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neilhart's Mac Pro Hack

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,719
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
Anyway you have that picture still of the 8-pin mini-molex to power the harness for the sata drives? Its a 8 pin mini molex and I found a picture from you on someone else's thread but it would seem I didn't save it or I can't find it now..... I have the max-connect to hookup the sata and that part seems to be fine, however the drives obviously don't have power since I haven't converted the 8pin mini to work with my psu yet.
No I do not have a photo of the power cable conversion of the 4 SATA drives. As I recall I cut off the Apple 8 pin connector and solder spliced in power (5VDC, 12VDC and Ground) from the ATX PSU using the 4 pin molex cables.

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
7
Motherboard
ASRock Z170A-X1/3.1
CPU
i7-6700K
Graphics
GTX 1060
Front panel and wiring (includes the USB/Firewire board).

Okay the credit here goes those that have gone before and documented the task.
The most recent documentation is/was provided by mooner (see page two of his thread here in this section of TonyMacX86). Adding the 5VDC lines to the 8 pin connector per his directions fixed the USB ports. Power button and power LED work with this documentation.

The front audio port is via three wires selectively pinned out to the MB Audio header. Note the front audio has to be selected in the Audio Preference Pane to be functional. Auto detecting switching audio ports would be desirable.

The FireWire 400 and 800 ports are functional. This is achieved by cabling to the PCIE FireWire/USB port adapter card (BYTECC PCIE USB/Firewire card, BT-PEFWBU2 sourced from Newegg). Note for the front FireWire ports to function correctly I had to provide power to the 4 pin connector on the PCIE card.

Also note that there is 3.3VDC to the 8 pin connector.

The plus of using this card, besides the front FireWire ports are the extra rear ports.
Hey neilhart,
The mode looks great.
Idk if you are still active rn, but I'm having problems with my Mac Pro mod atm.
I want to have the front USBs, Power button + LED and headphone jack to work.
Do you have any idea to do this?
If so what parts would I have to get to get these 4 things to work? (I don't want firewire).
Thanks in advance

-David
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,719
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
Hey neilhart,
The mode looks great.
Idk if you are still active rn, but I'm having problems with my Mac Pro mod atm.
I want to have the front USBs, Power button + LED and headphone jack to work.
Do you have any idea to do this?
If so what parts would I have to get to get these 4 things to work? (I don't want firewire).
Thanks in advance

-David
Well it depends on your goals. If you can live with the LaserHive front panel mod offering that is the least painful way to go. If you can solder and de-solder and you have good eye sight it is possible to mod the existing front panel printed circuit assembly.

I assume that you have read post # 4 of this thread and have looked at mooners thread.

Today I would wire up the existing power button and power LED. I would purchase a USB 3.0 cable kit that has the two USB A female receptacles and use those to replace the USB 2 ones on the existing front panel. Then for audio, I would go through my salvage bin and find HD-Audio cable that works with your mother board (meaning it auto detects and switches from front to back depending if an audio cable is jacked into the front port. These parts can be attached to the existing PCB with epoxy.

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
7
Motherboard
ASRock Z170A-X1/3.1
CPU
i7-6700K
Graphics
GTX 1060
Well it depends on your goals. If you can live with the LaserHive front panel mod offering that is the least painful way to go. If you can solder and de-solder and you have good eye sight it is possible to mod the existing front panel printed circuit assembly.

I assume that you have read post # 4 of this thread and have looked at mooners thread.

Today I would wire up the existing power button and power LED. I would purchase a USB 3.0 cable kit that has the two USB A female receptacles and use those to replace the USB 2 ones on the existing front panel. Then for audio, I would go through my salvage bin and find HD-Audio cable that works with your mother board (meaning it auto detects and switches from front to back depending if an audio cable is jacked into the front port. These parts can be attached to the existing PCB with epoxy.

Good modding,
neil
Hey Neil,
thanks for the response.
My motherboard already has 6 USB 3's and one USB 3.1, so I'm fine with having the front one stock USB 2's. Also, my headset/speakers would be connected to the motherboard via USB, so the front jack doesn't really bother me.
Lazerhive isn't an option for me (want to keep original)
I'd prefer to solder to keep the clean look it has (the only thing that had to be cut off in this build is the rear IO but still has a clean look).
What I would like to get is something very similar to what you have when in comes down to the front IO.
(I'm also considering getting the same firewire adapter card that you got)

thanks again and merry Christmas

-David
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,719
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
Hey Neil,
thanks for the response.
My motherboard already has 6 USB 3's and one USB 3.1, so I'm fine with having the front one stock USB 2's. Also, my headset/speakers would be connected to the motherboard via USB, so the front jack doesn't really bother me.
Lazerhive isn't an option for me (want to keep original)
I'd prefer to solder to keep the clean look it has (the only thing that had to be cut off in this build is the rear IO but still has a clean look).
What I would like to get is something very similar to what you have when in comes down to the front IO.
(I'm also considering getting the same firewire adapter card that you got)

thanks again and merry Christmas

-David
Well as you might imagine, my build had a lot of ego in it. Meaning today I would not do the firewire because I don't use any firewire devices.

