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New Player - Low Profile Intel DH61AG mini-ITX - G4 Cube

neilhart

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Here are some of the promised photos of my G4 Cube with the DH61AG motherboard.

neil
 

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neilhart

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neilhart

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And the final set for now.

This last weekend I added the 92mm fan and re-applied the thermal compound on the CPU and cooler. The system will now run under full CPU load for an hour and only reach 70C to 71C. It is stable under load to the point that iTunes plays music and VLC plays HDMI full screen (1920 x 1200 x 32) movies. And I can use a browser concurrently all with no appearance of delay or jerkiness.

I also spent some time in the BIOS with the fan settings. Both fans are now under system control and do spool up as the temps rise. The idle temp are in the 30C to 34C range.

I need to go back and work on the bottom panel and add WiFi antennas as well as clean it up. Also the plastic cube needs a good polish and scratch removal effort.

neil
 

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Excellent work, I'm sure a design like this with this board will be the gold standard for a Cube mod. I'm sure it runs a lot cooler than mods using the Pico PSU.
 
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@neil - tremendous job up to your usual standard. Looks great and as Roto31 says, I think this board in the Cube is definitely the mod of the moment.

@Roto31, it is possible for the pico mod. to run just as cool though.....mine does not get beyond the 60s under full load - it would run completely fanless under idle conditions but with the single 92mm base fan [and no separate CPU cooler fan] it is whisper quiet and cool. This I am sure is down to the use of the large central heatsink. I do suspect though that the Intel board would run super cool and completely passively on the Cube heatsink alone.
 

Gus

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Nice job sir.
Did you assemble the case with the middle of the heatsink removed? Does the hdd mount support the pillars, or is it the other way around, the pillars hold the hdd mount in place?

I am playing with cube plans, and was wondering if I could completely remove the heatsink as you did and not put any supports in between.

Gus
 

neilhart

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Gus said:
Nice job sir.
Did you assemble the case with the middle of the heatsink removed? Does the hdd mount support the pillars, or is it the other way around, the pillars hold the hdd mount in place?

I am playing with cube plans, and was wondering if I could completely remove the heatsink as you did and not put any supports in between.

Gus
Yes you can run with no support between the side latch rails and retain full latching function. The HDD support in my Cube is/was just an easy fast way to mount the drives.
I intend to raise the the HDD assembly about an inch but will take fabrication of some new supports. The cable lengths are ready to support the relocated HDD assembly.

neil
 

neilhart

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Time is passing by and I am making slow progress.

I have the two WiFi antenna cables now and I am working on the front panel. Should be to the point of painting tomorrow.

Also, I have fabricated a new Mobile Rack riser which will get the drives above the system fan. The idea is better air flow with a less obstructed path.

neil
 

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neilhart

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I have the cube fully assembled with all planned items completed with exception of polishing out the acrylic case.

I will provide photos some time this week as time permits. I just finished my 1 hour stress test with the system reaching 72C towards the end. This is in the up-right position and the office is at 70F.

neil
 

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neilhart

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This is a wrap up for this thread. From my perspective, the project is complete and time to move on to the next project. Feel free to comment. Please PM me if I don't respond to questions within a reasonable time.

Bill of Material:

Motherboard - Intel DH61AG : Source - Amazon
CPU- Intel i3-2125  (selected for the HD3000 support) : Source - MicroCenter
CPU cooler -  GELID CC-SSILENCE-IPLUS : Source - Newegg
Memory - Patriot 8GB SO DIMM 1333MHz, 2x4GB : Source - Newegg
HDDs - Hitachi 250GB HDD, 2x : Source - Frys Electronics
Misc. - Dual 2.5" mobile rack : Source - Frys Electronics
Mini-PCIE WiFi card - Broadcom BCM94322MC : Source - Amazon
SATA Cables - 6 inch Rt.  cables : Source - estore.circuitassembly.com
Antenna Cables - 6 inch U-Fl to RSMA cables : Source - Mouser Electronics
Small WiFi antennas, 2x - Source - unknown - prior projects
SATA power cable to mobile rack - custom from two lab stock cables
Power On switch, reset switch and LEDs - front panel kit - Source - MicroCenter
Top Panel USB connectors : Source - Mouser Electronics
Top Panel USB cables - modified from Lab Stock
ABS plastic sheet (black plastic parts) : Source - Tap Plastics
System Fan - 92mm PWM fan : Source a scrap Shuttle PC
Apple Power Mac G4 Cube (used) :  Source - Craigslist
JB Weld : Source - Orchard Supply Hardware
ABS Cement : Source - Orchard Supply Hardware
Primer, Grey - Rust-Oleum : Orchard Supply Hardware
SATIN stone grey, Ultra Cover - Rust-Oleum : Orchard Supply Hardware
#6-32 Phillips Flat Head screws, 4x : Source Orchard Supply Hardware
Modified brass standoff, 4x, Lab stock.
Power Brick, 19.5VDC ---4.62A, Max Power Output 90W : Source - Dell p/n CM889 input 100-240VAC

See the thread above for OS X installation tips for this motherboard. I am running Lion 10.7.3 and most all is working, including sleep and wake from sleep.

New in this set of photos is the riser bracket for the mobile rack to get it above the 92mm system fan output path. Also, I am using a modified top vent grill (this mod may be responsible for the 3 to 4 degree improvement is idle and full load temps that I see). Idle is 28 to 32C; full loaded at 1 hour is 66 to 68C; both at a room temp at 70F.

Using a Kill-a-Watt power meter I saw 30 to 35 watts idle and 70 to 75 was under full load (this is a AC line monitor if you are not familiar with it).

I left off the proximity switch primarily because there is no space for in the original position. The addition of the power switch, LEDs, reset switch and 2 x USB port in the top vent slot may not suite the purest. However this added switch panel makes the system much more useable (for the way I use a system anyway).

I would like to high light the SATA cables. The source (see above) ships same day or next day by US First Class Mail and has a full selection of cables in wide selection of lengths.

And antenna cables have always been a pain to source. However Mouser had them in stock at a reasonable price.











Have fun with the hacks,
neil
 
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