Putting my PowerMac 6500 under the knife...

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Joined: Mar 16 2006
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Hi,
I decided to do some cutting on my 6500 and thought I'd post what I've done. After getting the TV/FM Tuner card a while back, my Mac's average temperature went from 78 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 degrees because of all the heat that little tuner puts out. This average temp is with the 400mhz Sonnet G3 1MB cache upgrade. While this temperature is still quite cool, (and far cooler than my PCs temp), I wanted to add a little ventilation to my cramped 6500.

I thought an Apple logo on the side of my case would look nice, so here's what I came up with:

My Mac 6500 Pic 1
[img]http://www.psilocybindreams.com/mymac/MVC-024F.JPG"[/img]

I used a dremel to cut out the Apple logo and a drill press to drill holes in the metal casing. The drill press was warped so it was impossible to drill the holes accurately and they look pretty bad up close. I plan to put some kind of metal mesh in behind the plastic cover as soon as I find what I'm looking for. The drilled holes are just to get me by until I find the right mesh.

I had planned to attach a case fan to the screw post on the inside of the case where the cutout is, but I don't think it needs it. If you put your hand near that cutout, you can feel the air moving plenty.

I cut out the same logo in both sides of the Mac, but I didn't bother to drill holes in the other side since the warped drill press does such a bad job. I'll just wait until I get the mesh and then make a cutout in the metal case instead of drilling all those holes. I also cut out a top bezel to fit a CD/DVD drive.

If you'd like to see more pics of the before, during, and after, you can look at some that I've uploaded here:
My Mac Pictures.

BTW, that's a Yamaha 4416S CD burner in the bottom bay and a Pioneer DVD-ROM U05S in the top bay. I have a Yamaha 2100S on its way and will be customizing it to fit the bottom bay when it gets here. Smile

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Joined: Jan 20 2005
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that looks really REALLY good

that looks really REALLY good! i could never cut plastic and have it look that good....

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Wow! That's some impressive c

Wow! That's some impressive cutting. I'm even more impressed with your CD bezel. That's the most accurate one I've ever seen. There's a lot of people over at the 6400Zone who'd probably like to see how you accomplished that. Are you actually watching DVD's with that machine? How are you doing it? With a Radeon card?

Hah! I see you've already posted this at 6400Zone

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Cutting tips please?

And not the kind that fit into an Xacto knife. Please tell us how you accomplished such fine cuts on the side panel and CD bezel. Seems that no matter how I try, the results I get aren't nearly as nice as what I see in your photos.

You say you used a Dremel for cutting the logo, and I see from the linked photos of the cutting process that you started with a cut well inside the final line; what bit did you use for that final cut? Did you do it freehand, or did you have a jig of some sort? Details?

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What I used...

Thanks for the feedback guys.

I did the CD bezel first and it was my first time ever cutting plastic with a dremel. Actually, I've only used a dremel once or twice before on drywall. The CD bezel took the most time because I didn't have any way of knowing exactly where to cut. I just started with a smaller hole and kept cutting it larger until I had close to the size I needed to fit the drive, then finished it off with a file. That's why it's so straight and fits just right. I'd file a bit, check, file a bit more, check, you get the idea. Now that I've cut one out, it wouldn't be hard to cut out another, because I'd have this one to go by.

For the Apple logo cutout, I started with a cutting wheel with the dremel, (see pic). For the first side, I gave myself some extra room for messing up, (which is why you see the cut quite a bit inside of the line). When I did the second side, I cut right up to the inside of the line since I had some practice on the first side. After the initial cut, I used the sanding wheel with the dremel, (see pic), to sand right down to the outside of the line so that almost all of the line was gone. For the corners, I used an xacto knife. Then, I used a rolled up piece of sandpaper, (see pic), to make sure the shape was just right with no lumps or waves. Once I got it just right, I used fine 1500 grit sandpaper, (see pic), on the inside of the cut just to get rid of any sanding marks and make it nice and smooth. This part didn't take much work at all.

Here is a pic of all the tools I used for the logo cutout.

