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Another G5 Case Mod, with some useful resources

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Hi All, I am not an Apple fanboi, or a Mac Expert by any stretch of the imagination. I have a MacBook Pro which is undoubtedly the best laptop I have ever owned, but I am a massive Linux fan and find OSX too restrictive for me. That said, I consider OSX to be the best commercial operating system ever made.

I managed to pick up a G5 for a good price at an IT disposal at my work and decided that I wanted to make it into a late model intel box. The build quality of the G5 case is AWESOME and it has a classy, timeless design.

My main goal is to keep the case as original as possible, and ensure that my modifications are of the same high quiality as the original case. I don't want a case held together by alumi-weld and double sided tape.

I have never modded a case before so I will very likely fail miserably, or never complete the mod.

Firstly I researched A LOT and then following the advice of nearly every modder started to strip the case, but before that, I took some readings on the G5 fan connectors, as I intend to reuse them. See this thread: Info on G5 Fans

My plan is to use a mATX mobo to keep the case as original as possible. Here is a quick picture of my plan:
2012-09-03 20.30.01_my_plan.jpg

Firstly I want to make a motherboard tray which will adapt the apple mounting points to the standard mATX mounting points. There are many threads on mounting a standard motherboard, but all the ones I could find involve bolting in an aftermarket motherboard tray, which does not allow me to reuse the g5 fans, or they recommend using glue and tape which does not fit in with my build quality requirements. I own a hobby CNC router, so I decided to cut an adapter plate out of clear acrylic.
2012-09-04 20.46.15_cnc_machine.jpg
The first attempt:
2012-09-04 21.25.42_first_try.jpg
This was a total FAILURE. almost none of the holes lined up :problem:. I had to find a way to measure the mounting points more accurately. I decided to put the Apple logic board tray on my scanner and scan it to PDF to get the location of the holes:geek:. Here is the scan overlayed on the original dxf file using the Inkscape vector graphics program (top program by the way).
Screenshot - Creating_template.jpg

The second attempt also failed, :banghead: but it turned out to be my CNC machine, it had nearly 1% error, which means that holes 300mm from the zero point were nearly 3mm out of place. I corrected the the motor tuning and tried for a third time and...... SUCCESSS :thumbup: the plate lined up perfectly. Here is a picture of the tray fitted to the case:
2012-09-11 21.08.52_plexi-tray.jpg

I will attach the DXF file of the tray to this post so others can use it. The tray will fix to the chassis using the standard Apple mounting points. Because I am too lazy to go and get more screws, I separated the standard screws from the spacers using a small hammer:
2012-09-11 22.27.21.jpg2012-09-11 22.27.48.jpg2012-09-11 22.28.12.jpg
The separated screws are used to to attach the tray to the chassis like so:
2012-09-11 21.07.45_plexi_tray_closeup.jpg

That's where I'm up to for now.
 

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Ok, so I have started cutting the case. I used a dremel tool, and after breaking 4 blades decided to finish the job with a pair of tin snips:
2012-09-18 20.54.59_cut_case.jpg

I plan on making a fascia plate which has the 3mm perforations line up exactly with the case so that I can cover the rough edges. The first step is creating an identical perforation pattern. I cut a test piece of clear acrylic:
2012-09-18 20.55.11_perforation_test.jpg

BINGO!!!!! it lined up first time :headbang: yeah!
2012-09-18 20.55.36_line_up_perfs.jpg

Then I cut a mock up back plate out of some foamed plastic. Aluminium is very slow to cut so I hope to only cut once on the aluminium:
2012-09-18 20.56.06_mock_up_plate.jpg2012-09-18 20.56.23_line_up_mock_up.jpg2012-09-18 20.59.08_line_up_fans_1.jpg2012-09-18 20.59.17_line_up_fans_2.jpg

The cut out for the I/O shield is the wrong size. I will fix it, then either make a full mock up, or cut the final sheet.
 

eelhead

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Sweet!
I love the CnC set up and making parts that fit, some day I'll have made my own the same way :)

Good luck and can't wait to see the end product!
 
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Thanks for the comments. :thumbup:

I took the day off work today and spent the whole time tinkering with the case.

I cut the aluminium plate. There are over 1200 holes drilled in it!!!!!!! it took about 8 hours on the machine to make:
2012-09-21 16.14.17_plate_cut.jpg
I've attached the DXF of the back plate to this post so if anyone wants to make one, they don't have to do all the hard measuring and trying (your welcome :) ).

Then I cut some more out of the back out of the case:
2012-09-21 16.37.55_hole_in_back_of_case.jpg

And sat the plate in place:
2012-09-21 16.38.38_plate_sitting_in_place.jpg
Looks good doesn't it! :D

I had to cut the rear fans down so they don't interfere with the connectors on the motherboard. Looks like another job for the CNC machine!
2012-09-21 17.17.00_cut_fan.jpg

Then I could fit the fans to the back plate to see how it looks:
2012-09-21 17.26.25_plate_in_place.jpg

The fans will cover the cut outs on the inside, and the plate will cover them on the outside, so it'll look apple-quality inside and out!
2012-09-21 17.38.34_inside_case.jpg

I'm going to take the new back plate to work and sandblast it next week so it looks like the rest of the case.
 

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Great work sheriff,
Also like it that you are willing to share the dxf file. I'm planning on start a same project only than with laser cutting. Because I think it is cheaper, faster, more precise, and I think more people can laser cut than cnc. But I have to say, with cnc you have many more possibilities and make it also more beautiful.

Nothing negative to say by the way, I really like your work and curious how you will continue.
Looking forward to your next post.
Good luck
 
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Thanks pieter,

You're quite correct, generally laser cutting is much quicker and cheaper, however laser cutting does not work on aluminium as far as I'm aware. You could give the contributed file to an AJM (Abrasive Jet Machining) workshop and they would cut the sheet for you very quickly and cheaply. Be sure to post if you use it successfully, I would be happy to hear.

I am thinking that this build needs a 2012 micro ATX hackintosh hardware setup. Does anyone know of a good micro ATX motherboard which is fully OSX86 compatible?
 
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I am thinking that this build needs a 2012 micro ATX hackintosh hardware setup. Does anyone know of a good micro ATX motherboard which is fully OSX86 compatible?
My Z68MA-D2H-B3 is great, but that's last-gen so I'm not sure how much you want it.

The Buyer's Guide recommends the GA-Q77M-D2H and GA-B75M-D3P for mATX. Not sure if either of these interest you.
 
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The Buyer's Guide recommends the GA-Q77M-D2H and GA-B75M-D3P for mATX. Not sure if either of these interest you.

It looks like the nearest mobo to those two available in Australia is the GA-B75M-D3H. Does anyone know what the last letter in the part# means? Or even better has anyone used this board successfully?
 
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It looks like the nearest mobo to those two available in Australia is the GA-B75M-D3H and the GA-B75M-D3V. Does anyone know what the last letter in the part# means? Or even better has anyone used one of these 2 boards successfully?
I checked those both out on the Gigabyte website. They have Realtek audio and LAN, so they should work fine for a hackintosh. You could do some searches on this site to see if anyone else has tried them out.
 
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