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MacPro Mod -No Tray, No Cutting, All PCI solutions for I/O

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I bought a MacPro case last year (6 mos ago)... been too busy with work and only now opened the box.

I'm planning on putting my existing Intel mobo hack#2 (See my sig) in this Mac Pro case. Well, the Mac Pro case is brand new, includes all parts/cables/accessories and power supply.

I would like to keep it looking stock as much as possible, with as little (or NO) cutting as much as possible.

These are the parts that came with it. Some of them I don't know what to call.

IMG_0386.jpg
IMG_0387.jpg
IMG_0388.jpg
IMG_0389.jpg
IMG_0391.jpg
IMG_0390.jpg
IMG_0392.jpg
Lots of cables to sort out. Should I just rip them all out?

IMG_0393.jpg
SATA jacks. I'd like to re-use this if possible so I can easily plug the SATA drives and use the carrier.

IMG_0395.jpg
This is a big problem. I thought the case came with the jacks for this output ports but nope.

IMG_0397.jpg
What do you call this connector? Is there a way I can re-use this connector? Possibly buying a new SATA card?

arrrghh.. This is a LOT OF WORK... and with my business/work load/new projects/jobs increasing in the next few months, I don't know if I'd like to tackle this mod. So if I can do this as easy as possible it will be great :) Otherwise, July will be when I can work on this mod.
 

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Re: G5 MacPro Case work log...

You can wait until you have time to do it right, without cutting anything (as far as the case goes) or you can cut the back and use a motherboard tray. The latter is the easiest and most common method I've seen done, but it doesn't look stock. ;)
 

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Re: G5 MacPro Case work log...

Welcome to the club! I have a SAS to SATA adapter which takes the Mac Pro case SATA connectors and breaks out four SATA connectors for connecting to the mobo. viewtopic.php?p=189521#p189521

I tried to fit a spare P55A-UD3 full size ATX mobo into the case. I would have had to cut a hole in the bottom of the case to line up all the PCI slots correctly. Nuts to that! So, I'm going to pick up an i5-2500K & GA-Z68MX-UD2H (mATX) combo deal at Micro Center ($50 USD off the mobo when you buy the processor) for ~$280 USD plus tax and gas. IIRC, eelhead is gonna put a X58 mATX in his Mac Pro case.
 
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Re: G5 MacPro Case work log...

I have a SAS to SATA adapter which takes the Mac Pro case SATA connectors and breaks out four SATA connectors for connecting to the mobo. viewtopic.php?p=189521#p189521
Sweet.
so that adapter plugs directly into this cable?
 
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Re: G5 MacPro Case work log...

nocutting.png
I may be able to get away not cutting the case at all because I can use PCI alternatives so I do not have to use any of the I/O ports on the back of my Intel mobo.

So my plan will be to install the mobo, align the card slot openings with the G5 case.
Then use the following:

1. Syba 4-port USB card --- takes care of all my USB needs (OOB supported native KEXTS)-- already have it installed, and running. No additional kexts required.
a. keyboard
b. mouse
c. audio
d. card reader



2. EVGA nVidia GT240 --- video out DVI, already have it.



3. Syba PCIe firewire card, I will need to buy another one. I'm using it with my other hack and it works great. OOB, supported natively. No additional kexts.



4. Sonnet or Intel/HP NC360 Network card --- takes care of the RJ45 connection. will need to buy another one. I'm using it with my other hack, works great. (OOB supported, native Kexts, very fast and stable!)


Voila! All the ports I need, without doing any cutting.

All I/O will be done/passing through external PCI cards, which will provide all my video, USB, firewire and network functionalities (and even using Apple native kexts!)
 

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Re: MacProG5 Mod -No Tray, No Cutting, All PCI solutions for I/O

Actually this is a MacPro Intel Case not a PowerMac G5. You should edit your first post to correct it ;)
 
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FIRST STEP: The Power Supply.
I decided to house the power supply in the original cage of the MacPro power supply. I made some measurements and see that it could work.

I gutted the MacPro power supply, keeping only the screws and cage, and also gutted my Seasonic power supply.

I measured and cut an aluminum plate as base support for the Seasonic PCB, attaching the PCB to the aluminum plate via 1/4" standoffs. Then, I installed this aluminum plate to the MacPro PSU cage.

I re-used all the plastic insulators, MacPro AC inlet, and even used the inductor filter from the Seasonic PSU.

I removed the ON/OFF switch of the Seasonic PSU... instead, I just wired it directly to the AC inlet. Heatshrinked all connections for safety, and then used electrical tape for another layer of protection.

