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G4 Jezebel

Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
10
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77X D3H
CPU
i5 358k
Graphics
Nvidia 690 Nvdia 1080ti F
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Air
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Always loved the G4 Quicksliver case and is door access... and I've ghosted these forums on and off for a decade or so making my first laptop hackintosh back in 2008 but now I want a desktop. So I finally went out and snagged a G4 Quick silver in fairly good condition. My goal is to do as little visible modding of the case as possible (externally) and internally do my best to make a neat layout using custom cables, I/O ports and front USB / audio where necessary I'll make custom mounts or brackets with a 3D printer.

I'm going to use some of the ideas and mods that have been display here previously (particularly 'standing on the shoulders of giants' when it comes to the front power and LEDs) - I'll have to dig up and credit them as I go through.

However I annoyingly recently had my main PC die and built a new PC in a hurry .. and while I had thought I was buying Hackintosh friendly parts I didn't buy thinking of this case .. so I have a full size ATX which won't fit a AIO cooler which won't fit, tall RGB ram again a tight fit.. and I sold and updated my 1080 to a 2080 which has no drivers in OSX -DOH!

So the final hardware might be a bit of a ways off and this build log will be quite slow. I'd be more motivated if I could find a decent mATX board with on-board Thunderbolt 3 though... doesn't seem to exist.

So if I don't have the hardware what am I going to do? Well naturally I got the case and immediately stripped it down to parts excitedly, then neatly piled them in a corner for several months. I have a few odds and ends laying around such as a surrogate mATX board I can use for the position of mounts, and this G4 will likely have a quite a few parts go through her before I'm done.

So lets start with the Power Brick...
 
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Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
10
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77X D3H
CPU
i5 358k
Graphics
Nvidia 690 Nvdia 1080ti F
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Air
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Now you can't seem to get a new power supply in the same form factor as the G4 and the ones I have were a little bigger and did not align with the external venting or power input position. So I decided to use a SFF power supply I had purchased for another project that never took off. A Corsair 600SF

Again though this did not align with the existing mounts or back panel. So the only solution I could come up with was to use the shell of the G4 power supply to retain the SFF. However I wanted to to be sturdy and replaceable if I needed to upgrade the PSU at some point.

Step One. Gut the G4 power supply (no images)
Step Two. Scope out the size and position of the SFF inside.

This showed me the fit was going to be good. I would need a way to connected the external plug to the internal plug and I would likely need to offset them to give room to insert/remove. I would need a way to assign the venting since the exhausts would not line up at all flush and the fan intake would be enclosed but in this orientation the intake fan faced up or the wall that would be external to the case meaning I had a chance to pull in external cool air rather then case air. So an adapter cable and a mount... and some cutting. The SFF is modular and the plugs would mean the back vents need to be cut and something would need to be done with the intake vent at the top. Removing the vents was easy enough - the hole thoguh is almost exactly the same height s the SFF power supply (but narrower so its not going to fall out the back.
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Step Three. Create a franken cable extension.
This was done by sacrificing a normal Kettle plug. I needed a very tight turn from the SFF once plugged in, so not only did I need to strip off the existing plastic jacket from the cable I needed to cut away most of the plastic around the rear of the plug. If you ever need to do this I found a new (ie very sharp) wood chisel I bought for another task was amazingly good at accurately taking off the layers of plastic in fine flakes such that I didn't even nick a cable

Interestingly though I guess it should not be a surprise the cable colour coding was consistent with that used internally (blue,brown,green/yellow) which made re-soldering these trivial. However I'm not really a handy person and in trying to remove the existing solder from the original PSU socket I did over heat a pin and it started moving /melting the plastic.. luckily I noticed and was able to reverse (reheated it and plugged in a cable to realign and left to cool) without major loss of a key part.
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I kept the earth the case connector, and covered what exposed connections I could in heat-shrink - actually bending the cable into an S shape then shirking the heatstroke helped a lot in taking a bit of stress off of the solder and not worrying about twisting the cable when testing.
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Cable in place with the back venting cut out.

So what next. I wanted the SFF to be flush with the top of the case. This meant lifting it some 10mm to align with the bottom of the cut out vent space.

Step Four. #D Printed Mounting bracket.
This took more attempts then I would like to admit. My measuring skills are obviously lacking and the inside of the casing is not really 'smooth' with the different mounting holes punched in and the different offset of the tabs hence the different cut outs in the corners and groves added into what was originally a simple shape. .. anyway.. here is the model.
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I uploaded the model to Thingiverse if anyone wants to use it.

The model is meant to be in two parts a base and top - but my printer build space is limited which is why the base is broken cleanly into two halves (blue / purple) I printed some holes and the orange 'dowel' joints to then join / glue them together once printed - but it turn out so much easier to assemble the base in two pieces I'm glad I did it this way. The white balls in the image are just to mark where the screws will go in from the rear existing case to holes holding each segment in place. This means I didn't need to brace against the main 'vent' and just need a back vertical brace to stop the SFF moving back when cable are pushed in.
The actual orientation will be 90 degrees which is why the red and purple have 'feet' as they will be effectively the stand.
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A check of the rear mount bracket shows I need to remove the vertical otherwise it looks pretty good!
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Now you can see that the SFF isn't going to be flush with top the which might cause a little airflow havoc. I'm planing to use a bit of the foam padding it came with the make a gasket.

