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This is a case mod of two popular PowerPC iMacs the G4 and the G5. Both of these have been converted to external DVI monitors using a combination of native parts and parts from Apple's 20" aluminum cinema display. These are arranged in a dual monitor setup for the newest generation mac mini, which can be seen underneath the right hand portion of the desk. It is in a 3rd party mount that features very useful front facing USB ports. Both the iMac G4 and iMac G5 are more than just monitors, they give the mac mini extra functionality. The iMac G4's base contains a DVD R/W drive - functioning as an external optical drive. The iMac G5's iSight camera and microphone have been converted to USB making the iMac G5 an external webcam/mic. The iMac G4's Apple Pro speakers connect via iFire to a firewire and 3.5mm jack to complete the setup.
The iMac G4 mod:
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This was originally an all-in-one which used a Penryn Core 2 Duo ECX board, however after difficulties with attempted hackintoshing and the release of the new Sandy Bridge mac mini's I elected to convert this to an external monitor for an external mini.
The monitor housing contains the native LCD and inverter. The neck has been modified with wires from the 17" iMac neck as well as wires from the apple cinema display's cable. The cinema display's power brick is at the top of the dome with the power source from an internal optical drive enclosure. The native iMac power plug gets split between these two. An on/off switch for the drive was added to the rear ports as well. The 5.25" SATA DVD R/W drive slides in to where the native superdrive was and the SATA connected to the power and a SATA to USB converter.
The cinema display's control board then sits underneath the drive getting power and signaling from the LCD and also supplying 2 powered USB ports. One of the USB ports hooks up to the drive and one additional port is available for use in the rear of the machine. A DVI to HDMI cable yields an HDMI out which plugs into the mini.
driveopen.jpg 142.85KB 23 downloadsA completed external USB optical drive and 20" monitor in the iMac G4's case
The iMac G5 mod:
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Initially I had used the case to the first generation (non-iSight) iMac G5. I used the native display but with the LCD controller, inverter, and wiring from the cinema display pictured above. The Cinema Display's cable goes out the back (where the power cord was natively) and the power brick is external. The original iMac G5 was quite bulky and I was using an external webcam/mic until a friend recommended using the iSight.
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The iSight can be spliced directly to a USB cable and while the mic is spliced to a 3.5mm plug, an inexpensive USB sound card (mic and headphone jacks to USB) can be used to make the microphone USB compliant. The mic and camera then plug into the cinema display controller's 2 USB ports.
And then the mod is complete:
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