It really wasn't as much work as it sounds like.

The DVD drive IS used for watching movies on the 6500. I have a Radeon Mac Edition video card and a G3 upgrade. You can check the pics/specs page I put up for more details on the hardware. Movies play flawlessly with the Apple DVD 2.7 software.
My Mac Pics & Specs

Thanks for the interest!

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man you could make good money

man you could make good money with the stuff you can do, and how good it turns out, just about everything you set out to do turns out great looking. i guess thats what you get being a profectionest (sorry if i spelled it wrong) no pun intended. Ex you are just so outright good at what you do. and it shows with everything you do

great job

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eeun's picture
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Nicely done! I know from w

Nicely done!

I know from working with Mac plastics that they are prone to melting when using a high-rpm tool like a Dremel. Your cutting must have been very careful and precise.

A useful and functional hack! I hope you submit it as a Story for the site so it doesn't eventually drift into the backwater of old threads.

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Thanks. I'm not familiar wit

Thanks. I'm not familiar with submitting something for a story. I'll have to look into that. Mac OS

The Yamaha CRW 2100S came in the mail Saturday. With just a couple minor modifications, I was able to swap it out with my Yamaha CRW 4416S burner.

This is a pic of where I sanded down the Yamaha 2100S:

I was hesitant to do this, but I think it really looks just fine after removing a bit of the angled corners on the CD tray.

Here's a pic of what the drive looks like with the corners shaved off a bit:

Here's what it looks like with the front put back on my 6500:

Now the tray clears the case just fine. Laughing out loud

Thanks for looking!

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sweet. love that instatower d

sweet. love that instatower design. have you thought about getting a TV card for it? or just get the remote as a collectors item to it. i'm curious: how much free space is left in there with the dual optical drives?

also, have you though of putting some leds along the side? or would that degrade the look?

man, now you made me wanna go get a 64/500 for my collection, and maybe use it for light video work, or to watch TV on.

-digital Wink

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i think he has one

i think he has a tv tuner card and remote if im not mistaken

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Yeah, I have the TV/FM Tuner.

Yeah, I have the TV/FM Tuner. Check the specs page I put up for a full rundown of what's installed in that 6500.

For a while, I was using my Mac as my primary TV. It really is a full media center with TV functionality, a DVD drive, surround sound, and a VCR hooked up to it.

As for space, I'm not quite sure what you're asking. There's not a lot of free space in a 6500 case to begin with. Whether you have an optical drive in the top bay or a SCSI hard drive, or zip drive, you're dealing with about the same amount of space. I have no need of any more drives if that's what you're asking. I do have an internal SCSI zip and hard drive that I can swap in the top bay if I want, but there's no need to. If for some reason I want to use a zip disk, I can just use the USB Iomega zip drive. I have a large enough IDE HD that I don't need an extra SCSI HD in the top bay. All my needs are taken care of with what I currently have. It would be nice to have a SCSI DVD burner, but if I find one at an affordable price, I can either swap it out with the DVD-ROM or use it externally.

I've thought about changing out the green leds in the case and drives with blue ones, but I doubt I will. If I do decide to do that, I may also put a blue light inside the case to show through the Apple cutout and maybe another blue light underneath. However, I really did this for functionality, (cooling), while trying to make it as attractive as possible... so I probably won't bother with lights. If I do, I'll be sure to post pics of it. Wink

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yeah, I was talking about cha

yeah, I was talking about chaning the colour of the power LEDs.

as for space, I ment after you have those drives in there, how much clearance on the case do you have? does it all snap back up smoothly, or did you have to modify something to get it back on?

-digital Wink

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Re: yeah, I was talking about cha

iamdigitalman wrote:

as for space, I ment after you have those drives in there, how much clearance on the case do you have? does it all snap back up smoothly, or did you have to modify something to get it back on?

To mount a DVD/CD drive in the top bay and have it flush with the bezel, you need to move it forward on the drive sled by about a 1/2", (give or take a bit). That just means drilling new holes in your plastic drive sled.

