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Building a G4 Cube in Australia

Joined
Jun 16, 2013
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79
Motherboard
PowerMac G4 MDD
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i7 3930K @ 4.5ghz
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2x GTX 970 SLI
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Good luck with the build! glad to see us aussies giving it a go :)
and love this case ill be doing similar when i finally find one
 
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
775
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DQ77KB
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Good luck with the build! glad to see us aussies giving it a go :)
and love this case ill be doing similar when i finally find one
It took me a while to find my case, they are very hard to come by at a reasonable cost. I have been looking for a G4 iMac as well, nothing so far.

Kiwi
 
Joined
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Messages
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DQ77KB
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Been a while so time for an update

CUBE SWITCH

After getting my main components installed in my cube, I quickly found (as others have) mounting the original cube switch is hard as the MB is too close.

So thought about options.

Moving the switch to a different location (involve cutting the case) was more than I wanted to take on. The Edison solution seemed obvious but you lost the visual led indicators. I wanted to try something different

Infrared

Then i thought about infrared detection through the top vent of the case. The goal is to be able to turn the cube on by waving to it, i.e. passing your hand over the top vent.

The sensor works with two elements. An IR LED that generates an infrared signal out of the top of the vent. Second is an IR Detector, which detects reflected light from an object (hand) passing above the vent.



I found the following little board on ebay that does just this.


http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/350789239727

You can see the LED mounted on the left end of the board, and the detector just above it pointing to the side. Here is how I believe the basic circuit is structured.



Most of the circuit is constructed around an NE555 timer that flashes the IR LED at 38KHz. The board has an adjustment for the IR LED brightness, this affects the sensitivity (range) that the sensor works.

An IR Detector TSOP "chip" itself has all the necessary optics and internal circuitry to discriminate the 38khz signal, thus preventing detection from other background infrared light.

The TSOP takes 5V power, GND, and has a single output which goes low when the signal is detected. This can be wired to the power switch on the MB. It is a drop in replacement for Edison sensor.

The main issue with the board is how to mount it. I choose to mount it horizontally on top of the HDD, so that the LED and detector shine up through the vent. I had to replace the LED and detector, so they could be pointed up. I ordered a replacement for the IR LED and Detector off eBay

Detector - TSOP4838 - 38Khz
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/260837712263

940nm 5mm Infrared LED
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/290562020389

Replacing the components wasn't too hard, but you need a fine soldering iron, and I used a "solder sucker", to clear the holes on the PCB. Here is the result after modification



The LED is on the left, and the detector in the middle.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
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10.6.8
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Core 2 Duo T5550
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Intel X3100
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Hi, my compliments for your build!
About the cpu cooler, do you think the noctua NH-L9i would fit in the G4 Cube case, compared to xigmatek that you are used?
Thanks
 
Joined
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Messages
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Hi, my compliments for your build!
About the cpu cooler, do you think the noctua NH-L9i would fit in the G4 Cube case, compared to xigmatek that you are used?
Thanks
I haven't seen anyone use this in a Cube. The main issue may be the fan itself which is 92mm, the one I used is 90mm and just fit in the gap between the locking mechanism, which means that you may have to do file 1mm on each side to make it fit.

Apart from that it is quite a bit smaller in one of the dimensions 95mm vs 104mm which always help especially at the top of the case where everything is tight.

Have a look at this thread I created, which compares these types coolers.http://www.tonymacx86.com/hardware-parts/103860-low-profile-cpu-coolers.html#post634145
 
Joined
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Ho kiwi, thanks for reply.
There's one that have used the noctua sink
http://www.tonymacx86.com/powermac-g4-cube/99043-complete-i7-g4-cube.html
But there isn't test or temperature data for support.
I've seen your interesting post about low profile cpu coolers, I'm curious about the Zalman cooler, what do you think about it?
Probably the gelid coolers is the best solution, but not convinced me at all.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Ho kiwi, thanks for reply.
There's one that have used the noctua sink
http://www.tonymacx86.com/powermac-g4-cube/99043-complete-i7-g4-cube.html
But there isn't test or temperature data for support.
I've seen your interesting post about low profile cpu coolers, I'm curious about the Zalman cooler, what do you think about it?
Probably the gelid coolers is the best solution, but not convinced me at all.
If you are interested in following my approach the Noctua could be an alternate choice, but untested by me.

The approach I took deals with the issue of getting hot air out of the case by getting the CPU fan to sucking it away from the heat sink, and force it out the top of the case. Using this approach it may be possible to not need a bottom mounted fan (and ducting), and rely on simply on the natural suction to draw air in from the bottom of the case.

Note: I have added your link to the other thread, and also posted there as well, but of a more general nature, i.e. about the Zalman
 
Joined
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Messages
39
Motherboard
10.6.8
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Intel X3100
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MacBook, Mac Pro
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I'll put a simple i3-3225 on my next build, so probably I'll use the Zalman cooler with a bottom mounted fan for hot air evacuation.
Thanks for your advice, kiwi!
 
Joined
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Messages
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Finalisation

This computer has been in use for some time by its new owner, but not quite complete so finally got around to finishing it off so here is my last update

IR Power Sensor Installation

I sat the sensor below the grille on to of the hard drive. The led and sensor are spaced so the poke up through different parts of the grille.



This unfortunately this experiment was a bit of a failure. During initial testing I could get significant range from the sensor, but after installation range was significantly reduced (about 10cm), not sure why. Secondly when mounted under the grille problem is made worse because the grille itself prevents line of sight reflection from near objects.

Triggering can only be done from far objects, and a finger does not provide enough reflectivity. In practice a mirror is required from a height of about 20cm. So what was a good idea didn’t work out in practice, I have described this as a security feature to the new owner, he is happy.

With a little refinement I think this still could be made to work. But at this stage have moved on from this project.

LED Lighting

Then I wanted to add some lighting to the top of the case, where the power switch would normally be located. I added four small LED's. One for

  • Standby Power
  • Switch Operation
  • Main Power
  • HDD Activity







I will take some final pictures and post latter.

Good Hacking
Kiwi
 
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