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VESA Wall Mount Project

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Part One: Motherboard Unit, ie PC on a Tray

The main requirement of my motherboard unit was that It needed to be completely self-contained (buttons, connectors, fans) and not connected to the rest of the case. Since this entire unit would be hard-mounted to a wall behind a big screen TV, the PC components have to have a way for easy access. My solution was to have the entire PC mounted to a tray that can be slid out, or even completely removed for maintenance.

Really much more than just a motherboard unit, this is a fully self contained PC on a tray.



Viewed from the interface panel, you can see it has got has got your buttons, your motherboard i/o panel, fan exhaust, and even the power supply cord all contained on this one unit and on this one panel.

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The motherboard tray started out as 2 pieces of sheet plastic, and a spare PCI case bracket:


Here it is finalized, but deconstructed:


The components are:

⅛” purple acrylic panel, with a PCI bracket mounted to it. There are various cutouts for buttons/switches, and the fan exhaust
¼” bronze acrylic tray. There are some slots cut out to provide airflow, and various mounts
2 standard heavy duty drawer slides.

You may be wondering how the 2 sheets of acrylic are mounted together.

The first element a a full lengthwise piece of angle aluminum, with multiple screws and washers:


This was probably sufficient, but to make it really sturdy, I added these vertical pillars that stabilize the PCI bracket to the horizontal tray also.

Part One: Motherboard Unit, ie PC on a Tray, continued

After assembling the tray pieces, here I’ve added the exhaust fan (the blue squirrel cage blower), and buttons, + the remote on/off system.


I have gotten some slack from including a separate remote on/off system
as you can probably just use USB settings for remote-on. I get a lot of problems with USB-on settings, (honestly more of the randomly turning-on-by-itself variety) so I went for a completely separate system, probably unnecessary.

Motherboard Unit, Various mounts

Power supply is mounted in this fashion:


A pair of brackets lock into the standard locations on the back of the power supply.
The brackets were made out of aluminum strip that I bent and put in appropriately located holes.

But I also have to have a hold down bar (remember, this tray is going to hang sideways from a wall).
The hold-down unit was made from 6-32 threaded rod, with a aluminum strip cross bar that has a foam underside (to not scratch up the power supply), and some nuts.

Here it is mounted:


As you can see, I am using a Corsair HX 750--no pint sized HTPC power supplies here.

Hard Drive Mounts

The hard drives are mounted by a pretty simple mechanism I made up years ago:


I’ve got slots for 2 hard drives. The consist of a removable caddy, and then hold down bracket on one side.

The caddy mounts to the side of the hard drive with screws (the screw holes are countersunk, allowing the back surface to be completely flat and flush):


The you just slide the caddy into the hold-down bracket (orange arrow) and lock the caddy down with a thumbscrew (red arrow).


This is the bulk storage drive, WD black 2 Tb. The main hard drive will be a Samsung NVME drive on the motherboard itself.

Part One: Motherboard Unit, ie PC on a Tray; Assembled!

As I mentioned, to assemble the system, the first step was to get the buttons, switches, and squirrel cage blower mounted.


The next step was to assemble my wiring harness:


Then I mounted the motherboard:


Motherboard is an Asus ROG Strix mounted with an i7 8700k, 2x16gb Corsair Ram, Noctua NH L12 to cool it, and a Samsung 960 EVO M.2 drive.

Next, I got all my wiring plugged in.

Also you may notice in this picture, I added a shield on top of the exhaust blower (green bracket). This is to ensure that I pull the hot air exhaust from under the Noctua heatsink and expel it from the case.


Added the 3.5” bulk storage hard drive:


And the video card (Gigabyte GTX 980):


Mounted the full sized power supply (Corsair HX750):


Lot of cable management was necessary. I’m not really one to build my own custom cables (which I can), but rather I like to keep my components stock. I used this one clip and whole lot of folding to get things as neat as I could:


I also tucked a lot of cables into the space behind the WD hard drive.


And there you have, a complete PC on a tray!


Part Two: Frame Construction

My frame was constructed from square tube aluminum.

Here I’ve cut all my pieces:


And the bare frame, welded together:


Here is a closeup on the nice welding job (I hired out professional tig welders). As you can see I also ground out and sanded out all of the external joints:


Completed frame, drawer sliders mounted:


Part Four: Plastic Paneling

Plastic paneling started as ⅛” acrylic sheets:


Using pretty much every cutting technique I know (plunge cut circular saw, scrollsaw, circle cutter, router with jig), I shaped each of the panels.