The Yamaha drive needed the open/close button sanded down a bit, (as shown in one of the pics), so that the case doesn't keep the button pressed in. After the minor modifications shown in the pic, everything fits just fine. All the case plastics are fit together properly. If you didn't know better, you might think this case was stock.

If somone plans to mount one of these Yamaha drives in the main CD-ROM bay of their 6500/6400, they will need to make one other minor change to the inside of the case. The Yamaha drive is a bit shorter than the Apple drive, so you just need to unhook the connector strip from the metal mounts and move it forward so that it reaches the connections on the back of the drive. This is very minor and requires no cutting, bending, or other maiming of your Mac. My description may not sound clear, but if you have a 6500 or 6400 you know exactly what I'm talking about. Mac OS

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nice job

this is the only nice lookin beige mac i've seen. nice job.

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Re: nice job

MisticMayhem wrote:

this is the only nice lookin beige mac i've seen. nice job.

Even the ugliest beige Mac ever (5200? Color Classic? G3 AIO?) is better-looking than almost any PC.

In any case, great job on the 6500!

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Blue LEDs

After the posting about Blue LEDs, I just kept thinking about it...
so I had to do it. Smile

Here's a pic:

Those LEDs are actually VERY bright, but it's hard to get a decent picture with my digital cam. Now, I'll probably go ahead and put a blue light inside and underneath. Or maybe I'll use more of these LEDs inside. I have a 50 pack of super bright blue LEDs that I got a while back for putting in a couple of my Dreamcasts. As bright as these things are, I'd say just one or two should be enough.

I can't take credit for the controller. It already had the Blue and Red LEDs. Smile

MisticMayhem wrote:

this is the only nice lookin beige mac i've seen. nice job.

Thanks. I actually prefer beige when the case looks nice, (beige Macs anyway... I don't care for beige PCs). I like how they go well in any color room. Give me a cherry stained cockpit desk with a beige Mac and I'm happy. (Right now, my Commodore 64 has claim to my cockpit desk). I think my favorite case is the 6400/6500 and the beige G3 MiniTower comes in at a close 2nd. I generally prefer towers and don't care for most desktops. I really don't like the B/W G3's at all. For my taste, I haven't cared much for the style of most Macs over the past few years until recently.

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OS X? Combo card?

I don't understand the screenshot in your pics. That's an OS X desktop. Where's it being generated from and what program is that? The 6500 is doing OS 9.2.2, right? 6500's can't do OS X successfully. What's up there?

Also, how's your success with the firewire/USB combo card? As you probably know, there's a frequent contributor to the 6400Zone who claims combo cards don't work in the 6400/6500's. I've never tried one in those machines myself. Is the firewire on the card functioning too? thanks

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Re: nice job

cwsmith wrote:
MisticMayhem wrote:

this is the only nice lookin beige mac i've seen. nice job.

Even the ugliest beige Mac ever (5200? Color Classic? G3 AIO?) is better-looking than almost any PC.

In any case, great job on the 6500!

better looking than almost any BEIGE PC. or maybe even any name-brand PC, but let me say, i've built some pretty nice lookin customs. and i dont mean those damn game towers that look like there about to go into orbit.

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Re: OS X? Combo card?

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

I don't understand the screenshot in your pics. That's an OS X desktop. Where's it being generated from and what program is that? The 6500 is doing OS 9.2.2, right? 6500's can't do OS X successfully. What's up there?

Also, how's your success with the firewire/USB combo card? As you probably know, there's a frequent contributor to the 6400Zone who claims combo cards don't work in the 6400/6500's. I've never tried one in those machines myself. Is the firewire on the card functioning too? thanks

Haha... Wink That IS OS 9.2.2. I'm using Kaleidoscope with a Panther scheme and I made the desktop item labels transparent. The only thing I haven't been able to do with those yet is give them a shadow or emboss them. You can emboss text in the menus, but I don't think you can emboss text on the desktop... at least I haven't found how to.

