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Posts posted by enjoyfebruary

  1. I am considering developing a kit to convert the aging Xserve Raid rack into a useable enclosure. You can now routinely find these units on eBay for around $100, and considering the cost of typical rack unit (which aren't even as nice), I thought it would be about time to look at repurposing this beautifully made case into something builders could recycle. Basically this kit would include replacement PCBs for the drive sleds so that we can use standard SATA drives, while retaining both the power and activity lights. Secondly the kit would include a backplane PCB with standard molex and SAS connections. This would make the unit usable for homebuilt servers, NAS applications, or even just as a SAS expander. My target price for the entire kit would be around $200-250. I know this sounds like a lot but considering the quality of this case it is really comparable to other cases. Anyway, I put it to you guys to see if this would be something the community would be interested in. Let me know what your thoughts are. Thanks!





  2. I got a couple of used XServes for super cheap on eBay. I am going to use one as a VMWare Server for remote employees. The other will be a simple file server since I can do both SMB and AFP as opposed to our Win SBS 2011 server which can only do SMB. The one that will be for virtual machines I felt that I would need a little more power to handle the out of office employees. I bought a pair of Xeon e5345 CPUs for $40.00 on eBay and they certainly did the trick. Here are the before and after Geekbench results

    Before - http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/1814845

    After - http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/1533559

    Quite an improvement in my opinion. Went from four total cores to eight. As temps go; idle temps are around 35-42c. I also used Arctic Silver 5. OSX System Profiler does not recognize the CPU name. It gets the number of cores and speed right but it lists "Unknown" as the name. However, Geekbench and the virtual machines both see the CPU speed and name correctly. For $40 this was a great upgrade.

  3. You're exactly right Nick. There was obviously an amp built into the old PowerMacs. Additionally I've read that in that little pendant on the speaker cable there is a little chip that can turn the speakers on and off somehow.


    Quick note. I've been using these speakers on my desk at work connected to a Mac Mini and there is plenty.of volume. I usually run them at about three to five "dots" depending on the song. I think I'm gonna get another set for my desk at home. I'll take pictures of the actual wiring this time lol.

  4. I always liked the design of the Apple Pro speakers from back in the PowerMac G4 days. I had a set with my MDD G4 and thought the sound quality was better than speakers for this size. So I thought it would be a cool project to mod a set to be used without a Powermac. It's pretty simple to do this if you have a little extra time and a soldering iron. Here is how I did it:

    1. On the Apple Speakers, cut the speakers off of the little round pendant Y thing. So now you should just have the two speakers with a good length of thin cable.
    2. Cut and strip the ends of the wires. You can get rid of the thick shield ground that surrounds the inner wire. You don't need it.
    3. You can use any male 1/8" adapter with a stereo tip. (this has 2 rings around it) I used a white 1/8" cable from monoprice.com. Obviously strip the cable down.


    Speaker 1 Brown - Left Signal + Solder to: White Wire (Sometimes Black) - 1/8" Jack

    Speaker 1 Yellow - Combine with White -
    Shield Ground (Bare Copper) - 1/8" Jack
    Speaker 2 White - Combine with Yellow -

    Speaker 2 Blue - Right Signal + Red Wire - 1/8" Jack

    4. The most important thing is just that you connect the corresponding wires. Like if you are looking at the wires as they connect to the actual driver inside the speaker just say "Left connection is signal" and use that same corresponding wire on the other speaker. That way your signal won't be out of phase. Pretty simple hookup.

    5. I was a little bummed about lack of volume. An external amp of some kind is probably best. These speakers would be best for an environment such as a reasonably quiet office or bedroom.

    6. From what I've found on the web each speaker is rated for 10w at 4ohm each.

    Overall I still feel these speakers give a solid overall impression of the audio source. Very pleasant to listen to. Again, maybe too quiet for most sans power amp of some kind, but hey they look cool! Nice little hour long project.


  5. Looks good! Wanted to offer an idea. If it were possible to integrate a USB hub IC and a CM108 audio chipset you could get your cable connections down to two connections. One usb and one for ethernet You could get two USB, analog audio in and out, TOSLINK audio In and out, and ethernet. The audio would be awesome in a hackintosh world. Maybe this could be done with a dual layer pcb? Just an idea.

  6. Here is my early 2009 Mac mini 2.0GHz that I just converted to a "server" model. All that means really is that it now has no optical drive and two hard drives. I just used a laptop optical bay to 2.5" converter that I got on ebay for about $16. The two drives are Hitachi 750Gb 2.5" 7200rpm drives. I have set them up in a mirrored RAID with a 128k bit size or whatever. This computer is my HTPC and Plex server. I had to massage the cheap drive converter a little to get the holes to line up but I eventually got it. I used to have all my video files loaded on my Time Capsule but since now I'm sharing my library with friends I wanted to get some faster read speeds for transcoding and whatnot. I had to break off a little piece of the drive converter to avoid the IR Receiver.





