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[worklog] Darkmac Pro

mac pro mod anodized painted g5modders whatthetech

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#61
Mr.D.

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very nice - and I love the improvised spacers. If only you had heat shrink tubing in that dark grey color - then you could just sleeve the washers!

#62
WhatTheTech

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very nice - and I love the improvised spacers. If only you had heat shrink tubing in that dark grey color - then you could just sleeve the washers!


Thanks! I have a lighter gray, but with the spray paint coming in I might just paint them. Honestly if I had more space and time I would invest in an anodizing set-up (pretty cheap to do at home) and just anodize the {censored} out of everything :D

#63
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Just a quick sneak-peek at the inner cage....this spray paint is fantastic:

Posted Image

#64
nickjf20

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Right, started emailing around for anodising quotes ... it looks far too nice :wink2:

#65
WhatTheTech

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Right, started emailing around for anodising quotes ... it looks far too nice :wink2:


All said and done, the total cost at Anodizing Specialists is $75, which is more than reasonable (it's a freakin' deal). I thought this would be a one-off for me, but at that price I'm doing a black G5 next!!

Without tooting my own horn, I'm really loving it. Everything is starting to come together, and I rebuilding the top shelf, also painted with the same gray. I can't wait for it all to be done, except I have to because (a) the paint is still drying and (B) I lost a couple of pieces somewhere in my office :rolleyes:

#66
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The anodizing finish looks amazing. Really "Dark Mac" style, even the apple logo got brighter, which accents the contrast, just great, i really feel envy of that scheme =)

Cool spray-painting, it fits the color contrast perfectly. And very nice work with the radiator adding those spacers, now it's gonna be a real watercooled beast!!! Yeah!

Keep up the good work, specially the professional aesthetics finishes since you're always good with that =)

Edited by SirKeldon, 02 March 2013 - 09:01 PM.


#67
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The anodizing finish looks amazing. Really "Dark Mac" style, even the apple logo got brighter, which accents the contrast, just great, i really feel envy of that scheme =)

Cool spray-painting, it fits the color contrast perfectly. And very nice work with the radiator adding those spacers, now it's gonna be a real watercooled beast!!! Yeah!

Keep up the good work, specially the professional aesthetics finishes since you're always good with that =)


Thanks so much man - especially for all of your help!!!

UPDATE

Ok, so I now have the inner assembly totally done! It was a pain, especially since I had to do it twice (shelf goes back on before the lock) but I can comfortably say that I have the whole lock mechanism down to a science - it took me four minutes to put it together the second time, versus over 10 minutes the first!

Here's the top fan assembly which holds a lot of the weight of the top shelf:
Posted Image


Here's a picture I took BEFORE realizing that I was an idiot and had to do this after the shelf was put in:
Posted Image (LOL)


And finally, the whole thing put back together:
Posted Image


The lock mechanism is totally working (thank God) and maybe it's just me but the color scheme is really floating my boat right now. I was a little worried at first that the different color for the spray paint was going to look weird, but actually I think it adds to the whole monochrome feel by adding a different shade! Now it's time to put the handle shell back on, which is the part I am DREADING. It's the last exterior piece, and has a ton of screws that are welded on, non-removable, and that have the potential to really scratch the anodizing. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

#68
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having no experience with mac pro cases, what is that rectangular hole in the bottom there for?

#69
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having no experience with mac pro cases, what is that rectangular hole in the bottom there for?


I believe that this is where several sensors were kept (in a small compartment that is currently drying from being spray-painted). It may even have contained the bluetooth module, as there was an antenna attached and I can't figure out if it was bluetooth or something else!

UPDATE

I got the handles on!! It was a tough job - again I had bubble wrap in between the two shells (inner and outer) and gently eased the handle assembly over the inner shell. Then it got stuck. With MUCH prying, levering and grunting (on my part, the mac pro case took the process with grace), it finally clicked into place! I then had to tug out every last bit of bubble wrap which was now firmly clamped in between the two parts. There may be some left in there ;)

Well, here's the final picture of the day, and perhaps the best representation of how dark everything actually is, something I have had difficult conveying due to the nature of flash photography and metal. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!

Posted Image

Now I'm sitting here looking at the 30+ screws that need to be put back in. If my Jedi mind tricks won't will them into place, I may pick up a screwdriver....

#70
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I really like the accented power button - sets it off nicely against the darker mesh... what color will the optical drive doors be?

#71
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I really like the accented power button - sets it off nicely against the darker mesh... what color will the optical drive doors be?


Thanks, and good question!

I'm a little torn. I could bring them to the anodizing place, but there's a good chance that the threads for the screws on the back are that same alloy that doesn't respond well to anodizing. Since, for all intents and purposes, they are non-replaceable without going to some expense, I'm deciding between (a) leaving them silver and ( B) painting them the darker gray. I see the merit in both so (as usual) it's going to come down to whatever last-minute decision I make...

#72
Mr.D.

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flip a coin!

EDIT - dont use that one, stupid canadian money, use this one instead.

#73
Baudouin

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Thanks, and good question!

I'm a little torn. I could bring them to the anodizing place, but there's a good chance that the threads for the screws on the back are that same alloy that doesn't respond well to anodizing. Since, for all intents and purposes, they are non-replaceable without going to some expense, I'm deciding between (a) leaving them silver and ( B) painting them the darker gray. I see the merit in both so (as usual) it's going to come down to whatever last-minute decision I make...


