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Monitor backlight

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By: madworm

This is a very simple project, as it mainly consists of using existing and otherwise unused prototype boards (see 'A lamp for nerds'), a little bit of creative drawing with Inkscape and sending the design files off to Ponoko for laser cutting.

It's a good example of repurposing / upcycling products that are deemed to be 'useless' or 'outdated'. Giving them a new and long life helps to reduce waste a lot.

There won't be any 'parts' or a lot of 'steps'. Using Ponoko is dead simple, they have very good documentation on how to get started with using their service on their website. No need to repeat all of that here!

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Bill of Materials

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1. Have a close look at your monitor

Have a look at your monitor's 'behind' and see what kind of VESA-mount you can find. My 19'' version is equipped with a so called VESA-100 mount. In essence there are 4 METRIC mounting holes on the backside, aligned on the corners of a 100x100mm square. You'll also need metric M4 bolts to go into these threaded holes. I prefer the socket head cap types. Side note: There are also the ones with a flattened head, but they may be a bit harder to get. Especially if there are only your 'typical' hardware stores where you live. Just ask them for these and you see bulging eyes and a big question mark hovering over people.

2. Take measurements and make the drawings

Measuring twice will prevent you from buying twice... Just make sure everything fits, so a final sanity check before sending out the order. You don't want to block access to the VGA/DVI cable!

Again, using Ponoko is a very smooth process. Give it a try. They even gave me a phone call to resolve a small issue they had with my files.


3. Assemble and be happy

The part of this project that involves the laser-cut parts shouldn't give you any trouble, just measure twice ;-) Assuming the LED lamp you might use for this works too, you'll be done in no time. In case you don't have a nice PCB that can be bolted down to the laser-cut MDF board, got to Step 2! If you spin a completely new version of this idea, why not have them laser-cut suitable holes for 10mm LEDs. That way you can directly insert them. Of course that will require a lot of wires... Your choice ;-)

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1 - Initial project release
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