Hello! Welcome to my tutorial on how to create perhaps the greatest thing to ever rest upon your desk! In an office where everyone's desk is their castle, wouldn't you like a Minotaur?
In all honesty, everyone at our office was putting their computer monitors on top of small cardboard boxes in order to raise the monitor to a more comfortable viewing height. We were all putting Sticky Notes, or other decorations on the boxes so that we wouldn't have to look at the ugly cardboard on our desks.
Well, I thought it was about time to really do it right, and by "Do it right" I mean "Really over-do it." That's a common theme with my projects. (Just look at the "little" GI Joe Display above the desk)
Working at an awesome LED company www.elementalled.com also meant that I couldn't go without installing some lights in it... so this is the idea that I came up with.
I wanted a sleek looking, ergonomic, sound reactive, desk lighting accessory that would set my desk apart from any of my colleagues.
So without further ado, here's how you can upgrade your desk as well...
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Step 1: What You'll Need...
First, let me apologize for not having better pictures of this step. I will try to get some photos up later to help explain.
What you'll need (Crafty): A cardboard box, black foam core board, black card stock, translucent paper, craft knife, hot glue gun (+glue)
Lights/Electronics: (1-2) Apollo Jammers, 7'-9' RGB LED Strip Light, (3-5) RGB Bending Extensions, (1-2) 1 Meter RGB LED Strip-to-Strip Extension Cables, Wire strippers, Small Screwdrivers, and a handful of Wire Nuts.
Step 2: The Box
This is the crafty part of the project. First, take a cardboard box of the appropriate height, and reinforce it with more cardboard, using Hot Glue to secure it. This will ensure that the monitor will not break or collapse your stand from it's weight.
Then, using the foam core board, cut out pieces to surround the cardboard box in a cool looking design. I will leave this up to you as you will be best at deciding what style of stand you want on your desk.
Take the side pieces of foam core board, and cut out interesting, large designs out of them. (No need of intricate detail at this point) This will give you a large area that the light from within the box will shine through, giving you plenty of space to work with. I chose a standard Sci-Fi design of a rectangle with two opposite corners cut off. Simple and effective.
Then take the black card stock and cut out your detailed designs. Again, I stuck to a very sci-fi, hard edged look, but you can cut out whatever you like.
Then cut out a piece of translucent paper large enough to cover the back of each one of your designs. Use some glue (I like hot glue myself) and adhere it to the back of your design. (You may also want to use a Glue stick for the smaller parts)
Then mount the card stock designs behind the foam core board, allowing the designs to be visible through the larger "holes" you cut out of the foam core board earlier.
Cut some thin (about 1/2 inch) strips from the foam core board long enough to run across the length of your designs. Mount one above your design on the inside of the box, and if you'd like to, mount one below the design as well.
Step 3: The Lights
Next, cut lengths of RGB LED Strip lights long enough to be mounted on the little "lips" above, and below the designs cut out of the box. Pull off the adhesive from the back of the strip, and adhere them to these "lips."
Then you may attach an RGB EZ connector to the end of one or both of the RGB strips, and run it back to the Apollo Jammer. The easiest way to get them all to connect is to wire nut all of the like colored wires (Blue to blue to blue to blue for example) to another wire running back to the Apollo Jammer. Repeat this with each color of wire.
Repeat this process on the back of your monitor, mounting the strip lights on the back facing the back wall of your desk, then run these back using the EZ connectors to either the same Apollo Jammer, or a second Apollo Jammer.
Step 4: The Jammer
The Apollo Jammer can then be wired back to the audio output of your computer, intercepting the audio signal before it gets to your speakers. Follow the directions included with the Jammer to wire it up correctly. (It's extremely easy)
Step 5: Activate the Minotaur!
Now turn on the Jammer(s), and play some awesome music (When the boss isn't around), and be the envy of your whole office!