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MacBane - A worklog/modding guide for a new way to convert G4 Towers to ATX


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#21
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They are fun little cases to work on but not without their challenges as I have run into a few interesting snags on the project in the last couple of days that I will share.

The first little issue I found was that the Cooler Master 212s backplate is too tall to fit under the motherboard with the door latch panel installed, that and the 212 has been shown not to be able to keep highly overclocked i7s cool at 4.0 Ghz. So after a bit of research as to what would work with my choice of motherboard, cool very well and have a lower profile backplate I ordered a Thermalright Venomous X. Then I started to test the door/cooler clearance with another board using a OCZ Vendetta 2 and was a little worried when the Vendetta got in the way not allowing the door to close. I thought I might be in trouble but it turns out the socket on the 775 board I was testing with is much closer to the top of the door latch (edge of the board) than my socket 1156 board. I remeasured and everything looks OK now...heart attack adverted.

And because the socket is closer to the center of the board my revised hard drive rack will have to be revised again as I would likely be forcing the drives to collide with the CPU cooler fan if I went ahead and built.

So that little issue led me to the conclusion that I am going to have to build a new rack because I am out of material to properly connect to on the existing rack's HD mounting area. The good news is that the PSU section can be reused on it's own but the HDs need a fresh start and that's what I am building today. I will also be cutting a little more material out of the inside of the case as the PSU rack is just touching the interior of the case enough to prevent closure of the door when the PSU rack is in place.

This project is like playing 3D Tetris with pieces of metal and expensive components, it's tough but the end results still look to be worth it.
So I have a little more planning and fabricating to take care of before I can really call the metal work complete.

As for painting; It is almost complete, the panels just need a few more coats of clear gloss acrylic lacquer over the black components that should happen tomorrow after I get home (on the road for work right now so no pictures today, sorry).

#22
ResX

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I like how this is coming out. I do prefer the stock Apple look, but black and white is very tasteful. Hopefully you wont ruin it with a bunch of cold cathodes or something ;-)

#23
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I like how this is coming out. I do prefer the stock Apple look, but black and white is very tasteful. Hopefully you wont ruin it with a bunch of cold cathodes or something ;-)


Thanks, glad you like the color choices. I am a fan of the stock Apple look myself but this case had a lot of scuffs and scratches all over, so I made the tough choice to sand out the damage and then paint over the panels. I have a Quicksilver that is in mint condition that will be left as is if it gets to become a hackintosh some day.

No need to worry as I don't put cathodes in any of my machines, as they are power hungry and can cause PSU failures. There will be a small amount of tasteful case lighting done using red and white LEDs, the goal is to subtly accent the case and components with a little light while not showing the actual light sources. When the case is closed there will be a very slight red glow coming from the underside of the case, and a little from the back of the case via the clear IO panel cover.

#24
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Progress has been made! I have come up with a new fastening method for the PSU that will be a lot more flexible and will actually let the case close easily. I did murder the old HD-PSU rack though, don't worry it's better this way :D

Chop Chop

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Getting smaller

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Now for a fitting test

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And with a PSU in place

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And voila, it closes :happymac:

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The rack will be getting sanded down and given a fresh red paint job, so it will still look good once finished. I know someone is going to ask "how does the PSU attach to the rack now?", so I'll get to it. The PSU will attach to the rack via two straps and the miracle of industrial strength Velcro, it's adjustable, sound damping, and tool free all while being more than strong enough for holding a PSU in place.

After a little research I realized that the Cooler Master 212 actually needs just as much room as any LGA1156 cooler with a backplate, that includes the Venomous X that is expected to arrive by the end of the week. So I decided to mod the doors latch panel to accommodate:

Chop Chop, with the CM 212 backplate for reference

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Testing on the actual case to make sure everything is happy

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And now for a little something red

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And now all I need is a Venomous X to show up to get this thing mounted and benchmarked ;)

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#25
ResX

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Thanks, glad you like the color choices. I am a fan of the stock Apple look myself but this case had a lot of scuffs and scratches all over, so I made the tough choice to sand out the damage and then paint over the panels. I have a Quicksilver that is in mint condition that will be left as is if it gets to become a hackintosh some day.

No need to worry as I don't put cathodes in any of my machines, as they are power hungry and can cause PSU failures. There will be a small amount of tasteful case lighting done using red and white LEDs, the goal is to subtly accent the case and components with a little light while not showing the actual light sources. When the case is closed there will be a very slight red glow coming from the underside of the case, and a little from the back of the case via the clear IO panel cover.


If my case was badly scuffed I do admit I would be painting it grey and white or black and white like you. I kept it stock because I wanted to be able to surprise people with it. Take a look.

I envision this happening at least once:
Unsuspecting classmate: "Ha Ha, nice crappy old Mac you've got there"
Me: *flips open side of case*
Unsuspecting classmate: "Oh sh**!!"

I think the red and white LED's will be a nice touch for a case such as this, the polycarbonate should carry light nicely. If I wasn't such a nite-owl I would probably light up the side panel Apple logos on mine. The raised bottom with lights underneath evokes images of tuner cars in my head. This is sure to look nice. However, the power supply placement is probably the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. Especially now that my Arctic Cooler 64 doesn't fit with such little clearance, PSU relocation almost seems worth ruining the whole goal of my case.

I look forward to completion of this case.

#26
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One more time, your job is awesome…

Your sprays are basics acrilic paints or it's some special ?

