Want a Little Pizazz? Add an LED Power and Reset Button

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Some case mods are really hard, like painting a case or vinyl-dying your keyboard or monitor. We are going to do the simple mod of adding two switches – one for power the other for reset. These switches also have a 3.3V LED that comes in a variety of colors, such as red, blue, green, yellow, purple and white. This particular switch is called a “vandal resistant LED switch”. They come in two varieties – a ring of LED around the switch or a single LED in the middle.

Personally I like a green LED for power as that is what all of my systems have used in the past to indicate power. I chose red as amber/yellow was out of stock. You can use any switch you like if it is a 12 volt DC switch that can handle a small amount of current. I tested the setup on my older system to see if the switch worked and they do very nicely. There is a solid feel to these switches.

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First you need to decide where you want the switch and what’s behind this area! The switch may fit on the panel but not in the case due to an obstruction.

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This is just a mock up of the case. As you can see there is already a switch installed in this panel. While the panel can be moved to any position, the switch is still to the right. I want them on the left as that’s where I sit.

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I like that aluminum piece on the left side; as I stated, there is an obstruction!

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Obstruction solved. I used a hole saw to cut two holes where the switch can protrude through the case.
I also needed to cut the back and front of the aluminum side piece.

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I enlarged the hole on the rear to accommodate the nut that is installed on the rear of the switch. In order to tighten this nut, I needed a bit more room. You cannot see this hole when the case is closed.

You will need a donated power/reset wire bundle. As I am not going to use the front panel that came with this case, it got donated!

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You will need to separate and strip a 1/4″ from each of these wires to attach to the switch.

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There are four wires for each switch. For power or reset, it really does not matter which pole or screw you use as long as it is not marked. There are also markings for + and – on the switch – these are very important as that is how the current lights the LED.

The wires for reset are white, red, white and black. The first pair is the LED wire, the second is for the LED.
Attach the red wire to + and the white wire next to it to – . Then attach the other two wires for a switch – it really does not matter as all you’re doing is completing a circuit.

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Here they are installed in the face plate.

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And now the finished product!

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And if you’re wondering where the Firewire/USB ports and audio ports are, I don’t use them, so I feel I don’t need to install them.

Robert Galewaler

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