This is quite stable in the finished state with both monitors.
The upper monitor alone is not as stable, but it can stand on its own while you set things up. If you added another battery on the other side, it would be much more stable.
The lower monitor is unchanged except optional decorative black electrical tape placed to create a uniform black color.
The upper monitor :
- has the base removed (or never attached, since it comes out of the box that way)
- is turned upside down (because it has control buttons on the bottom which prevent flat contact)
- has two 24-inch level-style rulers glued to the back with mixed epoxy glue.
- Thick in 3 dimensions and quite strong. They were $9 each at a hardware store.
- An old battery from a UPS that stopped working is glued to one ruler which prevents the upper monitor from tipping forward or backward. If you have 2 batteries, that would be more stable.
Gluing the rulers:
- place tape on the top part of the lower monitor - glue is going to leak down from the upper monitor. Once it is dry, remove the tape. Clean glue up as you see it run down.
- If the lower monitor has a swivel, turn it so the top is horizontal.
- To glue the rulers, you can mix the 5 minute epoxy glue right on the ruler, then press it against the monitor.
- It is 5 minute glue, so you can hold the monitors. If you have clamps, that would help.
- If they end up being slightly uneven (mine did) then choose the shorter one to have the battery glued to it (this increases the height).
Gluing the battery:
- This is a 12 V lead-acid from a UPS. The batteries in them stop working after 3-5 years. Another heavy item could be used or perhaps the rulers could be screwed into the desk or clamped to the back of the desk.
- Wait for the glue on the monitors to dry and harden before gluing the battery.
- It really is stable - I can push it 3 inches forward or back and it will rock back to level.
Adjusting monitor output:
- Control Panel - Display - Screen Resolution
- Click identify to see which monitor is which.
- Click and drag to place the upper monitor above the lower one.
- Change "Orientation" to "Landscape-flipped"
Choosing a monitor type for this:
- If you can live with a resolution below 1920x1080 they are very cheap these days. These were $89 each.
- Get the newer very thin monitors with as thin a border as possible. Many of them don't have the screw holes for the standard monitor stands.
- Ensure it has a detachable base.
- Check your video card(s). If you only have 1 DVI and 1 VGA, then get a monitor that has both outputs.
Extra Video Card vs: Usb-VGA adapter:
- I tried this first in a 3 monitor setup with a USB-VGA adapter but it would often not work after rebooting and needed adjustment.
- I got a USB-DVI adapter and had the same problems.
- I finally got an extra $30 video card and it worked the 1st time and has caused no trouble since.
Decorating with electrical tape.
- The upper monitor with have the name upside down and the ruler will have a bright color. I used lots of electrical tape wherever anything non-black was visible. I didn't cover the sides of the ruler, but you could cover that too.
- You can convert a single landscape monitor to a portrait style monitor using a similar method with the heavy battery keeping it stable.