For safety, I made sure the Ground wire is bolted securely to the aluminum plate, which is then bolted to the MacPro PSU cage, which is then bolted to the MacPro case.

psu1.jpg

The Seasonic PSU uses an internal fan. Since there is no space on the MacPro PSU cage for a fan, I'm going to use the MacPro's original PSU fan to cool this power supply.

psu2.jpg

Routing of the cables was a big problem. First, I cutout some holes on the side of the cage. But I see that this wouldn't work because I'm keeping the original Apple PSU fan. I have to "flatten" the cable and route it towards the back.

psu3.jpg

Another view of the "flattened" cable.
psu4.jpg

I routed all the cables into the narrow slit opening, behind the PSU fan. Got the PSU successfully installed and screwed in place!
psu5.jpg

Then I installed the cable cover to keep everything neat and tidy.
** Oops, I forgot to route a set of SATA power cable here to power the DVD drives.
psu6.jpg

This is the SATA backplane for the hard drives... a set of SATA power plugs into the backplane to power the (4) hard drives.
psu7.jpg

And here's a test fit of a SATA hard drive installed on the backplane PCB.
psu8.jpg
As you can see, the PSU cables won't reach the motherboard and video card because of the long route I had to take. I bought extension PSU cables to take care of this problem.

Next Step:
Mounting 1/2" motherboard standoffs, securing the motherboard, wiring the front panel USB, audio, firewire800 and power switch/LED, and wiring the PSU fan.

PSU Fan Information
I am having trouble getting the PSU fan running. I found some documentation on how to wire them but it doesn't seem to be working. If anyone has any information on how to get this PSU fan running, I appreciate it! I wired it as:
12V
GND
GND
5V
But the fan is still not spinning.
 

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Looking good man!
I was wondering why not do the wire extensions out the PSU and resleeve the whole set up to fit near the top to hide all of it and then out to the mobo so you would have enough cable?

Also the PSU fan, did you check over on aquamac and see if there was something for it there?

Also why did you not use your existing SATA plugs form the Pro with the barrel adapter (I think Mooner got one from a site and has a link on his build) and go with the backplane?


I have a 2010 Mac Pro case and am not able to mount anything like that in my case as the original set up had a built in backplane just behind the logicboard. So contrary to a couple of people I have no use for such an item nor can I set it inside my case lol.

I am still working that bit out on mine but I was thinking a couple 240GB SSDs hidden away and only having the HDD trays in place for looks. We shall see, mine is still in the drawing stages.
 
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Thanks eel.

I was wondering why not do the wire extensions out the PSU and resleeve the whole set up to fit near the top to hide all of it and then out to the mobo so you would have enough cable?
I haven't thought of that. That certainly would be a more beautiful aesthetic solution... but also more work -- which I'm trying to avoid :) But that's something to consider. Yeah, I could hide all the extensions behind the panel.

Also the PSU fan, did you check over on aquamac and see if there was something for it there?
There seems to be conflicting information as I think the early PowerMac G5 fans and the new MacPro fans use a different wiring/control/voltages? Right now, I'm testing the fans using a bench PSU (max 1A) but still no go, I can't find the correct wiring/combination to get this fan running. I read somebody tested this fan using a 9V battery and got it going but I find it frustrating I can't get a simple fan running! LOL!

Also why did you not use your existing SATA plugs form the Pro with the barrel adapter (I think Mooner got one from a site and has a link on his build) and go with the backplane?
Mainly because I already bought the backplane PCB. -- I didn't know the case I bought included all the cables already, I thought it was just an empty case. So didn't want to waste this PCB and spend another $60 on the SATA barrel adapter. If I didn't have the backplane PCB, I would just use the SATA barrel adapter.
 
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Okay, got the PSU fan working.

Pin layout is
1 = GND
2 = V+ Supply
3 = ?
4 = V+ Control

I breadboarded a simple circuit to allow me to control the fan speed.
psu9.png
It works.
However, the big problem is the fan is NOISY! Really noisy.... like a hurricane.

I tried running the fan at 5 Volts Supply and that lessened the noise a bit, but still a bit noisy. The ideal voltage is about 3.3Volts for the fan to be quiet (and still be spinning), but at that speed it isn't moving much air.

So... I'll have to ditch the MacPro PSU fan and buy an after-market quieter fan.

One thing though, these MacPro fans are tough. I fed it 20Volts Supply and you think it's going to fly. Really LOUD... across the room LOUD. (If you ever had a serious KP on an Apple G5, and the fan revs up really loud, you know what kind of LOUD I'm talking about.)
 

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