Power Mac G4 "Rainbow Apple" Build

Discussion in 'PowerMac G4' started by ProjectIcarus, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. ProjectIcarus

    ProjectIcarus

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    Sep 25, 2017 at 2:51 PM #1
    ProjectIcarus

    ProjectIcarus

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    Hi Guys

    Yet another Power Mac G4 build :D!

    For right now, I don't actually have any plans to put a computer inside, this is more of just a fun project to learn and develop my skills. Eventually, this will replace my 2010 Macbook Pro, which I use as a daily desktop replacement. But it is getting on a bit, and when it eventually packs up, then I will most likely put a computer into the G4 case. But for now, it's just a fun project :)

    I bought the G4 back in Jan 2016 for 99p from eBay. A bargain, as it was in pretty good condition!

    [​IMG]


    First thing to do was strip it out.
    [​IMG]


    Then Cut out the side fan hole, which was a bit messy (will be cleaned up later).

    [​IMG]
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    Next to cut out a side hole for any future power supply
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    This hole came out much better
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    Next a fan mount for underneath. This will either be for a water cooler radiator, or just another fan, I've left the options open.

    [​IMG]
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    Included a dust mesh protector to collect the inevitable floor dust and dust bunnies
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    I also cut a hole in the front for some front mounted USB and Audio ports
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    Using the G4 mATX kit from The Laser Hive, I drilled the holes and cut off the old stand offs for the new mATX setup.
    [​IMG]

    Using an old donor computer I had laying about, I test fitted the motherboard
    [​IMG]

    I wanted the side panels to be coloured white, but I wanted to do something different from all the other Stormtrooper style case mods. So I set about removing the silver paint from behind the side panel. The first panel I sanded it all off, which took a LONG time!
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    Masked up ready to paint
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    4 light coats later
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    I always loved the old rainbow apple logo. It always brings back fond memories from my childhood, so I wanted the side logos to be the same retro design. I printed out a test image to stick to the side to see how it would look with the new white side panel, and I really liked it!
    [​IMG]

    The second panel I used Methylated Spirit to remove the paint, which to be honest, was just as hard as the sanding :banghead:!
    [​IMG]

    Had some professional decals made up for the rainbow apple logo
    [​IMG]

    Really happy with how they turned out
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    Next step was to get the front power switch to work with a conventional mother board.
    Following some google searches I found which cables did what and soldered on the connections.
    [​IMG]
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    The power button worked first time to my surprise. The only problem was the reset button doesn't work. I put this down to it sharing the same ground wire, so I may have to solder it direct to the board to get it to work possibly.


    Next are painting the top and bottom panels. I wanted them to be the same satin texture as from factory, so I painted them Satin Black:
    [​IMG]
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    I also painted the power button housing and the inside fan housing. Forgot to take pictures of the end result
    [​IMG]


    That was May 2016, I then went through a rather nasty break up, and just lost all interest in the project.
    And it lay boxed up in my attic for a good year before I stumbled upon the project photos while having a computer clean up and I then decided that I really wanted to finish the project that I started with such enthusiasm before :).

    So down it came, and I started the project up again.

    Next, I wanted to have a front intake fan for better cooling. The CD/Zip drive bay was almost exactly the same size as two 80mm fans, so I bought two ARCTIC F8 80mm fans and two 80mm guard covers. The guard covers were too wide to fit in the hole left by the CD/Zip drive bay, so I had to trim and sand the sides down to fit. I then used some P40 that I had left over from a car project and I bonded them together as one cover
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    I then glued it into the front panel. I'm really happy with the fit
    [​IMG]


    I decided that I didn't like the front USB/audio ports, it didn't look as professional as the rest of the build, so I decided to fill in the holes before the front got painted.
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    Tried P40 first, but it didn't give a smooth enough finish for the holes to be unnoticeable after painting, so started agin with some P38 instead
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    After sanding
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    Had to cut out a lot of the front section of the metal case to get the two 80mm fans to fit
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    I then had to fill in the holes I cut for the front USB hub on the metal case as well

    P40 for the outside
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    P38 for the inside
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    I plan on painting the whole of the metal case Satin Black as well, so the filler won't be noticeable on the final result.

