Below are some images of the gaming table created for the group to play on by Troy and his friend Jason. It's a simple design intended to be used as a regular (if large) coffee table most of the time but if the top is removed it reveals a built-in monitor under plexiglass so we can use Roll20.net, and have players join us remotely if required if they move interstate to play with large telescope arrays.
On consideration one of the first things I would like to change is installation of actual hardened glass as the Plexiglass is subject to scoring and just doesn't look as nice as glass might. Unfortunately given that we weren't accustomed to working with either material, we decided on plexiglass in the hope it would be more forgiving if they made a mistake.
Image 1 shows the removable top sitting on the upside-down main body of the table. I went for the brass bolts everywhere as I felt it complimented the look better than bright steel.
The hole for the monitor was cut with only a 1-2mm tolerance, and as the board itself is 20mm thick there's very little risk of the monitor tipping one way or another. The only way it will come out is by unfastening the screws holding the perspex in place and removing it (another reason not to use glass), then the monitor can be pushed up and out of the hole. Care must be taken at that point not to let either end tip over and fall back down to the floor. This picture allows a decent view of the section carved away to provide access to the monitor controls which run along one edge.
Also note see that only the bolts at each corner have threads still attached, whereas the others are purely decorative.
Image 2 shows the monitor and perspex in place, with the protective plastic wrap on still on the perspex as we still had to transport it. You can see the four holes which the bolts from the other table top slot into (for a better look at those bolts check out the next picture).
You can also probably tell that this thing is very solid.
Image 3 shows the table with the protective cover in place, ready for unveiling to the rest of the group. As you might realize from the mess of cables on the left, that's the leg where I have cable clamps for the power and video for the monitor.
Image 4 shows the table with protective cover removed and the screen on just to give an idea of what that looks like. Generally we would have the map zoomed out quite a bit more than this of course, one of the advantages of the virtual combat grid.
Image 5 shows the downside of sitting on the couch; the screen doesn't look so great. It's fine if you sit forward and are looking down onto the table more, but if you're slouching things get a lot harder to see as the monitor doesn't allow for a great viewing angle from what would usually be "down". Apologies for the blurry picture, though I feel that probably just adds to the authenticity of the bad viewing angle.
Image 6 attempts to give an idea of how low you can get to the table and still obtain a decent view. You also get a better view of the screws holding the perspex in place, which also act as risers keeping the protective cover from coming into contact with the perspex when attached.