#27
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Great log, thanx for sharing :( I 've really enjoyed it so far

#28
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If my case was badly scuffed I do admit I would be painting it grey and white or black and white like you. I kept it stock because I wanted to be able to surprise people with it. Take a look.


Looks pretty good, and nice to see that you reused the door latch. Most people ditch it or give up on it that I have seen.

I envision this happening at least once:
Unsuspecting coworker: "Ha Ha, nice crappy old Mac you've got there"
Me: *flips open side of case*
Unsuspecting coworker: "Oh sh**!!"


I am sure to hear that once or twice, but knowing my coworkers they will grill me at to what model it is. A friend of mine had a look at it and is now referring to it as "The Imperial Storm Trooper Mac".

I think the red and white LED's will be a nice touch for a case such as this, the polycarbonate should carry light nicely. If I wasn't such a nite-owl I would probably light up the side panel Apple logos on mine. The raised bottom with lights underneath evokes images of tuner cars in my head. This is sure to look nice. However, the power supply placement is probably the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. Especially now that my Arctic Cooler 64 doesn't fit with such little clearance, PSU relocation almost seems worth ruining the whole goal of my case.

I look forward to completion of this case.


It will still look stock from all sides except the back.


One more time, your job is awesome…

Your sprays are basic acrylic paints or it's some special ?


Thanks MarioMac, the paint I used is made especially for painting plastics. It is Krylon brand and the variety is called Fusion.


Great log, thanx for sharing :) I 've really enjoyed it so far


No problem, I have lots of ideas hopefully worth sharing and I'm happy to get a little input back :)

I managed to get the new HD rack completed, now to get it painted and put into the case and really start getting this project closer to completion.

The 120mm fan and HD rack will mount to the top of the inside of the case, and no that is not the fan or drives that will be used (just shop parts for comparisons sake):

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And on its own:

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#29
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Beautiful work, great to see somebody doing something completely new different. :)

#30
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Good Show Photograph! I really enjoyed reading this. When do you think the project will be complete? Also I am curious, if you don't mind, what do you do for a living?

#31
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Won't the red paint start to chip off the latch panel after a while where it bends?

#32
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Won't the red paint start to chip off the latch panel after a while where it bends?

Krylon does a surprisingly good job at sticking to flexible plastic, so long as the flexing is within a certain tolerable amount. Ive painted plastic office chairs with flexible backs and 2 years later I havent seen any chipping on them. You just need to have a clean, sanded surface.

#33
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Beautiful work, great to see somebody doing something completely new different. :)


Thanks, like somebody used to say "Think Different" :)

Good Show Photograph! I really enjoyed reading this. When do you think the project will be complete? Also I am curious, if you don't mind, what do you do for a living?


Thanks man. I'm a developer who often gets to test a lot of software, I also dabble in multimedia, some stock photography and thanks to a few friends at work I'm also an aspiring writer (starting to try my hand at some tech writing). Work has had me on the road a fair amount lately so it has cut into my "project time", but I hope to have everything together before next weekend.

Krylon does a surprisingly good job at sticking to flexible plastic, so long as the flexing is within a certain tolerable amount. Ive painted plastic office chairs with flexible backs and 2 years later I havent seen any chipping on them. You just need to have a clean, sanded surface.


Once it had dried fully its not going to come off without a lot of wear and tear, Fusion is much more durable than run of the mill spray paint.

#34
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Wow, good to know.

#35
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This thing is officially a little monster. I found a pair (Crossfire config :)) of Gigabyte Ultra Durable 5770's for cheap and pulled the trigger. I have always had great luck with Gigabyte's components plus the warranty is 3 years and I know that the service if ever needed is pretty fast.

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Yes, it's the model with the Batmobile cooler cover ;)

#36
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Crossfire Batmobile!!!

#37
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Crossfire Batmobile!!!


They will now be referred to as Batman and Robin :)

#38
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And now for some work updates:

The rear IO panel shield is now complete:

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I made a diffusion box to soften the light for the power and HD status LEDs (please disregard the cat hair on there):

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And all of the new rack components have been painted, the dark items are fan mounts and IO plate holders, they have 2 coats on them:

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#39
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Impressive, buddy. I never thought a G4 case could look better than a Mac Pro case. I am especially amazed in the side panel with a black Apple logo there. :)

#40
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Impressive, buddy. I never thought a G4 case could look better than a Mac Pro case. I am especially amazed in the side panel with a black Apple logo there. :blink:


Thanks, the panels look even better now that they are complete. I'll post those tomorrow as I have to get back to work and family stuff with the rest of my day.

And today's big news: Assembly has begun!!!

All fans and drives are insulated from the case with rubber washers to help keep this machine nice and quiet.

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Front Panel USB 2.0 and E-SATA connections installed, with red hardware. And yes that fan is missing a side on purpose in order for the PSU to clear it when the door is opened or closed:

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And I got to work installing the Venomous X onto the motherboard:

Venomous X box contents:

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Cleaning the CPU before getting started:

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On goes the back plate:

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Base nuts done up and ready for the rest of the cooler. These were a pain as there is not a lot of room for big hands to tighten these little things.

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The Venomous X is very nicely polished, much nicer base than the TRUE:

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Adding 70lbs of pressure with this little knob, making it ready for some overclocking :)

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And I even had time to paint a few more little parts:

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More to come soon :D





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