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Triple Monitor stand alignment


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#1 TheGwardian

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 09:54 AM

Hey guys,
 
I've been using a triple monitor stand for a while now and daily I'm annoyed with it's alignment. I almost wish I had kept the stands that the monitors themselves came with instead.
 
YouTube video showing what's wrong: https://youtu.be/8-iQhPnToGQ
 
I just want everything to be straight, look good, and not be misaligned all the time. I find myself constantly adjusting the monitors, especially the main middle one, to the right and left all the time and I have no idea why. One day, it's position will be fine, the next, it'll look completely off to me.
 
I've tried using a level (LOL) that didn't work at all, using a level, it had me adjust the monitor waaaay to the left, making it dip at an extreme level to the left, with the right side of the monitor pointing upwards over the left end. So, that made zero sense.
 
I'm using 3 of these monitors: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009HNEBLK/
 
And I'm using this monitor stand: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JG9RQ2
 
All of this should work perfectly and be aligned perfectly. The monitors are all 27", and the stand supports 3 monitors of up to 28". 
 
What I'd love is for all 3 of my monitors to align like these: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41b9vK440yL.jpg , https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71XaR90yxrL.jpg , https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71U0Hn96UdL.jpg , https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/7147tdBinzL.jpg
 
It doesn't make any sense why they aren't lining up like that. Am I just being too picky? Do I have an actual case here? What's going on? Tips, hints, and suggestions?
 


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#2 smax013

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 10:08 PM

My guess is that it is a combination of two things.
 
First, the main arm that supports the two outer monitors will flex.  How much it will flex is a function of the material the arm is made of, the cross section dimensions, where the bracket for connecting the monitor to the arm is located on the arm and properties of that arm (i.e. what does the cross section of the arm look like), and how much the two outer monitors weigh.  It is basically a structural mechanics problems (I am a structural engineer).  You cannot control #1 or #2 and only have minimal control over #3 and #4 (both will be essentially dictated by the monitors you pick to mount on the bracket).  By default, this means the "center" of the two outer monitors will likely be slightly lower than the middle monitor.  And since the brackets that connect the monitor to the arm have no vertical sliding adjustment option that I can see, there is no effective way to over come this. This will mean that you can either have the two outer monitors be level across the top, but slightly lower than the level top of the middle monitor BUT then have a constant width gap between the outer monitors and the middle monitor.  Or you can slightly rotate the two outer monitors (counter-clockwise for the left monitor and clockwise for the right monitor) so that edge of those two monitors closest to the middle monitor will match the top of the middle monitor, but in doing so, the "gap" between the two outer monitors and the middle monitor will be slight wider at the top than the bottom. I don't see any way around this.

The other issues is how well the vertical tilt, the horizontal tilt and rotate (portrait/landscape rotation) mechanisms for the two outer monitors full lock down the set position. If they don't lock down well (especially the vertical tilt), then the monitors might slowly move due to gravity. This will mainly be an issue with the vertical tilt. Since the monitor is effectively cantilevered from the arm by way of the bracket, gravity wants to force that vertical tilt mechanism to cause the monitor to have its top rotate toward you and the bottom away from you. The only thing resisting that looks to be friction due to tightening the bolt/nut of the vertical tilt mechanism. The more you tighten the bolt/nut, the more friction. It is possible, however, that bolt/nut will never tighten enough to create enough friction to prevent motion over time depending on how well it is designed. While the horizontal tilt and rotate will likely be much less susceptible to this phenomenon due to the monitor in theory being more symmetrically mounted for these two motions, it is still possible that the monitor is not truly symmetrically mounted due to weight distribution within the monitor (i.e. one side of the monitor might be heavier than the other). Plus, it is possible for any of the possible motion directions that the friction "lock" at the motion mechanism is not enough to prevent movement due to minor accidental bumps against the monitors. I know that at least one of the my monitor stands allows for relatively easy movement due to accidentally bumping against the monitor since tightening down the friction "lock" mechanism fully is not possible.

At the end of the day, you might be just a bit too picky for what that monitor stand is capable of doing.

For the first item, the best you are likely to be able to do is pick whether you want everything to be level with the center monitor being slightly higher than the two outer monitors OR if you want monitors to line up at the intersection of the middle monitor and two outer monitor but settle with the fact that this might mean that the two outer monitors will not actually be level.

For the second item, the best you will be able to do is to try to tighten down the friction "lock" mechanisms as best as possible and then live with movement there might still be if tightening them down does not completely prevent motion (especially the vertical tilt).

If you cannot live with both or either of the two items, then your only other option might be to look for a new monitor stand that has a more robust design.

#3 Kilroy

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 07:38 AM

I have the 24" version of this stand and  highly recommend it.  smax013 identified your issue.  The problem is the monitor mounts don't allow you to correct the height, you can only tilt the monitor.  The thumb wheel on the top of the monitor mount I have allows you to move the monitor up and down.


Edited by Kilroy, 19 August 2016 - 07:38 AM.





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