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VESA Wall Mount Project

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Senior Case Master
Dec 7, 2003
VESA Wall Mount Project

*** This is the complete build log in real time as I built this project. If you wish to skip right to my "Completed this Project" thread, click -->here<-- ***


There are number of great Wall Mount PC mods out there. I guess I would define a Wall Mount mod as having the components all laid out flat on a flat surface, hung vertically, and on full display like a picture frame.

I did my own take on this type of mod in my project, the Vertical Benching Station. (I apologize, thanks to photobucket all my pics got screwed, so I am in the process of re-hosting all of them).


This is actually my current personal gaming system. I sort of blended my own style of benching station with a wall mount mod--although instead of a wall, I used pegboard.

While I was building this project, a poster suggested I do a wall mount project specifically to go with a large screen TV.

I thought about different ways to combine a PC system and a big screen TV--On the one hand you could have a wall mounted PC just sort of hanging out behind or near a big screen TV. The big screen TV would just be separately mounted on a VESA wall mount bracket (VESA is the standard to make sure all your mounting screw holes line up between the back of your TV and the bracket). Just pulling from the web, something like this.

On the other hand, you can also build a mini or micro-ITX system into a component sized case, and just add it to your stack of components. Plenty of off-the-shelf cases for this like this from Silverstone.

I decided to take it one step further and do something I’ve not seen before--why not build the big screen TV mount right into a computer case? Have the TV bracket integrated right into the case. That way you just mount the case to the wall. Then hang your TV from the case.

Wall Mount PC + VESA standard TV bracket = Navig’s Wall Mount VESA Project
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VESA Wall Mount Project--Design Phase

The first thing I did was purchase a VESA wall mount bracket. Didn’t feel like I needed to build my own and reinvent the wheel. So I picked up this unit from Amazon:




Mounts simply--2 bolt holes. Has a lot of nice articulation. Mounts to the TV easily. Simply screw the TV bracket to the TV. Then hang the bracket on the end of the arm. Select your tilt angle. Tighten some screws.

However, even this simple design system is made from hefty steel, and weighs in at about 5 pounds. Add the weight of a big screen TV and we are talking some serious weight.

Your standard off the shelf panel style case is going to bend under this weight.
Design Phase, Continued

So here was my design, as planned with some Sketchup renderings.

The main structure of the case would be a frame built from ¾” square tube aluminum.



The TV bracket would then bolt to the frame. Notice I added an angled crossbar to help support the weight of the TV bracket and TV.

The PC components would then mount to a tray.

I decided to go mini-ITX for my motherboard standard. This is probably a little controversial, as a single graphics card is currently not good enough to power a 4K resolution TV. On the other hand, I’ve always had nagging driver issues with multi-gpu setups, so I went for a single card solution.

Once I laid out my components, I could create some measurements for dimensions. This motherboard tray and the components would occupy a 3D rectangle of 350mm by 300mm by 180mm. This space must fit within the frame, giving me the dimensions of my square tube frame:


Here is a exploded diagram of the main components of my build:


You’ve got your square tube frame with VESA TV mount.

It will be clad with plastic paneling.

You’ve got your PC component tray.
Design Phase, Continued

Assembled, it would look something like this:


All of this is going to be behind a big screen TV. But being the hardware nut kind of guy I am, I wanted my PC components accessible.

So my plan was to mount the PC component tray on industrial drawer slides. So when you need to access your components, you can slide out the entire PC component tray:


There is enough articulation in the TV mount I chose that you can just swing the TV to the side, and pull out the component tray:


There were a number of other details to work out--for example, how to mount the case to a wall. And also how to remote control your PC system, so as to not have to get off the couch to turn it on.

But overall, this was my design, so I got to building it!
Component Layout

Next step was shopping.


Purchased some stock materials--sheet plastic from Delviesplastics and ¾” (1/16” wall thickness) square tube aluminum from onlinemetals.

Purchased some PC components. I started with:
Asus ROG Maximus VIII Impact
2x8gb G.skill TridentZ
Gigabyte Geforce GTX980
Intel 750 800gb
Corsair HX750
Zalman CNPS8900
Logisys PC Remote Start/Reset Controller

It’s one thing to design layouts on Sketchup, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to actually put components together. Particularly small form factor components--physical compatibility issues are practically inevitable.

