Playing around with an idea here. Right now I have my systems rack-mounted, which makes for a compact setup, but also puts a couple of them out of easy reach. Not much of a deal, but can be a big pain when troubleshooting or overclocking because I have to constantly lean over and reach down to hit reset or the power button. It's an even bigger pain if I need to clear the CMOS, have to pull the whole case out of the rack right now.

So, what to do? Move the switches to a better spot. Bought a few switches, then pillaged the parts pile and came up with this.

Toggle switches are momentary on, normal off, but can also be wired to momentary on/normal on. One will be wired as a power switch, haven't decided if I want to wire the other as a reset or CMOS clear. I may just add a third switch and have both. Center LED indicator is left over from an old project and will be wired to the regular power LED. Gauge is from an old radiation detector and will be hooked to the HD activity indicator. Yes, the needle will bounce with drive activity. The mesh is the last bit left over from an earlier project.

I still need to wire things up, but I've got some more metalwork to take care of before I start. For the internal PC hookup I'm using a cable from the parts box that was at one time a USB front panel header cable. That will go to a PCI slot cover that has a male VGA header that was also in the parts box. On the console I'll have a female VGA header. The two will be connected by a VGA extension cable.

Going to have to add a little weight to the base, right now it's a bit wobbly when you work the switches. Doesn't fall over, but stable is better. Hmm, wonder how it'll be when the cable is attached...

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And it's wired, tested, working, and in need of installation.

and the internal cable

Now I just need to install it. If I get motivated I'll make a video clip or something. Decided against adding the CMOS reset switch, rather put that on the case somewhere. Too much chance of hitting that on accident if it's near the power and reset switches.

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Finally got around to taking some video of it in action. ~1.5MB, 1:16, Windows Media format. Shows the switch on, drive activity as Windows loads, then switch off and shut down.

Click to Watch