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My Third Case Mod....Thawing an Ice Cube

Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
357
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Centris, LC, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook, SE
Mobile Phone
iOS
chaos - nice work and good informational posts. I enjoy your projects. I do take exception to doing without the hard drive LED. I always have one connected when I am running on the lab bench. I use my G5 PowerMac hack as my daily home machine (on 24/7) and the HDD LED is on the inside so is not seen. Next refresh I intend to move it to the rear panel.

Keep up the good work,
neil

Exception noted ;). I was actually thinking of you when I wrote it, as I have read on several of your mod logs that you consistently include front facing USB jacks, HDD LED's, etc. You also mentioned that you were following Apple's lead and dropping optical drives from your builds, so I figured I would toss the HDD LED on the same pile. What was I thinking :crazy:? For this particular build, I am looking for a more authentic look and feel, and I thought a blinking red or green light might be a bit distracting.

And, most definitely, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your kind words, and assistance! Truly appreciated.:mrgreen:

chaos
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
357
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Centris, LC, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook, SE
Mobile Phone
iOS
Got to agree Chaos. Stunning work and craftsmanship.

This is a corker.:thumbup:

Thank you, minihack! Your kind words are inspiring. I have caught the modding bug BAD! I LOVE doing these mods, they are so much fun! I'm really glad people are enjoying my projects as much as I am.

chaos
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
357
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Centris, LC, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook, SE
Mobile Phone
iOS
Adding Bluetooth

A simple little addition to the project today; Installing the bluetooth dongle. It arrived in the mail today, so I plugged it into the bottom of the cube and, presto, fully supported Out Of the Box. I am using the Targus ACB10US1 dongle, as recommended in the Customac 2012 buyers guide.





Since I haven't yet got sleep working, and I may never, I'm not too worried whether or not the dongle wakes from sleep properly. One drawback is that I have to plug in a wired keyboard to enter the BIOS or fiddle with Chimera. The bluetooth keyboard cannot be used until after OS X has completed booting. One of my final tweaks will be to set the BIOS to fast boot, and minimizing the time that the Chimera screen is displayed.

The next step will be to connect the dongle to an internal header, but that is for another day!
 
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Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
357
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Centris, LC, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook, SE
Mobile Phone
iOS
Bluetooth Continued

I didn't want the bluetooth dongle to take up one of the 4 external USB ports, and since there are 5 internal USB headers (two dual and one single), I decided to use the single one for bluetooth.

I grabbed one of my spare dual USB header cables.....



and converted it to a single USB header cable by removing one of the USB pigtails from the header.



I figured that the best place for the dongle would be right against one of the plastic "windows" that the original internal WIFI antennas used to transmit signals out of the cube's metal enclosure. A little bit of the original chassis has to go to make room for the dongle.



I would have preferred to bolt this into place, but in this case, a little dab of hot glue worked great to hold the end of the USB cable in its new home.





And here is what it looks like with the base reassembled.



I put the cube back together and tested the signal strength of the Bluetooth dongle. I can operate the trackpad, with all the gestures from 27 feet away.

Good enough for me!

chaos
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Messages
357
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Centris, LC, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook, SE
Mobile Phone
iOS
Installing the Bottom Fan

I purchased a low profile 80mm fan from Cooler Master.



The wires weren't sleeved, so I decided to sleeve them. First I drew myself a picture so I could reassemble the connecter correctly.



To remove the wires, I used the tip of a mechanical pencil and pressed on the retention spring while gently tugging on the wire.



The retention spring is that tab on the top.



Adding sleeving makes a for a professional looking job.



The thread in the holes in the fan mount that Apple provided didn't match the bolts I had on hand, so I quickly ran a 6-32 tap through the holes.


I cut up a small spare bit of rubber to make 4 "dampeners" that will sit between the fan mount and the fan...



....like so:





And the fan is installed.

 
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Joined
Oct 29, 2012
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Touchsmart 600
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GeForce GT 230
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Awesome Job!:thumbup:

I have a cube that I planned on modding a while ago. This is all the inspiration I needed to Get start on it now.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
357
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Centris, LC, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook, SE
Mobile Phone
iOS
Awesome Job!:thumbup:

I have a cube that I planned on modding a while ago. This is all the inspiration I needed to Get start on it now.

Thank you! I would love to see your progress, so when you get started, please post photos.

chaos
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
357
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Apple, Centris, LC, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook, SE
Mobile Phone
iOS
Trimming the CPU Cooler


Since I don't plan on installing an optical drive in this build, but rather providing 4 USB ports, and audio jacks in their place, I will require the use of the two on-board USB headers. Unfortunately, the GELID low profile CPU cooler is a tad too large and blocks access to the two USB headers. I need to trim down the cooler by grinding away about 2.5mm from the top corners of the heatsink and its fins.


First I removed the embedded fan from the heatsink.





Here is a photo from the top of how much heatsink material was removed.





...and from the bottom.





And here is a photo of the CPU cooler test-fitted on the board and the USB header plugged in. The header on the left is not yet connected.





Happy modding!
chaos
 
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Joined
Dec 12, 2011
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366
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Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3
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i5-2550K
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iMac, MacBook Pro
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I don't know if you have seen them before but they make these really great rubber fan mounts. I am not sure if they would have gone through the original tapped holes or not though. Anyway here is an example of them.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811996019&Tpk=rubber%20fan%20mount
Zalman and Noctua fans come with those rubber mounts.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118088
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608006

G5 and mac pro fans are also mounted this way and the mounts could possibly be reused if carefully removed. These types of mount I believe require a case mounting hole the same size as the mounting hole of the fan.
 
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