    As I had completely taken the metal casing apart, rivets and all, and there has been a lot of hole cutting and metal bending, I wanted to be sure that everything fitted back together properly before doing any more work on the case.
    So I put all the unfinished parts back together to test fit it

    It looked really weird, but after a small amount of panel bending, everything fitted back together ok :)
    [​IMG]

    The inside with the fans and painted parts
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    I then put my donor computer in just to make sure that everything worked fine, as I had been dismantled and sat in an attic for a year. Everything worked fine
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    I decided that I wanted to paint the handles as well. But I wanted to do the same thing as I did with the side panels and paint the inside rather than the outside for something a bit different.

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    The final result
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    Next was trying to smooth out the scratches and marks on the inner door from removing the old standoffs and drilling the new ones
    Sanded as best I could
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    Sanding was taking too long, so I got out the P38 and just filled in the deep marks, also filled in the screw holes that weren't needed anymore while I was at it :)
    [​IMG]


    And that is currently where the project is up to.
    I will update this thread with any future developments.
     
  2. ShatteredAvenger

    ShatteredAvenger

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    Sep 25, 2017 at 4:05 PM #2
    ShatteredAvenger

    ShatteredAvenger

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    Looking nice! Can't wait to see the final results. I've got a Quicksilver I'm eyeing up for a build like this and even though I like the default stylings of that case, I have to admit that rainbow logo is tempting...
     
  3. MattJS14

    MattJS14

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    Sep 26, 2017 at 6:27 PM #3
    MattJS14

    MattJS14

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    I love the way the side panels look with the old rainbow logo!
     
  4. ProjectIcarus

    ProjectIcarus

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    Sep 28, 2017 at 12:10 PM #4
    ProjectIcarus

    ProjectIcarus

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    Thank you, It might take a while to complete, probably another month or two, but I'm really looking forward to the final result as well :D!

    If people are interested in doing the Retro Apple Logo themselves, here's the custom template that I made specifically to fit the Apple Logo on the side panels:

    [​IMG]

    Just ask any decal printing company to print this in 11x11cm and it will match up perfectly with the apple logo on the G4 side panel :).
     
    MattJS14 and ShatteredAvenger like this.
  5. ProjectIcarus

    ProjectIcarus

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    Oct 5, 2017 at 12:43 PM #5
    ProjectIcarus

    ProjectIcarus

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    Latest Update

    Had a few weeks off work, so I've had the time to crack on with the build and make some good progress.

    Painted the front panel Satin Black, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. The Merge of the two fan houses wasn't 100% smooth, but I'm happy with it none the less :).

    All primed ready for painting:
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    Painted with Satin Black Paint:
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    You can ever so slightly see where I cut the holes for the audio/USB ports, but it's barely noticeable, so I'm happy with it :)

    The front with the plastic Apple logo installed and the power button which I sanded down the front of as the green didn't really go with the black:
    [​IMG]

    I also painted the inside of the side handle white in keeping with the rest of the build:
    [​IMG]


    Next was the rear panels.

    The plastic that surrounded the I/O & PCI slots posed a problem, as the plastic strip that separated the I/O panel and PCI slots covered about 8mm of the I/O plate, and meant that any port in that area would be covered.
    I really wanted the flush look, but also didn't want any ports covered. So I decided to remove the strip and fill/mould the cut off areas around to look more natural.

    Cut off the plastic, no going back now:
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    First step was to fill the inside of the holes with P40 filler to give it a strong back:
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    Then fill over that with P38 to give a nice smooth sandable finish:
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    I rounded off the corner to give a natural finish in keeping with the standard look.

    Both back plastics now sanded and ready to be primed:
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    Primed and ready to paint:
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    The painted Satin Black final result:
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    I then had a change of heart about the front power switch. I wanted to use the programmers button as a HDD LED, seeing as the button was redundant. Also the reset button didn't work when wired to the standard apple wiring, because they all share a common ground. So I scrapped that and bought a new ATX cable and wired it direct to the board.

