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Quicksilver G4 Case Mod + Budget Hackintosh

Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-H170-DS3H-F22
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD 530
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Hello All.

Long time lurker, first time poster. Wanted to tell everyone how amazing this place is. I've been reading for years, and I am now attempting my first case mod / Hackintosh. This post is mainly for the case mod aspect though, and I don't intend to really discuss the parts until the end. It will mostly be used stuff that I have lying around or that was cheap on ebay.

I wanted to start off by saying this build was really inspired by all the posts I've read, but I wanted to give a really big shout out to a few people whose pictures and guides I've been following to really give me the push I needed to do this build. ItsMyNaturalColour posted his entire build on YouTube, and for a lot of the metal chassis modification it was great to actually see what that looked like before I went and attempted it myself. I've used his general ideas in the construction of my case, but I've deviated a bit in some respects. [B]ProjectIcarus[/B] and his "Rainbow Mac" build were also big inspirations. In addition, while I'm still working on it, his idea of using a small board to replicate a chime is a great idea, and something I'm working to incorporate into my build as we speak. Lastly, of course minihack, and their guide with pictures on getting the power board to work in the Hackintosh.

I also want to thank Laser Hive for their work, I did go that route for the back i/o plate, because I wanted something that just worked, and I didn't want to have to really get into trying to make my own thing.

So let's take a look.

Project Day 1:

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I started with this Quicksilver case that I acquired from DV Warehouse. I took a risk here, because their used parts have been good to me in the past, but this case was kind of a half and half win for me. Honestly, the worst part was the non-latch side that had some pretty deep scratches in it. I also stripped a screw head on that side for the acrylic, but I' hopeful I can find a new side for that part of the case. The rest of the case was in decent shape, and pretty clean on the inside, which is what I really wanted. The latch side itself cleaned up pretty well with a magic eraser, and so did the top and the front. Both the power button, and the speaker were missing, but I had sourced them from eBay so that I could add them into the build later.

With the case cleaned up, I immediately set upon stripped the case, though I was delayed a day or two until I purchased a speed screw remover kit to get the last screw out. Below are the results.

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Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-H170-DS3H-F22
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD 530
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Project Day 2:

So there were a few days between the first part of the deconstruction and the second, and part of that was because I wanted to make sure I had all the tools that I needed. I knew I wanted to do an All-In-One cooling option, and I knew I wanted the case to be a positive pressure air flow system, so that meant acquiring another case fan and cutting out two holes for the power supply and the radiator. Since I had my shop available to me at work, I decided to go ahead and drill out all the rivets securing the I/O shield, as well as the Airport Card holder, and the rest of the upper ledge. In many respects this is similiar to ItsMyNaturalColour, however where I deviated was in the drilling of the holes. I decided to go full on 4 1/2 inch hole saw for the openings. Let me tell you what that saw is like with a solid drill and some torque, the thing nearly flew out of my hand. I had the location for the radiator set when I did this, but had yet to receive the PSU, so I have decided to wait until I can determine precisely where the hole for that will go. I still need to take my deburring tool to the holes for the fans, to remove any crazy edges and jagged, sharp burrs. The Laser Hive kit cleared customs today, but its still a few days away from making it here. In ItsMyNaturalColour's video, he noted that some of the screw stands were off for his board, so with my board in hand now, when the kit gets here, I'm going to make sure all the holes line up with the board before I start drilling. I did take a grinder to the shelf next to the PSU to seperate it before I drilled out the remainder of rivets holding it up and that seemed to help a lot. So to recap, I still have to drill the holes for the MOBO, and another hole for the PSU fan. I have a Noctua 120mm fan that will go below the PSU that I may have to drill for as well.
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Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-H170-DS3H-F22
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD 530
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Project Day 3

While still waiting for the Laser Hive Kit, I did receive the Power Board for the G4, and I decided I was going to set about to using it the way minihack did in his guide. After soldering several of the pieces he recommended, and I then started to take a look at the ribbon cable. I had originally planned to wire the ribbon cable to a set of terminal blocks, but given the thinnes of the ribbon cables individual wires, I paused on that, and decided to wait to see if I could figure out a better option. I do have a set of ATX plugs with lights and buttons for the board, so I can test fire the board and system before I connect the G4 Power board up. I plan to connect the power switch, reset switch, and power led. I know a lot of people go for the HDD light, but I'm aiming to be as close to a pure mac experience, and except for (was it either the classic or SE), I don't really know of any Macs that had that light, so I let it go. I am currently awaiting the arrival of thinner gauge wire strippers as mine seem a little big for both the ribbon cable wires, and the ATX wires. If I can solder them together, I may go that route, or possible solder them to larger wires and then still use the barrier blocks for quick disconnect and trouble shooting. We shall see. Below is the finished power board.

