After living with Arrakis for a while I decided there were a few things I didn’t like about it. We’re going to have a MakerFaire in Milwaukee next weekend, so I have been busy making changes to Arrakis and trying to get them done by Friday.
One big problem with Arrakis was the bottom of the sandbox was made from 1/4" plywood. I found it would warp with changes in humidity and the magnet would occasionally drag on the bottom of the box when it was near the center of the table. Arrakis 2.0 has a new sandbox design with a glass bottom.
I decided to move the bottom of the sandbox up closer to the top of the table to allow greater visibility when seated. I will have to clean sand off the underside of the glass top more frequently, but it’s a minor inconvenience.
I also decided to use RGB LED strips to light the table so I can change the colors once in a while. I bought LED kits that came with two 5m strips to a box, with a 12V power supply, controller, and IR remote control. The controller has two cables coming out to connect the two LED strips, always the same color. I modified it by swapping and resoldering the wires of one of the output cables so that the two strips will mostly light up in different colors.
There have been a bunch of other, smaller changes, and there will be a few more after the makerfaire. One thing I will do is simplify the electronics a bit- I’m going to use a single 24V 350W power supply to power everything, plus one buck converter to power the LEDs. I will remount the electronics on a hinged panel that will fold up under the table normally and fold down for easy access for maintenance.
Here’s a teaser…