    First step was to cut off all the original circuit routes and drill the necessary holes:
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    The cable came with the power LED and HDD LED already wired in, so I thought it would just be easier to drill the holes for them and just glue them into place.

    Power and reset switches wired in place and the LEDs routed underneath and glued in place:
    [​IMG]


    I really love the classic Apple chime when you boot up the computer, so I wanted to recreate that with in the build.

    I ordered a USB Button activated playback board that you find in music gift cards. I then wired it to the original G4 speaker.
    I'm going to eventually wire it to the power switch when I figure out where I'm going to hide the board.

    I got hold of the Apple Chime sound online, then I edited it to add a 3 second delay between hitting the button and actually hearing the sound, like it would be with a real Mac.

    And here's the result (Click the image to watch the video):
    [​IMG]

    A little OCD, but I think it adds a nice authentic touch :)!


    Probably one of the biggest jobs was getting the inside metal case all sanded down.
    Took nearly a day of hard work to get to the stage where it is prepped and ready for primer.
    All the unnecessary holes were filled in and sanded:
    [​IMG]


    Next step was to prime all the metal with etch primer to ensure a good adhesion to the metal:
    [​IMG]


    I then realized that one can was just not going to cut it, and I ran out half way through priming.
    So I've ordered another can, and I'm just waiting on it to arrive before I can do any more painting :(!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2017
  6. ProjectIcarus

    ProjectIcarus

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    Oct 17, 2017 at 1:19 PM #6
    ProjectIcarus

    ProjectIcarus

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    Another big update:

    Got the Etch Primer and now finished priming all the metal case parts:
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    All the parts painted in Satin Black. Had just enough paint to finish all the panels:
    [​IMG]


    The very last thing to paint was the screws for the case:
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    Now time to put everything back together again.
    First was the side panel with all the motherboard standoffs and IO plate:
    [​IMG]

    Next was wiring in the audio playback deice for the apple startup sound:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Then for the front Apple logo, I wanted to have an LED light.
    Originally I just drilled one hole in the middle, but I found that it didn't illuminate the apple logo the way I wanted it to. So I drilled 4 holes around it to house the LEDs to better illuminate it:
    [​IMG]

    I bought some Rainbow effect LED's that cycle through the colour spectrum to continue with the rainbow theme:
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    I wired them to fit a standard Molex connector so I could connect it direct to the power supply.
    I originally wanted to wire it to the power on LED, but I was told by the seller that I couldn't do that because it has a chip inside the LED. So wiring it to the 5V on the power supply was the 2nd best option:
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    Glued into place:
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    Tested the LEDs by connecting them up to an old computer, and they worked perfectly:
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    The picture really doesn't do it justice, it looked so nice!!


    Next was to rivet the case back together. To save my self some painting, I bought some black rivets, which matched the paint job perfectly!:
    [​IMG]

    Skip forward to the case all riveted together. I'm really happy with the result!:
    [​IMG]


    And now for the grand unveil after putting all the case back together again:
    [​IMG]

    I'm really happy with the end result. I've still got some small things to do, like polish the side panels and the handles, as they aren't completely shiny after being sanded down. And side apple logos still need redoing. But apart from that, it is basically finished!

    I had another G4 lying around, so I took some pictures next to it to compare the difference:
    [​IMG]

    This project took a ridiculous amount of time, but I learned so much from doing it that I can't say that wasn't worth the 100+ hours I put into it.
    I look forward to my next project :D!

    Any questions about the build feel free to ask :)!
     
  7. Greatwoolf

    Greatwoolf

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    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:16 PM #7
    Greatwoolf

    Greatwoolf

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    Long time lurker 1st time poster, I had to make an acc just to make sure you know that there are some of us wanting to see this build finished.... i mean with hardware inside and booting... so please make sure to continue ... Thank you , and great build.
     

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