New use for an old PC case

Where to put some of my completed electronics projects is becoming an issue. Sure, for many types of stand alone projects it makes sense to go with an enclosure like a hobby box, but what about projects that are used in the development of other projects or in conjunction with each other that you want to keep by your workbench? The solution was right in front of me (actually down on the floor) but it took a while before I realized it.

Long ago an old PC that was no longer terribly useful had its insides scooped out for parts. I thought everything from it that was usable had been but missed one piece: the case itself. By simply removing everything including the motherboard and mounting spacers, you're left with a bunch of holes that are used for mounting several different sizes of motherboard which are perfect for installing some 10mm extrusion as a mounting platform. In my case, I'm using MakerBeam but most other miniature extrusion such as MicroRax would probably work as well. Granted this was a generic enclosure... a name brand PC enclosure will likely only have holes specific to the motherboard they are built to house. In that case you might have to drill a few holes if the ones that already exist won't work for you.

PC Case Conversion interior.png

All that was needed to hold the frame into place were two bolts in the upper rail and one bolt in one of the side rails to achieve a nice sturdy frame. Attaching additional rails, installing standoffs, or directly mounting PCB's of any shape and size becomes trivial without needing to drill holes each time a new board is added. Besides the obvious re-use of the power supply without needing to remove it, this also gets you a few free LEDs, a couple of switches, and a speaker for whatever project inside needs them. The price and time this will save is hard to beat.

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