Dual Screen VESA Mount All In One FrankenComputer Hack

I am converting an old Compaq Laptop and A Dell Flat-Screen Desktop Monitor into an All-In-One computer with one power supply and dual Displays.

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I took the display panel off the rear mount, and behind it there is just enough space to mount the power supply for the laptop motherboard.

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And here I tied the power input to the same input the monitor shares.

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Here is the first bench-test connected to the lower display.

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Here is the notebook motherboard mounted to the back of the display and many of the connections routed.
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It is aliiiiiiive!!!! Booted into Fedora 18 with both displays active.
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Here is a better picture of the rear, showing how I routed all the data and power lines.
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The final project. Complete.
Working, mounted to the wall, and ready for action!!!

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8 Comments

  1. Hi there. I was curious how you mounted the laptop innards to the laptop screen? It looks very minimal and I have been contemplating this for a while. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hey Joe.

      I debated and tried several ways before settling on adhesive Velcro patches. I bought them from a craft store, they are pretty thick and I used about 5 of them between the base of the motherboard and the back of the screen.
      Works really well and I can detach the motherboard if I need to do any repairs, by gently prying it away and separating the Velcro. Be careful not to get the super strong Velcro, that might be too hard to get them to release.

      I have had this running 24/7 for about 2 weeks now and haven’t had any problems.
      -Ezra

      Reply
      • Thanks, Ezra! I might be starting this project this weekend! Thanks for the inspiration.

        Reply
        • Good luck! I would love to see how it turns out for you. -Ezra

          Reply
  2. larger photos please :)

    Reply
  3. I love how you matched the witdths of the screens – I’m guessing that it’s a 15.4 inch laptop and 17 inch desktop screen, right? If so, then you have a perfect resolution match, 1280 pixels for both.

    I’m a bit pessimistic about that velcro though – while it might hold even in 24/7 scenario, the heat from the laptop might affect the panel and eventually you might get some color differences in areas where the temps are higher. Most builds I’ve seen have some spacing between panel and hardware. I personally went with the flat layout – hardware below screen in the same plane, panel above the desk line, hardware below it.

    Other than that – grats, it’s very impressive, especially with no cables around!

    Reply
    • Thank you for the complement, it wasn’t really meant to last for a very long time, but it has held up well. I mostly just use it to keep a market (forex) view up It is controlled by a mouse that is shared (using synergy) from another computer.

      do you have any pictures of your setup? I would be interested.
      -Ezra

      Reply
      • Sorry for the delay, the wonders of the filtered inbox kept me from seeing the message about your reply.

        Here’s a recent photo of my setup:

        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8612598/2014-10-04%2013.46.55.jpg

        I managed to hide all the cables, the ones on the photo are gone now. The idea is simple – the laptop sits below the smaller screen, secured with zip ties, unfortunately visible (need to switch to black ones). The large screen sits on an Ergotron desk mounted arm and is connected to both the laptop (dual screen setup) and my “gaming” rig that sits below the desk. If I want to play, I switch the main screen to the desktop PC, while the laptop screen keeps displaying time and currently playing song, or IM window with recent messages. I’m already in planning stage for something more elegant and.. condensated – all electronics in one place, hidden in a well ventilated box. This is one of possible options:

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/gc57chmb7kn8grs/walldeskv3.png?dl=0

        It would hide the desktop, 24/7 laptop and all necessary peripherals and cables in the box, which would also hold a wall-mount LCD arm and the secondary display, in an overhead position, rather than side-by-side. Absolute goal – have just two cables in the open – power and LAN. Let me know what you think, it took me a while to figure this one out :)

        Reply

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