Mounting an Intel NUC: Getting Creative!

When you get your first awesome little NUC, you might think there’s only one choice for mounting; use the included VESA mounting bracket to attach it to the back of your monitor.  The bracket includes holes spaced for both 75 mm and 100 mm mounting.  It’s a great solution for a clean desktop.

But what if you can’t, or don’t want to, attach it to the back of a monitor?  Having spent years with NUCs, I can tell you there’s another mounting option and it is surprisingly versatile. One word: pegboard.

Did you know peg board is VESA compliant?  Whether design or just a happy accident, the holes on your standard peg board just happen to line up with both sets of  holes on the NUC mounting bracket.  If you’re like me and you use NUCs on a workbench, this is an awesome bit of luck.

20160522_162255
Too…many…options…

 

 

Since the peg board holes line up for 100 mm, that means you’re also able to mount monitors to it.  What this gives you is a great solution for mounting a complete system.

I use this for my test bench, and it’s proven to be amazingly useful. A couple of HD monitors, two sets of wireless keyboards & mice, and some short HDMI cables complete the setup.With some wing nuts I’m able to mount all the hardware, and a few zip ties allow me to add all the accessories I need:

workbench
Also useful for running dual monitors on one NUC!

Peg board is a highly flexible solution for working with computers in general, and NUCs in particular.  It’s also remarkably easy to reconfigure. I’ve rearranged the NUCs (and monitors) on my test station multiple times, and it can be done in a matter of minutes.

 

Here’s a quick walk through showing how easy it is to mount a NUC on peg board:

Of course as awesome as peg board is, it’s only one of many mounting solutions. Here are a few I’ve also used:

Wall mounting

So let’s say you’re using your NUC as a home theater PC.  Your TV either doesn’t have mounting holes that fit, or is already mounted to the wall. Here’s an idea: mount the NUC on the wall too!  Just attach the mounting bracket to the wall, making sure a couple of the screws go into a stud, and you’re good to go. You now have a cool techy box next to your TV, and you’ll have all kinds of fun talking about it when people come over.  Bonus: skin your NUC to take advantage of the lid facing outward.  Sexy is as sexy does.

VESA Alternatives

When you want to hide your NUC, but your VESA holes aren’t available, you can still get creative with your mounting.  Case in point; I have a monitor that20160522_163434‘s mounted on a swing arm. The mount uses the VESA holes, so at first glance you’d think mounting the NUC wasn’t an option.  But here’s what I did: I unscrewed two of the screws from the wall mount. Then I slid the NUC bracket into the space and replaced the screws.
So instead of the NUC mount being centered on the back of the monitor, it’s off to the side.
But because the NUC is so light, two screws is more than enough to ensure it’s secured in place.

Under the desk

If you have a wood desk and want to get your NUC up and out of the way, but still want easy access to the front ports, you can install the mounting bracket to the underside of the desk. Your NUC will mount upside down and be full accessible.

Tape

Don’t laugh. I once needed to mount a NUC to a Dell monitor. As you may or may not know, many Dell monitors use their VESA mounting holes for the stand, so no traditional mounting was possible. I used some industrial-strength double stick tape to attach the mount to the back side of the stand, then attached the NUC.  I can’t say I recommend it. The tape held with no problem, but not a day went by when I wasn’t worried about the NUC falling off. I finally ended up using an alternative method, if only to save myself the stress.

Everything else

Basically the sky is the limit for mounting with the NUC bracket. In cars, boats, and RVs (heck, a motorcycle if you want) you can install the bracket just about anywhere.  The same is true in homes and offices.  As long as you can find a way to attach it, it’ll go pretty much anywhere.

Those are a few of the solutions I’ve come up with. I’d love to see and hear about your creative mounting solutions in the comments!

 

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