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Old March 13, 2015, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2
Lightbulb Side Panel Monitor Case Mod

First off, I've just really gotten involved in the hardware/gaming community recently but I've been into PC's since my first 486, I've been into modding for about 10 years. Most of what I've done has been hack together work with hand tools, and it's spread to being a way of life, I will mod anything I can just for fun! I've already posted this on one other forum, also, I used to be on TheBestCaseScenario forums for some other mods I've done in the past. there's a lot of info right off the bat but I'll try to stay Relevant.

so anyway, my latest hack job!

Pt1. I guess I should start off this way, I actually hadn't had a PC for a while, I lost everything after a bad break-up and was concentrating on work and getting my life back in order. I started working for a local landlord who happened to own a building with a pc shop out front. long story short, I walked up while they were piling old cases in the back of a truck and asked if there was anything good in them, the boss said "don't really know, mostly old stuff we can't sell" bit of back and forth and he says "well, take whatever you want, saves me the enviro fee at the dump" I ended up with 8 cases, 3 monitors and a mishmash of mostly useless components, and in the end it boiled down to this case, and another more complete case (which is now my HTPC) I'll put the specs for my personal PC in my profile, but they're really not impressive.

Pt2. a few years ago I worked for another company that made equipment which required a 12v powered display, which happened to be 19" and had DVI-D inputs, I built a full custom case out of angle aluminium and spare bits from an old hack case Pictured here:

I sold this computer to help pay rent then bought it back when I found out they had it sitting unused for months, when i got it back, it was filthy inside, the frame was bent and falling apart, and all said and done I had the fans, PSU, GPU, and screen left.

Pt3. since I got this new-to-me PC built and it was missing the side panel I decided that I would start over, and instead of being lazy and bolting 30lbs of unnecessary metal to the side of my PC. well the pictures will tell the story Thus far.

Got everything together and operating

pulled the screen out of storage

started pulling 15lbs of metal out of the screen: 1st the control board cover

then everything else

then i worked out how to mount the control board in the case so i won't have to mangle the case trying to run the dvi cable in

then i worked out mounting the screen to the cabinet

I still have some work ahead though, still need to fix a piece of metal to the left side of the panel so I can thumbscrew it into the case to keep it from swinging open,, figure out where the button panel will go, and cover the remaining open space, (and hopefully someday soon, gut the system and rebuild it with newer internals so that it's worth doing all this work to it :-P )

2nd Post:
2 pics with the panel open so you can see that the hinge is functional (although it could still use a few more screws to straighten the hinge out, I just threw in what I had for the moment)

The panel that controls the Cathode back-lighting is installed (on right, top 2 connections have to be unplugged to open the panel all the way. but that's high current, not messing with extensions there.)and the wiring extension from the main control board has been soldered and heat shrink'd, not the way I wanted it to be done, but I got overeager and started soldering before I had the heat shrink.

next task is this.

I'm going to use 4 (approximately 2 foot long) lan cables(twisted pair cat 6), run all the grounds to the original shield and shield with tin foil, this part is an experiment, if it doesn't work I'll have to try to find a good source for 2 feet of 28 conductor (14 twisted pairs) shielded and solder directly to the board :/

**Edit there is currently power to the main control board because it has a built in fan controller that wasn't used in the panels previous life, so effectively it's nothing but an over-complicated fan controller at the moment ^.^ haha**

3rd Post
Update time!!!!

I started the wiring this-morning for the 28 pin connectors

then tonight after some running around for more heat shrink, and a few odd jobs, I finished and was granted with this!

AHHH RATFARTS!!! >.< didn't work... oh wait... which way does that connector go into the control board again?

WOOT! I still have to finish the face, and get an hdmi to dvi cord so I can have both panels digital, but as far as I'm concerned this is a WIN! the rest will take some time because I have to find some scrap metal and I'm thinking probably just some glossy black plastic for the actual surround of the screen. I'll also take another inside shot with everything done tomorrow, I don't want to open it again right now lol.

Just the inside shots, I know I'm not winning any awards for wire management here but it's an old case, old power supply, well... it's all kinda old lol. if anyone wants to see this cleaned up I'll gladly take a newer case and some components off your hands :-P (if only)

As it sits today, depending on how things go I might try to do some of the face work today though.

someone asked me about the usefulness of this mod on the other forum, so I'll post this here incase the question comes up:

So honestly there's a few different reasons I came up with this idea,

#1 at the time was 2 or 3 trips to the car if I decide to go to a Lan party (especially in the middle of winter) was annoying, with this, throw the keyboard on top, mouse in your pocket, one power cord (which is also part of the + of this mod a lot of the time just running a lan with friends leads to circuit scarcity etc.) and you're good to go!

#2 for me is space saving, my home "office" is literally my desk, and I can not force myself to put my cases on the floor. and in line with the amount of space I have to use, is the availability of funds. so I can't just go out and buy wall mounts or extending desk mounts etc.

#3 Is eye candy, even with how slapped together V 1.0 looked, everyone who saw it wanted to buy it just for the case/monitor panel. I do like the look myself, but I enjoy having people walk in and say "Wow that's neat I wish mine could do that"

#4 It did end up becoming a home theater PC (thought of during the Lan party period) for a number of months before it sold, having this display beside/below the TV allows you to run commands/controls (or even checking social media) while everyone else remains entertained by the main screen.

#5 Upgrade-ability, you could buy a gaming laptop for portability, but you're going to spend a lot more buying one every time you want to play the newest game, than you might upgrading components to get your stats leveled out for it.

So I guess personally this mod goes over great, but I can see how people might not want to pay X amount for the mod when they can afford to just mount another monitor on the wall/buy a high end gaming laptop or what have you whenever they need it.
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Old March 13, 2015, 09:22 AM
Cptn Vortex's Avatar
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Ever since I started modding, I was always thinking of doing this! Nicely done!
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Old March 13, 2015, 12:51 PM
Shadowmeph's Avatar
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My System Specs


Same as myself, I have a 19inch monitor that I want to use
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Old March 13, 2015, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 2

thanks guys, quick little input here if you want to do a mod like this with a regular monitor. It makes the wiring simple, but your mounting is going to harder because they generally don't have any mounting holes in the sides of the screens frame. easier wiring though because you can just run a short male to female extension to your back card slots, cut a hole for a power input connection from a scrap power supply and solder a cut one connected to the monitor to that. I don't think it would be too hard to do the mounting as long as you had some metal bending tools or something like that.
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