iMac G3 goes i3? :)

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smileyranger's picture
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Hello! I am a mac enthusiast who is hoping to start a MAJOR project. I joined this awesome forum to help me out with such a big project.
I am hoping to get a slot loading iMac G3. Kinda as a "Sibling" for my 2010 MBP and iBook clamshell. Then I thought that since it's got plenty of room inside, I can add a board or two, work on the chipset and possibly add a C2D (Core2Duo) or an i3 chip inside.
I've heard that it is *sort of* possible.
Please don't tell me that I simply can't do it. That'll only make me more determined.
Although I haven't even replaced a battery in a mac, I want to start with a big project on a cheap mac. I figure I'll learn as I go. That'll then give me the confidence to get an apple IIe.
I'm hoping maybe some of you can help me through this process on this thread. All the way from picking out the right iMac G3 all the way until I turn on the power button to test the new chipset.
Thanks Smile
-The nerd with hairbrained schemes,
Smileyranger :3

THREAD INFO:

This is me, smileyranger, cracking open an iMac for the first time and trying to revamp it! Who knows, Maybe this'll be a new chapter in vintage Apple history!

The awesome people who are helping me with the project!
-themike
-hawaii cruiser
-eeun
-
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Mac

My banner for this thread:

:3

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smileyranger's picture
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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230558942841#ht_2121wt_1074
Does this look like a good iMac? If you see a link to a ruby one, please send it!
:3

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themike's picture
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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Looks like a good deal if it doesn't go any higher. Note- with what you are planning to do, it really doesn't matter if the iMac is in working condition or not. Your best bet is to gut it and put in a PC mobo, power supply, and LCD screen unless you are dead set on keeping the CRT. The CD drive is a standard IDE on so you could stick with that or replace it with another slot loader (DVD-R? CD-RW? who knows) if its available.
Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you but, this is a fairly straighforward mod and I think you'll have fun Smile

Good luck. You've come to the right place!

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Thanks! Do you know if it's an iMac DV?
I am pretty dead set on keeping the CRT. I just really have been disappointed with most LCD displays. And I'm not shelling out $900 for one comparable to the MacBook Pro.
(Not to mention I love the hard glass and curvature)
You've helped more than you know! Most people have simply told me that I will have to ditch the disk drives, screen, and even speakers. My goal for this is to make the most "Minimally invasive" iMac mod for under $150-$250......Is that possible?
Like I said, the most computer "surgery" I've done is show my uncle the AirPort card in my old iBook Clamshell Tongue

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

I'm not sure if its a DV model. I don't remember how to tell. I can tell you, though, that the iMac has an internal VGA connector. Or maybe its the Apple "VGA" connector that you need an adapter for. Now I'm not sure.
But it should be possible, in theory anyway, to make a new power supply for the internal screen and use the existing hardware replacing only the motherboard and hard drive. How "easy" that's going to be, I dunno...
Look around on the web for iMac hacks. You aren't the first one to try this...you can learn from others mistakes and successes.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

I've looked for many other hacks, But everyone just says either "Gut it clean" or, "Can't be done"
I do know the DV's are one inch shorter, and more transparent, and have a whiter border case. I think it's a DV Smile
I'm probably going to need help with all of the connections and switches and stuff.
Also, I've heard I'll have major firmware issues....and....What's firmware? (Yup! i'm that ignorant :3)

:3

Another Possible iMac: http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-iMac-400-MHz-G3-Indigo-/290377659919?pt=Apple_Desktops&hash=item439bdb760f#ht_1403wt_840

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

You won't have to worry about firmware (at least not Apple firmware) cuz you're going to rip out that old g3 motherboard anyway.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Oh, yeah! *bonks myself on head*
Thanks for reminding me!
I should hopefully have a g3 iMac of a sort within 3 weeks. I guess now is the time in which I get all of the parts I'd need.

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

I've been looking and looking for some info on using the CRT of the iMac independently of any original iMac hardware and just can't seem to find it. I know its been done, but it seems like its just ancient history now...
I'm thinking the *easiest* way to accomplish this is going to be to completely gut the iMac, CRT included. Then replace it with the guts of a standard VGA monitor and easily and simply connect that to your new motherboard. There should be plenty of room but I think you're going to want to add a fan or two...

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

I've been looking and looking for some info on using the CRT of the iMac independently of any original iMac hardware and just can't seem to find it. I know its been done, but it seems like its just ancient history now...
I'm thinking the *easiest* way to accomplish this is going to be to completely gut the iMac, CRT included. Then replace it with the guts of a standard VGA monitor and easily and simply connect that to your new motherboard. There should be plenty of room but I think you're going to want to add a fan or two...

