Friday, April 24, 2015

Hacking the Asus VX279 and Viewsonic VX2453 to VESA mounts

OK well, as more monitors go in the direction of LED and thin/space saving designs, they seem to drop their VESA mounts. The small circular stem bases are often rather low to the ground, offering only a few inches of elevation for monitors. This is somewhat annoying, as most monitors should be a good 6-8 inches higher than they are. In the past, the solution would be to put them on a shelf, or mount them on a VESA arm/pole type deal.

Anyways, I had an old 24 inch viewsonic VX2453 TN panel, and an asus VX279  AH-IPS panel.. both without vesa mounts. I figured that it wouldn't be too much of a problem to "make something work," so I did.

I was able to pick up this cool dual articulating arm mount with 75 & 100 mm mount patterns for 83$ on ( It's a generic item, so it's listed under a bunch of other manufacturers. The build quality is quite decent, though you may want to tighten up the bolts a bit so that it will be stable and hold really heavy displays.

So, to start out.. It's neccessary to take the monitors apart and remove the stems, stem attachment hardware, and make holes for VESA. These monitors are mostly assembled without screws, using super cheap snap-tab assembly. This means that the first few snaps you encounter and pry free are likely to break when you rip apart the bezel to get inside of the monitor. The Viewsonic monitor came apart pretty easily, and the tabs were thick enough that none of them broke. I was able to take it apart multiple times without any of them failing. After removing all of the components, I was happy to see that the back of the reinforced PCB housing already had some holes in a 100mm pattern.

So, I simply drilled two of them through the back (making sure that they wouldn't hit on any electrical components), popped a washer in, and inserted some nylon bolts. I chose to use nylon due to it's non-conductance and close proximity to metal / electrical components in this area. There is still a good 10mm or so between the pan head and any components, but I felt it was better to be safe than not. I inserted the bolts through and fastened them directly to the mount, tightening them up after making some small holes in the plastic for the HDMI ports. I then drilled the upper holes through using the 75mm pattern. I chose to use the 75mm pattern for this mount since the holes here are open and thus less secure, also using closer proximity makes it a bit more structurally sound as the monitor backing bends slightly and is plastic. I placed two large washers inside, to disperse the weight on the plastic. At this point, I was also able to tighten the upper bolts. After securing it to the mount, the monitor is well balanced and very secure. In order to get the housing to fit properly and screw back together, I had to drill two small holes in the back of the monitor, one above each HDMI port, to screw in some fastening screws. I then placed the display panel back into the housing, reconnected the ribbon cables, and snapped the bezel back on.

The Asus monitor was a bit more work. I had to break the top snaps along the bezel to get it apart. Due to this, there was a small gap in the top when the monitor was put back together. I was later able to solve this by dabbing some glue into the old tab slots and taping over the top of the monitor with some black electrical tape. The housing for the PCB was of-center... Also, the back of the monitor is rounded. This was only a small problem, so I used washers between the plastic backing and the metal component casing to redistribute the weight. There was plenty of room inside of the housing, so I used small bolts. Due to the monitor's design, it was not possible to tighten the lower bolts until after the monitor was re-assembled. This created another small problem, so I chose to use long bolts so that I could tighten them with some pliers -- the wrong way. The nuts I had for these bolts were pretty small, so I threw a washer on them to help redistribute the weight. Again, I drilled holes for the top in the plastic, added a large washer to each, and secured them to the mount. I reassembled the monitor, carefully threading the lower bolts through the back. I then used some locking pliers to grip the bolt close to the monitor housing, and thread on the screw, once it was on enough, I gripped the end of the bolt, and tightened it up. Once everything was in place, I glued and taped up the top.

As you can see, the monitors work just fine on the mount, though the asus is slightly left-justified due to the placement of the pcb/ports. Also, it is a bit bottom heavy, and not as well balanced as the Viewsonic, so the up/down tilt has to be tightened up on the mount. They're sturdy enough to move around, but not so much that they would be able to withstand the abuse of major movement on a daily basis in some sort of office environment. Anyways, it's much better than having spent the extra 80-200$ each for the "pro" version of the monitors when they came out to get VESA mounting and some extra OSD options I would never use. However, in the future I will be sure to buy only monitors with VESA mounts :3 Also, after I finished installing the, I figured out that I could just remove the hex screw from the pivot arm and pop out the large bolt and the VESA plate would detach from the mount. This would have made for easier installing and positioning of the holes. Oh well.

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