The flexible home office kitchen table

At my employer Accso we can choose every day a new workplace of our choice. If the project allows it, we work on site at the customer’s site, in the home office, open-plan office, open space, office room, creative corner, company kitchen, InnovationLab, etc.

I adapted the concept at home in my home office. In addition to a desk, I often start working in the kitchen with my coffee and then move to the desk.

Since we now have a new kitchen, I also wanted electricity at the kitchen table. My wife told me that I can do anything as long as the table is free again after work, it doesn’t interfere with kitchen operations and if I want to run cables out, I can move the table forward 1-2cm from the wall. Deal! But there is more at 1-2cm…

Pretty cool, right? A monitor is coming up as soon the display is connecting and it goes down again after disconnecting!

How does it work?

You can get TFT DIY kits like this one:

You can use an old notebook TFT, for my case it was a 15,6″ TFT, which can be used with the so called “HDMI LCD Controller Board”. The board has also an IO-panel board controlling the monitors setup menu. At the IO-board you can find also two LEDs for the status: A red LED indicating no signal and a green LED singling a HDMI signal. These LED control pins are also available via the IO-Panel connector.

Wouldn’t it be nice to let the LED control pin a motor driver which is driving it back and forth? With the motor driver DRV8838 you can exactly do such an application: An enable pin is enabling the motor while a phase pin is switching the motor back and forth. You can get a breakout board from Pololu available at several shops. So in general lets think about keeping the enable-pin all the time enabled, there will be the need to stop the motor. So there is the need to stop the motor at the end-positions. In addition a diode needs to be soldered between normally open (NO) and the normally closed (NC) pin. Normally power is connected through the common (C) pin and the normally closed pin. As soon the motor reaches the end-position, the circuit is cut and the motor stops. As soon the motor will be reversed, the motor would not move anymore. That’s why you need a diode. The diode also closes the circuit in one direction when the switch would open the circuit.

For my DIY monitor I had chosen two drawer runners where I had put the monitor in-between. To move the monitor up and down I coupled a threaded rod with a slow running 5V motor with 5mm shaft.

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