Computer Lighting Power Bank

Introduction: Computer Lighting Power Bank

About: I love to build things. My love affair with destructing, constructing and reconstructing stuff began when I was very young. When I got a new toy the first thing I did was take it apart to find out how it wor...

This will allow you to control two different sets of lights in your case. I installed Blue florescent and Ultra Violet tubes in my case and want to be able to turn one or the other on while turning the other set off. I had too many tubes to have a switch for each so I made one switch control several tubes. This is a structable I have been meaning to do for a couple of years but just haven't had the time. This actually goes along with a few other structables I did a couple of years ago that I wish I would have saved for this contest. The first one is a featured structable entitled Lighted Fan Switch, the others are, Add LED's to Your Computer Fans, Glowing 3-D Letters For Your Case, and UV Case Mods. This project ties them all together with one control switch using a miniature power strip that we will make in this Instructable.

A Sound Card (or any card with a pin connector)
A DTDP (double throw/double pole) Switch (this could be wired with a DTSP switch with different wiring)
Wire and Female Pin Connectors
Acrylic or Plexiglass
A Rotary Tool
A Soldering Iron and Solder
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

Step 1: Prepairing the Pin Connectors

I had installed four blue and four UV CFL's in my case and wanted to turn on one or the other or shut them off completely. What I came up with was the power strip I created from a bank of pin connectors. The old unused sound card had just the perfect connectors plus two separate banks of pins. One bank will control the blue lights and one bank will control the UV lights.
Start by removing the pins from the sound card using a rotary tool or small saw. If you are lucky enough to have a card with two banks, separate them. Next sand, or scrape, off the tracings, leaving an area for epoxy later. Each bank should have two rows of pins. One row will become positive and one row will be negative. On the back of the board solder a wire across each row of pins connecting them together. The next step will be to build an insulating base for mounting to the case.

Step 2: Insulating and Mounting Plate

As you can see in the first picture the banks of pins do not sit flat. To mount these in the case you need to make an insulating/mounting plate. For this I used a scrap piece of acrylic. I started by outlining the size of the protruding pins. Next, using a rotary tool, I hollowed out depressions in the acrylic for the pins to fit into. Once they were deep enough I epoxied each bank of pins to the mounting plate. I then hot glued the whole plate to my mounting spot in the case. The next step is mounting the switch.

Step 3: Position Your Switch

Start by finding a spot where you want to mount your switch. I chose the upper right hand corner of the case mainly because I am going to mount my power strip right behind it. Once you figure out where to put the switch, and the power strip, determine how long your wires need to be and start wiring the switch. You should have six poles on the back of your switch. The center two will be your line in, the top two will be one bank of lights and the bottom two the other bank of lights. To mount my switch I had to cut a hole, in the case itself, large enough for the back of the switch and wires to pass through. I then drilled a hole in the front bezel sightly smaller than the diameter of the threads on the body of the switch. Then I simply screwed the switch in until it was flush with the bezel.

*Note: To use this with a DTSP switch simply wire all the negative pins together and feed the positive to the to the switch. + in to the center pole, + out to the top and bottom poles. You will then need to provide a common negative connection. Personally I find the DTDP to be the easiest to set up.

Step 4: Connecting It All Up

Once everything is in place, simply plug in your wires. Plug one of the wires from the switch anywhere on one bank and the other on the other bank. Remember, one row of pins is positive, and one row is negative. Pay attention to this when plugging something in to the strip. Some things, like fans, must be connected the right way. You can basically plug in anything you want to turn on and off. You could also adapt this to other uses, for example, let's say you have a sound controller and you want to control more than just the two lights it came with. Supply power to the sound controller using one of the switches power feeds. Then simply plug your sound controllers power out (where you would normally plug in the light) to one bank of the pins (Do NOT supply power to this side!) and your lights to the pins on the same bank. Now you can flick the switch one way for a steady glow or switch it the other way for those party lights!

Step 5: Finishing Touches

The first picture shows the lights off, the second is the blue lights and the third is with the UV's on.
Even though I mounted this in a spot that would never be seen, unless you removed the side cover, I wanted to hide the power source. I did this by making an acrylic cover that I dressed up with a paint job which I cover in another Instructable, Masking and Painting a Project, go check it out if your interested.

That will do it for this structable! Hope you enjoyed it and find it useful.
Thanks for reading!

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    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice! Been tinkering with something like this lately and the ports from the sound card are an excellent idea!