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Porto's G5 to ATX mod... 'The Simple Way...'


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#1
Porto412

Porto412

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Hi,

As many ppl have already done their G5 mods, I was inspired when I got my hands on a perfectly working single-core G5... but as a Windows fanboy, my only target was that
beautiful looking aluminum case and mod it to house my full-ATX board and other hardware; my goal is to leave the outside as original as possible, so no dremmel in the back of
the case for me. My present case is a Thermaltake Armor bigtower which is built out of platesteel and is quite heavy and very big; I wanted something lighter and smaller but
still with enough space to house all my hardware.

Spoken of hardware, I have just upgraded a month ago so now my games flyyyyyyy with nice high FPS rates!

My current config:
Asrock Z77 eXtreme4 full-atx MoBo
Intel core i5 3570K cpu @ 4.0Ghz
Gigabyte ATI HD7950 Windforce (Tripple-fan) gpu
Corsair Vengeance Blue 8GB 1600 kit
Coolermaster M2 Silent Pro 620W Modular powersupply
Boot/Games HDD: Samsung 128GB 840 Pro series SSD
LiteOn iHas DVD writer


Oke, let's go for the mod! I'm still not finished, but am at 90% for sure.

When I got the case I gutted the contents and broke off all the G5's motherboard spacers. I thought I could use the high ones for the upcoming ATX placement, and that
placement was not decided yet because I originally wanted to rotate the board 90 degrees and use extension cables to the IO ports on the back. But in the next pictures you see
that was not going to happen because my nearly 300mm long videocard hit the MoBo in just the wrong places. Other placements just weren't logical to do. I ended up with the
final placement in the fifth picture:


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After the original spacers were broken out with a plier, I first screwed them into the mounting holes of an old full-atx board, put a bit of paint underneath the spacers and
pressed the motherboard in its place together with the videocard to lineup with the PCI bracket. When the paint marked all the mounting points I smeared some metal epoxy glue
(like JB weld) on the marked points and a bit underneath the spacers itself, pressed the motherboard in its place and let it cure overnight. I guess I used a bit too much glue
but it seats VERY strong.


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After the MoBo got his final placement, I began with the powersupply. Some ppl here place it at the bottom, in place of the original PSU, some even mod the original PSU to
house their own ATX PSU. My PSU was just one month old and still under warranty so open the thing was out of the question. I decided to place it in place of the original HDD
bracket, the place where most ppl seems to fit the PSU. The fitting was very narrow but it fits nonetheless! To let the 140mm fan do its job I had to cut an opening in the
divider, so I took some measurements and out came the dremmel. Well, as you can see, I'm not quite handy with the dremmel but I am satisfied nonetheless of the result. The PSU
itself is mounted with only two screws but because the divider fits very tightly against it that's not a big deal whatsoever. I also 'found' (read: loaned it from my Plasma
screen) an powercable with a 90 degrees connector and shortened it to the necessary size to reach the G5's power plug output. I got the original plug out of the G5 powersupply
and soldered that one to the powercable. Unfortunately, I had only the 2 main pins to work with because when desoldering the plastic around the Ground pin melted a bit and the
pin came loose. Well, no Grounding but it's working great. I covered the entire connector with self-vulcanising tape so no 220v shock therapy would going to happen en epoxied
the connector in place... it sits as tight as a brick wall!


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I had only one HDD tray with the case so I searched, and found, another one. I flattened the top of one and glued the other on top of it and let it cure overnight. I wanted to
settle it against the bottom/front of the case and right in front of where one of the 140mm intake fans is going to be, so it sits in the airflow for the necessary cooling.
Because the mounting holes of de HDD trays didn't reach the bottom plate of the case, there was a gap of some 9mm, I used medium height spacers with one spacer ring (or how
are those things called in English) to bridge the gap and to be sure that the brackets were mounted properly and tight. I could glue it to the case but I wanted them to be
removable in the case one of the intake fans would go troublesome or if there was something with the frontpanel unit. I ended up drilling 4 small holes in the bottom of the
case so I could easily mount the brackets in place, that's the only external drilling / dremmel I did on the outside of the case during the complete mod. The spacers
themselves are screwed into the bracket with help of some epoxy so they won't rotate too if I fasten the screws. The placing of the brackets itself were chosen carefully so
that a HDD can be removed without having to remove the videocard or something else first. That's why the rest of the space in the front left upper section stays clean of other
hardware. I have 2x 3.5" Sata II drives, 1x 2.5" Sata II drive and 1x 2.5" Sata III SSD drive so the brackets are well populated! I bought some hard plastic 3.5" to 2.5"
mounting adapters to use the 2.5" drives in the G5 brackets.


