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[Tutorial] Adding the Apple Chime to your Hackintosh!

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Last update: 02/2013


Ok so for those of you who have been around the hackintosh scene for a little while, you will all know that the question "How do I get the Apple Chime on my hackintosh" has been asked about a million times already. The only solutions I have seen so far are software based, using Automator to play the chime upon OS load-up, which I am sure works for some. But not for me! At around 3AM the other morning, I came up with the answer (many props go to MiniHack at TonymacX86 for finding the part I needed)!


What I am using is a audio chip that will record, store and play the chime upon startup! It really is quite simple - the electronics are all taken care of, all you need to do is record the Chime onto the flash chip (which remembers it even when without power), hook up the play button to your on/off momentary switch, and finally have a 5V power line coming from the power supply.




I am by no means an electronics expert, and although this guide worked for me, hardware may differ...soooo following this tutorial is at your own risk! I'm not responsible for any broken computers or exploded limbs.




Voice Recorder, Speaker and Wire Bundle

A Soldering Iron, solder, heatshrink

Two standard motherboard headers

Female molex connector








First let's take a look at the recorder/playback module itself. I have clearly marked everything so you can see exactly where everything goes. The module itself comes with instructions, but we will visit that later!






And here is a rough diagram of how everything should hook up:












Let's start here shall we? This is super simple, what you are going to want to do, is solder a female molex connector to one of your 2pin motherboard headers. I took an old LED motherboard header, chopped off the LED, and stripped the wires about an inch from the end. Now you want to take your molex connector, remove the yellow pin and adjacent black pin, this way the 12V line isn't running through anything. Now, cut the wire down on the red and black molex wires so that you can splice in your wire connecting to the motherboard header (ignore that it's yellow, the color simply indicates the live wire). Now you should have a live and ground wires going from molex to motherboard header! Don't forget to heatshrink/electrical tape it all up! Here's what you should be left with:







Now the easiest way to do this, is to solder your other motherboard header wires right onto the speaker contacts (nicely marked + - for you!)




From there, all you have to do is plug the motherboard header right onto the clearly marked speaker pins. I don't believe that there is a "right" way to plug in the speaker, but if nothing is coming through when you press play, just switch it around. This is what your module should look like now:






This gets a little tricky, not in difficulty but just in working with small wires and parts. The first thing you want to do is solder two small wires to the contact points of the board's momentary switched as marked above and shown below. We will be splicing these wires in the next section into the ON/OFF switch of your case, so that when you push your power button it will not only activate your motherboard, but also the sound module.


Note: these are the positive and negative terminals for my board. Yours may differ even if you bought from the same link. Please use a multimeter to check which is which!!!






Theoretically, it would be more practical to actually de-solder the switch out of there completely, and solder in the wires to the terminal. If you want to give it a shot, you will also need a solder pump/syringe to remove the excess solder from the terminals.




Now you want to splice into your cases power switch. The black and red wired switch is my cases power switch, removed from the case for this tutorial. Again, it is standard to assume that red is live and black is ground but it never hurts to double check. By removing some of the shielding on each wire, you are in effect stealing some of the electrical signal from your cases power button, and using it to jump start the sound module. This will not affect your ability to power on your case.







The sound module comes with its own instructions, but basically with the built in microphone, you just hold it near a real Apple computer (or the program MacTracker that has all the Mac chimes), record the audio, flip the switch from "record" to "play" and you are done! To really be like a mac, I recorded about 3 seconds of silence before playing the Chime, to emulate how on a real mac the sound isn't instant. Obviously, since you are recording from a tiny speaker the sound will not be perfect, but it's not bad and definitely better than nothing! I'm considering hacking this thing apart to see if I can put a line in where the microphone contacts are. Theoretically it's possible, and would mean MUCH better sound!




This really is up to you and what case you have. The back of the case speaker can be glued somewhere, perhaps to a piece of plastic you screw into your case. You should note that vibrations will make the speaker sound awful, so try your best to mount it securely! G5 and Mac Pro users, your case may have come with a speaker attached to a fan - feel free to use it as it will work nicely!







Well, I do have some general thoughts. The first caveat to consider, is that the method I am using means that whenever you press your power button, the sound will play. Since I only ever touch the power switch to power the computer on, or power down when the OS is unresponsive, it's not a big deal for me. If, however, you are someone with a hackintosh that only wakes using the power button, this is definitely something to consider.


There was some discussion on another thread (I think) about possibly using a motherboard's speaker header (the debug beep) instead of the power button. The argument is that it's a little bit safer in that voltage is not being carried forward (unlike with the power button). In theory, it's a good idea. For people with multiple beeps at startup (depending on the motherboard) this is probably not the best solution. I have yet to try it, and I'm no even sure if it would work.


Overall, this is the best solution I have seen for this sort of thing. There are software mods that exist, but that only loads when the OS does. Until BIOS' start allowing custom sounds as well as custom boot logos, this really is the only way to do it. Perhaps a little inelegant, but I enjoy it :D

Edited by WhatTheTech

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Ta da!


(excuse the godawful 2 second paint job -- I'll post up a better job when I'm at my actual mac)




I used a salvaged USB header to connect to the pins - the green and red wires are connected to the same terminal





I'll find a picture of the back of the panel and upload it tomorrow






Nick -


Thanks! Did you use a microphone to record? I'm trying to use a 3.5mm jack out of my phone, and although I can hear the chime, it's jumbled and kind of crappy...

Yeah, I used the tiny condenser microphone and it sounded alright after playing the chime really quite loud through my hifi


If you're using the phone directly, try playing it really quietly and see what happens

Edited by Mr.D.

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