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G4 Cube Inspired Self Build

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Fan Mounting

The fan will be supported from above by three standoffs using the existing fan mount points. I trimmed down standoffs to size. The holes in the fan mounts also needed to be widened slightly to accept M3 screws.
IMG_1337.jpgIMG_1339.jpg

Temps

I have run the computer for several days without issues, the fans is mostly inaudible except for brief periods where it spins up, After running "CPU Test" stress test for half an hour temperatures settle around 65 degrees (25 degree air temp). I am assuming this is OK?
IMG_1342.jpg
I am thinking that once the computer is mounted vertically temps will come down, also with a few bios adjustments i can reduce the noise, at the expense of higher temps.
 
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65 degrees is very good!
You could even slow the fan down a bit to reduce the noise...
I could think that once everything is mounted inside the cube the temp will go a bit higher because there is less space to suck air from. But this is not based on experience, just a thought that crossed my mind.
 
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Mockups of Build

I went to work today and made some of the basic mounting hardware, standoffs, and rails.
IMG_1363.jpg

Then placed these onto the base plate, with the DVD drive that will sit under the motherboard. The photos are from the back (the bottom) and rotated to show the vertical orientation once complete.
IMG_1365.jpgIMG_1380.jpg

Then placed the MB Fan and HDD in the appropriate positions.
IMG_1367.jpgIMG_1383.jpg

The final picture shows with the lid on.
IMG_1368.jpgIMG_1387.jpg


This is when I noticed some problems in my measurements.
IMG_1389.jpg

There shouldn't be a gap between the heat-sink and the case, the gap is un-necessary. Actually there was an error in the Sketchup model, the standoffs were cut perfectly to size.;)

This error has taught me to measure, measure, measure, then measure again. I also means I intend to cut all the parts, and use trail assemblies to validate the design, and will leave all the glueing to the end, once I know everything fits together.
 
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65 degrees is very good!
You could even slow the fan down a bit to reduce the noise...
I could think that once everything is mounted inside the cube the temp will go a bit higher because there is less space to suck air from. But this is not based on experience, just a thought that crossed my mind.
Good point, getting air in and out of the case is vital. I intend the entire top (where the DVD pops out) and bottom of the case (IO ports), will be made of the material on the right. I wanted the Powermac G5 look, this was the best I could find.
IMG_1395.jpg
As you can see the holes are slightly bigger and closer together, so actually I hope it will allow enough air to pass through. The principle of convection (hot air rises) should provide some natural cooling, much like the Cube, and mean the fan shouldnt have to work too hard.

I will use the fan from a MacBook Pro 15" Unibody, the Right Hand Side Fan. I purchased this off eBay for about $20. Actually could have used one from 17" MBP, (but at time couldn't find one), the 17" one would probably provide more airflow.
Shortly after writing this I ate my own words, and purchased a MacBook Pro 17" fan off eBay. It is a 2watt fan (compared to 1.1watt for the 15"), I will assess it for size, noise, airflow. Hopefully it will be better.
 
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I thought I would post a little update as it has been a while, and I have been working on the project.

Primarily I have almost finished fabricating the main parts of the case. Not much to say really, except this took some time, mainly due to the large amount of filing, and fixing my mistakes. I always cut slightly over size and then filled down the remaining millimetre or so, just to get a more perfect result. I will show these parts in more detail during the assembly.

What you see below is all of the parts, a sort of exploded view.
IMG_1414.jpg

Outstanding: One of the jobs that is outstanding is to drill and tap the threads into the mounting posts that support the case and motherboard. This is the first time I have done this, boy does youtube make it look easy.

Update on Cooling Fan: I have received a 17" Macbook Pro fan, just have to convert it, but overall it is less than 10% bigger in size so should easily fit, and twice the wattage so hopefully will control temps a lot better.
 
