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some old guy's g4 Quicksilver

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Apr 10, 2011
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So…about 18 months back , I was gifted a G4 Quicksilver . A complete machine with a very toasted power supply. Guess I could have gotten another psu, but who knows what else was bad. Which means it’s time for another case mod. It’s been quite a while, so I guess I’m due.

Here are the objectives of this mod:

1: Exterior to remain as close to original as possible. Seeing as there’ll be some cutting needed to get the backplane to be mATX compatible, I’ll be using a LaserHive kit. I was originally going to fabricate the back panels, but decided to throw money at the problem and make it go away.

2: Interior layout to be as similar to original as possible. Wiring runs will, of course, be different, but I want the component locations to be as original as possible. No Led’s, water cooling, huge graphics cards, overclocking. Just a basic machine. Front panel and optical drive to be functional, but I don’t think I’m going to go through any heroics to get a startup sound or the pulsing power light under sleep conditions. I’m aware of the problems folks have had re: memory interfering with the optical drives, but let’s see what happens. I’ve done some pretty careful measurements, plus a lot of research for components, and think the parts I’m going to use won’t create too many problems.

There’s a lot of Quicksilver case mods on this board, and elsewhere, so I’ll put out a general thanks to everyone who’s gone before with this case, and in particular; minihack, tviolation, Psycho_Rocker, Chinese Spy, Project Icarus and graphicstation.

The guts:

Gigabyte GA-110M-A … not the greatest of specs, but it should work fine for my purposes; plus it’s cheap. It’s also quite narrow in relation to other mAtx boards; it’s the same as a mini ITX board from the port edge to the opposite edge; so just maybe I can get away without cutting up the optical bay too much. The stock DVD drive is quite a bit longer than a contemporary one and sticks out the back of the holder, so substitution of a modern one will open up close to an inch of space in the area between the psu and the optical drive bay.

i3-6100, stock cooler

Onboard graphics (Intel 530)

No Bluetooth, never use it. Maybe wifi via pci card or usb dongle, functioning sound is irrelevant for my purposes, if it works, great, if not, still great.

Antec Basiq 350 power supply. Seems to be the same size (or close) as the Apple one. It’s a ‘flow through’ type case, no big fan hole in the top. Air goes in the left and is exhausted out the right, so airflow is as original. The sata leads are going to need extending. At this point, there’s no way I’m attempting to extend the main power cabling by using soldered splices so I’ll need at least 1, maybe 2 power cable extenders.

8 Gb. Memory

Maybe a basic graphics card, Nvidia GT 1030 or similar single slot low profile cards. The psu has no plug for a graphics card so whatever gets used will be pretty low end

ekwb EK-Vardar EVO 120S PWM case fan in the original location. Initially it’ll be set to exhaust the case. Certainly need some cable extension on this.

MacOS 12.6 Sierra, maybe Win 7 dual boot.

All things considered, nothing too exciting as regards components.

Here’s the obligatory shot of the insides before starting. If you look closely, there are 2 red lines drawn on the optical drive mount. The left one represents about where a current model DVD drive will end, the right where my motherboard will end. Nothing real accurate, just measurements taken from the board and drive and transferred as best as possible via tape measure. Leads me to believe I might get real lucky as regards cutting. We’ll see…..

Original inside1024.jpg

Time to clean out the case , install the Laser Hive stuff , and see what interference I run into...
 
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Some more thoughts as to what’s (hopefully) going to happen on the insides.


1: Working front panel power, reset, and DVD eject. Modifications based on minihack’s tutorial. A functioning HDD activity light would be nice, as would a DVD activity light (though that’s not really necessary). I’ve got some really small led’s (think around 1.5mm dia) that might be able to be incorporated into the programming / reset button.


2: Cabling … I want to keep from having a bird’s nest of wires as all too commonly occurs in case mods. I’m not too fond of the way the original power wires were managed. Trying to route these in the void between the outer shell and the inner box wall is a possible option, but I think a removable aluminum, steel, or acrylic panel will do a better job. If I think things out, motherboard power, sata power, and DVD data and eject cabling should all be able to be discreetly concealed, yet accessible through the removal of a couple of screws. Measuring the thickness of the connector on the psu extender, I’ll need .625 spacing under the panel, which is a bit more than I’d thought, maybe necessitating rethinking soldering extensions. All depends on where the hard drives end when installed on the left and center carriers.


Here’s where things are right now . The case is cleaned out , optical bay cut back , new fan installed in the old housing , and power supply fitted into place . Cutting the bay back opens up a ton of room between the power supply and the DVD drive , and greatly lessens the likelihood that anything’s going to hit . There was about 5/8” (16mm +/-) that needed to be cut back to get the back of the bay flush with the back of the drive . I decided to only cut ½” so as to leave a bit of material to the right of the pressure finger near the right of the housing.

carrier before cut 1024.jpg


carrier after cut 1024.jpg


And the emptied case …..

case after cut 1024.jpg




Next will be the work on the door and back to get the motherboard and backplane fitted . I’m considering drilling out the hinge rivets to allow me a bit more leeway in cutting/drilling /fitting the door parts . That’s a job for the weekend .
 