Tough call; with the silver you get the contrast and with the dark grey painting you get the unity of color. :help:

#74
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Tough call; with the silver you get the contrast and with the dark grey painting you get the unity of color. :help:


Errrxxactly. Well, for now I think I will install as-is and see what it looks like/everyone thinks. My concern that it's almost too large for a highlight piece, whereas the power button and rear latch are both relatively small. I'm also trying to decide whether the 40-50 visible screws should be painted or not, or whether there even exists a durable way of doing so...

having no experience with mac pro cases, what is that rectangular hole in the bottom there for?


Along these lines, I may actually use it for the Apple Chime mod. It has a decent amount of space in there, and I may see what it sounds like with the bottom sticker (the one with model and serial numbers etc.) or even use some speaker material if it's muffled?

Posted Image

#75
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Well, I ran in to several problems tonight.

1) The first is that even with the motherboard attached directly to plate I am using, the standoffs themselves are too high for me to use the PCI brackets.
2) The USB 3.0 panel mount connectors that I bought have too much depth in the female port to be usable without pushing in to the motherboard.

So, I am toying around with the following solution, as shown by the image below:

Posted Image

As you can see in the text, the rubber bar that I cut from the PSU area will allow me to use pointed screws that dig in and create their own threads. I did a test screw, and it actually holds very well. This will then be attached using double-sided tape or even glue to hold fast to the PCI bracket. Despite not being to most aesthetically pleasing solution, at least the rubber is black. I also ran in to the issue of my USB female panel-mount connectors being too deep for the small space afforded by the original bracket placement. To counter this, I am thinking about moving them above the PCI bracket as shown. The screw holes are perfectly set so that I can screw right through the Mac Pro's mesh (lucky or what?). Despite still meaning I need to cut the back, at least it's only two small USB-sized cuts, rather than the entire back as would be needed for the entire I/O area.

This is NOT ideal, and is definitely not my first choice, but it's a workable solution to several small but inconvenient issues. If I didn't need the internal motherboard USB 3.0 headers for the front panel I ordered, I would simply put them on a PCI bracket and be done with it, but sadly in this case that is not an option.

There is some good news - my Corsair H60 clears the motherboard nicely, and will stay in the mod!

Any thoughts?

#76
n30p1r4t3

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That is beautiful. This is just spit-balling, but how much would it cost me to purchase a similar case? With the anodizing.

Edited by n30p1r4t3, 03 March 2013 - 02:29 PM.


#77
WhatTheTech

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That is beautiful. This is just spit-balling, but how much would it cost me to purchase a similar case off of you?


PM'ing now.

#78
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can you shorten the standoffs at all? one of the things I didn't do when I epoxied my standoffs was to remove the excess material from the bottom of the posts, since I was reattaching them on top of the aluminum not in the holes. Not much of a difference, but its about 2 mm - enough that I notice it when attaching a PCIe video card. Looks like you have a HUGE gap. If there is a way to easily shorten the standoffs, that would be my choice. I know you have anodized and painted most everything by now so this may not be ideal - but think about that misalignment if you ever get a video card that has plugs right up to the edge - you'll be unable to use it... and that would be a bummer.

you don't want my opinion on the USB 3.0 header - because I am firmly in the 'cut nothing' camp.

EDIT

why don't you attach those USB ports to a blank PCI bracket? the MacPro has 5 slots, your MB has only 4 - so you wouldn't be sacrificing a slot down the road, and you now have justification for keeping the original 5?

waddya think?

#79
WhatTheTech

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Well, I can't shorten the standoffs, at least not in a manner that will maintain the integrity of the threads. To be honest though, the system I have going isn't so bad. With the flash photo I took above, you can really see it, but I'm looking directly at the case right now at eye level and I had to double-take because I thought it had fallen out (nope, just blends nicely). I know what you mean about the vid card issue, but my trusty 5770 has DVI and HDMI lower down, and this is my go-to card to be honest - I've been using them for three years, and since I don't game anymore I'm not too worried about replacements.

I know how you feel about the USB 3.0 header, and I would probably take it into a shop to have it done professionally. The only issue with your PCI bracket idea is that I already am using the superfluous bracket for USB 2.0. That said, what I might do (before I cut anything mind you) is to investigate using a USB pcie card for USB 2.0 (which has less compatibility problems with OSX) and keep the use the on-board USB 3.0 (known working) in the spare bracket instead of USB 2.0

Good thoughts - definitely good to talk things out!!! Good news: I got the motherboard plate attached!!! Pics to follow...

UPDATE


Well, after much fretting and frustration, I finally got the motherboard plate mounted, and more importantly - ALIGNED. As you can probably see from the images below, I had to drill several times for each point, simply because my tolerances are/were minute. A little too far up, audio ports would hit the PCI bracket, a little too far down, and the PCI cards wouldn't be aligned.

I finally figured it out, found a couple of gray screws with almost no protrusion that would interfere with the motherboard, and finally cut a hole for the H60 mounting bracket. Please excuse my terrible dremel work - I didn't sleep very well and my garage is around 18 degrees Fahrenheit right now...


Posted Image

Posted Image

Once I have double-checked that everything fits, it's on to the power supply!!

#80
Mr.D.

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cant modify the standoffs from the case to the tray - but what about using different standoffs from the tray to the MB? something like what you did for the radiator perhaps? turn screws upside down so the head is on the bottom of the tray, put a nut on the top side of the tray to secure it to the tray, then add washers as needed and use a nut on the top of the MB?? does that sound possible??





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