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Standoffs Complete

This weekend I completed the motherboard standoffs and the standoffs that will hold the sides of the case apart.
IMG_1431.jpg
The motherboard standoffs (screwed to the aluminium strips) will will glued to the outer case wall. The larger standoffs holding the case apart will be screwed from both sides of the case, so don't need to be glued

To tap the threads into the motherboard posts was quite difficult. The essential tool I think is a drill press, two small pieces of 2x2 inch wood (to hold the standoff), and of course the tap and die set.

I screwed the wood with four screws (two from each side), ensuring that the wood was level on the underside. Then drilled a hole in the gap between he two pieces of wood with a slightly smaller diameter than the standoff itself. This created a holder for the standoff with a perfectly aligned hole.

Then it was a matter of drilling the holes in the standoff, and then tapping the thread into the hole. The other trick is to use the drill press to get the tap started in the hole, just a few manual turns of the drill with downward pressure until sufficient resistance was felt, then remove from the drill press and complete by hand.
IMG_1422.jpgIMG_1427.jpg

It didn't all go perfectly !!!
IMG_1426.jpg
 

neilhart

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Standoffs Complete

This weekend I completed the motherboard standoffs and the standoffs that will hold the sides of the case apart.
View attachment 50555
The motherboard standoffs (screwed to the aluminium strips) will will glued to the outer case wall. The larger standoffs holding the case apart will be screwed from both sides of the case, so don't need to be glued

To tap the threads into the motherboard posts was quite difficult. The essential tool I think is a drill press, two small pieces of 2x2 inch wood (to hold the standoff), and of course the tap and die set.

I screwed the wood with four screws (two from each side), ensuring that the wood was level on the underside. Then drilled a hole in the gap between he two pieces of wood with a slightly smaller diameter than the standoff itself. This created a holder for the standoff with a perfectly aligned hole.

Then it was a matter of drilling the holes in the standoff, and then tapping the thread into the hole. The other trick is to use the drill press to get the tap started in the hole, just a few manual turns of the drill with downward pressure until sufficient resistance was felt, then remove from the drill press and complete by hand.
View attachment 50556View attachment 50557

It didn't all go perfectly !!!
View attachment 50558

When I have fairly thick material or blind holes such at in your standoffs, I use WD-40 as a lube. This helps cutting the threads and preventing the tap seizing. Also, you may need to tap the holes in stages, where you remove the tap and clear the hole of metal chips. I use compressed air and WD-40 for this.

I like the design concept that you have shared and good luck going forward.
neil
 
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Nice! I like your cooling concept.

MacTester
 
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Base Plate

Over the last week I completed the gluing of the mounting hardware to the main base plate. The base plate (which is one of the main sides of the case) will primarily have the MB and DVD, mounted to it.

This was completed in in several stages. First and most importantly I scribed out the component location on the plate. Another crucial step was to drill the four holes through the plate (following picture). What you can't see in the picture is that I am drilling through three identically sized plates. The plates are aligned and clamped together. I will see much latter how well I did on this, as these holes will need to line up with the acrylic legs
IMG_1433.jpg

So when all the glueing was complete I end up with
IMG_1445.jpg

Here is a picture during gluing showing a "red" bucket of water used as a weight. Good thing with this approach is an empty bucket can easily be put into precise position, then slowly filled with water to add weight.
IMG_1436.jpg

Then mounting the DVD drive in place, no screws needed. Then finally the motherboard screwed into the standoffs
IMG_1446.jpgIMG_1447.jpg

Some further pictures showing some of the corners of the case. Back left corner with split post, front left corner very busy space.
IMG_1448.jpgIMG_1449.jpg

Then with lid screwed on, and main power switch sitting in place.
IMG_1454.jpg

I sourced the proximity switch from The Laser Hive (thanks David), It is the only real thing that ties this build back to its G4 Cube inspiration. I hope it imparts some good karma, and looks the part.

One final picture with the case standing vertical by itself for the first time. A milestone since everything to date has been done in the horizontal.
IMG_1457.jpg

Note the bits of wood are just fill-ins for acrylic sides, although any material for the sides could be used. Suggestions?
 
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