Introduction: PC Switch Panel

Ever wanted to be able to control your pc functions from the outside of your case using a DIY switch panel? .. Well stop wondering how!

Hardly any materials were used in the making of my switch panel, but I can't give a price as all of the items used were already in my workshop.

Part List:

  • 5 x MTS-1 Toggle Switches
  • 1 x Power drill + 1/4' drill bit
  • 1 x Soldering Iron + Solder
  • 5m (-ish) Roll of 2-core wire

Step 1: Prepare Your Drive Bay Cover

In this step, you'll have to mark out 5 even spaces to have the same face plate as mine as I am going to have 5 switches: (PC Power, Fan1, Fan2, Fan3, Fan4).

At this point, if your cover is a mesh like the one I am using, it may be useful to just count the tiny circles (however tedious it may be) as it will give you precision. The centre of my mesh was marked out with two tiny tabs to hold in a piece of foam, so it was easy to get the middle.. I then counted 33 holes from the centre on each side but because of the mesh's jigsaw pattern, I ended up doing both holes 12 circles away from each other (instead of the 11 that it should have been).

Now that you've marked out the places that you need to drill, you'll have to go online and find the drill bit that is needed for your toggle switch. After a little bit of searching, I found that my toggle switch needed a drill bit size of 1/4" or 0.25".

Step 2: Drill & Insert

Now that you've marked out the spaces required and have found the drill bit needed, it's time to drill out the holes. WARNING: REMEMBER TO DRILL WITH THE MESH ON TOP OF A FLAT PIECE OF WOOD, IF YOU DON'T THEN THE HOLE WILL BEND OUTWARDS.

Now that you've drilled everything, you'll need to go get your switches and push them into the holes and line them up so that the switch will be straight, remember: not all switches will be lined up with the base for the switch.

Step 3: Solder Your Switches

After inserting the switches and making sure that they still work after tightening them, you'll need to go grab some 2-core wire (you can use single-core, but it's easier when there are less cables flying around the pc) and strip + solder them to the switches in the same position as each other.

In the picture at the top of this step it shows a switch in the lower position, if you look at the wires that are connected to that switch - the switch is currently off.. you should use that photo to decide which way you want on/off.

Step 4: Make the Switches Do Something

Now it's time to connect your switches to whatever you want it to do in your PC.

As i'm using these switches for my fans, i'm going to need to disconnect my fan leads from the motherboard & cut the RED wire somewhere near the connector (in order to hide the wires from the switches later).

Now strip both ends of the previously cut RED wire and solder the 1 wire from one of the switches onto one of the red leads, and the other wire from the switch onto the other red lead.

Step 5: Now Test It Out!

I inserted my cover back into my computer to check out what it looked like, but also to test the fan that we previously connected.

If you have one, connect a 9v battery to the black and red leads (in respective order) of the fan in order to test your switch just incase something isn't quite connected right (the only thing it could do would be that the switch wouldn't turn the fan off, which isn't that big of a deal)

If it works, solder the other leads to your other devices.

That's the conclusion to this instructable, as it's my first i'd like feedback in the comments if you'd be kind enough, if not then just enjoy your new switch panel.

If you enjoyed this project, please be sure to vote for it in the Mind for Design competition, it would sure help :)

Comments

author
tomatoskins (author)2015-05-03

Such a cool idea! Though, I might worry about controlling all of your case fans like this for fear of overheating your computer. Do you use anything to monitor the internal temps of your computer? I think this would be great for some internal case lighting.

author
Draxxy1974 (author)tomatoskins2015-05-03

Hey,
Thanks for the advice. I have already ordered 2 DHT11 Temperature sensors and a flowerduino to sense when the temperature is cooler than the outside and if it is it will turn on the fans.
Good luck.

author
seamster (author)2015-05-03

Very cool! I like the retro-y look of the big toggle switches sticking out of your computer! :)

author
Carlo1973 (author)seamster2015-05-03

how do you wire the switch to power? are you using an AT or ATX power supply? the reason why I am asking, is because my experience with switches in an ATX case is that they need to return to their original state or else the system keeps powering off/on....

author
Draxxy1974 (author)Carlo19732015-05-03

Hey there!
I wired the power switch to the 2 pins on the motherboard where the case button normally attaches. I'm not sure if its possible to actually use a switch to turn off the power supply itself, but I'll have to check it out.

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