research about cheaper standing desks is their tendency to wobble, along both the front-back axis as well as the side-to-side axis.

Generally, there are four reasons a standing desk will wobble:

1) Frame materials: I'd highly recommend a steel frame for stability. You trade off against weight and some added complexity in assembly, but the desktop will be way more stable across both axes. 2) Lift columns. A three-stage lift is more stable than a two stage lift for a given height--the stages overlap and support each other through a greater portion of the length. 3) Fasteners. The frame-to-feet connectors are most critical, and DIY installations are often under-torqued here. If you're building a standing desk yourself, tighten that bolt as much as you can. 4) Adjustable feet: Most floors are slightly uneven. A quality standing desk will let you screw the feet up and down to compensate for your floor.

We sell our standing desk for $850. Def more expensive than many of the options discussed here, but the incremental cost flows through directly to design, materials and ultimately stability, which we felt was a trade worth making.

Beyond our line, we're big fans of the Herman Miller Renew, which is unfortunately priced well beyond reach for most but a really great piece of furniture. If you have any questions about choosing a standing desk, feel free to DM me.

I have the Bekant and it is very well built. I have a monitor arm with 2 monitors on it and the desk doesn't wobble at all.

Any comments on the durability and robustness of different lifting mechanisms? Somehow having the functionality of a piece of furniture depend on electricity feels wrong to me, plus there's the chance of the motor breaking.

My BEKANT does not wobble at all.

The conflicting anecdotes of "wobble" vs "no wobble" of the BEKANT desk in this thread are fascinating.

Last year, I played around with the BEKANT standing desk on display at the IKEA store and (in my perception) it wobbled. It's the same type of wobble that a youtuber demonstrated[0]. There are others in this thread that complain about wobble.[1]

And yet some people say there's no wobble -- and I believe them.

My attempted explanation to reconcile the Schrodinger's Cat dual reality is that people must have a different threshold for sensing a noticeable wobble.

Is the dress blue or white? Does the BEKANT desk wobble or not wobble? Depends on the observer.

[0] deep link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3sYS0xUq1E&t=230

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19020722

LOL. A lot of pop psychology and very little mention of manufacturing variations, assembly variations, or situational variations (warped floors or weird humidity etc)

wait, so do you really believe that all the bekants, after assembly, are perfectly identical so that the only remaining variable is the observer's subjectivity?

>you really believe that all the bekants, after assembly, are perfectly identical so that the only remaining variable is the observer's subjectivity?

They may not be identical but I think subjective detection/annoyance of a wobble is the most likely difference because of the physics of how the desk is assembled.

If you're not familiar with the BEKANT desk, this video[0] shows what the underside looks like. (Please note this is showing the BEKANT version that is motorized to adjust the standing positions.)

You'll see there's not enough support mass, nor enough surface area of metal cross bracing, etc to prevent it from wobbling -- especially at extended heights of 39+ inches. Also notice that the braces are attached to the table top using plastic push pins and not metal lag bolts.

To eliminate perceivable wobble would require increasing the 2 'T' posts to 4 corner posts -- or keeping 2 posts but make them more massive, etc.

But IKEA didn't have to do any of those more expensive engineering designs because a significant number of buyers already praise it as having "no wobble." This makes sense to me.

Some other possibilities for the conflicting observations:

(1) It's possible that some self-reports of "no wobble" are mainly using the desk at sitting height instead of standing height.

(2) Maybe some users have it extended at standing desk but put in a corner so there are 2 walls that stabilize it.

(3) They may be using the BEKANT version that's non-motorized and sitting-height only. (That one has a different underside bracing geometry and also more mass for more rigidity. I wouldn't expect this desk to wobble.)

This thread happens to be about "standing desks" and the comment people are replying to is also talking about "standing desks". Therefore, I discounted the 3rd possibility.

[0] deep link: https://youtu.be/lZ9VmpyXk6g?t=187

ok, but the facts you present don't really isolate the cause (i.e., rule out other possibilities) of (the perception of) wobble.

you'd need to prove that all desks, when assembled by random people, have largely similar wobble characteristics (or the much harder proof that wobble varies with the perceptive tolerances of the observer). however, as you allude, the engineers were constrained by ikea's affordability (cheap), assembly (easy), and distribution (flat-pack) goals rather than precision around wobble.

as for the engineering, it's not support mass or surface area you need (read up on i-beams if this doesn't make immediate sense), but torsional rigidity at the joints, particularly tighter tolerances around the connectors when assembled by random people. torsional rigiditity in the spanning members is needed too, but that's less likely to be the issue since it's a steel frame.

this is a simpler explanation for the observed phenomena (apply occam's razor here). certainly more than one explanation might conjointly apply, but yours is the more complicated explanation and thus implores more observation and measurement.

>this is a simpler explanation for the observed phenomena (apply occam's razor here). certainly more than one explanation might conjointly apply, but yours is the more complicated explanation and thus implores more observation and measurement.

And I thought Occam's Razor as guidance made the basic physics of the joints making wobbling unavoidable was the simpler explanation. I think we have different exposure to this product. I actually examined this desk at the store. If you look at the pdf[0] of the assembly, you'll notice 2 bolts that attach the pedestal to the posts. It doesn't matter how much one tightens the bolts because when you extend the desk past 40 inches with a heavy weight on the top (20+ pounds), that T joint will flex and deform. (See 1st video I cited for example).

As analogy, here's example of unstable weight distribution on the end of a joint (car and trailer): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mW_gzdh6to

One doesn't need to examine 1000 different cars towing a heavy weight on the back to determine that it's unstable and will fishtail. The basic physics of the configuration will make it fishtail. That's the type of Occam's Razor I'm using. Yes, there will be variances in how the trailer hitches were installed to the vehicle, and also variances in the trailer ball diameter -- but those are not the dominant factors. To continue the analogy, some drivers with misconfigured weight distribution may not notice any fishtailing because they drove slower than 40 mph, or they didn't make any sudden steering overcorrections etc. Same situation with some desk users reporting no wobble by using it a shorter height, or placing it against the wall, or just not subjectively noticing it.

If one makes a desk that lets people put 20+ pounds at the end of a 40-inch extended pole that's attached to 2 bolts -- without triangle stiffeners, or welds, or cross-bracing, or whatever, ...it's going to wobble at least little bit. Based on hands-on experience with the desk, I contend the underlying physics of the assembly design overwhelms any deviations in manufacturing tolerances. Or put another way, if we consider the entire Gaussian distribution of manufacturing variances, all of the desk samples will still exhibit wobble to some degree as shown in the 1st Youtube video. Some may wobble less; some may wobble more. E.g. the telescoping cylinders (not CNC milled) that the users do not assemble may have variances that add to the total wobble.

I noticed others in this thread mentioned that the newer IKEA model IDASEN "solves" the wobble. (Or minimizes it.) If we look at its alternative design[1], lo and behold, we see that desk has added diagonal bars on the legs for extra support. Yes, it makes sense that structural triangles are stronger and stiffer than just 2 bolts fastening a T joint of the BEKANT.

[0] https://www.ikea.com/us/en/assembly_instructions/bekant-sit-...

[1] https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S29280934/

It also depends on the load. Heavier items places on solid footing on the desk => less wobble.

Mine also does not wobble in the slightest.

Mine is rock solid as well.

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