Just before Nog Day I talked about a new headphone jack I’ve added to the front panel of my custom desk.

In the future I hope to make a post about each section, maybe even a video, but today we’ll focus on the front panel.

I’m constantly improving it and even the above picture is outdated, I’ve made a few changes since this was taken.

Still, the part we’re talking about today is correct in that pic… mostly… so lets just focus on that.

The top panel is a am150 DJ sound mixer from Audio Technica, the bottom panel is from a Russian machine that I’ve never identified.

I almost didn’t get the Russian console and had to get talked into it by my friend Erik. Man, that would have sucked.

Together, they break down as follows:

1. The Big Red Button! This really does turn my main PC on and off.

2. The Optimus Mini is a three button external keyboard with OLED displays. The displays burned out long ago, but I still use it to control Skype on the main PC as well as Movies / Music on secondary.

3. Behind this panel is my Main PC, the intake fans are in the back, (you can see them here) and these vents blow cool air out the front. Originally that was the other way around, but because of the angle of the vents the dust buildup was unbelievable! Reversing the air direction and putting a filter on the fans fixed the problem.

4. It’s hard to see here, but there is a switch for input and a volume control specifically for the headphone port. I have this running up into my DVD equalizer then out to the port shown in #14.

5 & 6 There is a master volume knob not highlighted that lets me to go from whisper quiet to loud enough for a rave. (if the speakers could handle it) These sliders control the volume on my main and secondary PCs respectively between 1 and 10 relative to that master volume. Having physical controls is highly recommended, I rarely touch the settings via software. I like this setup so much, I made a portable version for work.

7. I can pull this panel off to work on the computer just like on a spaceship, it’s such a satisfying thing to do!

8. This was given to me by my buddy Buck. It’s magnetized and is helpful for lighting those hard to reach places.

9. This key must be turned for the power button to work. Back in the tight quarters of the old apartment this had a second feature of stopping the computer from being turned off every time Gabi stood up and her chair hit the big red button by mistake. That stopped being a problem once we had more space.

10. There are several ways I use two computers as one, one of them is a USB switchable hub that I’ll eventually write a post about. Sometimes this switch will get confused so I rigged a reboot switch.

11. In the picture of the whole computer above you can see a snake light, this button lets me choose three different levels of brightness. Funny fact is I had to insulate the back to stop the entire console from being touch sensitive.

12. This switch works like #10 and lets me cut the power to an outlet inside the desk. Originally it turned on a fan for me when I got too warm, but since I replaced that with a better fan behind me that had a remote (also built into the desk, just not here) I made this control a VGA splitter. I don’t use this part unless I’m downstairs so I thought I would save the power and heat it generates.

13. Sometimes I want to plug other devices into my tertiary monitor (like an Xbox). This switch lets me jump back and forth between them.

14. This Headphone Jack was detailed in it’s own post, but the short answer is that it allows me to switch the headset audio between Main and Secondary PC.

So yea, this is more of a top 14 list because there are features that I didn’t highlight in the picture. There’s also a few hidden buttons just below this that lets me switch the sound from up here to the basement.

With the headphone jack I added just the other day I have filled every port available on this console. It’s likely that I’ll eventually replace things like VGA stuff to HDMI, but it’s main function is unlikely to change from here on out… but then again you never know what new things I’ll find. I’m sure if I do change it I’ll make a post to let you know.

If you have any questions about HOW I wired any of this, feel free to ask and I’ll give some details, I love talking about this stuff.