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The Wandering Table - a LattePanda virtual tabletop gaming machine

userHead LattePanda 2024-04-01 13:35:58 577 Views0 Replies

* This project and article is made by our community member Theo Brickey. 

 

 

The Wandering Table is a virtual tabletop gaming machine powered by LattePanda Sigma. It combines Virtual Tabletops with traditional pen and paper elements to enhance the immersive experience of playing tabletop RPGs. It provides a digital library of maps, scenarios, and adventures for game masters, along with various features to make the game feel more realistic. Unlike home-based tables with built-in screens, the Wandering Table is a mobile solution that allows game masters to play in public settings. With RGB and sound capabilities, it offers effects, background audio, and even voice lines for NPC characters, making it a comprehensive digital tool for GMs.

 

Hardware and Software List

 

HARDWARE


- PC: Lattepanda Sigma 32GB with a 512GB NVME SSD onboard wifi 6 and the built-in 4g modem.

 

- Screen: 32 inch 4K HDR LG panel (60hz) from AliExpress


- Sound: Adafruit MAX9744 20 watt audio board and 2 Dayton DAEX58FP Tactile transducers

 

- BODY:
The body is made of a mixture of 3D printed parts printed solid in PETG, and 2  “1020” aluminum extrusions.
With 2 sheets of ¼ inch plexi glass on the front and back of the shell, and a custom 3D printed frame to hold all the hardware in place.
The RGB is a set of WS2812B LED driven via the Sigma’s onboard Arduino.
The cooling is provided by a stand-alone temperature controller (relay based at 12v) and 4 Noctua A4x10FLX fans in a push-pull configuration across the body of the device.


- POWER:
the entire system is powered off a single 180w Asus ROG power supply from a laptop, which is then split into 3 switchable channels via a custom designed Power board, and passed to a series of boost/buck converters to step the voltage up and down to the various requirements for the hardware inside (5v, 12v, 14v, & 24v, with the sigma itself on a direct pass-through)


SOFTWARE

The Sigma is running Arch.
Linux was chosen for this as Windows can not be trusted to remain stable in a “production” environment and is self-hosting an instance of Foundry Virtual Tabletop, with several plugins loaded to make it easier to operate the table without directly touching it.
The RGB is driven via Hyperion-ng running on the Sigma and will be set up to run screen capture for an “ambient light” setup.

 

 

How to make the Wandering Table

 

The process started with the screen, we had to design the case around the screen so that everything would fit together properly. After that, we had to find all the support parts to go around the Sigma and make everything work.


Then a frame was designed to hold all the various bits of hardware to the back of the device while isolating it from the back panel enough to allow for sound to come out with as little distortion as possible.

 

(Pictured is the inside of the body at the beginning stages of assembly, this image shows off the power section the audio board the screen controller, and the LattePanda Sigma all being “dry fitted” to check for cable management.)

 

Once all the design work was done we spent a month doing parts procurement and then 2 weeks assembling it all.  Starting with the aluminum extrusions and the 3D prints for the wall parts. These required the use of 2 Anycubic Kobra 2 Pro FDM printers to print due to bed size requirements (the total length of the centerpiece was larger parts where printed and the extrusions cut to length the parts where installed in a custom 3d printed frame and then bolted to a sheet of Plexiglas.

 

(Pictured is the bottom of “The Wandering Table” after assembly has been completed, shown is the working finished product from underneath.)

 

Then that sheet of plexiglass itself was bolted to the T-Channel of the extrusions. Then the screen was mounted to the internals, and one more sheet of plexiglass was used to seal the front.

 

Why LattePanda?

 

The LattePanda Sigma was chosen for a few reasons, the first and most important of which is the form factor. We had to find a way to get a computer sound lights and a screen in a space that is 2 inches tall (50.8mm). We also knew that the VTT that this project was intended to run requires a good GPU to operate properly which made anything resembling a Pi too weak for the job (Foundry VTT requires WebGL) the sigma fit the bill better than any other SBC we could reasonably get ahold of.  The built-in 4G was also taken into consideration when purchasing the device as it meant we didn’t have to buy/build a separate device to provide us with mobile internet, and finally, the built-in Arduino was the perfect thing to use for driving a set of WS2812B RGB LED’s.

 

 

 

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