Ultimate Monitor Stand

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Most paper documents are written in the portrait orientation (they are longer than they are wide). Most computer monitors are mounted in the landscape position (they are wider than they are long). This makes for some awkward viewing when a portrait document is viewd on a landscape monitor. This project will easily cure this problem. It will rotate the monitor physically and virtually in the Windows enviroment.

This was not a difficult project to build. However, it is tricky to construct and a few obstacles had to be overcome in order to construct this monitor stand.

The monitor stand had to be tall enough and wide enough to allow a monitor to be rotated. If not, the rotating monior would bump into the adjoining monitor or the top of the desk as it was rotated. So custom stand was built using scrap metal from some old playground equipment.

The rotating mechanism also had to be thin and compact. There was not much room to mount a rotating mechanism between the stand and the monitor. If the monitor were to be mounted too far out from the stand, it could cause the whole thing to tip over. A lazy susan bearing was used to solve this problem. The bearing worked great, but there isn't much clearance for the rack and pinion and screws needed to mount everything. This was solved by usng captured nuts and counter sunk screws on the surfaces that the lazy susan bearing was mounted on.

Another problem was accessing the screws and nuts during the assembly. Some access holes had to be drilled and assembly order had to be taken into consideration to get everything to fit. There is no magic trick or special technique to get it all to go together. Please remember that if try to build one of these yourself.

The circuit used for this project is just a minimal Arduino. This is just the Atmel chip with the Arduino bootloader, a crystal and a few capacitors. An Easy Driver stepper motor driver was also used and mounted on the same circuit board. The board was left over from some experimenting I did with stepper motors. An Nano will work just as good and will be a lot simpler and cheaper to use if you decide to build one. A Nema 23 stepper motor was used to rotate the 22 inch montior in the video and 2 limit switches were used to stop rotation.

There are 3 pieces of software that were used to rotate the monitor. This only works for Widows machines. The free version of IRotate was used to change the oreintation in Windows. There is also Arduino code that is used to turn the stepper motor and read the limit switches. The Arduino code and C# executable can be obtained here. There is also an application that I wrote in C# that controls everything. You will also need to have 3.5 version or greater of .net framework installed on your machine in order to make the C# code work.

The rack and pinon that are used in the project are found in the Gear-o-Clock thing that is on thingiverse. You can find the Gear-o-Clock here.

Here is the BOM for this project:

Tools Used in Video