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And now for the more difficult part, the I/O ports. With the motherboard in place the ATX I/O ports don't hit the backside of the case, instead there is a nearly 20mm cm gap.
Too narrow for the average connector. I wanted to use the 2 USB, 1 UTP and 1 Toslink connections. I wanted to use the original sockets from the G5 motherboard, because of the
color, so I destroyed a fully functional board to get the sockets I wanted (Well, did I mention I don't like Apple stuff, except for this G5 case!!?). So Apple fanboys, don't
send me death threats and such, it was for a good cause!! I first tried to get the UTP working by simply solder 8 wires to the ATX board (didn't want to use a connector in
first instance) and extended it to the G5 UTP socket... that didn't work, I didn't know why but later I found out both UTP sockets had an internal isolator/transformer and
simply extend those can't work the simple way.... and being a simple guy I don't know how to solve this. I found another black UTP connector which had no internal transformer,
gave it a greyish/silver paint, soldered the wires to the contacts and glued it into place. Because I had removed the wires from my ATX MoBo, I shortened a standard UTP
connector so it was able to fit into the cramp space between the socket and the case, crimped it to the other end and simply stuck it into the ATX UTP socket... works 100% so
I'm satisfied. After that I soldered the necessary wiring to the G5 USB socket and glued the connector in place. So both the UTP and the USB sockets can be disconnected from
the ATX MoBo when necessary. Another story for the Toslink (SPDIF) socket... I had to find a way to get the socket separated from the ATX MoBo when necessary, so I decided to
solder a small male 3pin socket to the MoBo, soldered a 3pin wire to the Toslink socket with a female 3pin socket and so it became removable. The UTP, Toslink and USB sockets
were glued into place with an extra mounting to prevent them pushing into the case when inserting a connector from the outside; I used the medium height G5 MoBo spacers and
some epoxy glue. This method is not very thought through because if one of the soldered wires comes loose I can't reach it anymore... I have to break the spacer out of the
epoxy... a bit stupid of me, sort of saying, but as long as it works it's good and with the MoBo in place the wires seat firmly and can't twist/bend a bit. The Toslink gives
me a nice red glow and is working like a charm. UTP works and the two USB ports. As additional USB ports I bought a 4 port PCI bracket but am only using 3 ports of them; I
wanted to get the front USB port working and I have only connections for 6 ports on my MoBo... maybe I will install a very small USB hub to get ALL the ports working. I also
ordered a 2 ports USB 3.0 PCI bracket but that one is still on it's way from overseas. I closed the remaining holes on one side with isolation tape, put some hot glue into the
hole and put another tape on the other side... the result is a nice and even glue layer which closes the holes. (One advise: DON'T try to straighten the 'HOT' glue with your
finger! Hence the word... 'HOT')!


