15" iMac G4 + Mac Mini

Discussion in 'iMac Mods' started by Panici, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Panici

    Panici

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    Jul 15, 2014 at 7:38 PM #1
    Panici

    Panici

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    Hey guys!
    I just discovered this site, and I love all the apple mods going on!
    Thought i'd share my own.

    Backstory:
    We've owned this iMac G4 since new. It was used in an office environment for years until it became too slow for use. I brought the machine home for my mother to use in the kitchen, but after a year or two it became too slow for even basic web browsing.

    Determined to breathe some new life into the classically styled machine, here is what I did. These pictures and posts are ripped verbatim from my facebook post, so please excuse me if they seem dumbed down.






    Mac mini to be modified. It's a 2006 model with a Core Duo and 2GB of ram.
    A significant upgrade from the original 700mhz G4 with ~700MB of ram.
    In 3-4 years, when even this gets slow, the CPU can be upgraded to a Core2Duo, and the ram can then be bumped to 4GB.

    [​IMG]



    Successfully outputting video signal from mac mini to native G4 display.
    Used some info from DremelJunky

    [​IMG]




    Inverter connections

    [​IMG]




    Bench testing

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Removed all raised edges and standoffs on original G4 base.

    In order to fit the mini, I had to trim all of the original cooling fins from the mini's edge. My solution to now cool the mini, is to use the original G4 bottom plate.

    The mini was stripped of it's plastic casing (leaving the metal shell) and bonded to the bottom of the G4 via Arctic Silver thermal paste, to transfer the heat to the original bottom plate. Air is forced through the holes around the edges on the G4 plate, via the original cooling fan at the top of the dome.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    DVI connector and adapters glued to top of dome.

    [​IMG]




    The screen requires 3.3v, 5v, and 12v to operate.

    I sourced 5v from the mini's hard drive connector, as not much current is required.

    The 3.3v and 12v are converted from the mini's power brick 18v supply. I spliced directly into the power cord, and fed it into two adjustable DC-DC buck converters.

    The 3.3v converter only needs to output ~600mA, and was only warm to the touch after testing.

    However, the 12v converter needs to output roughly 1.1A. I made a small heatsink for the two hottest components and attached it with AS5 thermal paste.

    Both were mounted directly to the fan, which obviously helps cool them.

    [​IMG]




    Inverter cables tucked away and Monitor data cables secured.

    [​IMG]



    Mini mounted to base via glue and Arctic Silver 5. Testing connections.

    [​IMG]



    All final connections made.

    [​IMG]



    Access to mini's Superdrive is maintained.

    I didn't bother to motorize the case cover (held open by my finger here) as my Mom will make little to no use of the drive.

    [​IMG]




    Booting up in the kitchen.

    Very style.
    Much fitting.
    Wow.

    [​IMG]



    Rear connections. A little unsightly for now.

    I plan to get some better (more flexable) USB extensions and mount them properly to the rear ports.

    Power cable is also wrapped in green electrical tape from splice. Using white tape or heat shrink will look much better.

    Used the original Mini's power button, mounted in the "headphone" cutout.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Proof photo. Core Due G4.

    Although the original screen is of a lower resolution then what we are used to today, it still looks wonderful. Apple really knows (knew?) how to build monitors.

    A funny side note. Went to enable Wifi/airport, and had no signal. I realized that the mini's dome makes a Faraday cage, blocking all signals.

    Using a USB wifi dongle for now (with unofficial modified drivers) As a bouns, it's faster then the original airport card. This ended up being very annoying, as the wifi dongle had a glitchy helper program. I wrote a few applescripts that help to fix it's behavior.
    [​IMG]


    Sitting pretty in the kitchen.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]





    Update:
    Almost a year later, the computer is still running strong.
    I took a look at it the other day, and noticed that there are some slight lines/artifacts on the display. I assume I have a loose connection somewhere. I'll have to take it apart and investigate.

    There was also an issue with the computer sleeping properly, which I was able to fix with a small tray utility (the name escapes me at the moment)




    What's Next:

    Rescued iMac G5. It was headed to electronics recycling before my friend saved it!

    Doubled the installed ram for a total of 2GB.
    Threw in a 500GB HDD I had for testing. (Note the temporary HDD mount, as there was no hard drive or mounting cage in the computer.)

    16GB SATA SSD is on order. ($25)
    Airport Extreme card is also on order for WiFi connectivity. ($15)

    I removed the open firmware boot password which had locked down the computer, and installed OSX 10.4 Tiger.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    A few months ago, I picked up a 15" iMac G4 from a "ReStore" (similar to a salvation army)
    It booted and worked, but I decided to gut it as the hardware is too slow for anything other then viewing the pretty screensaver.
    15" iMac G4 shell. My plans are to convert it to either an external monitor, or house a small PC inside.

    Another update today. I picked up a set of Mac Pro G4 speakers for $15. Of course I had to test them, so I put all the parts back in that G4 700mhz shell. I also confirmed that the case's wifi antenna is the problem, as I used a different motherboard and airport card and still did not have any signal.

    [​IMG]
     
    superslurt likes this.

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  2. dddirtman

    dddirtman

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    Jul 17, 2014 at 6:58 PM #2
    dddirtman

    dddirtman

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    nice work:thumbup:
     
  3. Flyinace2000

    Flyinace2000

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    Jul 17, 2014 at 7:35 PM #3
    Flyinace2000

    Flyinace2000

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    Images already blocked due to bandwidth. can you upload to another host, perhaps imgur.com?
     
  4. tonymacx86

    tonymacx86 Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 17, 2014 at 7:36 PM #4
    tonymacx86

    tonymacx86 Administrator Staff Member

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    You could always upload images as attachments to the original post. ;)
     
  5. Panici

    Panici

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    Jul 17, 2014 at 7:52 PM #5
    Panici

    Panici

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    Wow! I didn't expect this thread to have so many views! Almost 900 already. No wonder photobucket went over bandwidth.


    I uploaded the pictures to the end of the original post, which should suffice until photobucket is up again.
     
  6. lexone

    lexone Moderator

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    Jul 17, 2014 at 8:15 PM #6
    lexone

    lexone Moderator

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    Why not upload all pics right here on this website? You can create an album and link all your pics directly on your post and never again have to deal with the bandwidth limit issue from photobucket.
     
  7. kiwisincebirth

    kiwisincebirth

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    Jul 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM #7
    kiwisincebirth

    kiwisincebirth

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    Great build by the way.

    Had you considered mounting the main AC power brick interning in the case, if it didn't fit, you could easily get a different one as other nodders have done ?

    +1 on hosting the photos directly on the forum.

    Kiwi
     
  8. bambiz

    bambiz

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    Aug 12, 2014 at 12:34 PM #8
    bambiz

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    Good job, man.
     
  9. apple524

    apple524

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    Nov 2, 2014 at 7:42 AM #9
    apple524

    apple524

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    my iMac G4 17“,mac mini boot display apple logo
    Enter the system,17” iMac g4 no backlight
    where is 12V in mac mini ?
    THX
     
  10. jcoleman2k

    jcoleman2k

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    Apr 20, 2017 at 7:00 AM #10
    jcoleman2k

    jcoleman2k

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    Are you in or near California, and can I pay you to make 2 of these for me? I have the G4's and I'll get the Minis + other parts. I have 2 G4's I want to give to my kids. email me: apixelpro-at-gmail-dot-com
     

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