iMacDV Slot load into a new case - rack mount

Discussion in 'Modding' started by adavis@realesta, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    If anyone is interested, I am just putting the finishing touches on an iMacDV mod, to take the guts out and put them into a rack mount case.

    This doesnt sound too hard on the surface, but you actually have to make a custom cable to us an ATX power supply as the iMac power supply is not re-usable.
    Also, a custom monitor cable needs to be fabricated as well as an IDE cable.

    Anyway, I have spent quite a bit of time researching this project to make sure that I knew how to do it, so if anyone is thinking of reskinning an iMac, send me an email to andrew@brocklesby.net and I will fill you in on the cabling.

    This was not that hard a project, and considering how cheap you can get an iMac for that has a non-functioning screen or power supply ( about <$100 on ebay) it makes an extremely cheap project for someone wanting to experiment with Macintoshes.

    Cheers

    Andrew
     
  2. OP
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    adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    OK, well, this is the nearly completed unit.

    Left to do:

    1. Make Back panel
    2. Make front panel
    3. Mount DVD and HDD
    4. Install case fans

    That is about it... enjoy.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. fad

    fad Member

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    why not just buy a mini mac?
     
  4. kizzap

    kizzap Member

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    ffs i am sick of hearing people telling other people to just give up and buy a mac mini. the point of moding is to MOD something so that it suits your needs.

    for christ sake...

    Looks good so far
     
  5. OP
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    adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    buy an iMac Mini...sure, I would love to, however I dont have the $1,000 or so that I would need to buy one, considering the extras that i would need.

    I had the iMac DV since new, it is a great workhorse machine, and I spent a total of $100 on the case and had a montor.

    Andrew
     
  6. bYrd

    bYrd Member

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    Nice job on the hack, it's never easy to fit iMac mobos properly into anything else.

    Are you planning on making a custom front fascia for the machine?

    JB
     
  7. ppg

    ppg Member

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    How did you hook up the monitor to it? I know it's got some connection there...
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2005
  8. Gecko

    Gecko Member

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    Can you post pics or links on how to interface the psu and ide and everything else?

    Gecko
     
  9. OP
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    adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    YES, custom Front and rear plates are coming, I just need some time to put them together.

    As with my other rack cases, I put all the ports other than power on the front instead of the rear for simple access.

    Andrew
     
  10. OP
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    adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    That one took me the longest.

    Yes there is an external monitor connector, however it does not work sufficiently when there is no monitor connected to the internal connector.
    Also, the internal monitor connector relies on some power connections via the power supply, so you really have to hack it to get it to work.

    There are some how to guides ont he web, but none of them spell it out properly.

    If someone requests it, I will post an exact how to that acurately describes what to do.

    Andrew
     
  11. OP
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    adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    The PSU is a big connection issue, but only until you get your head around it.
    When I get home I will dig up some diagrams if you are interested.

    Andrew
     
  12. Gecko

    Gecko Member

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    Sounds cool... i might be able to get hold of an imac at some stage and mod it to be normal....

    Also, what do you mean about the internal monitor connector??

    Thanks,

    Gecko
     
  13. OP
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    adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    Imacs have the CRT built into them, so have a connection from the motherboard to the CRT internally. This is not a standard connector.

    They also have an external maonitor conneciton that is a standard connection, however this external one does not function without the internal one working.

    Andrew
     
  14. [KEi]SoVeReIgN

    [KEi]SoVeReIgN Member

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    I might have a couple of imacs with damaged monitors sitting around here, if anyones interested.. $100
     
  15. Gecko

    Gecko Member

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    Is there some sort of an adaptor from the internal connector to normal because I might be able to get an imac with a broken screen... or is there some way to fool the system that it is hooked up to an internal projector?

    Thanks,

    Gecko
     
  16. OP
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    adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    it really isnt hard to make the adapter if you understand the pinouts, and now I do.
    I will post the method soon

    Andrew

    BTW, that means that I do not think that you can get an adapter.
    Marathon computers in the states make a total imac rack conversion plug kit with a ll the converters that you need already made, just plug them in, however they have been out of stock for as long as I know.
     
  17. OP
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    adavis@realesta

    adavis@realesta New Member

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    OK, peeps, here are the instructions.
    I got the whole thing working perfectly now, with full soft power on and off.

    Modding an iMac into a different case.
    (this is for an iMacDV 400mhz machine, but i guess it is the same for any)

    Disclaimer: Don't try this if you're not familiar with discharging CRT tubes and capacitors and stuff. Seriously. I've never personally been killed by a CRT, but others have. The CRT anode does not have to be touched for you to be electrocuted. Just brushing against a flyback transformer wire with cracked or cruddy insulation can do it too. CRTs and nearby parts can kill the unsuspecting or unknowing.

    1. Stripping the iMac from its original case.
    Basically just turn it over and remove the lower half of the shell.
    Remove the motherboard and the drives, as well as the speakers and the power switch sub board.
    NOTE: the iMac processor is on the BOTTOM of the motherboard and uses a heatsink that is not attached to the motherboard. You will need to either fit a new heatsink or retain this one and figure out a mounting method.

    2. Power connections.

    The iMac's power supply is integrated into the monitor board, and you cannot use one without the other. So, you need to use an ATX power supply.

    [​IMG]
    here is an ATX pinout diagram.

    Now, for the connections, you will need to remove the small power daughter board from the imac mobo. it should be obvious which board this is.

    To make your life easier i will explain the logic behind this, as it caused me much time wasting thinking about WHY this was so, and wondering if the instructions that i had we wrong.

    The iMac gets it power from the video board int he monitor section of the case as 2 pair or 24v AC.
    It would have been far far easier to use the 24v AC connections, but for some reason no-one has run this mod, potentially because I could not find the exact specs of the pinouts.
    Anyway, this 24v AC is fed through the motherboard to the smaller daughter board power supply, where it is converted into the 15v, 12v, 5v and 3.3v.
    The big issue to discover here is that the 24vAC and the various other voltages are transfered to and from the mobo THROUGH THE SAME CONNECTOR.

    So.... you need to remove the motherboard and desolder the plug from the daughter board. This is what you will use to connect the ATX supply to.

    PART 2 coming soon.......
     

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