G4 Sawtooth window & lights

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eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891

I've started construction of a windowed G4 Sawtooth.

I've had the computer for a few months now, and gone back and forth as to whether I should attempt this. Inspiration came from the Blue Ice G4.

Cleaning the silver off the side panels has been the most difficult task so far. The fixed-side panel (ie - not the side with the door) was scratched heavily, and I sanded the panel with 400 grit up to 1500 grit, then used polishing powders left over from an ancient rock-tumbler kit to return the shine to the plastic. Moderately successful...there are still faintly visible scratches, and it's a draw as to whether this is an improvement over having left the original scratches. The door panel will only receive the alcohol cleaning.

The Apple logos on the side panels can be removed. From the inside of the panel, there are small air holes into which a small tool can be pushed to push the blue plastic apple pieces forward. A popsicle stick was then used to pry the plastic off without damage.

For cutting the case, I made starter cuts with a dremel, but then switched to a jigsaw which was so much faster.

The non-door side of the G4 received two windows, as a support for the PSU and drive bay crosses just above mid-case. On the door side, a small window was cut below where the logic board sits, with 45 degree cuts at the upper left and lower right.

I haven't decided if the top of the case will recieve a window. It would have to be positioned off-centre (like on the Blue Ice) or very small to accomodate the door lock mechanism which links the panel latch to the back of the case.

Clickable thumbnails:
G4 two windows
G4 board-side window

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eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
Update - nearly done

Everything's back together and running fine.

The second side panel was easier to clean, as it didn't have any scratches to remove.

The most interesting modification, IMHO, has been to convert the front power button from an early Sawtooth painted blue, to a clear glowing white Digital Audio-style button.

The button is easy to remove. Once the front case plastics are off, there are two melted tabs to cut and the power/reset/programmers buttons pull off.

The paint on the power button was scraped off with a #11 X-Acto blade, then sanded with 600 grit. Using decal paper, I printed a new power icon 1/4" wide in silver ink on my Alps printer. Once that was on and dried, I applied several light coats of Future acrylic floor polish. Unlike a lot of other gloss coats and sealants, it won't yellow over time.

Since the original LED behind the button is a bi-colour, I had to use two LEDs - a blue one and a white one. White is for normal power, and the blue one throbs nicely when in sleep mode. The anode of each LED was tacked with solder to the outer connections for the previous LED, and the two cathodes were soldered together on the centre pin.

Lighting is from a cheap blue LED chaser strip, but there's a dual cold cathode light and replacement 120mm LED fan in the mail.

The only other change I made was to paint the metal frame that the 120mm fan attaches to. I used a light blue Krylon Fusion, because it's what I had on hand.

The lighting still needs work, and once the CC tubes are in, I'll see if extra lighting is required in the right-hand side, where the only lighting has to bounce up from under the logic board.

More clickable thumbies:
G4 lighting side view
...the lines on the case above are a reflection of cables to the right.
G4 lighting left side
G4 lighting - with lights!

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Joined: Sep 23 2005
Posts: 316
wow...

beautiful work!!!

/Bill

dankephoto's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
Loverly job, but . . .

what about air flow? You've completely altered the original airflow arraingement.

Still, looks cool as spit, can't complain there. ;D

dan k

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eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
unknown temps

Thanks!;D

Unfortunately, there's no CPU temperature sensor, but the heat sink stayed cool before and still does, so I'm assuming temps are good.

I changed the heat sink interface from a thermal pad that looks like it never seated properly (it was lumpy and cracked) to Arctic Silver. That alone should do a world of good.

Specs are currently:

Sawtooth logic board
Sonnet Encore 1 Ghz G4
896 MB RAM
80 GB hard drive
Philips DVD-RW
ATI Radeon 9000 AGP

Quite zippy, and still boots into OS 9 when needed.

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Oelmuvun's picture
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Joined: Nov 27 2005
Posts: 62
looks kinda like a smaller and better

looks kinda like a smaller and better looking version of my Sawtooth. Tongue

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OS X: Digital Audio(ATX case), 1GHz 7455, 1.5GB RAM, 256MB GeForce 6200, SATA, USB2, 500GB HDD

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Joined: Mar 20 2006
Posts: 43
Excellent work, looks great!

Excellent work, looks great! I'm looking forward to seeing it completed!

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TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 615
Awsome

That is awesomely awesome. 5 of 5 stars *****. Keep up the good work. If i may make a suggestion... If you remove the handles, you will find there is a gap along the inner edge where one can pass a small wire thru. For example, i used to have 12v hyper-bright green LEDs in my MDD G4's handles Wink

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eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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I found that gap, but wanted

I found that gap, but wanted to wait until the cold cathode tubes arrive (I'm still waiting).

But I do have to remove the front panel again, as I've got a loose solder on the power button LED. I thought it might be neat to have lower handle LEDs hooked into the sleep throbber, as all other lighting turns off when the G4 goes to sleep.

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TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 615
!

now that would be totally awesome. Im trying to remember... im pretty sure the 12v circuit is cut when the machine goes to sleep ( i think my LEDs shut off with the machine asleep)

I'd check, but i've since taken those LEDs out.

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Joined: Jun 4 2004
Posts: 8
the lights??

your work is nice... respect Laughing out loud
but can anybody tell me, what's with the lights in cpus case. I can't still understand it's fenomena...

Peace!

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TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 615
Lights are an easy way to cus

Lights are an easy way to customize your case & make it unique. Lets say you like blue... you can put some blue lights in your case... If later you decide you prefer a different color, it is very simple to change the color of the lights. Also... geeks, for some reason, have always been attracted to lights, blinking or otherwise.

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Jon's picture
Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
http://jamesthornton.com/fun/

http://jamesthornton.com/fun/blinkenlights.html

Geeks love lights. Google for "das blinkenlights" and you'll find all sorts of fun stuff. Smile

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