The USB 2.0 stuff is documented and the power button and LED is also documented. if you ask a specific question I may be able to help with the details.

My Power Mac and Mac Pro hacks just sit here gathering dust. You may give me a reason to put them back into service.

good modding,
neil
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
7
Motherboard
ASRock Z170A-X1/3.1
CPU
i7-6700K
Graphics
GTX 1060
Well as you might imagine, my build had a lot of ego in it. Meaning today I would not do the firewire because I don't use any firewire devices.

The USB 2.0 stuff is documented and the power button and LED is also documented. if you ask a specific question I may be able to help with the details.

My Power Mac and Mac Pro hacks just sit here gathering dust. You may give me a reason to put them back into service.

good modding,
neil
Hey neil,
I've read posts 4 and 15 thoroughly a couple of times and have been through the whole thing several times.
The Mac Pro is almost ready to have everything installed in (all is ready, just need some touch ups).
If its not too much to ask, can you send me a picture of the entire cable you are using for the front IO?
I'm also confused about Post 4, because the SATA cable is plugged, but what is its purpose?
Also, is there is any extra parts to make this task simpler with less welding?
Thanks, BTW, you have been great help during this project (I've been following the threads and messages you have posted for the past 2 months lol)

-David
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,719
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
David,

My front panel:

The firewire cable is routed to the add-in PCIe Firewire card. And the card has the pin molex wired with 5 VDC and Ground.

The audio cable (small round cable) is grafted to a PC HD-AUDIO cable; see post #4 and # 15.

The SATA cable seen near the bottom of the photo is modded to mate to a USB 2.0 port header.

And that leaves the 8 pin molex; again see post #4 and # 15.

I see that many of the older threads have missing photos. Use search and you will find the detail such as this:



Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2018
Messages
7
Motherboard
ASRock Z170A-X1/3.1
CPU
i7-6700K
Graphics
GTX 1060
David,

My front panel:

The firewire cable is routed to the add-in PCIe Firewire card. And the card has the pin molex wired with 5 VDC and Ground.

The audio cable (small round cable) is grafted to a PC HD-AUDIO cable; see post #4 and # 15.

The SATA cable seen near the bottom of the photo is modded to mate to a USB 2.0 port header.

And that leaves the 8 pin molex; again see post #4 and # 15.

I see that many of the older threads have missing photos. Use search and you will find the detail such as this:



Good modding,
neil
Hey Neil,
Thanks for clearing that up for me. These past few days I've been doing tones of looking around and found this really cool mod: http://blog.carlossless.io/reverse-hackintosh-pro#front-panel_3
This guy used custom PCB's to get the front panel working so he didn't have to solder anything.
I'm either going to get the PCB's or solder the way that you showed me... I'll have to see how much those PCB's cost.
Thanks again!

-David
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
3
Motherboard
ga-z170x
CPU
i7 6700k
Graphics
r9280x
Cables – Wiring – Infrastructure

If you have seen my other builds, you will know that I do not like rats nest chassis wiring. I am first to admit, that overdoing the wire dress is just for personal taste and usually lends very little to the functionality of a build. That being said, the PSU wiring follows the path of the Apple design with the power cables sandwiched between the back chassis wall and the interior cover plate through the optical drive section and then downward into the lower chassis section.

The original Apple design of 4 SATA 3.5 inch drive bays (pluggable modules using the Apple hard drive slides) is maintained by using a purchased SAS/SATA adapter and cable assembly. Again not my invention but followed the lead provided by mooner (see his thread for the details). The hack task here was adapting the ATX power cable to the Apple SATA power cable.

Where ever possible, I routed the surface chassis wiring under the motherboard. As a precaution, I have a motherboard sized insulator made of dense paper board to help prevent insulation cold flow and shorting. The MB is on 1/2 inch tall standoffs so there is a decent space under it.

Routing the 7 SATA cables under the MB is a effort along with cables to the front panel and the DC power to the CPU 12V connector and the DC power to the PCIE USB/FireWire adapter.

I have added one modesty flat panel in the lower front area that hides the ATX 24 pin extender cable connection. I am toying with the design of a complex panel to dress up the visible area from the fan to the video card.

Hi, May i ask where did you buy the SAS to SATA adapter? I'm just trying to do one myself and i would appreciate any help you can give me on this adapter. Thank you
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
3
Motherboard
ga-z170x
CPU
i7 6700k
Graphics
r9280x
Where I can get a SAS to SATA Converter as pictured above.
Thanks
 
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