  7. I was thinking of making a cable for the mac pro case. I just have to get my hands on one so I can make up the harness. I know there are diagrams out there for the pinout.


    I've looked into this too and it's kind of the same deal as the G5. There are two or maybe more versions of the PCB for the front I/O. One is made up of a couple connectors including a SATA cable that is used for USB. WTH Apple. Then there is the 44pin IDE version which is most similar to the G5. It's too bad that the price on the Mac Pro cases isn't coming down like where the G5s are. Oh well.

  8. AlohaCab,


    I'll take a G5 connector set if you're still making them.


    I was also thinking of maybe buying a Mac Pro case and was curious if this would work on that. Any success stories?


    You can PM with any info you need or whatnot.




    This cable will not work on a Mac Pro or a late model G5. Rule of thumb: If your case has two ethernet ports this wont work. :)

  9. I've been thinking about these pcbs and I'm wondering if it would be worth it to integrate a usb hub chipset into the board to run a CM108 audio chipset and to drive both of the usb ports. This would make it so a single USB connection (preferably to the MB header) could drive both analog/digital sound and usb. Also, I have looked around for the Left-Angle standup Firewire 400 and still can't find anything so that leads me to think including a Firewire 800 port would be the better choice going forward. I currently have a lot of interest in this and I'm tracking down some people to possibly do a design based on what I've proposed here. Anyway, just wanted to throw my 2c into the conversation.

  10. I have recently been asked a few times how I setup the front cpu fans on my G5 to ATX conversion. Truth be told there isn't really a right way, though there is a wrong way. The wrong way is combining the two ​fan RPM connections together. Here is how I hooked up my fans.


    The way I hooked up PC PWM fans:



    What you could do for standard 3 wire fans




    Original G5 Pinout:




    You'll have to do some splicing in with the original fan cables since the pins are not standard. Additionally you'll have to splice the other end of the connection (after the G5 divider connector) to a standard PWM/3pin connector. To get RPM to report to the motherboard you need to hookup a separate 3pin connection after the connection in the G5 divider that will run to the motherboard as a "case fan." Keep in mind that you'll only be reporting back one of the two fans; though they should be at the same speed since they SHOULD be the same make/model and so forth. Any questions please reply and i'll get back to you. Thanks. Dan.


    Sorry for the crumby video quality.



    **This is done at risk to you and your system. Please be aware that I am not responsible for damage to your hardware."

  11. Here are my specs:

    MSI x58m


    24Gb DDR3 1333

    Radeon HD 5670


    I've got a couple of apps that keep crashing. I don't really know what I'm looking for in the error report so I was hoping you guys could help me out. It looks like both of the apps are crashing in the same way. Here are the codes:



    [code]Per-App Crashes Since Last Report:   5
    Anonymous UUID:					  A3C45DB1-630D-4A5E-8E89-B49E96BAFFA7
    Crashed Thread:  0  Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread
    Exception Type:  EXC_CRASH (SIGABRT)
    Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000
    Application Specific Information:
    objc[185]: garbage collection is OFF
    *** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInvalidArgumentException', reason: '-[__NSCFString bytes]: unrecognized selector sent to instance 0x101893f60'
    *** First throw call stack:
    0   CoreFoundation					  0x00007fff9303b986 __exceptionPreprocess + 198
    1   libobjc.A.dylib					 0x00007fff93182d5e objc_exception_throw + 43
    2   CoreFoundation					  0x00007fff930c75ae -[NSObject doesNotRecognizeSelector:] + 190
    3   CoreFoundation					  0x00007fff93028803 ___forwarding___ + 371
    4   CoreFoundation					  0x00007fff93028618 _CF_forwarding_prep_0 + 232
    5   CoreFoundation					  0x00007fff92fae3e6 CFDataGetBytePtr + 118
    6   Geekbench						   0x000000010004c130 _Z11call_sysctlIjEbPKcPT_ + 2832
    7   Geekbench						   0x0000000100049a5a _ZN6SMBIOSC2Ev + 1834
    8   Geekbench						   0x0000000100049d8d _ZN6SMBIOSC2Ev + 2653
    9   Geekbench						   0x000000010002e2a4 _ZN12OutputFilter12stressResultERKSt6vectorIiSaIiEEd + 3444
    10  CoreFoundation					  0x00007fff930329e1 -[NSObject performSelector:] + 49
    11  CoreFoundation					  0x00007fff93032962 -[NSSet makeObjectsPerformSelector:] + 274
    12  AppKit							  0x00007fff94e92c27 -[NSIBObjectData nibInstantiateWithOwner:topLevelObjects:] + 1245
    13  AppKit							  0x00007fff94e891b9 loadNib + 322
    14  AppKit							  0x00007fff94e888bc +[NSBundle(NSNibLoading) _loadNibFile:nameTable:withZone:ownerBundle:] + 735
    15  AppKit							  0x00007fff94e885d1 +[NSBundle(NSNibLoading) loadNibFile:externalNameTable:withZone:] + 141
    16  AppKit							  0x00007fff94e88514 +[NSBundle(NSNibLoading) loadNibNamed:owner:] + 364
    17  AppKit							  0x00007fff950fb355 NSApplicationMain + 398
    18  Geekbench						   0x000000010002cea8 Geekbench + 183976
    19  ???								 0x0000000000000002 0x0 + 2
    abort() called
    terminate called throwing an exception
    Thread 0 Crashed:: Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread
    0   libsystem_kernel.dylib			0x00007fff8d1b2ce2 __pthread_kill + 10
    1   libsystem_c.dylib			 	0x00007fff8e5857d2 pthread_kill + 95
    2   libsystem_c.dylib			 	0x00007fff8e576a7a abort + 143
    3   libc++abi.dylib			   	0x00007fff8d1c57bc abort_message + 214
    4   libc++abi.dylib			   	0x00007fff8d1c2fcf default_terminate() + 28
    5   libobjc.A.dylib			   	0x00007fff931831b9 _objc_terminate + 94
    6   libc++abi.dylib			   	0x00007fff8d1c3001 safe_handler_caller(void (*)()) + 11
    7   libc++abi.dylib			   	0x00007fff8d1c305c std::terminate() + 16
    8   libc++abi.dylib			   	0x00007fff8d1c4152 __cxa_throw + 114
    9   libobjc.A.dylib			   	0x00007fff93182e7a objc_exception_throw + 327
    10  com.apple.CoreFoundation		  0x00007fff930c75ae -[NSObject doesNotRecognizeSelector:] + 190
    11  com.apple.CoreFoundation		  0x00007fff93028803 ___forwarding___ + 371
    12  com.apple.CoreFoundation		  0x00007fff93028618 _CF_forwarding_prep_0 + 232
    13  com.apple.CoreFoundation		  0x00007fff92fae3e6 CFDataGetBytePtr + 118
    14  ca.primatelabs.Geekbench2.MINORVERSION	0x000000010004c130 bool call_sysctl<unsigned int>(char const*, unsigned int*) + 2832
    15  ca.primatelabs.Geekbench2.MINORVERSION	0x0000000100049a5a SMBIOS::SMBIOS() + 1834
    16  ca.primatelabs.Geekbench2.MINORVERSION	0x0000000100049d8d SMBIOS::SMBIOS() + 2653
    17  ca.primatelabs.Geekbench2.MINORVERSION	0x000000010002e2a4 OutputFilter::stressResult(std::vector<int, std::allocator<int> > const&, double) + 3444
    18  com.apple.CoreFoundation		  0x00007fff930329e1 -[NSObject performSelector:] + 49
    19  com.apple.CoreFoundation		  0x00007fff93032962 -[NSSet makeObjectsPerformSelector:] + 274
    20  com.apple.AppKit				  0x00007fff94e92c27 -[NSIBObjectData nibInstantiateWithOwner:topLevelObjects:] + 1245
    21  com.apple.AppKit				  0x00007fff94e891b9 loadNib + 322
    22  com.apple.AppKit				  0x00007fff94e888bc +[NSBundle(NSNibLoading) _loadNibFile:nameTable:withZone:ownerBundle:] + 735
    23  com.apple.AppKit				  0x00007fff94e885d1 +[NSBundle(NSNibLoading) loadNibFile:externalNameTable:withZone:] + 141
    24  com.apple.AppKit				  0x00007fff94e88514 +[NSBundle(NSNibLoading) loadNibNamed:owner:] + 364
    25  com.apple.AppKit				  0x00007fff950fb355 NSApplicationMain + 398
    26  ca.primatelabs.Geekbench2.MINORVERSION	0x000000010002cea8 0x100000000 + 183976
    Thread 1:: Dispatch queue: com.apple.libdispatch-manager
    0   libsystem_kernel.dylib			0x00007fff8d1b37e6 kevent + 10
    1   libdispatch.dylib			 	0x00007fff8f83f60e _dispatch_mgr_invoke + 923
    2   libdispatch.dylib			 	0x00007fff8f83e19e _dispatch_mgr_thread + 54
    Thread 2:
    0   libsystem_kernel.dylib			0x00007fff8d1b3192 __workq_kernreturn + 10
    1   libsystem_c.dylib			 	0x00007fff8e585594 _pthread_wqthread + 758
    2   libsystem_c.dylib			 	0x00007fff8e586b85 start_wqthread + 13
    Thread 3:
    0   libsystem_kernel.dylib			0x00007fff8d1b3192 __workq_kernreturn + 10
    1   libsystem_c.dylib			 	0x00007fff8e585594 _pthread_wqthread + 758
    2   libsystem_c.dylib			 	0x00007fff8e586b85 start_wqthread + 13
    Thread 0 crashed with X86 Thread State (64-bit):
     rax: 0x0000000000000000  rbx: 0x0000000000000006  rcx: 0x00007fff5fbfde78  rdx: 0x0000000000000000
     rdi: 0x0000000000000b07  rsi: 0x0000000000000006  rbp: 0x00007fff5fbfdea0  rsp: 0x00007fff5fbfde78
      r8: 0x00007fff79d74fb8   r9: 0x000000000000094e  r10: 0x00007fff8d1b2d0a  r11: 0xffffff80002d8240
     r12: 0x00007fff9570b41c  r13: 0x00007fff5fbff3c0  r14: 0x00007fff79d77960  r15: 0x00007fff5fbfdff0
     rip: 0x00007fff8d1b2ce2  rfl: 0x0000000000000246  cr2: 0x000000010ca9b000
    Logical CPU: 0

