1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Case Mod - In Progress Bid on a Black Mini - a modified black Mac Mini. For sale July 2010

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by AT0MAC, 22 Jan 2010.

  1. null_x86

    null_x86 Thread Closer

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    2,441
    Likes Received:
    89
    Ok, I is happy now. I can has pics.
     
  2. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    Children not allowed - naked Mac Mini below!

    I stripped the Mac Mini once again to get inside and see all the good stuff, not just for the looks of it but definitely also for making it even better!

    In there at the bottom you will find a PCB looking like this:

    [​IMG]


    There is a thing about this PCB you should notice if you want to change the heatsink - there are some very very tight clips holding the original heatsink in place that are close to impossible to get out:

    [​IMG]


    I cut them off and got this little beauty to look at:

    [​IMG]

    The Intel Mobile Dore2Duo T7200!
    It's by now more than 2 years ago since it was out in the air last time.


    Can't really leave the surface of the chip like that when I have by now spend somewere between two to three hours on preparing that heatsink (can tell that copper is NOT the easiest to cut by hand, oh my God!) so had to clean the bad boy up:

    [​IMG]

    Only one thing I wanna say now: "My preciousss!!" ;)


    Mounting the heatsink was not that much a hassle:

    [​IMG]

    Only thing you should notice here is that on the original heatsink there is a lump cut into it that matches the size of the thermal probe perfect, mine does not have that and I have no way of making so.
    So I had to mount the probe as close to the heatsink as possible, sticking it on there with some "thermal cement" (or what ever you would call it, look in a earlier post about a product from Koolance).


    As you might also have noticed, the plastic screws came in handy once more - as stabilizers for the heatsink!

    [​IMG]

    Backside of the PCB once again were the nut sits in place tighly
     
  3. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    Let's bake!

    Before we are getting to the part were I tell about why I call this chapter "Let's bake!" then let's talk airport!

    I have as some might know by now bought a AirPort express 802.11n card from a MacBook in China over eBay. NOW is the time to put it in!

    [​IMG]

    Aaaand there it is with all it's glory of three antennas, MIMO-style! :cooldude:


    Back to the title...
    The mini is build like a cake, it's layer upon layer.
    At the bottom layer you have the north bridge, the controllers for USB, FW, DVI and every other port on the backside, you have on top of that the CPU, GPU, RAM, AirPort and so on.
    Next layer contains HDD, fan and speaker, on top of them comes the optical drive, the antennas for BT and wifi and then comes the top and closes the thing off as cream on a cake would do it.

    A problem by that structure is a thing I noticed last summer when it was extremely hot here in Denmark, my mini was about to get completely cooked!
    Reasson? The northbridge of all things was boiling hot!
    There are absolutely no way air would ever get to were that chip is placed, so Apple have put a tiny thermal pad in there to make so connection between the metal bottom and the chip, to by their intentions help it keeping the head cool - but it does not really work that well...

    My idea is to close up that space there is between the bottom and PCB with a material made for being cooler than air would be under the same conditions, a thermal cement like product made by a company called Koolance seems to be the proper thing to use.
    Read more about it earlier in the thread.

    Enough talk, let's mod!

    [​IMG]

    Even here you see why I titled this one "Let's bake" don't you? :p

    It's Koolance and some thermal paste, ThermalRight Chill Factor.
    On the CPU by the way I used some IC Diamond 7 paste, high-tech and should be one among the best there is.


    Before closing the cake and put the cream on I would have to mount the two extra antennas for the MIMO effect on the new AirPort.
    I have seen examples on the web about how to do this by routing the antennas out the back trough the Kensington lock hole - but what if I some day need to tie it to something with a wire, then I would break the antenna... Not ideal... I want them inside and unseen!

    [​IMG]

    One goes at the side (original Apple part), the other goes at the top because it's not an original Apple antenna (the orange one in the corner of the pic) it is super slim and fits perfect up there - and of course I reused the original AirPort antenna too, no need to invent something that already work.


