Low Voltage Interface Adapter Plate

The Dell GX270 chassis has a small support plate under the CPU, evidently to support the heatsink and fan:

Optiplex GX270 CPU heatsink mount
Optiplex GX270 CPU heatsink mount

It slides neatly into those clips on the system board tray, but it’s not actually locked into position. I think that allows it to slide around a bit under the system board, providing vertical support without constraining the board’s horizontal position. Anyhow, it looked like the easiest way to support the prototyping board that will hold the low voltage interface circuitry.

By some mischance, I found a nice aluminum plate exactly the right width, so only one side needed a saw cut and squaring. Coordinate drilling four #6 clearance holes matched the support:

LV Interface Adapter Plate - drilling
LV Interface Adapter Plate – drilling

That corner of the tray had another system board retaining clip, but rather than bashing it flat, I just sawed a slit in the plate so it can slide right into position. Note the perfect alignment of that screw hole:

LV Interface Adapter Plate - retainer
LV Interface Adapter Plate – retainer

I love it when all my mistakes cancel out!

Four more holes matched the prototyping circuit board and, while I had some epoxy mixed up for another part, I fastened four standoffs over the holes. A washer under each original screw soaked up exactly enough space that the screws barely indented the case and, as if by magic, hold the support plate firmly in place:

LV Interface Adapter Plate - installed
LV Interface Adapter Plate – installed

Of course, that means I must remove the circuit board to get the tray out, but the AC interface board must also come out, so we’re not talking a spur-of-the-moment operation.

The switch in the lower left corner is the original Dell “intrusion monitoring” switch harvested from a complex metal stamping in the diagonally opposite corner of the case. It’s epoxied to the case wall, with the plunger contacting a shim epoxied to the top of the case, and will eventually disconnect the AC line power from the drive electronics: case open = switch closed = lethal power off.