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[Tutorial] - Fitting an ATX PSU Inside the G5 Power Supply

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WhatTheTech

WhatTheTech

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INTRO
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So, you've come to your senses and decided that you want to use the stock G5 enclosure eh? Good for you :)

Jokes aside, I think it's about the cleanest way to include your PSU in a G5 mod, and it really isn't as hard as you may think. All it takes is a little modding know-how, a little safety, a dash of luck, and you will have yourself a clean looking hack! This tutorial is also permanently available on the G5Modders Tutorial Page.

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: PSUs contain capacitors that can give you a nasty shock and possibly do some real damage. General safety tips would include leaving your psu unplugged for a few days, flipping the power button a few times after that to discharge any stored current, and touching the capacitors with an electronics-grade insulated screwdriver (link) to aid in discharge. I'm not responsible for any damage to person or equipment!

There are a couple methods to this modification, two of which are discussed. The first option is to keep the PSU inside its original casing, cutting down the walls to fit inside the G5 enclosure. The benefits of this method are a stronger attachment for any modular plugs, as well as a flat surface for attaching the PSU to the enclosure. The down side is that you have to cut your ATX casing, not only adding difficulty but also making sure your warranty is totally shot. The second method is to remove the PSU from its original casing entirely to fit inside the G5 enclosure. The benefits of this method are an easier mod overall with no cutting, better airflow and (almost certainly) an easier fit. The only real caveat is that if you're using a modular PSU, the plugs will no longer be attached to anything solid barr custom fabrication.

Each method has its pros and cons, but the great part is that each method leaves you with a clean-looking mod in the end. Take some time to weigh the above pros and cons, and choose which method is best for you! In case you're interested, the proper terminology for the G5 power supply is "TeslaConverter", but I find using this term produces blank looks from many-a G5 modder, so PSU enclosure it is!


You will need:

- Powermac G5 PSU Enclosure
- An ATX power supply, modular preferred
- A pair of metal cutters/a dremel/a jigsaw
- A philips-head screwdriver
- Soldering iron, solder, heatshrink (optional)


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TUTORIAL
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STEP 1: STRIPPING THE G5 PSU ENCLOSURE

Here's the stock G5 psu in all its glory. There are eight screws that you will need to remove to gain access to the internals, I have marked them for your convenience:

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Two of the screws may be hidden by plastic moulding that surrounds the cables as they exit. They can be tricky to spot, but once you have removed them you can remove the top cover. As you can see, I have also marked the location of the screws that hold the internals down to the actual enclosure. This may vary a little depending your year of manufacture (and possible even your country of residence) but generally there are five that need to come out:

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Don't forget to unplug the fans from the PCB! If you are keeping the stock power socket (recommended) simply cut the three wires as close to the PCB as you can, you'll need some room to splice later!

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And here she is, ready for the transplant:

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STEP 2: PREPPING THE ATX PSU CASE
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Assuming you didn't electrocute yourself, let's move on. For this mod, I'm using the Corsair Modular CX430M and will be demonstrating the first method discussed in the introduction. Most of the information still applies to the other method! When choosing a power supply for the first two methods, just make sure that it uses a standard width fan on top, so that the internals are low enough to be put in the G5 case. Honestly if you can afford it, a modular power supply is really going to save you a lot of hassle in the long run. More than with a regular computer case, space is in high demand inside the enclosure! People have alleviated this lack of space by using an SFX-factor PSU. Despite still needing the cutting of or removal from its original casing, being a smaller form-factor it leaves you much more space to work with!

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Ready to void that warranty?

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Here you can see what I mean about the height of the heatsinks:

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It's a good idea at this point to do a dry run with everything inside the G5 case. This way you can see if everything is going to fit before you destroy a perfectly good PSU:

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If it looks like clearance isn't a problem, it's time to get modding!

If, like me, you are cutting the PSU enclosure, it's time to get out your cutting tool of choice and begin to cut down the PSU walls.

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STEP 4: FITTING THE ATX PSU
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Important Note: Make sure that the bottom of the enclosure has insulation, otherwise you're going to make the whole thing explode! The plastic left over from removing the Apple internals will be just fine, but any insulation-grade plastic will do.


If you have decided to remove the PSU entirely from it's original casing (method 2), at this point you should remove it from the casing and place it inside the G5 enclosure, fixing it either by using screws, or double-sided tape will also work. Here's a picture of Mr D.'s modification following this method. You can see a gallery of the full process here, or head on over to his worklog.

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If you're cutting the original casing, put the PSU back inside the G5 enclosure, and make sure your cuts are at the correct height. I had to file down a little bit because they were a hair too high.

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That wasn't so hard was it? For each method, put the top cover on to make sure that everything does actually fit, then do a little jig when it does:

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Finally, you're going to want to plan where you want your cables coming out of. I used two of the G5's original cuttings to bring out a custom power cable (left in grey) and the motherboard ATX connector (center), but had to enlarge the hole on the right some for the modular cables and ATX power cable to come out of. Aside from that there really wasn't a lot of extra cutting involved!

Here is the final shot with all the necessary cables coming out:

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STEP 5: SPLICING THE POWER CABLE
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Your final step is to splice in a power cable so that you can use the stock socket on the back of the G5. For this, you will need your soldering iron and heatshrink/electrical tape.

First, strip down the wires attached to the stock plug. I stripped about 3/4" on the neutral and hot wires:

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At this point, put your heatshrink over the wire and push it to one side so the soldering doesn't shrink it accidentally.

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Now, solder the corresponding wires from your cable to the power socket. Generally, they should match in color but check your country's standard colorization for electrical wiring, it may differ.

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The grounds are easy, simply twist them together and screw them back in to the stock mounting hole. For a more elegant solution, simply purchase an eyelet to match the one shown, although this isn't necessary.

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Finally, apply heat to your heatshrink to create a tight fit, and you're done!!

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You can now run your cable to wherever it needs to go to be plugged in to the ATX PSU.

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CLOSING THOUGHTS
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You're done! Honestly, this really isn't as hard as you might think. Sure you can get all fancy by mounting modular sockets to the enclosure itself, but when it really comes down to it the only thing you have to worry about is getting a nasty shock, which can be generally avoided by following the red precautionary text at the beginning on this tutorial. As I mentioned at the beginning, each method has its own pros and cons, but the overarching principle here is that you can create a very sleek mod with relative ease.

Thanks for reading, I hope this tutorial helps someone in deciding what to do with the PSU in their G5 mod!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: g5modders, tutorial, psu, power supply, g5, powermac

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