Which I ran into right away. The Zalman CNPS8900 performs awesome as a low-rise solution, but it would not fit with 2 sticks of TridentZ RAM:


Nor even with some lower rise 2x8gb Corsair Vengeance sticks:


Ultimately I would change out for a Noctua NH-L12.

While this was on order, I recreated my planned layout, and found that it would work well:

Motherboard Tray mods

Time to dial in some subsystems in order to make this more finished.

Chopped my PCI bracket down to a mini-itx size.



Started my hard drive mounting mechanism

I’m going with my DIY system, that I typically do for my DIY Benching station. Details on their construction are here.



Couple of brackets to mount my power supply:


And put together and test my remote control system.

Purchased this Logisys remote system.

Out of the box, it has you drawing its power by interposing an adapter on the main 24 pin ATX power line. I’m not a real fan of that--it’s bulky, and it can affect the main power delivery to the whole motherboard.

So I modded the power-in line to the remote unit to plug into the free USB3 front panel connector. This whole computer is going behind the TV, so extra front panel USB headers are not really necessary.


You can see the remote unit is being powered by tapping into a USB3 front panel header right next to the sticks of RAM.

I’m tapping into Vbus and a GND:


5V power is maintained thru these lines so that you can have power to your USB ports while the system is off.
Motherboard Tray Construction

Enough of the planning and mock-up! Time to get constructin’.


I’ll be using some ¼” transparent bronze acrylic for the main tray.

Started the layout with mounting the motherboard mounts and the PCI bracket.


Motherboard now mounts and fits nice:


Added the power supply mounts:


Mounted the industrial drawer slides:

Motherboard Construction, Continued

Mounted my hard drives:


And here we have everything mounted:



And here are the slides in action:


There are even little latches that all you to completely disengage the slide, so that you can remove the tray entirely:

Mobo Tray Construction, Continued

The next step was to put together the one side panel attached to the motherboard tray.


Its made of ⅛” transparent purple plastic mounted to a 90 degree aluminum bracket.


I cut out the hole for the PCI brackets and I/O panel with my scrollsaw:


Mobo Tray Construction, still Continued

I planned my layout for the the rest of the components that would be mounted to this panel:

Power and Reset buttons.
Exhaust fan.
Remote control system.


Here's the plan:


Cut and mounted:


Motherboard Tray, finalizing fit

As I threw my components back onto my tray to make sure everything fits, I realized that my plan is for this whole tray to be mounted vertically. So, the 2 edge mounts for the power supply were not going to be sufficient to hold down the power supply.

I have done floating power supplies in the past, so this was my simple and very effective solution.


I mounted and cut to length some 6-32 threaded aluminum rod.

Made a hold-down bar from ½” aluminum trim (I’ve also added foam padding underneath so as to not scratch the psu) and mounted it with some nuts.

Frame construction

Now it was time to shift focus and start constructing my frame.

Once again, here was my plan.


Based on these numbers, I generated my cut list.


I have done a number of aluminum square tube frames in the past. My plan was to make a simple rectangle frame with each corner meeting with a double miter.


I cut my double miters on a bandsaw. After making the first 45 degree cut, I turn the square tube and make a second 45 degree cut so that is comes to a point with a double miter.


Fine-tuned with a sanding disk.


And here I’ve got my whole set of bars, double mitered on both sides.

Frame Construction, continued

Time to make this crossbar that provides extra support behind the TV bracket.


To fabricate this, I first cut some spare plastic to hold this panel together.


Then I laid a length of square tube and marked my angles to cut.



Cut’em on my band saw.



Perfect fit, makes it super sturdy.
Frame Assembly

At first my plan was to connect my frame with these corner brackets I had from previous projects.


But after making the temporary jig for my previous step of making the crossbar, I went ahead and made temporary plastic panels to hold the entire frame together.




Now it’s really starting to look like something!
Navig, question for you. Why only one crossbar, is it because you felt that it only needed addition bracing where it was going to be attached to the wall?