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My First G5 Mod (Wolf in Sheep's Clothing) [Upgraded]

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3) The Cutting Room: Mounting the Motherboard Tray

This was one of those “no turning back now” kind of things. I started by loosely assembling the Mountain Mods mobo tray. I want the top edge of the tray to be right up against the bottom of the top shelf.
  • I transferred a measurement of the position of the bottom of the top shelf to the outside of the back of the case.
  • I then measured from the edge of the MM tray to the top of the MM back panel and transferred that measurement to the back panel of the case.
Now I had the top edge position of my MM back panel.

I disassembled the MM tray and laid the MM back panel onto the back panel of the case lining up the top edge line. Now all I had to figure out was how far from the rear side it should be. That depended on where the tray sat on the standoffs. I plan to use those to secure the tray to the case.
  • I placed just the tray into the case positioned it up against the top shelf and as far back as possible.
  • At this point I grabbed some pliers and ripped off the card cage that was tacked to the back panel.
  • I transferred the height of the “floor” of the tray to the back panel and now had the position of my MM back panel.
  • I traced it out onto some tape that I had stuck onto the back.
  • I put on my safety goggles, grabbed my dremel, held my breath, and began to cut. I quickly discovered why the safety goggles are needed…. those cutting disks really fly apart when the break! OK, mental note, don’t put your body in the path of the cutting disk.
It took about 20 minutes and 6 cutting disks to cut the back panel opening.

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I then dry fitted things and marked where I needed to open some more space for MM back panel flanges and the 80mm fan bodies to sit nicely onto the back panel.

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Once that was complete, I used my masking tape to help transfer the position of the standoffs to the MM tray and drilled holes so it could be mounted.

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I also marked and cut out the part of the back panel that covered the case locking lever. Whew!
 
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i7-4770K
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GTX 960
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4) This is a Breeze: The Front Fans

I want to have two intake fans in the front of the case just like the original G5 setup. I don’t want to re-use the original fans for two reasons; they are too noisy; and I don’t want to mess with re-wiring them. After staring at the case for a few hours, I decided to use some aluminum angle brackets and two of the front-most standoffs. I will create two brackets and mount the fans to the brackets and then mount the lower bracket to the standoffs in the case side using the original screws.

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This position takes up the least amount of room, and will provide good airflow over the drive cage as well as not interfering with my cables, which I plan to have run along the back edge of the motherboard.

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I mounted the brackets on the backside of the fans so as not to interfere with the “look” of the fans through the front of the case.

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If I were to do anything different, I would try to center them from side to side. I might still, but I haven’t figured a way. I used a chop saw with a carbide blade to cut the aluminum angle bracket stock to length and a finished the edges with a hand file.
 
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5) A Hard Days Night: The Hard Drive Cage

Two hard drives is not enough! I have wanted more than two hard drives in my G5 for several years. The time has come! The drive cage in a G5 is a thing of beauty. No tools required, just flip the little lever, unplug and slide in and slide out. I’ve been showing off this mechanism to my PC buddies for years. So I decided I needed to have two, at least, to start! Fortunately I had a second HDD cage in my parts inventory.

100_1278.jpg


I stared at them for a while and then came up with a plan for joining them together. I removed the metal bracket from one of them and screwed it back on to the other end, marking and pre-drilling holes first. I also flipped it around so that the flange was on the outer edge instead.

100_1280.jpg


I drilled holes in the plastic housing and then connected the cages together using bolts. I was careful to drill the holes in the lower unit slightly smaller than the upper unit so that the bolt would create its own threads.

100_1302.jpg


When it came to mounting them into the case, I knew where they would go, but I didn’t know how I was going to do it. Also, I wanted to be able to re-use the plastic window side panel, so attaching them to the bottom of the top shelf under the optical drive would not be possible (they would hit the top indent) unless I turned them 90 degrees, but I certainly didn’t want to do that. I thought about mounting them to the bottom of the case and have them sit on stilts, but I wanted a clean look. I thought about mounting them directly to the bottom, but it would have been difficult/impossible to get the lower hard drive out, and besides I wanted that space open for airflow to the CPU cooler.

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I then had the idea of JB welding two ½” square solid aluminum bars to the case, drilling and tapping 6 holes and bolting the cage to them. This worked splendidly.

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I positioned the cage about 3/8” away from the front fans and as high as possible so as not to interfere with the clear plastic cover.

100_1297.jpg


I fabricated the mounting bars and bolted the cage to them. I used some course sandpaper to rough up the undersides of the mounting bars that faced the inside of the case. I masked off the area in the case where the bars would sit and then roughed up the two areas with sandpaper. I cleaned off the areas with mineral spirits and mixed up a batch of JB weld, smeared it onto the bars, and placed the cage into position. I weighted it down and let it set overnight.
The next day I was very pleased with the result. Only one problem. The way I had the top and bottom brackets mounted on the drive cage did not provide enough room for wire connecters when the plastic panel was in place. So I drilled new holes and moved them flush with the plastic body of the cage. Perfection!

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I'm working (slowly albeit) on a G5 case and I had the same idea for either mounting a single 180mm fan or dual 140mm with the aluminum angle. I was thinking about maybe attaching the angle to the upper shelf and the PSU top, but I'll have to explore the idea of using standoffs and attaching to the side. :D
 
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Good idea, those glued-in bars for the HDD cage!
 
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cklun86 said:
Hi bro ,
Mind to share how to get +25v for font panel pin1?
Just connect 2 x +12v then ok ?
Do u have photo show how to connect ? Thanks :)

I have discovered that the Firewire header on most motherboards supplies 12v on two pins; pin 7 and pin 8. I believe if you connect these together you will get the 24V that you are looking for for pin 1 of the G5 front panel header.
 
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Love the solution for the cage trays... tapping screws, etc. Well done.
 
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powerpcg5 said:
Love the solution for the cage trays... tapping screws, etc. Well done.

eelhead said:
Looking good, very nice work and set up with the from brackets and HDD trays.

MacTester57 said:
Good idea, those glued-in bars for the HDD cage!

Thank you for your kind and encouraging replies!
 
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I love the idea for the bars... gives me an idea for mounting the MB. I have been hung up on the idea of standoffs but there isn't anything keeping me from using small blocks like that, either non-conductive blocks or little aluminum squares.

Glad I saw this thread - gives me some good ideas... keep up the postings and the good work!
 
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