    Almost time to close it up but need to change the light of the front diode first.
    Again the UK came me to the rescue, only place I could find blue cellophane was on Amazon!

    [​IMG]

    A tiny piece of sticky tape and I got a blue diode ;)
     
  4. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    Final result!

    This is actually the end... I can't show you for real how awesome it looks, mostly because I don't have any green sheets of paper witch I would love to have for taking pictures without distracting reflections. But that's just a matter of time before I get some and let you see what a beauty it is :D

    Anyway, here's a tease:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Remember I said something about I got an idea when I took a picture with the white outlined logo on top but forgot the flash?

    Here it is, the idea:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sure, I have'nt found the perfect vinyl yet, it got bubbly after it had been on for like a day, when I first applied it it was smooth:

    [​IMG]

    I can live with it, it is supposed to be standing in the shade were my stereo system will be when I got that part assembled. It's like listening to music and be able to relax because you completely forget the system that is playing and just enjoy the sound. I don't want to see the tech, I want to use it to the max though! :D

    By the way, the logo on top is shinny silver, just like the one on a Time Machine ;)

    [​IMG]

    Talking about Time Machine, I just bought a AirPort Express so I can get something to use the fancy new AirPort card for, 802.11n :rock:
     
  5. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    With and without

    With and without light (see the blue diode!):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And that's why I say I can live with it, when I'm here in my "cave" it's usually with dimmed lights - either for doing graphical work on the screen, watching movies or listening to music.
    Only times here is bright light is when I need to clean...


    Comments?? :worried:
     
  6. ShadowHunter

    ShadowHunter Lingrush!

    Joined:
    11 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    very, very, VERY nice!
     
  7. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

    Joined:
    22 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    2,129
    Likes Received:
    32
    I am impressed, great job! Would love to have something like this.
     
  8. imersa

    imersa Parvum Princess

    Joined:
    9 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    89
    good job, shame about the vinyl but you can worry about that on a rainy day! :)
     
  9. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

    Joined:
    19 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    135
    Likes Received:
    3
    Sweet sweet sweet :rock:
    Would look nice on one of my shelfes :naughty:

    Den er fandeme blevet flot.
    Jeg kan forestille mig hvordan den ser ud irl. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
     
  10. MugenUK

    MugenUK What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    5 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    76
    Likes Received:
    2
    That's really cool mate, nice one.
     
  11. Nutman

    Nutman Never stuck with stock

    Joined:
    21 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    2,291
    Likes Received:
    59
    Tillykke med den - danish modding Cheesecake! ;)
     
  12. Baekkel

    Baekkel Picky Picture Villian

    Joined:
    17 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Super stilet!
    DK-Modding goes mini :D
     
  13. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    Exactly my point ;)
     
  14. MitchBomcanhao

    MitchBomcanhao What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    21 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to say i find the stands a bit too big for the mini's size. but no point in saying that now that it is finished. i like the black finish of the body, though. looks nicer than i thought it would.
     
  15. Kareth

    Kareth What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    16 Feb 2010
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, so clean job. I love that kinda of cases ;D
     
  16. DarkHarlequin

    DarkHarlequin Padowan Learner

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Light bulb moment - anodize a case and give it a weathered dry brushing in a different colour. Hmmmm....cheers for giving me an idea dude :D
     
  17. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    I kind of agree, the stands are big - but soon you will see why I chose them, they are the only ones that match the look of those underneath a NAD C165 pre-amp (which I hope will arrive next week).

    Anyway, thanks for the response :cooldude:
     
  18. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    Always happy to passively help others :p
     
  19. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    I can for sure recommend Computer Choppers, they can do the most impossible to computer cases :thumb:
     
  20. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC Pirate Captain

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    835
    Likes Received:
    28
    FINAL PICTURES

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    See much more pictures @Flickr (and without the watermark :hip: )



    So what do you think now?

    :worried:
     

Share This Page