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I did manage to take out two of my fingers when removing the microprocessor with a screw driver, so I've got that going for me. My only concern was removing the Pin 5 connection on the back. We will see how well I managed that down the road. Next up should be the drilling of the riser screw holes and the PSU fan.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-H170-DS3H-F22
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD 530
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Project Day 4:

Some quick updates today. I finally sat down and finished soldering the power board ribbon cable to a set of ATX wires for switches and LEDs. I managed to run the power switch wires into a barrier block because I plan to use these to also trigger the speaker and chime sound from the board I have ordered to play sounds. The wire is pretty thin gauge, roughly 28 awg, which meant I had to get a different pair of wire strippers to accomdate this. Soldering was hard at the size too, but I managed through. Using the board that I've already modified, I'm going to test the configuration in my old G4 once the sound board arrives. More on that as it happens. I also wired in the reset switch, but was not able to ground it. I should be able to ground it if need be, but if I read minihack's guide correctly, I shouldn't need a reset ground. We will see when we plug it into the motherboard. I did secure a seperate set of ATX cables with buttons and light to test the motherboard before I hookup the modified power board.

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Also, I cleaned up the bottom fan hole in the metal chasis, and I decided on a different solution for the PSU air holes. Taking design cues from the existing vents in the chasis, I decided to copy the pattern. I created a template on Paint, spaced out using the rulers, and then taped it to the side. I then punched out all the holes, drilled with a small bit, before going bigger with a larger bit. I didn't use the hole saw because the chasis is in two pieces, the back part with the I/O panel, and the side panel as well, so whereever the template crossed the seam between the two, I left the holes out. I also left out holes where existing screw holes already where, such as for the acrylic side panel. I then cleaned these up, and they should provide sufficient air flow for the PSU. What's left to do on the metal chasis is drill the motherboard screw holes for the risers, and make sure I have holes for the case fan below the PSU. Hopefully, if my fan filters arrive this weekend, I should have the case done, and have it ready for reassembly.

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Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-H170-DS3H-F22
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD 530
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Project Day 5:

Good news is I've got the metal chasis modification complete. I drilled the holes for the motherboard risers, and the Laser Hive Kit showed up so I was able to mount the I/O shield and rear PSU plate. I did test fit the motherboard and it looks like all the holes line up, but it will be slow going to get them tight. I had everything almost ready to go, but the back PSU piece from Laser Hive needed two screws drilled in the bottom. I reset everything, and reinstalled the Acrylic pieces from Laser Hive.

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I also was able to modify the plastic latch based upon the Laser Hive Guide. Got most of it right the first time, but I still needed to go back and make a few holes wider. I should also mention that not all of the holes for the risers for the motherboard lined up. So I added one or two more. They didn't look like they affected the latch or caused problems elsewhere, but time will tell.

Lastly, I want to talk about my success with the Chime sound.

You can see the video here: Chime Test

The Good news is, I wired the power button board correctly as the board was able to trigger the Chime Board when depressed. I read through a post by the Macmodder, which is similiar to what I'm trying to do. My only concern is whether or not the Chime Board will need a constant power source to trigger the Chime, or whether or not it will come on when the power comes on. So far the board is powered off of USB, and I think if I run a USB motherboard header to female USB A to power the Chime board, it might work as a constant on, since in many cases many boards support continued power to peripherals. I know in some BIOSes its an option to turn on and off. So we will have to wait and see that.

Little bit of delay before next update. Ordered CPU, which is an i5-6500, which apparently is coming from China. I might see it before April....maybe.

Until then.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-H170-DS3H-F22
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD 530
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Project Day 6:

Today is assembly day. However this become a good news bad news situation pretty quickly. I was able to mount the MoBo to the risers pretty easily, and it slid right into the I/O shield! I was not able to get a screw into every hole, as it didn't line up quite perfectly, which is probably more my error, as it was off just by millimeters in some places, so I could defiently SEE the risers through each hole. The majority of the screws went in pretty easily, and the ones I got in support the board pretty well. It should be noted that I did not install a GPU, and am running off of the onboard GPU.