As for doing OSX, I've read that it's not really worth it since there wasn't a driver for an L2 upgrade, only PCI and Ziff upgrades. Obviously, it would be rather painful to run OSX on a 603e processor. Well, recently, I've learned of a guy who DID get OSX installed on his L2 upgraded Mac. Unfortunately, the friend who found this guy's site has lost the link. He's still trying to track the guy down, but nothing so far. I'm still hoping.

About Firewire/USB combo cards... the articles I've read on zone6400 seem to be talking about specific brands such as the one by Sonnet. Also, it seemed that those people were later able to work out their problems. For example, one person said he dropped the PCI timing update extension into his system folder and it cured his problem. I could be wrong, but this is my understanding. As far as the combo card I have listed in those specs, it's on its way. I bought it off of ebay more than a month ago, but the seller got delayed in sending it for a while. I should have it any day now, so I went ahead and listed it. Right now, I just have a USB PCI card without the Firewire. I can post again when it comes, but I don't expect to have any major problems with it.

Everything else in those specs is current. The combo card is the only thing I listed before actually having it installed.

Also, I take note, but I don't put all my trust in other people's problems because there are a lot of problems listed around places like zone6400 and xlr8yourmac that I've never experienced. Maybe some of these problems are just outdated because of older versions of software & drivers.
For example:

  • The problem of ATI Radeon cards locking up 30 seconds into a 3D game when you have a G3 upgrade installed. -I've never had that problem
  • The problem of sound stuttering. -I've never had that problem
  • The problem of the Yamaha 4416 drive (and other Yamahas) not being bootable. -I've never had that problem
  • The problem of not being able to burn a CD at more than 1x (or maybe it was 2x). -I've never had that problem
  • The problem of not being able to play a lot of newer DVDs. -I've never had that problem
So, based on the history I've had with this 6500, I don't expect to have the timing problem that was popping up with those specific combo cards. I hope I don't have to eat my words. Lips Sealed

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Very Cool!

Man, this really is amazing what you've accomplished with this setup. You definitely need to get a story constructed for this site, and you might even charge for in-home tours. That's a lot of time in this project. It's a work of art.

I had the stuttering problem with an ATA setup, so I simply solved it by switching the harddrive to SCSI.

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yea still cant find the site

yea still cant find the site with that info. its starting to strain my brain and make me mad. cause i know it was out there

his 6500 is a work of art, i want to do a few things to my AIO but not cutting the case, i want to do some light mods i want to get the clear apple logo's on the sides to glow a faint blue

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os x site

Just wondering if this is the site you are thinking of
http://www.zone6400.com/files/installing_OSX.html

dirk

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Re: os x site

wvdirk wrote:

Just wondering if this is the site you are thinking of
http://www.zone6400.com/files/installing_OSX.html

dirk

Thanks, but no that's not the one. The elusive site tells how to install OS X on a Mac with an L2 upgrade... with the upgrade actually working.

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Update: New Work, New Pics

I've done a bit more work to my case and updated the pics on my site.
My Mac Pics

A while back, I found some decent metal mesh and put it behind the plastic, replacing the drilled out holes in the metal casing. I think it made a big improvement.

Today, I received the blue cathode tubes I ordered. I've put one inside the case to show through the Apple logo cutouts, and one on the underside of the case to show from under the feet. There is an on/off switch near the left rear foot, so I can turn the lights off if I want to save a couple watts of power. (It's actually a lot brighter than it looks in the pics).
Blue Light Pic 1

Also, I just purchased a 500mhz G3 upgrade to replace the 400mhz upgrade that was in this Mac. I'll be selling the 400mhz upgrade soon. It's still in mint condition with the box, manual, software, and Sonnet sticker. It's been a great processor upgrade and I hate to get rid of it, but I need the money. It ran very cool... about 8-10 degrees above room temp. The hottest it has ever gotten is 100 degrees Fahrenheit when doing heavy 3D such as Unreal Tournament or 4x4 Evo, etc.

Someone asked about the Firewire/USB combo card earlier. I finally received it and it's an OrangeMicro brand and it works great. I've had no conflicts. I did have to download a patch to fix the PCI Bridge in the PRAM. Without the patch, the 6500 didn't recognize the card properly.
Cool Mac
-Ex

P.S.
If anyone's interested, I'll add more pics to that page soon.

