The Stack Big Board (with Video!)

by Alex Miller

on December 9, 2011

Anyone who has seen pictures or video from our office in the last few months has probably noticed a small addition in the form of five large screens mounted in the middle of it.  The screens came about when we were first hiring CHAOS and realized that we wanted an easy way to visualize and display relevant information (or play video games) during the day.  The first iterations where a bit, um, crazier (as evidenced by this rendering that we cooked up).  Eventually though, we decided that we needed something that fit in our 8' ceilings and could be seen by everyone.

And so our current version was born (technically, this is version 2.13 - the first version had all 5 monitors oriented in portrait, but we realized that 2 in portrait and 3 in landscape was better).  Amazingly, this is actually a relatively easy system to build out.  Using truss is also much simpler than wall mounting as aligning the monitors is much easier and the freestanding structure can be moved around to make wiring/adjustments much easier.

There are two pieces of 2 meter box truss that make the main upright supports (and each have one of the vertical monitors mounted to them) and one piece of 3.5 meter ladder truss that makes up the span holding the three landscape monitors.  All of the TVs are hung directly to the truss using O-clamps (which are secured to the TVs using standard M6 bolts).  Wire management is also pretty easy as all of the wiring is run directly through the truss or ziptied to it.

So what makes up the Big Board?

And what do we run on it? (From Left to Right)

  • Monitor 1: Whatever is current and relevant or general office info

  • Monitor 2: Traffic stats

  • Monitor 3: The CHAOS Trello Board

  • Monitor 4: Careers 2.0 Tracking

  • Monitor 5: Employee Chat

Both the traffic stats and Careers 2.0 boards were built using Geckoboard, a service that lets you easily build status monitors (just connect it to your relevant accounts or provide it with feeds from your database and it handles making it look great).

You can also check out this video of Joel and I talking about the board and showing off what it can do.