STEP 5. Top Venting.
So most mods I have seen have simply cut a big circular hole when making new airflow. I can now see why just cutting one hole is appealing. But initially I wanted to mimic the rear hole pattern on the case. Realising I was never going to be consistently accurate enough to pull off a straight grid hole patter with my basic tools I decided to look at a more random pattern that could hide some variation.. I then discovered the spiral pattern based on the Golden Ratio - this looked very forgiving as if you look at it the holes seem very random but you eyes 'imply' the spiral. I copied this image and enlarge it to use bigger holes to match the drill bits I had and glued in on the inside - so I had support when drilling into the metal, it still warped/ stretched a little but not too much. Double drilling each hole (2mm then 5mm) I soon tired of this hole aspect (pun) of the build though .. in the end a bit of grinding off of the burs and sanding and it turned out pretty good.

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A Final fit with the mount in place -holding the PSU perfectly in place - before painting.
Though I'm thinking about filling the old cable exit with JB Weld putty and just squaring off the corner.
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Who would have thought there was so much to think about for just a power supply... More to come.
 
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Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
10
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77X D3H
CPU
i5 358k
Graphics
Nvidia 690 Nvdia 1080ti F
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Air
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
The power supply came packaged in a foam box. naturally this therefore was the width and depth of the PSU. By turning it 90 degrees so it covered the back of the PSU it made the perfect shroud. The wall thickness was perfect for between the base of the PSU and the case but I had to use a knife to cut it very thinly along two edges and the cut away the main rear vent and the original plug space. With the power supply mounted in the 3D bracket inserting this was easy. Creating a seal around the back to ensure hot air vented out and cool air cam in to the fan space.

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I did go through with filling in the legacy cable exit. Then a Quick coat of paint and assembly and I'm happy with the results. I removed the old supply 'info statistics' sticker but managed to keep the 'danger do not open' one :)

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Overall very happy with how this worked out, it feels very solid nothing moves. Of course part B of this process is that the SFF power cables are quite short .. so a set of custom cables is going to be called for here.
 
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Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
10
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77X D3H
CPU
i5 358k
Graphics
Nvidia 690 Nvdia 1080ti F
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Air
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Back Plate

I bought a Dremmel for this project and I have to say I'm in love with it. Cutting off the stands was very simple and almost flush with the main metal sheet first time a little sanding and they almost disappeared.


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On thing people don't seem to show pictures of is how they attache the mounts. for the PC motherboard. I assume that is because it can look quite messy. Now I have a whole lot of standoffs collected from over the years, and in playing around with them you see they (mostly) all screw into each other - you can make a copper rod. So in testing placement of the board what I did use this as a feature by passing the thread of on from below the board and screwing it into one form the top.

Basically the standoffs were upside down but by doing so I can place the board on a flat surface and it would be the height off of that surface as if it had been screwed in. Great for testing alignment. By putting in half I could use them to position the board and then mark through the unfilled holes when I would need to drill. Then swap the stands over and mark the other holes. That's great I can now drill where the standoffs had to go for a mATX. Drilling quite tight holes I then used a couple of sacrificial standoffs to bur into the back-plate to effectively create a thread this I figured would help keep a tight placement and a little less strain on the epoxy vs a looser hole they just slipped through.

I saw the standoffs come in different heights - something I hadn't ever noticed before - I guess cases come with standoffs to suit and you don't notice the extra mm or two they use. I had about 4mm variation amongst my collection of standoffs. I wasn't and I'm still not sure what height I will need and I didn't want to just glue on something I could not change easily. On a proper back-plate these screw into the plate/mounts and here I was assuming I was going to epoxy them in place.

Going back to the idea that I had a lot of these and that they all screw into each other I came up with the idea of creating a Nut from two by simply cutting You can see a test below.


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This way I could do what I did with the mother board but with the back plate. Placing one through the hole and screwing on the other side I the use the Dremmel to cut off the excess stand off leaving a 'nut' on a truncated stand.
I still needed a way for these to stay in place so I expoy'd around them - I sanded around them as best I could. Here is an image of that in progress.

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New standoff from above.. looking nice and neat (notice the cut off original stand points are already starting to show rust - going to need to paint / seal this too).

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Rear I/O.

After de-riveting everything in my original disassembly I had intended to fully replace the rear I/O and PCI brackets with one salvaged and "edited" from an old SFF case. However as I progressed with this I became unhappy with where it was going especially with the structural strength of the PCI brackets. So I decided I would need to cut the origin I/O area away and will need to replace it with a custom I/O shield when the time comes. However I refuse to cut the plastic rear cover or the brace between the rear IO and the PCI slots - I have a plan for how to get around this issue later.

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I cut this out with ease following just inside the existing rear label then a few laps with a sanding bit smooth out the roughness in a treat.

After the cut above was done I made a quick test assembly and a placement of my test board with a GPU screwed into he PCI bracket just to test placement. One thing I did notice is this rear panel had a few 'guide fins' punched in for the GPU I/O which seemed to get in the way of it sitting correctly. So I cut them off and filled in the punched space with some epoxy.

When doing the alignment I also noted that two standoffs for the mATX layout would be in conflict with the rear panel and its riveting points, so I needed to cut out access channels (which you can see pre sanding below). One of the existing rivets was already filled in from the epoxy of the new stand anyway.

A quick sanding the make everything smooth and its ready to paint.

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The alignment of the back IO panel and the backplate/door with rivet holes aligned.

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