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wow really looking awesome. y

wow really looking awesome. you are putting alot of work into it and its turning out great

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OS X 10.2.8 on a 6500

"Hawaii Cruiser" wrote:

I don't understand the screenshot in your pics. That's an OS X desktop. Where's it being generated from and what program is that? The 6500 is doing OS 9.2.2, right? 6500's can't do OS X successfully. What's up there?

At that time, I was just using OS 9.2.2. However, I now DO have OS X 10.2.8 installed on my 6500. I'm posting with it now using Safari. I used XPF 3.1 and 2.2.5 to get it installed, and then installed the extensions from version 2.2b9 to speed up the GUI. It doesn't see the Sonnet L2 cache G3 upgrade, since there's no driver for it, but it's still pretty usable. I'd estimate the speed of the finder to be slightly slower than OS 9.1 without my G3 upgrade. I won't exactly be encoding any DVDs, but basic functions and apps such as iTunes work fine. I can only drool over how fast this would be if someone were to make an OS X driver for the Sonnet L2 cache upgrades. I'm not able to mount CDs or DVDs, with my SCSI drives, but since ASP sees my Yamaha drive and not my Pioneer DVD drive, I suspect that I just might be able to mount a CD if I were to remove the DVD drive from the SCSI chain. However, I'm not willing to change my configuration since I have full functionality of everything in OS 9 as-is.

Also, I've recently made a Kaleidoscope scheme that looks something like Tiger, (and I think this scheme looks darn good). It's the scheme that I'm using in that desktop screenshot on my "mymac" page. I also made a skin for A-Dock and an icon set for iCab. So, between having OS X 10.2.8 installed and OS 9.2.2 with Panther and Tiger schemes, my 6500 is well outliving it's usefullness expectancy.

Cheers,
-Ex

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yea those Panther and Tiger s

yea those Panther and Tiger schemes for OS 9 are awesome and run nicely. yea you had to go threw 2 installs cause you forgot the extras on the first round. if you would have went ahead and waited the long time the first time around and installed the extras we would have had more time to fiddle with it. i seems that is had no problems installing jag to much other than the normal problems, really seem easyer to instal on that than it did on my AIO. after 2 installs of that on the 6500 any one would have been tired. i think that the most of your performance is from the help of the original radeon pci you have in that. if my Beige G3 AIO had a original Radeon tiger would be a bit faster cause the 2d performance on those original radeon have like double the 2D performance of the Radeon 7000 has.

but any way that is one of the most nice 6500 cases ive seen. i do wish there was a way to get that G3 500mhz L2 cache upgrade working under Os X cause you would like how much faster it is

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question:

how in the heck did you get the radeon to work under OS 9 for playback? I can't even get my Radeon 7000 to work under OS 9 for playback on my B&W G3!!!. Please let me know, oh wise one!

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easy go to www.os9forever.c

easy go to
www.os9forever.com

and go to the dvd part and read up.

he has the original radeon , i have the radeon 7000 and both his and mine play dvd's great. but his Mac is a 6500 with a G3 l2 cache card upgrade, and my Mac is a Beige G3 AIO. so yours should play dvd's great just as long as you have a dvd drive.

btw does your B&W have a dvd drive. if so your set once you follow the directions on the link. the b&w should be able to install and run the apple dvd player without this patch. but try it and see what it does for ya

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I got all the stuff

I got the DVD player AND the video card, but it keeps saying : "The required hardware cannot be found"

I will try the patch and hopefully it will work Laughing out loud

EDIT: W00t! thanks, I had been plagued with that, and have been wanting to do that since it had de-interlacing under OS 9 with my card. Thank-you sooo much!

Man, this is great, finally I have a good machine to play dvd's on that will do deinterlacing better than Tiger's deinterlacing on my G4 iBook! (thx to the help of ATI's Video card software Laughing out loud)

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Cool!

That is very cool!!
I have a 6500 that I want to upgrade,
This make me want to get at it as soon as I can.

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