The even slotted cutouts were made with a router guided by a jig:




The cutouts are for creating airflow for the various components (more details shortly).


The panels are mounted to the frame with screws and washers.

From this photo angle, the round grilled hole is for the intake for the CPU cooler. The line of slots on the top panel is for air intake across the hard drives. The diagonal set of slots are for fresh air intake for the power supply.

Here you can see all the plastic paneling from the inside:


The single line of slots on the left is air intake across the hard drives. The large set of slots on the right is for air intake for the video card. The diagonal slots are for air intake for the power supply.
I may have said this before, but that is some meticulous planning and design work, and the execution does not disappoint, either. I wish products more widely emulated this process, although matching the skill level wouldn't be quite as easily done. If I weren't still in love with my Phanteks, and if there weren't (by necessity of space) a window where my TV goes, I would be begging you for a quote on duplicating that. Hell, just in case, would you consider accepting a commission for something like this?
Thanks for the compliments! Unfortunately because of other time commitments, I can't really do commissions--which I think you know I have done in the past. Heck, previously this whole project would have taken me 6 months, but now I'm pushing well past a year and change.
Part Five: Putting it together

Putting it together is as simple as sliding the motherboard unit into place.


The rails on the motherboard tray engage the rails mounted to the frame, and then you simply slide the tray into the frame.



And then secure it will some thumbscrews.

Now that we got it all together, I want to demonstrate my designed airflow for this case. Performance is very important to me!


Part Six: Mounting to a wall

The first order of business was to mark where I wanted the base of the mount to end up (X spot).

And also mark where the studs were located (hashes).


The next step was to screw this mounting rail to the wall at the studs, making sure it was nice and level.:


Next I placed and mounted the top rail.


And then the unit itself mounts to the rails with some 8-32 machine bolts and washers. Notice all the differently spaced holes so that you can locate the unit where you want in between studs.


Part Seven: Final Assembly!

Assembling the computer itself is as simple as engaging the slider rails and rolling the motherboard unit into the frame (altho it is a little harder than it sounds as the motherboard unit is quite heavy).


And then secure the unit closed with 2 thumbscrews:

Wow amazing work! Only concern I'd have is if the panel is sat too close to the PC, it would contribute heat to the CPU as well as deflecting GPU exhaust towards the CPU intake. Probably only a minor concern compared to the usual airflow limitations of SFF PCs.
Zerileous, for sure could be a problem. Couldn't see an easy solution, tho. Maybe some sort of snorkel device!

Part Seven: Final Assembly, Concluded

Next step was to mount the TV. I haven’t got any really big screen TV’s on hand, but I do have this 32in that will do for demo.


The mounting plate from the VESA mount kit attaches here. Holes line up just fine and I assume it has the appropriate strength--that’s the whole point of the VESA standard.


The metal mounting plate joins up easily to the articulating arm, and is held on by a pair of screws.


The little crossbar thingies are so you can lock down the tilt mechanism.

Next, wired the system up. Which was pretty simple--there is an HDMI cable, and a cable to provide power to the monitor.


And finally turn the system on!

Of course my beautiful system is completely hidden behind the TV, as it should!

There’s a little multimedia keyboard with a trackball input, which is great for surfing and basic use, but not really up to task for gaming. Plus the remote fob.
Love it..... Though, looking at it. I think I hate that the Pc is hidden. The art of the concept and having the box mounted on the wall should be shown. In other words I feel the design of the "Case" should be shown because it's a shame to hide that art.Nice work as always Nav :thup:
Part Eight: The Final Demonstration

Really the big premise for me, being a “power user” was to build this multimedia wall mount system integrated into the TV mount but (and here was the kicker) to keep the components still accessible.


So you want to access the PC components?

Step 1) Power the system down.

Step 2) Disconnect the HDMI cable and scoot the TV to the side.


Step 3) Undo the 2 thumbscrews and pull out the motherboard unit. And there you have complete access to all the components!


Step 4) Not satisfied--want to work on the components away from the wall? There are 2 small latches built into the rails (arrows) that let you keep rolling the rails until they completely disengage from each other, and the motherboard unit can come completely free.


And a video of me demonstrating all of these features.

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And putting it back together.

There you have it!

Thanks to all the folks on the forums here for your support and your suggestions (which prompted this concept in the first place!). Thanks of course to my wife!

What is next?

I plan to re-host all the now-watermarked photos for one of my previous builds:

The Vertical Benching Station

This is in fact my current personal system. While I am working on rebuilding that thread, I will clean up my shop and start building what will likely be a new mod for next personal system.