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The frontpanel was quite easy. I found a pinout on this site and started soldering the thing together. I have no interest in a powerled because I know, and hear, it when the
computer is on so I wanted to function that powerled as a HDD led instead; this is simply accomplish by sticking the 2pin header in the HDD led socket. Wait, why can't I go
into sleep/shutdown modus anymore within Windows??! Argh!! The powerled/button is connected this way: you use the common Firewire Ground on the G5 connector, they simply
refuse to work on another ground, except if you create one yourself but for that you have to mod the frontpanel/cable a bit further. Well, if you connect both powerled and
button to FW ground, the led refuses to work as a HDD Led and stays lit all the time, no matter if plugged in the powerled or HDD Led header. Powerbutton works as expected
within Windows and you can go to sleep/shutdown modus with one click on it. Now, if you DON'T connect the FW ground to the Powerbutton but still connect it to the Powerled,
the led is behaving perfectly as a HDD Led BUT the powerbutton seems to behave weird in this situation... It responds to a cold boot but not within Windows anymore, so no more
sleep/shutdown with that button and no more forced power off when depressing it for some seconds. If someone could tell me how to fix this I would be very grateful! So I
soldered only the USB, Powerled and Powerbutton wires to the frontpanel harness. I sleeved and crimped the cable and installed it, it works great! I also want a resetswitch
but have yet to come up with an idea where to place the microswitch, how to mount it etc. That's for another day, also a DVD drive eject switch. I want to house a on/off
pushbutton switch to switch the leds of the installed fans but I don't want to use a ordinary pushbutton on/off switch because they don't seem to come in microswitch formats.
So I have to find a good circuit which simply transforms a tactile microswitch into a pushbutton on/off switch. They are not hard to find but all those circuits only switch
the plus side and I want to switch the Ground side of the Leds.. If anyone have any suggestions I would be very grateful!
Not many pictures for this one but more to come when installing the additional switches and on/off circuitboard.


Attached File  FrontPanel01.jpg   71.98KB   38 downloadsAttached File  FrontPanel02.jpg   88.11KB   27 downloadsAttached File  FrontPanel03.jpg   138.6KB   25 downloadsAttached File  FrontPanel04.jpg   104.11KB   27 downloads


I only wanted to use the original outtake fans of the G5 but read multiple threads that those fans are noisy even when the voltage was trimmed down; advise was to use better
and more quite 92mm fans instead. In my old case I had a ATI HD4870 with a custom Thermalright coolblock on it, on top of that were mounted these two Zalman green Led fans. I
got rid of the original fans, which I didn't know how to mod them to standard 3pin anyway, and put the Zalman's in instead. As fancontroller I use the Motherboards inbuild
UEFI controller in combination with ASrock's AXTU application which seem to handle all the fans perfectly. But I found that the minimum rotation speed of 1200 was still to
noisy so I put a 50 (Oke, 51 Ohm to be exact) 2Watt resistor in the 12v line and now the minimum speed is approx 300rpm and max 1600rpm which can be fine tuned to approx
900rpm with the fan controller software. As CPU fan I still use a 120mm white LED fan which rotates at 500rpm and is PWM controlled by temperature. As intake fans I bought two
Aerocool Shark 140mm White LED fans which minimum rotation speed is 700rpm but I want to put a resistor his 12v wire too because I think 400 or 500 rpm is by far enough for
such big fans. All the fans are quiet as hell, also the 3 PWM controlled Gigabyte HD7950 Windforce fans are quiet, even when gaming (SUPERCARD with SUPERCOOLING!
RECOMMENDED!). Only fan I hear, and can't control, is the PWM controlled 135mm powersupply fan but with the case completely closed I can get used to it quickly.The fan holder
of outtakes didn't fit in its original place because it hit the MoBo at the place where the UTP housing is; I had to cut out a piece to solve this problem. The mounting of the
two intake fans was one to be thought over. I didn't want to screw them directly into the front mesh of the G5 case so I came up with two simple 15mm L
profiles to act as a mounting bracket. At first I wanted to screw the fans to the profiles but I'm not that good with precision drilling so some holes came up a bit out of
alignments with the fanholes. (DUH!)... Then I got this brilliant idea to stick them to the profiles with doublesided tape, no, not the ordinary one bought from the DIY store
but highgrade industial 3M foamtape which is used in the automotive industry to hold even complete sideskirts and mirrors on the front windshield. Well, the fans stick like a
brick wall to the profiles, that's for sure! I will use this tape also to stick the complete fan bracket to the front mesh, I hope it'll hold but time will tell. If it holds,
it's far better than drilling and {censored} it into place. Only problem is that the gap between one fan and the HDD bracket is not quite big so I hope it will fit without the
blades touching the tray (Yes, not thought of the thickness of the fans when installing the HDD tray)!


