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Project Mac Cube: Complete (Pictures and Videos - 16/08/05)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Gordy, 29 Jun 2005.

  1. wiliamwalace

    wiliamwalace What's a Dremel?

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    damned 70 pounds for the whole cube or just the case?

    I am really looking for a nice cube enclosure to put my mac mini in. I'd love to do that project.
     
  2. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    Case/Motherboard/Cpu/PSU :)
     
  3. Phaeton

    Phaeton What's a Dremel?

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    Looking good so far, I looked into modding one of those cubes, but as it wouldn't hold a Shuttle motherboard or a graphics card for that matter I decided against it. Good luck with your mod.
     
  4. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    Yeah a shuttle motherboard would never fit inside. Even a mini-itx board is a squeeze :)
     
  5. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    After working on project little devil mainly over the last week or so it was time to get back onto Project Mac Cube. I've made some real progress over this weekend. The main task was to get the optical drive and two hard discs mounted onto the chassis, along with making a blanking plate for the motherboard ports and stuff.

    The first thing I made was the blanking plate, for this I used the proper one as a template to make a copy out of aluminium. I used a nibbler , a drill and a set of needle files to create it.

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    I then sanded back the interior of the chassis to gain the 2-3mm I needed to fit the motherboard into the chassis. I did a quick test fit and it was perfect.

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    As you can see the two ps2 ports are blocked but I dont have any use for them so I'm not bothered in the slightest. I then mounted the blanking plate for a test fit. It needed a bit of fiddling with but now fits perfectly

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    After this I set to work on the mountings for all the drives this was far more work than I imagined. At first I tried to make it as simple as possible with all 3 drives held in by just two brackets

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    This was nice and easy to make well not that easy but I had to change my plans as this setup wouldnt work the inner hard disc fouled the mechanism for inserting the chassis into the cube, so it wouldn't work. grrr

    So I had to make set of plates for the two hard discs and a seperate mounting for the optical drive so I could place it centrally without having the two hdd's off center. In order for the optical drive to be mounted correctly I had to use three brackets but it works perfectly and the drive allows you to insert a disc when dropped in with no problems yeaaaah!

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    Its a cosy fit with everything in place but when I did a test fit into the cube chassis it works perfectly! You can see the orginal handle mechanism is still working you whip the cube over and push the handle in and it pops out. Then pull the inner chassis out. A great design. This works just as it does in the orginal.

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    Thats the progress to date, next up on the list of things to do is to mount the power switches and led's and to look at the cabling. In the orginal cube design there is a plate on the top of the inner chassis. I'm not sure if this is actually needed other than to hold the power switch in place so I'm going to look at what is actually required. The cube came without this piece so I'm going to have to make my own if I do want to use it.

    Let me know what you think so far....
     
  6. Blanbec

    Blanbec What's a Dremel?

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    It looks great !
    :rock:
     
  7. frodo

    frodo What's a Dremel?

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    bet its gonna be a sweet little pc :D
     
  8. KJSatz

    KJSatz What's a Dremel?

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    It does indeed look great! Nice progress.
     
  9. Shambla

    Shambla What's a Dremel?

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    Looking very, very nice indeed - I am yet another person who has considered doing exactly this with an old G4 cube, but never got round to seeing if it would actually be feasible. As a result its nice to see both that it can be done, and that it can be done to a very high standard. Keep up the good work.
     
  10. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    Thanks :)

    Thats the plan :D

    Thank you :)

    Its very very tight squeeze, the board only fits with work, using just one hard disc would make things easier but I would not be able to use it as a proper file server if I got rid of the 2nd hdd
     
  11. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    Ok time for another quick update. I'm still waiting on my new ide cables which have been lost by royal fail grrr. Hopefully the replacements will be here tommorow. In the mean time I've been tidying up the metal work/brushing the aluminium and doing the wiring.

    First up the brushing and tidying, I did some re filing of the edges to clean them up. I then , went on to brush the surface of all the aluminium parts I've made. I used a wire brush to start off with then finished with a high grit sandpaper to give a good finish.

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    Next I had to make up the wiring looms needed. I needed one for the power and then two switches and two led's. I've used a special kind of clear cable with silver inner core before now on other projects, but I discovered an amazing blue version a while back and I've been wanting to use it for some time. Its a right royal pain to work with as its thicker than standard cable but I got there in the end.

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    If the ide cables arrive tommorow I can get this project finish very soon.
     
  12. CraZy

    CraZy Cöstom úser tætel

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    bara babba ba.. Im love 'n it :thumb:
    very clean
     
  13. Who_me_33

    Who_me_33 What's a Dremel?

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    Very nice, but where did you get that wire from?
     
  14. frodo

    frodo What's a Dremel?

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    heavy duty speaker wire... thats what it looks like to me!
     
  15. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    halfords of all places :)

    A car parts store in the UK
     
  16. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    This project hasnt had an update for the last few days or so because I've been waiting on parts and hit some problems.

    Last time I had completed the wiring rigs with some nice blue cable, this was fine until I tried doing a test fit of the cube and the wiring rapidly became a nightmare. I also created a plate for the switches and led's to fit into. I wanted to use the chassis itself, but drilling the led holes showed that that wasnt possible so I created a little plate to go onto the chassis like the motherboard I/O plate.

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    In order to fit the wires for the switches in I had to redo the wiring loom with far thinner wire. I used some nice blue and green wire but I wish I could use the blue see through stuff but it cant be done.

    The parts I was using for the test fit are required for another project I am doing so I had to order a new mini-itx board and some other parts. I discovered the new VIA Epia SP8000E , this is a passively cooled mini-itx board with sata and all other new bits. Great I thought sata would be much easier to wire for. The snag I hit though was that the plug-in power supply wouldn't fit this board nor was there any other ones out there. :(

    So I had to go back to my orginal plan of a VIA Epia MII6000 board. This is identical to the one I was using before but only 600mhz and passively cooled. I also got a new plug in psu for this board. I takes up no more room that the mini-itx board does already.

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    I've got a few more bits arriving over the next couple of days, I will redo the wiring to try to make it more managable. I've worked out that the wires will fit if I use the smaller wiring so it should all be easier this time.
     
  17. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    That kind of hardware should be illegal :D Damn how can PC be that small! Shuttle seems to be huge when comparing to that..
     
  18. crappish

    crappish What's a Dremel?

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    That's a VIA Epia board which pretty much includes everything you need for a PC, in single board.

    You can get them from i.e. Coolputer. In Finland that is.
     
  19. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    Ok a short text update on my progress pictures will follow tommorow. The first thing is that it is now on and booting! The end is near!

    I've had a few problems since my last update, the first was that the I/O I made was made worthless as the psu manufacturer decided to change the connector design grrr, So I had to remake the I/O plate with this change.

    Next all the wiring was redone to allow me to fit it all in. Making all the wires fit took me several hours this evening but I got there in the end! It booted up on first try (thats a first for one of my projects hehe),but I've hit a snag the two 250gb drives are being detected as 137gb drives :( I beleive there is a solution using partition manager so I will have to see if it can be overcome.

    So far the cooling seems to be fine its not getting too hot but I will have to monitor this when I get it fully up and running.
     
  20. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    Time for the pictures. I've not got any shots of it hooked up yet but it looks ace. I've been out since 5am so I've not had a chance to do any proper in situ shots yet. I also need to play with the power led as its lighting at present.

    Pictures of the building and it all inside the chassis, the wiring is mostly hidden from view when you remove the inner chassis. Just the bare minimum shows.

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