Not knowing what’s going on inside of your electronics projects can make it quite difficult to get the bugs out. [John] was bumping up against this problem when working on wireless communications between several devices. At just about the same time his friend came up with a script with lets you monitor multiple serial devices in one terminal window.
We’re used to using minicom, a Linux package that does the job when working with serial connections of all kinds. But [John] is right, we’re pretty sure you can only connect to one device per minicom instance. But [Jim’s] Python serial terminal (available in this git repository) allows you to specify multiple devices as command line arguments. You can even use wildcards to monitor every USB connection. The script then automatically chooses a different color for each device.
The image above is from [John’s] wireless project. Even without any other background this shows how easy it is to debug this way rather than tab back and forth between windows which gets confusing very quickly.
[Optec] want his own triple monitor setup built to his specifications. It turns out to have been a pretty easy project thanks to his mastery of stock materials. The image above is just a bit dim, but if you look closely you can see the strut channel which makes up the monitor frame.
When it comes to this type of metal strut material there’s a lot to choose from. [Optec] went with the half-slot format which provides a little bit of left and right wiggle room. This is important to get the edges of those monitors to butt up to one another. After making a pair of relief cuts he bent the channel in two places, using 45 degree brackets as reinforcement. The monitor mounts are made of MDF with countersunk holes to hide the bolt heads which connect it to the channel.
He figures the total cost of the mount was around $40. Seeing how easy it was makes us think we may never buy a commercial TV mounting bracket again. Of course if you’re more into woodworking there’s a tri-monitor project for you too.
It does make us sad to see all the waste generated as we move from CRT monitors and televisions to flat panel offerings. Here’s a way to cut down just a bit on how much is going to waste. [Denizpa] turned a CRT monitor into a planter.
The project is very straight-forward. First remove the plastic body from the electronic guts. Next you’ll want to choose your paint colors. While you’re at the home store, pick up a sanding sponge as well. [Denizpa] used 320 grit to sand all of the outside surfaces to help ensure the paint would bond well. Once the paint dried four plastic corner brackets were screwed in place to add some interest to the bottom of the planter. It’s not quite time to plant though, there’s way too many holes in the case to just fill it up with soil. A black plastic garbage bag serves as a liner and completes the project.
No mention on what to do with the guts you removed. If you have an idea let us know in the comments section.
[LuckyNumbrKevin] wanted an epic monitor array of his own but didn’t really have the desk real estate to pull it off. His solution was to build a three computer monitor mounting rack with a relatively small footprint.
The design started with some virtual test builds using SketchUp. Once he had it dialed in he began transferring measurements for the base onto some plywood. The rest of the parts are built using dimensional lumber. As the project shaped up he wrapped the edges of the plywood with some trim, and gave the piece a good sanding. After a few passes with a dark stain he was ready to mount the monitors he bought from Newegg.
[Kevin] left a comment in the Reddit thread about the parts cost for his design. Including the monitors, this came in under $300. That does not include the Nvidia graphics card which is capable of driving the trio.
One of the perks of writing for Hackaday is that we often find hacks that we’ve been meaning to do ourselves. Here’s one that will let us fix our borked ASUS computer monitor buttons. [Silviu] has the same monitor we do, an ASUS VW202, and had the same problem of stuck buttons. We already cracked ours open and realized that the buttons are not easily replaced (you’ve got to source the right one). We just unstuck the offender and vowed not to press that button again, but [Silviu] actually figured out how to disassemble and repair the PCB mount switches.
As with most consumer electronics these days the worst part of the process is getting the monitor’s case apart. The plastic bezel has little spring tabs all around it that must be gently pried apart. Once the PCB which hosts the buttons was removed, he took the metal housing off of the broken switch. Inside he found that a bit of metal particulate (leftovers from manufacturing?) were causing the problem. A quick cleaning with a cotton swab removed the debris and got the tactile switch working again.
[dimovi] had a spare LCD monitor sitting around and thought it would be great to convert it into a “privacy” monitor.
The process is simple enough for anyone comfortable with disassembling electronics. He took apart the monitor’s plastic frame, cutting out the polarized film with a utility knife. Once the film was removed, he spent some time removing the film adhesive from the glass panel using a combination of Oops cleaner and paint thinner.
He reassembled the monitor, which now shines a bright white regardless of what is actually being displayed on the screen. He removed the lenses from a pair of theater 3D glasses, replacing the plastic with the film he removed from the monitor.
Now, [dimovi] is the only one who can see what’s he is doing on his computer, which is just the way he likes it.
While there’s not a lot of magic going on behind the process, we think it’s a neat way to reuse an old monitor.
Wood and electronics don’t generally mix nowadays, but if you yearn back to a time when radios and the like had a nice wooden finish, this wooden computer case may be for you. Combine that with a Wooden keyboard enclosure, and maybe even a LCD monitor stand and you’ll have a setup that should fit in with any wood-themed decor!
The wooden computer case is actually more of a cover in that it uses most of the stock case to house all of the components. It would definitely be a pain, and possibly a fire-hazard, to make a back mounting plate for all the components out of wood. To go along with this, the LCD monitor stand was engineered for a 21″ monitor when the owner of it wasn’t satisfied with the stability of the stock stand. In the end, he ended up building something quite sturdy and nice looking to replace it.
The highlight for many for the keyboard would be that it was made, in part at least, out of a desire for a Commodore-64 keyboard. It appears to function well andlooks great, so be sure to check out the other pictures after the break! Continue reading “A Wooden Computer Case, Monitor Stand, and Keyboard”