Key lock switch case modFormer staff writer - August 5, 2001
Today, I'm going to show you how to replace your power switch / button with a key switch. Why would you want to do that, you might ask? Well, why do we put our computers in freezers so we can overclock them more? Why do we spend hundreds of dollars on our case modding? I guess we do it because we love to mod and be unique! Having a key switch, increases the security of your computer and it also makes your case look cool.
First off, we need to round up some tools that we will be needing.
- Solder gun
- Dremel, rotozip, ect..
- Key switch
- Wire cutters
First things first, we need to unplug all wires going to our computer. Next, take your case panel(s) off. Now, you have to make a decision. You can either replace the key switch where your power switch is or you can mount the keyswitch else where. I replaced my power switch with the key switch. If you do choose to install the key switch where your power switch is, you will more than likely need to dremel where your old power switch was, to get the key switch to fit. Needless to say, if you mount the key switch elsewhere, you would still have to cut a hole.
The front of my old power button
The back of my old power button
The picture above is where my old power switch was, and this is also where I had to cut the new hole for the key switch. This was easily done with my cordless dremel, only taking me about 5mins to complete.
(Now, would be a good time to turn your soldering gun on, so it can warm up.) Once you get the hole cut out, put the key lock in the hole and see if it fits. If it doesn't fit, just keep cutting until it does fit.
Here, I was testing to see if the hole I had cut was big enough for the key lock. As you can see in the picture, the cutting of the hole made alot of plastic fragments. This can easily be cleaned up by using compressed air, or "air in a can". It's best to take your front bezel off of your case when cutting. Most all cases allow you to take off the front bezel.
Next, your going to have to find the wire that went from your old power switch to the motherboard. Most of the time it's a white and black wire. It should only be two wires. Once you have located them, cut the old switch off of these two wires. Then, strip the two wires back so they are naked. Now for the fun part :) Whip out your soldering gun, and put a little solder on the ends of these naked wires. It might be a good idea to unplug this wire from the motherboard while you solder, as the wires get really hot when you are soldering. Depending on what type of key switch you have, soldering may differ a little from the pictures. My key switch had brass ends, which made it hard for the solder to attach to. What I did was, put the wires in the holes and then put solder over the two holes.
This is a great security feature and also an easy mod to do! For added security, you may want to put some regular key locks on your case panels. Maybe I will do a guide on that soon. If you have any questions, dont hesitate to email me.