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The cables included with the powersupply were not logical arranged. They were far too long as if you have a bigtower with the PSU on top and all your drives at the bottom and
the gaps between the connectors are sometimes too far apart from eachother or there were not enough connectors on it so you end up with two cables of which you use only one
connector from one and all of them on the other, not quite efficient. So were my cables from my Coolermaster PSU. The Sata cable had only 3 connectors attached to it and I
needed 4, so I pulled one from the other cable (there were 2 cables of each sort) and crimped in in place to power my 4th drive too. I also needed a very short cable from the
PSU to my dvd drive, not more than 10cm in length. I found a molex to Sata cable in an old box, pulled off the sata connector which was crimped on it, sliced a 10cm piece from
the modular cable which came from the PSU and crimped the sata connector to it... problem solved and it fits very neat between the PSU and the dvd drive! The PCI-E cables were
a total mess. There were two cables, 60cm in lenght which contain one 8pin connector, one 6pin and one 2pin connector... per cable! So I had to use two long cables with
two unnecessary connectors each, only because my Graphicscard uses two 6pin connectors. So out came the cutting pliers and pin puller (to dismantle the pins from the
connector) and I transformed two inefficient cables into one very efficient and custom length cable with only the two 6pins connectors. A bit of sleeving and crimping and
ready was my PCI-E cable! Then I sleeved the cables of the additional USB bracket and wrapped self-vulcanising tape around the back of the connectors itself to make it all
black.


Attached File  Cables01.jpg   130.8KB   26 downloadsAttached File  Cables03.jpg   83.67KB   21 downloadsAttached File  Cables04.jpg   84.37KB   25 downloadsAttached File  Cables05.jpg   160.63KB   20 downloadsAttached File  Cables06.jpg   95.29KB   19 downloadsAttached File  Cables07.jpg   106.04KB   21 downloadsAttached File  Cables08.jpg   105.44KB   24 downloadsAttached File  Cables09.jpg   59.05KB   26 downloadsAttached File  Cables10.jpg   66.36KB   33 downloadsAttached File  Oversight02.jpg   141.51KB   35 downloadsAttached File  Oversight04.jpg   190.99KB   29 downloadsAttached File  Oversight05.jpg   139.62KB   24 downloads


Well, that was the total MOD until now, it's not the most beautiful G5 MOD but I'm quite satisfied of the main result.
I have yet things to do but I guess it's for 90% finished and already functioning properly.


My still ToDo list is as follows:

- Put a resistor in the 12v line of the intake fans, mount and make them operational;
- Add a small circuitboard with resetswitch, eject switch and LED on/off switch, make it all black and sleeve the cabling;
- (Far) better cable management... bought a few cable clips to collect/hold the cables together against the case;
- Find the solution to the powerswitch not able to work within Windows when connected to FW Ground (make another ground for it?)
- Buy a set of black SATA cables to replace the two red ones


Here two pictures how it looks at the moment, from the front and the backside of the case. The white LED is coming from the CPU fan.


Attached File  Oversight06.jpg   144.71KB   46 downloadsAttached File  Oversight07.jpg   146.76KB   51 downloads


:thumbsup_anim: TO BE CONTINUED..... :thumbsup_anim:

#2
johnnysporto

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Hey Porto,

I'd love to know how you resolved your front panel issue. I bought a cable harness from AlohaCab which converts the 18 pin connector to separate connection headers for power, power led, audio, usb and firewire. However, the only things that work for me are usb and firewire.

I'm running Windows 7 on an asus p9x79 pro with a 3930k. If you have an success or find any other info please send it along.

Thanks

#3
Baudouin

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Great and fine job. Nice results, especially the non cutting back panel case and the home made I/O back connectors. Congratz.
I like your HDD's tower too. I have three of them and have been thinking of doing something like you .

#4
snnail

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very nice and done! great inspiration to my mod





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