  12. Some quick updates. I finally got my insurance check from USPS! whooooo! As I thought they are keeping the original case with all the goodies inside. Oh well. Anyway, I wired up the extra two HD bays. I got my four sata M/M connectors so I can hook up the data cables with a 32pin to 4sata SAS cable (for the Perc5i). I hookup the PCI fan up to straight 12v so I can get maximum airflow on the Perc5i. The Intel mobo is really restrictive about fan speeds. Oh also the divider is being held by the standoff behind the PCI fan and a standoff that is screwed to the divider through a hole to the left of the airport card slot. This standoff isn't JB Welded to the case as it only keeps the divider from flexing. The right side of the divider is held to the back of the case by a standard L bracket. This setup is sufficient for directly airflow and holding up the fans.



  13. Ok so the system is almost done. I still need to hook up the power for the added HD bay. I totally forgot about the Perc5i backup battery. Hmmmm where to put it. Also I need to order some SATA M/M couplers so I can hook up the HD's to the SAS cable. All the fans are good. They actually don't move that much air but I think it's how the motherboard PWM is setup for this particular mobo. If I just do straight 12v they move a lot of air and are still basically inaudible. The PCI fan is 12v and cools the Perc5i really well. Here is an updated pic. Thanks everyone.



  14. Just a short update. I hope everyone had a good 4th of July (if you're in the US). I'm really impressed with the Seasonic PSU and the Vantec stealth fans. The PSU cover is cold to the touch right where the guts are located. I've still got a lot more work to do. such as


    - Mount PCI divider

    - drill and mount the added HD bracket

    - build new power cable for additional HD's

    - find really short black SAS cable

    - rewire front and back fans for combined PWM


    Lots of work but it's going to be fun! Here is a shot of the case with the HD brackets in place with the optical drive. Going to use left angle connections for the DVD drive since the clearance is so minimal.



  15. I'm currently working on a G5 mod which I want to keep as clean as possible. Now I want to reuse the G5 PSU housing and I have already taken out the guts of my PSU which I'm going to put in there. Physically it fits but right now it's just laying there not attached to anything so I wanted to ask here about tips for me when I attach the PSU to the casing.


    What's the best way to do it?

    What should I do and what shouldn't I do?

    Have any of you run into any problems? How did you fix them? If not how did you do your mod?


    All opinions and voices about mounting a PSU into the G5 PSU housing is interesting.


    The easiest way I have found to do this is using 3M High Bond Outdoor Double Sided Foam tape. I use two strips right up against the PCB. Then to that I attach a cut piece of that plastic thing that sat underneath the G5 power supply so that there is no chance of a jump between a trace and the chassis. Then another two strips of tape to hold the whole thing to the bottom of the PSU chassis. I've done two like this and they are still holding strong. Hope that helps. Take care. Dan.



  16. Yeah that will look nice and clean with those up top. Also the air flow to keep all cool down below is going to be great. Only thing is how will you keep HDD's cool or they don't get so hot it's a worry?


    I haven't really decided wether or not to use 7200rpm or 5400/5900rpm drives. My other G5 mod has two 7200rpm drives up there with no fan and they hover right around 50-60c with a pretty intensive write task (Pro Tools multitrack recording). So i'm pretty confident that these wont get hot enough to do any harm. There might be enough space to add a slim 80mm fan in between the HD bracket on the right and the back of the case but I really don't think it's an issue.

  17. I wasn't really happy about how the CPU fans were going to be with the hard drives in front of them. So here is my solution. I'll loose one drive in the 4x setup as opposed to the 4x+1. I've got to make a new set of power cables for the extra two drives and figure out how i want to fix the additional cage to the divider. We'll see.