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I decided to run a Cooler Master AIO unit fort he cooling to keep the profile of the heatsink low, as advised in ItsMyNaturalColor's video. Specifically it was a MasterLiquid LC120E, which fits perfectly and lets me extend the latch side all the way down. I wanted to let people know I also used filter screens on the outside of the case where I mounted fans a well to prevent dust build up inside. HOWEVER, I did run into a problem specifically with my board, which was a Gigabyte GA-H170M-DS3H, where the pins for the SYSFAN to run the fan for the radiator was TOO FAR away from the radiator, so I had to order fan extension cables. In addition, there were no additional spots for the Noctua Fan mounted under the PSU so I had to power that off of a Fan to Molex Cable. (I tried mounting the filter cover on the inside of the case witht he Noctua fan, and that created all kinds of noise, so they need space on that, so I recommend putting it on the outside of the vents, and then putting the arcylic side cover over it.)

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I mounted the SSD on the latch plastic as it was the easiest place to do it for the moment (using just velcro). I'm not sure about the long term viability of this, but for the moment it seems to work. The only PCIe card I used was an adapter for the Broadcom Bluetooth/WiFi card I purchased. I also purchased an ATX button and light switch, which connects to the header pins for Power SW, HDD Light, and so forth so I could test fire the machine before I attempted to connect the G4 Power build and chime device.

Good news is, everything powered on and read correctly!
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
13
Motherboard
GA-H170-DS3H-F22
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD 530
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Project Day 7:

Once I was sure that everything was running, and there were no issues, I began to re-route some of the cables in an attempt to improve cable management. But the big thing I needed to do was figure out whether or not the power board and chime board would work and do what I wanted to do.

My first attempt failed, for two reasons. First, the LED light would remain lit up, when power was given to the system by flipping the switch on the PSU. This told me there was still a ground somewhere that grounded out the LED. The SECOND problem was that while the power button would turn on the machine it kept firing the machine on, over and over again. This means I needed to disconnect and tear down the pieces and isolate the problem.

To address the Powerbutton issue, I disconnected the chime board from the barrier blocks I was using so that only the Power switch connection running from the board to the MoBo was connected, and low and behold, this corrected the problem, which meant the chime board was the problem. I spent several hours researching the problem, thinking that maybe I just couldn't splice in the chime board to the power button, and that I was causing too much resistance on the momentary switch that the Power button used, and then I realized......I had the wrong wires on the chime board running to the wrong wires on the switch. In this SPECIFIC instance, the chime board used a green and a blue wire for its power button. The Power button board used a yellow for positive and white for ground, which was identifiable on minihack's guide for the power board, so I knew which was which there, but I think I had originally just guessed when it came to the chime board. REVERSING the two wires, and splicing them back in allowed me to trigger both the chime and the power to the MoBo when pressed and resolved my problem of constantly sending the Power ON command to the MoBo. I decided to rewire the PowerBoard, and instead of using the ribbon cable in MiniHack's guide, I soldered the Power SW atx cable right to the pin on the board.

To address the LED Light always on problem: I tried Minihack's suggestion of scraping away around the LED light on the PCB to try and stop the ground, but had ZERO luck. Much like with the Power SW, I soldered the Power LED atx cables right to the LED, and that still didn't help. I realized that whenever I touched the board to the risers it screws into, it would complete the ground, and light the LED when power was on to the system. SO, to bypass the ground, I essentially....applied electrical tape all around the screw holes for the two screws to stop the board from grounding out. THIS solved the problem, and removed the ALWAYS on LED. Now the LED was only on, when the system was powered on by the button.

The finally problem was powering the chime board itself. I solved this was three accessories. The first was I bought a USB 2.0 header cable that had a female USB port on it. On Amazon it was called a: 6in USB 2.0 Cable - USB A Female to USB Motherboard 4 Pin Header F/F . This allowed me to have an interior USB port without having to run a cable to the outside. (To make macOS easier to install, I disconnected this during installation.) The second accessory I bought was a USB data interrupter. This plugged into the USB port, but only allowed the transfer of power through the port. This is essential, because the mirco USB port on the chime board was used for transferring audio files, and if you did not include this part, it would try to read as a drive everytime in the OS. I found a PortaPow 3rd Gen Data Blocker on Amazon that accomplished this, which was also small. Finally I purchased a small USB-A to micro USB cable, and plugged it straight into the board. This solved the problem, and provided power to the Chime board to activate the chime on Power Button push.

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As you can see, I really need to work on cable managment.
 

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