Macintosh LCIIIgs

by Ben Rees, Sam Bowerman, and Tom Bowerman


Ben Rees came up with the idea of making this hack. He had an Apple IIgs in which the power supply had died, and a Mac LCIII (that worked and everything). Ben brought it to Sam and Tom (Bowerman)'s house, having already gotten the Mac motherboard installed in the IIgs case.

Ben fastened the Mac LCIII motherboard to the bottom of the chassis of the IIgs case with screws along the edges.

This is what it looks like when installed:


To accommodate for the ports on the back, Ben did some major cutting on the back of the computer. Also, a fan (out of an old Tandy) was added.


Then, Sam began making a place for the floppy drive. Since there were no internal drives in the IIgs, he had to make a hole in the case for one. Ben had started making the floppy drive slot - he drilled holes and make a basic cut with a hacksaw. Sam finished Dremeling out a slot big enough for the disk to easily be inserted and ejected, as well as be able to reach the emergency eject lever in case a disk was ever to become jammed in.

Here is Sam Dremeling out the floppy drive:


While Ben and Sam were working on the floppy drive, Tom (Bowerman) was hard at work soldering 'extension' wires onto the power supply to make them longer. (The wires on an LC 'pizza box' power supply are quite short.)

Here is Tom soldering away at the wires:


The next step was to install the hard drive. Tom used a longer SCSI cable (from a Mac II) so that the hard drive could be put just about anywhere in the case. It was finally put sideways in the left-front corner of the case. Next, a bunch of holes were drilled in the front of the case for the speaker grille.

Tom installed the hard drive, and Ben and Sam worked on getting the floppy drive installed. The floppy drive in this particular LCIII was the older, auto-inject type. This made it easier to take the drive apart, by separating the outer 'cage' from the actual drive made it easier to work on a mounting system. Sam decided that 'hanging' the floppy drive from the top of the case would work best. This was done by drilling holes in the case and into the outer cage of the floppy drive, then using some machine screws to hold it to the plastic case.

Now was a good time to give everything a test run, to make sure everything was still OK. The Mac booted up fine, so work continued.

Sam came up with the idea of giving this Mac a custom paint job, so the Mac was dismantled again.

The paint job began with a base coat of black on the top part of the case. The black was allowed to dry, while Sam and Ben pondered on what other paintwork to do. They decided upon light blue racing stripes on the top, and for the bottom half, it was to be chrome silver.

Sam masked off the black and sprayed 2 stripes about 2" wide and about 2" apart. This was allowed to dry.

The top half of the case after the stripes were painted on:


To give it a high-gloss shine, clear acrylic was sprayed on:


The bottom half of the LCIIIgs was painted chrome silver.

Finally, the clearcoat on the top half dried after about an hour wait. It was time to put this thing together. The floppy drive was fastened to the upper case half. Cables were connected. Finally, the case was put together, closed up, and it was time to take it for an official test run!

The Mac LCIIIgs shortly before its first test drive:

Some more pics of the Apple Macintosh LCIIIgs:

Here is the crew who built the Mac LCIIIgs (from l-r): Ben Rees(holding the Mac), Tom Bowerman, and Sam Bowerman.


Since it was built, a second hard drive was added. It was mounted in the top of the case beside the floppy drive, and a SCSI ribbon cable out of a Power Mac 6100 was used to connect them.

Some specs of the Mac LCIIIgs:

  • 25 MHz 68030 processor
  • 8 MB RAM
  • (2) 80 MB internal SCSI hard drives
  • 1.44 MB auto-inject floppy drive
  • 512K VRAM
  • Mac OS 7.6.1 installed

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