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It appears I’ve got a defective motherboard , won’t power up . Not the power supply connections or power jumper , so RMA’d it and have an H110M-M.2 on the way , allegedly to arrive sometime today .


Made some minor alterations to the DVD drive to enable opening and closing the tray from the front panel. Basically, it involved inserting 2 wires to the eject button circuit which will enable a second switch to exist in parallel with the original.

This involved opening up the tray via powering it on and hitting the eject button and removing the front ‘door trim’ so it appears like the Apple OEM drive’s front. Closed the drive tray, and then removed the front bezel. It’s held on by some tabs, which need to be depressed with a screwdriver. The bottom was removed (4 screws) and 2 wires were soldered to the bottom of the release button where the button is soldered to the circuit board. Had to make sure I soldered the wires to the pads, which go the switch contacts, not the ones that hold the switch to the board.

Because the drive fits snugly in the carrier , I had to have the wires exit from the back of the drive , so needed to cut some reliefs in the rear panel and one of the internal webs to allow the wires to pass through the drive and exit . Used some hot glue to secure the wires out of the way and sealed up the case . I sleeved the wires from just inside the case to around 18” further ( the wires are 24”total). I’m having second thoughts re: the sleeving. It’s not as flexible as I’d hoped and might get in the way later.

Anyway, 2 pix..

solder point dvd 2 close 1024.jpg
solder point dvd 21024.jpg
 
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In the process of installing the Laser Hive kit , you’ve got to cut out the pillar between the expansion slots and the back ports . Easy enough with a Dremel and reinforced cutoff wheel , but you end up with 2 holes . The upper one is concealed pretty well by the replacement plastic , but the lower one is visible . So I decided to fill it in , along with a smaller notch . First step was to superglue 2 small pieces of aluminum beneath the holes .

backup void 1024.jpg


Next , I took some packing tape and used it to cover part of a piece of channel that was clamped against the edge where the notches are , so as to act as a wall to confine the JB Weld I’m using as filler .

backwall channel 1024.jpg


Filled in the notches with the JB Weld and clamped a small piece of plywood wrapped with tape down on the filled in notches to flatten out the epoxy and minimize sanding .

plywood over voids.jpg


After everything dried overnight , I pulled off the clamps and sanded down the high spots on the epoxy .

sanded filler1024.jpg


And then gave it a couple of coats of Rustoleum ‘Stainless Steel’ Appliance Epoxy.

painted filler1024.jpg


Looks close to factory . (At least to my eyes )
 
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Almost got lucky ….. My measurements were right and there’s no interference between the motherboard and any part of the case insides . But there is interference between the power supply 24 pin wires and the edge of the DVD drive enclosure . It’s able to be circumvented by rerouting the wires away from the enclosure .In the top picture I’ve got the wiring taped approximately in the position I need . Just have to figure how to hold the wires in their rerouted position . The lower image shows how close things are re: the power leads for the DVD .


There may be one or 2 other ways out , but I’m going to have to do a bunch of research to see if what I need exists . I’m going to have to extend the wires from the power supply either way , and have resigned myself to soldering together the extensions .

power cable interference11024.jpg


dvd power cable interference1.jpg



In the hope of helping someone else out down the road , here’s a shot of the clearance between the door and the DVD housing ….

tapetobottomgood1024.jpg


Bit over ¾” (19mm) , subtract the height of your standoff and there ain’t much left .
 
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Getting a hard drive light incorporated in this build took a bit of thought . I guess I could have just glued a LED into the little hole for the ‘programmers button’ but I wanted to use that for a reset button . So I ended up boring out the original reset button so an LED would fit inside and illuminate it when there’s drive activity .


drill button1024.jpg



Then I cut a pair of slots in the sides of the button so the leads from the LED could exit without interfering with the back of the button contacting its’ appropriate switch , which was to be rewired and used to eject the DVD .

buttonsawn21024.jpg



After extending the LED’s leads ,wrapped the outside of the button with heat shrink to keep the light where it belongs and filling the hole with 5 minute epoxy…..


epoxied button1024.jpg



And it works ! ( via 4 AA’s for now )

buttonledon1024.jpg
 
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Looking at your pictures, it looks like I will have to find another MB. The one I was thinking of has the memory slots right at the standoff, yours is way before and you still had issues closing the door.
Great job so far, cant wait to see it done.

Edit: can you post your MB dimensions please?
 
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Running a bit slow , had to have some work done on my hand and had to suspend work on this project for a bit ...

@Greatwoolf : dimensions are , left to right across the port end is 8 7/8 or 226mm approx
Port end to opposite side is 6 7/8 or 174mm approx.
 
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