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

They should both be iMac DV's. Only the 350mhz slot loaders were not DV. My wife's school just gave me about 20 iMacs and eMacs that they were about to throw away. Two of them were flower power iMacs. Looking at them, it's obvious that those flower power models are going to be the most valuable in the future as collector's items. You might want to consider one of those.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Didn't they make a funky Dalmation print too? I've never even seen either of those. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on one just for the novelty.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Yup! They made a cool dalmation and a "flower Power" print as well.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

They should both be iMac DV's. Only the 350mhz slot loaders were not DV. My wife's school just gave me about 20 iMacs and eMacs that they were about to throw away. Two of them were flower power iMacs. Looking at them, it's obvious that those flower power models are going to be the most valuable in the future as collector's items. You might want to consider one of those.

Thanks! I didn't see your reply!
I would choose a flower power, but I love to be able to see inside my computer!
Also, $75 shipping and all is the most I want to spend on a working iMac.
Thanks! Smile

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Will my iBook clamshell charging/power cord work on an iMac G3?

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

smileyranger wrote:

Will my iBook clamshell charging/power cord work on an iMac G3?

Nope. The G3 iMacs had a built-in power supply, so connection is 120VAC.

I do recall one or two PC to iMac case conversions, but a quick Google isn't finding me anything.

One thing to watch out for is the iMac analogue boards were prone to failure, plus the additional power requirements of a modern PC might make using the stock analogue board impractical.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

What kind of power cord will I need?

Yeah, The analogue board is a worry of mine as well.
But this isn't a case conversion. I'm seeing how much of the old components can be kept.

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Pretty much any power cord for just about any computer will work just fine. See my picture for an example, as long as it looks like that you're gold. However you're probably not going to be using the iMacs original power supply but an ATX uses the same cord anyway.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Finally found a good link:
http://www.mactech.com/2004/08/04/ipc
Maybe this will give you some good ideas.

And another:
http://www.mechanicalmarksy.com/hosted/toolman/index.html

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Thanks soooo much for your time and help!
I have an old dell power cord. (before the switch to mac Wink )
Hopefully I can buy that iMac this afternoon or on the weekend.
I should have an iMac here at my house within one month.
Of course, I'll want to play around with os9 before I crack it open. Maybe I can pick up an airport card from eBay when I get the iMac. That'll be my first project on it.
Do you think it'll be a bad idea to keep the CRT?

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Hi guys! I bought the 400mhz iMac today! I should have it here in 2 weeks or less!

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Hey guys!
So, like I said, I bought the iMac G3 needed for this mega huge project. The real problem is not getting too attached to the little OS9 iMac before I perform major surgery on it... *gulps*
It's going to be exciting, opening that eBay package. I honestly can't sleep because I've wanted a G3 iMac for YEARS now.
Should I post pics when it arrives? (counting when I get a power cord for it Tongue )
See you guys soon!

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Definitely photos once you start modding it.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Guess what! I just got word that the seller threw in the power cord, and matching mouse keyboard...For free!
I'll gladly add pics then!

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Just my $0.02:

I am of the opinion that a tray-loader iMac might be better for this hack, for a few reasons:

First, the slot load iMacs are notorious for plastic rot to the inner plastic frame that holds everything else together. Many, if not most, of them suffer from brittle, crumbling plastics, which can crack or crumble to dust in your hand on disassembly.

Second, the tray load iMacs use a standard (old style) Mac monitor plug to connect the CRT to the motherboard. A reverse Mac-PC adapter would allow you to plug that straight into a PC motherboard, and then simply use software in your OS of choice to select the correct video settings for the CRT.

Third, there may be a little bit more room inside for added components, and tray load optical drives are easier to find than slot loaders.

That said, the speakers in the slot loader iMacs are vastly superior, and now that you have one on hand, well, full speed ahead and good luck!

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)
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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

Thanks! I got the iMac and it's in great condition!
I found an old 1994 copy of Oregon trail II to try on it.
I'm probably going to play around with OS9 before opening the iMac though.
:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

DrBunsen wrote:

That said, the speakers in the slot loader iMacs are vastly superior

That's true, but unfortunately, like the plastic, and even moreso, those harmon kardon speakers in the slot-loaders can deteriorate horrifically over time. Of the 30 or 40 iMac slot-loaders that have gone through my hands in the past five years, maybe four or five of them had speakers that were still intact enough to be comfortably useable. All the rest had various degrees of rot in the speaker cones that made their sound unbearable. Maybe the humid environment here has something to do with that. The tray-loaders that have gone through my hands, on the other hand--I don't remember any of those with bad speakers. From my experience, consider yourself lucky if your slot-loader still has good speakers.

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

It's got very flaky speakers.

It made a gunshot noise earlier....Power surge?
Anyway, it seems okay now.
I have it sitting across from the i3 iMac...It's as if they're having a staring battle...or is that just me? Wink
I'm planning on using my Core 2 Duo MBP. and iBook G3 for software transfer and stuff.
I almost feel as if I rescued a condemned iMac now. The main reason for my getting the slot loader is because I preferred the higher back, and clearer plastic.

:3

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

I think I'll be listing that iMac on the apple fritter classifieds. It works fine...But now I really want an apple IIe XD

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Re: iMac G3 goes i3? :)

If you need any macs try this http://www.applefritter.com/content/fs-macs