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neilhart's LOL - a mini G5 PM? No, just for fun.

neilhart

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ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
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neilhart’s LOL - Another Custom Case





Introduction:

This case was intended to be a “just for fun” quick project to re-house my thin Haswell motherboard.

The LOL case is a scratch build made up from G5 Power Mac materials from my salvage bin.

As this was intended to be a “zero dollar” build, I used the following components that I already owned.

Motherboard - ECS H87H3-TI, source Amazon
CPU - i7-4770T (45 watt version), source ACME Micro Systems
Memory - Patroit DDR3 SODIM (2x4GB) 1333MHz, source Fry’s Electronics
mSATA - mushkin MKNSSDAT 120GB-V, source Amazon
HDD - Toshiba SATA 1TB 9mm tall, - owned from an early USB3.0 external drive.
CPU Cooler - SilverStone AR04, source Amazon.

I documented my Mavericks installation experience here:

http://www.tonymacx86.com/mavericks-desktop-guides/118446-install-guide-mavericks-onto-unsupported-ecs-h87h3-ti-thin-mini-itx.html

And then I moved to using an i3-4330 CPU and updated to 10.9.2. With this hack, I went back to the i7-4770T CPU and found that I had to add “dart=0” boot flag to the org.chameleon.Boot.plist.


Construction details:

As seen here the G5 mesh was repurposed by selectively reassembling bits to make up the core panel. Nothing really new here. Just takes time and patience to get the hole pattern aligned (x, y, and z directions).



It is hard to see here, I used clear food wrap sandwiched between the parts to be epoxied and the alignment pieces.



I masked off all but the row of holes (actually the land area around the holes) control where the epoxy is to be placed.



Then with the masking removed after the epoxy cures. I used JB Weld for this.



This is after sanding away the excess cured epoxy.



I have trimmed the edges and epoxied in some stiffener strips on the inside.



I used may 10” table saw with an 80 tooth blade to rip the handles from a G5 outer shell. Then cut to size seen here.



This was the test “glue up” where I used quick set Loctite epoxy to put the parts together to evaluate the concept… a go or no go decision point.





I decided it was worth while to proceed.



Here I have reassembled the hole guide strips onto the top surface of the the core and proceeded to match drill the holes that were epoxy filled. Drill press, good lighting and patience.







I cleaned up the two handle pieces, drilled a holes for a G5 power switch assembly and a hole for a drive activity light. Ground bevels on the mating edges and epoxied the two parts together with a stiffener plate and used JB Weld for this. Then used the dremel to grind away the area where the G5 power switch plate will go as material is twice the thickness of the G5 front panel area.





I made up extender skirt pieces for the core which were epoxied to the G5 core joiner pieces. Then after a few coats of paint I had a presentable core.



I then used JB Weld to epoxy the handle part to the core part to form the major portion of the case.



The thin motherboard assembly has plenty of room in the new case shell.







I made up a one piece motherboard mounting plate, cut the slot for the IO plate and used JB Weld to epoxy the mounting standoffs in place. Made up the bridge for the 2.5” hard disk which stands an inch above the mounting plate.



And here is the SOS hack and the empty LOL case for comparison.







Assemble the base to the case shell. Note the feet on the base plate and the screws from the G5 rear fan mounting repurposed to close this case.









The final case.





I used the paint shown on this project. A good number of coats of silver with some wet sanding. Then three or four coats of the clear to form a little more durable surface.

Conclusion:

What started out to be a quick project took much longer then planned. However the end result appears to be worth the effort (a one of a kind system). The system is fairly quite and runs Mavericks without issues. Prime95 Torture Test gets the temps up into the low 60’s.
 
Joined
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neilhart

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May 25, 2010
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Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
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Very nice and a good way to use up some scrap from the workshop!
:thumbup:
Yes a good way to use up scrap. I saw your post on the BitFenix front panel assembly and thought that is what is missing from the LOL. If I can get my hands on one I could re-build that section and solve the issue that I now see where I don't have the power switch and LEDs centered in the panel.

Good modding,
neil
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,739
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
Intel i7-7700T (TDP: 35W)
Graphics
Gigabyte GTX960 2GB, ITX
Mac
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Mobile Phone
iOS
I located the BitFenix USB3/USB2 with Audio ports assembly at a local dealer and have two assemblies on order.



Now to plan the mod to the mod with the objective of having the power switch, LEDs and ports centered on the front face of the LOL.

More in a few days.

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
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I located the BitFenix USB3/USB2 with Audio ports assembly at a local dealer and have two assemblies on order.



Now to plan the mod to the mod with the objective of having the power switch, LEDs and ports centered on the front face of the LOL.

More in a few days.

Good modding,
neil
I quite like the Bitfenix part, cables are massively too long for my NUC of course though and the panel is too wide. So tonight I am chopping off the two USB 2 ports and shortening the cables. Instead of the 30pin mobo connector though I need to be putting on a male USB 3 plug on the end of each and also splicing the audio into a combined audio jack - so I'll be using these parts to do that:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131099767867?var=430265832239&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
$_57-3.JPG
and
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131130185742?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
$_12-2.JPG
Hoping for a steady hand……
 

neilhart

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Motherboard
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minihack - My BenFenix assembly arrived today. I will be cutting all of the cables to the length that I need. The only one that concerns me is the USB3 as I have not done one before.

I am in the process of making a new front panel and have cut that section out of the case.

Good modding,
neil
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,739
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
Intel i7-7700T (TDP: 35W)
Graphics
Gigabyte GTX960 2GB, ITX
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
I am in the process of changing the front panel area to incorporate the BenFenix front panel along with a reset switch. The G5 PM front switch and power LED along with the blue drive activity LED will also be in this re-do.

Here is a jpg of the new front panel area. I plan to have this machined from 3mm stock by Front Panel Express as it is just too much for my manual methods.



The lighter rectangle is a counter bore from the backside of the panel which will allow for mounting the G5 PM power switch and LEDs.

And at the moment, all of the cables from the BenFenix panel to the motherboard need to be shortened.
The USB3 ones have me worried, but I have not spent much time of this problem yet.

Also, I will have to cut the BenbFenix PCB to move the audio port to the center line.

Good modding,
neil
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,739
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
Intel i7-7700T (TDP: 35W)
Graphics
Gigabyte GTX960 2GB, ITX
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
I cut one of the two USB3 cables from the BenFenix assembly. The gauge of the wire is large enough for me to deal with it (solid conductors), see photo.



And it is good to see that the cables comply with the color coded standard.

At this point, I need to check that I have small enough shrink sleeveing and/or see if there is something smaller then the 1/16 inch that I have on hand. Then determine the finished length that I need and do some solder splices...

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
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Messages
2,430
Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 9030 All in One
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i5-4690K
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I cut one of the two USB3 cables from the BenFenix assembly. The gauge of the wire is large enough for me to deal with it (solid conductors), see photo.



And it is good to see that the cables comply with the color coded standard.

At this point, I need to check that I have small enough shrink sleeveing and/or see if there is something smaller then the 1/16 inch that I have on hand. Then determine the finished length that I need and do some solder splices...

Good modding,
neil
Interesting that your cable assembly is different to mine! The third core of the USB 3 "pairs" on your unit appears to be a single copper core whereas mine is loose stranded wire.
 
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Great project, Neilhart, though as always!:thumbup:
Really like the size and design of the mini nd the way you use scrap!
As for the front panel, imo, i'd leave it the way it it, as port holes would destroy its integrity and hi-fi-stuff look.
Anyway, thumbs up!:clap:
 
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