IKEA Bekant adjustable table repair and hacking

happen to own IKEA Bekant motor adjustable table. It worked nicely for around years, and served well as my working table. Though there are only simple “Up” and “Down” buttons installed by default, it works OK. But one day I found out that some day moving the table up and down did not work anymore. Here is a picture of the table from IKEA product page:

I did some fault finding and contacted IKEA. Anyways this product was supposed to have 10 years guarantee. Nothing in the manual helped to solve the issue.

When contacting IKEA I got this tip: First, try resetting to factory settings:

* Check that the pin / key is properly seated. The pin / key is located on the front panel of the table top. Unplug the power cord for at least a minute, preferably several hours, and then plug it in again
* Press and hold both adjustment buttons for at least 10 seconds to reset the base to the factory settings.
* If the stand does not work as it should, please contact our customer service.

That did not solve the issue. I tried to do this few times but nothing. I tried disconnecting and re-connecting the cables but it did not help.

I did some measurements try to find what is wrong. The table base has a mains power supply (looks quite much like laptop power supply) that is supposed to output 35V DC at few amperes to power the motors that move the table. I measured the output voltage and the transformer was putting out slightly less than 24V DC. This is not right.

After few contacting IKEA they sent me a new power supply (and also new control buttons), but it did not solve the problem. :-(  Finally IKEA swapped the motor base to a new one, and that made the table to work again.

When I had to fiddle with the board, I also looked around what information about this able is available. Here is what I found:

IKEA Bekant Table Hacking project page shows how to add memory functions and make it controllable with serial cable. The reason why this was done because the project developer thought that only simple “Up” and “Down” buttons installed by default pretty much sucks. There is IKEA Hackant Github page with more details.

Smarkant page shows how to convert your IKEA Bekant table into a smart IoT device. The ESP8266 can give us WiFi and quite some processing power to implement a REST interface to control our table remotely.

Hacking an office desk page is a project description in Finnish on controlling this desk with Arduino. This project connects Arduino to the existing control button electronics so that Arduino emulated up and down key pressing. This project uses the ultrasonic sensor to get the current height (could be read from LIN bus).

IKEA Bekant Älypöytä Arduinolla page is a project description in Finnish on controlling this desk with Arduino. This project connects Arduino to the existing control button electronics so that Arduino emulated up and down key pressing. This project page has nice picture on what is inside the slight hard to open control buttons case:

 

On Github there are pages: https://github.com/robin7331/IKEA-Hackant and https://github.com/trainman419/bekant and https://github.com/robertaramar/bekant

More project pages: https://www.henrirantanen.fi/2015/03/10/ikea-bekant-arduino-alypoyta/

There are also two interesting videos on this topic:

That IKEA Bekant Table Hacking page has interestgin information that Robert Nixdorf had found out that the used the LIN protocol for control buttons to communicate with the motors. Here is a nice video on hacking the LIN bus of this table:

Let’s look on that a little bit more on LIN bus:

LIN (Local Interconnect Network) is a serial network protocol designed to be used for communication between components in vehicles. The need for a cheap serial network arose as the technologies and the facilities implemented in the car grew, while the CAN bus was too expensive to implement for every component in the car. In the late 1990s, the LIN Consortium was founded by five automakers (BMW, Volkswagen Group, Audi, Volvo Cars, Mercedes-Benz).LIN is a broadcast serial network comprising typically of one master and up to 15 slaves. The master and slaves are typically microcontrollers. LIN uses single wire communications up to 19.2 kbit/s @ 40 meter bus length. It is designed for typical 12V operating voltage. It is a low-cost, single-wire network based on ISO 9141.

 

8 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Comparing Linear Servos & Linear Actuators – with Kyle and Jason
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5tx64G1ilQ
    Linear Actuators 101
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi5B6goAPlU
    Linear Actuators 101 – for Woodworkers
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpZl77cYBxo

    Reply
  2. Monika Jacob says:

    Can you make a custom parts for me actually I am from UK London and work for https://www.affordable-dissertation.co.uk/dissertation-proposal-writing-services/

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hardware Unknown is the owner of an electric IKEA sit/stand desk. Rather than waste minutes every day pushing a button, he decided to automate it with an Arduino.

    Automating an electric standing desk with Arduino
    https://blog.arduino.cc/2020/12/29/automating-an-electric-standing-desk-with-arduino/

    IKEA sells – among many, many, other items – a motorized sit/stand desk called the BEKANT. Although it seems like a nice item, creator “Hardware Unknown” found having to hold a button down the entire time that it goes from one position to another to be a bit inconvenient.

    To remedy this situation, he cannibalized the stock PCB out of a spare control panel, then hooked up an Arduino Nano to emulate button presses to the board via a pair of MOSFETs. Four user input buttons were added, along with a 3D-printed enclosure for a custom controller.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Greg Cormier’s Megadesk Is the Open Source Upgrade All IKEA Bekant Owners Should Consider
    Fully open, the Megadesk is a drop-in upgrade which adds near-unlimited position memory to the stock motor control board
    https://www.hackster.io/news/greg-cormier-s-megadesk-is-the-open-source-upgrade-all-ikea-bekant-owners-should-consider-ab0f54723f2d

    Greg Cormier has released a board for anyone who owns an IKEA Bekant motorised sit-stand desk but who finds the on-board controller a little lacking in functionality: the Megadesk, an AVR-based add-on.

    “The Bekant is a relatively inexpensive motorized standing desk. It doesn’t come with memory positions,” Cormier explains of the problem Megadesk looks to solve. “I wanted to have memory positions for easily switching between various work positions. I also didn’t want to be limited to just 2 positions.”

    Driven by a Microchip ATmega328P, the controller retains the core functionality of the original: Holding the up or down buttons moves the desk surface up or down, as you might expect. It’s smarter than that, though: Megadesk allows the user to store multiple positions in memory, and return to those positions simply by tapping the up button a number of times corresponding to the memory position required.

    The controller isn’t a replacement for the original, though, but an add-on.

    The design files and source code for the Megadesk controller have been published to GitHub under the GNU General Public License 3, while pre-assembled boards are available from Cormier’s Tindie store for $50.

    https://github.com/gcormier/megadesk

    Reply
  5. Eduardo Alves says:

    Guys, to make everything short. My Bekant stopped obeying commands. after a long search in the interned here is the correct reset procedure:
    1- Just hold both buttons for 10 seconds
    2- Only the “Down” button will be working
    3- Command the table to go fully down, till the full stop, it will make it very slow
    4- Done! Your table is back operational. No need to replace anything.

    If it does not works, then and only then, thing about replacing parts.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  6. Eduardo Alves says:

    Guys, to make everything short. My Bekant stopped obeying commands. after a long search in the interned here is the correct reset procedure:
    1- Just hold both buttons for 10 seconds
    2- Only the “Down” button will be working
    3- Command the table to go fully down, till the full stop, it will make it very slow
    4- Done! Your table is back operational. No need to replace anything.

    If it does not works, then and only then, thing about replacing parts.

    Good luck!

    Reply

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