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Mooner's HackPro (Gigabyte Z68MX-UD2H-B3 in Mac Pro case)

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YES!!! SAS to SATA adapter works great!!!

I was also contemplating a homebuilt custom SATA cable, but I couldn't find the SATA connectors for sale anywhere. Every SATA cable I've seen has molded ends on it, so maybe they arent readily available as solder connectors?? Dunno...

I was also thinking about shortening the hydra cable on the adapter, but I think that is way too much trouble for marginal cosmetic only gain... So will leave it as is.

I did find the mini-size 8 pin Molex connector for the SATA power harness - but that was after I already snipped off the power connector and spliced on my PSU power cables... That Molex connector is available at Mouser:
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Molex/43020-0801/?qs=th8CuLdcYnnUcp9LIcG6sw==
 

neilhart

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Thanks for the prompt response. The SAS to SATA adapter will save me from attempting to solder splice all of those very small wires. I was putting off that task and now I am glad that I have.

I am impressed with your progress and conversion decisions. I am not that far behind you with my conversion and hope that you will keep your thread current.


neil
 
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Like the Apple Bluetooth adapter setup. I'm currently using a asus bluetoooth USB doogle for my apple trackpad and keyboard. It's works well, but the keyboard loses connection from time to time.
 
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Wiring harness is now complete.

Basically, all the PSU to motherboard cables were too short. So I chopped them in the middle and spliced in a length of wire to make them longer. I actually used the old wires from the original Apple wiring harness, so they are all black and look nice -- but makes it a little more challenging due to loss of color coding.

If you've never soldered before, this might be a bit daunting. There are many wires to splice.

Also, due to the small hole between the upper section of the Mac Pro case and the lower section, I chose to use the connectors in the Mac Pro harness to "divvy up" the wires in the large ATX-24 connector. I spread those wires out over 4 Molex connectors -- 12V wires and grounds on #1, 5V wires and grounds on #2, 3.3V wires and grounds on #3 -- then I put the smaller gauge ATX sense and control lines on a smaller Molex connector.

I covered all the splice/solder joints with heat shrink tubing. Be sure to put the heat shrink tubing on the cut ends BEFORE you solder the wires together... DON'T use electrical tape... It looks like crap and leaves sticky residue all over the place. Do it right and use high quality shrink tube...

Here's a few pictures of the process.
IMG_0705.JPG

Cut wires, strip insulation and tin ends with high quality solder.

IMG_0706.JPG

Cut heat shrink tubing long enough to cover splice and at least 1/8" past splice on each side. Slide down wires -- be sure to put them as far down the wire as you can -- the wires can get hot when soldering and you don't want the tubing to shrink yet…

IMG_0708.JPG

Join tinned ends together - do not use too much solder, but enough to make smooth joints. Give each joint a tug to make sure you have good contact and no cold joints.

IMG_0709.JPG

Slide heat shrink tubing over the exposed splices. Use hot air source to shrink tubing.

IMG_0710.jpg

If you want to make it look really nice, cover with braided wire wrap and use another piece of larger gauge heat shrink tubing to keep the ends from unravelling.

IMG_0712.jpg

Here's the finished cable next to an unmodified cable -- you can see the lengthened cable is 30% longer.


EDITED: 2012-07-04 - MobileMe is down forever... Had to re-point my images...
 

neilhart

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Mooner I have a question about the source of the a MiniSAS-Female to MiniSAS-Female "barrel" connector. I now have the MaxConnect SAS/SATA Link with SAS Calbe for 4-port SATA Controller, but no barrel connector.

neil
 
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Mac Pro - Front Panel woes... And solution!

I had so much good luck with information posted on the Aquamac site that I didn't think I'd have any problems with the front panel pinouts...

However, after wiring to the Aquamac diagram, I found that neither of my USB ports worked... After much tinkering, it looks like the +5 volt supply for the two USB ports was all that was missing. So, here is my revised version of the Front Panel wiring diagram.

MacPro-FrontPanel.gif


Note that the 2 "lower front" pins power the individual USB ports. The "frontmost" pin powers the upper USB port and the pin next to it powers the lower USB port. I just twisted all 3 of the +5 volt lines together and spliced them into a single +5 volt line from the SATA power connector.

The "green" line/wire provides power for the front panel white LED (power on).

The "purple" line/wire provides the Power button signal for the motherboard. Neither the LED or Power button require a ground line as long as the "black" line/wire is connected properly to the system ground.

What is missing from this diagram is the "SATA" cable that is used to carry the USB signals to the motherboard. Many of the other threads out there about hacking the front panel talk about use of SATA/eSATA to encapsulate USB... Well, that's just garbage. Not sure why Apple chose to use this "standard" connector in a non-standard approach, but it probably came down to cost. These connectors are used so widely that they are probably very cheap. While it happens to have a SATA connector on it, it is simply used as a piece of shielded 2 pair cable (happens to NOT be twisted pair). I used a "left" angle black SATA cable (bought at NewEgg).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812123282

This cable has the angled connector in the opposite direction from the "standard" right-angle SATA connector (I guess that's why people call it a Left-angle connector??). It is the proper orientation for the cable header and points towards the motherboard.

Cut off the "straight" end of the cable and either splice on an existing USB header connector or buy a new USB header connector and attach to the end of the USB cable (that's what I did).

I did use Aquamac's wiring diagram for this cable:
Mac-Pro-USB-Connection.jpg


Works great!

I have no Firewire ports on my motherboard and don't really see a need for them, so I won't be connecting those any time soon.

When I figure out the audio header, I'll post that too...


EDITED: 2012-07-04 - MobileMe is down forever... Had to re-point my images...
 
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mooner

That SAS to SATA adapter is something I have been looking for since last year. When I did my build I looked all over the place for a way to do this and could not come up with a solution that I thought 100% would work and I did not want to drop $100 in to it and have it not work. I will be ordering soon, I think its time to do some more work on my build.

Thanks again

viewtopic.php?f=76&t=9457
 
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Thanks for the comments!

Ok -- I got most of the built-in functionality working, minus Audio...

Boot partition must be less than 1 TB <-- TB not GB...

Apparently, iBoot doesn't like drives > 1TB...

This process worked for me:

1: Make sure your BIOS is version F4. Mine came with F3 and it caused all kinds of problems. Only F5 is available on the Gigabyte web site, so you'll need to search for version F4. There are a couple threads out there suggesting that F5 may be more trouble than F4...

2: Boot from iBoot CD and install Snow Leopard (i used genuine apple DVD with 10.6.3). When running multibeast, I couldn't get it to work with a DSDT file. So initially, I kept booting using the iBoot CD boot loader.

3: Run TimeMachine and get it backed up...

4: Install 10.6.8 cumulative update.

5: Run Time Machine backup.

6: Run EasyBeast install.

7: Boot from HD and run Time Machine backup (Believe me, you will eventually restore a backup and thank me for saving you all this time).

8: Get the machine booting from HD before you mess with audio/network... Run Multibeast and manually install drivers. I happened to do network first, then audio. I used the standard kept included in Multibeast for network - the driver is the one provided by Realtek... Bottom network option on the list. I made sure that was the only one being installed... After installing, network was immediately working - no reboot needed.

9: ya, ya, run Time Machine backup...

10: I rebooted and then re-ran Multibeast. I used the Realtek 889 audio option and still NOT working.

I got networking and all the AMD/ATI 6870 resolutions working -- but I still do not have audio. Tried several different 889 fixes and also tried Multibeast several different ways with no success... Would love to hear of an audio fix for this mobo...

App Store also does not work - reports missing GUID... But that sounds like a common problem...
 
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