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3
Jan

Project Little Devil Page 2

Project Little Devil

Project Summary:

Having owned almost a dozen shuttles including the very first model, I’ve always been a fan of them, but I’ve never really done a full blown mod project based around one. This project will change that, having sourced a bare g2 style case I have set to work creating something that is a class above the normal shuttle.


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Project Liquid Bloo: No Going Back

2004-04-14

Another update from today.

I’ve gone well past the no turning back point on this case 😀 muhahaha

I’ve removed the front section of the case where the fans are going to go. I did this with my trusty dremmel. I then removed a section of the hard disc bay where the fans where going.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil



The fans in place to give me an idea how much to remove from the hard disc bay.

Project Little Devil



Removing the section of the hard disc bay

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


And finally some shots of the bay thang back in place.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



Hope you like the progress so far.

Project Liquid Bloo: Forwards and Backwards we go

2004-04-16

I had some forwards and some backwards movement on the project yesterday.

I bought a cheap drill that will take the arbour so I could do the holes I required.

I started off measuring and drilling some pilot holes , and then cut a hole through the perspex and the aluminium. Unfortunately I ballsed up in my calculations and put the holes too close together DOh!

I quickly knocked up another front panel this time with the holes in the correct place

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil



I also knocked up a little grill surround for the back grill

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



So despite the mess up , I made forward progress.

Project Liquid Bloo: Wiring loom and front rings

2004-04-18

I’ve had some frustration over the last few days, First off I completed the wiring loom with the new connectors I ordered.

I intend to paint the white connector silver when I get time.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



After this I attempted to make some rings of blue perspex to mount around the blowholes in the front panel.

This was alot harder than I imagined I tried 4 different methods before find one that would create perfect circles.

What I did was to cut out a rough circle 90mm in diameter, then drill a central hole. In the hole I mounted a nut and bolt and tightened it securely. I then stuck the bolt in a drill and spun the disc with the drill filling off as it spun. Its a very quick method of making circles.

After that I cut some 76mm holes out of the center with a holesaw. They need polishing on the edges but they are a lot better than I feared.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Secret Discs and power switch

2004-04-19

Its been a busy day of filing with not a great deal of progress, I’ve put one of them together to give you an idea of the final look of the discs together. No clues as to what they are for tho hehe. The bolts just there to line them up.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



I’m not sure whether I’m going to use this switch yet but I’ve wired it up in the normal pretty cabling

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Front fans in place

0000-00-00

Second quick update , I’ve drilled the bolt holes for the front fans.

Here’s them in the perspex

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil

And a couple of final pictures with the front panel and bloo rings in place

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Perspex and puppies

2004-04-21

Another day another update, I’ve spent the last few days trying to tidy up the perspex bits I’ve already cut, I’ve got a couple of grits of sandpaper and some novus #1 and #2 out for polishing. I’ve not finished yet but the difference is noticable already.

Also I’ve order a very cheap zalman heatsink for the northbridge when it arrives. It comes in a nice bloo to match the perspex.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



Also I started on a box to contain the fan control circuit I’ve made, the circuit and box arent finished yet but you get the idea.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: A couple more bits started and finished

2004-04-22

Another daily hupdate.

I’ve been doing a few minor bits of the project, firstly I’ve been finishing off the little circuit box. This now has a lid , and some cut outs for the inputs. The circuit still needs to be finished before I can put a tick by the fan box saying complete but its close.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


I also polished up the perspex fan grill for the rear fan and did a test fit

Project Little Devil


And lastly I’ve started the bay unit that will hold the vfd graphic display I will be using

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Blooming plexi cracking

2004-04-27

Its been a nightmare day of perspex cracking on me . I’ve had to redo both the front rings as the first I ballesd up measure the drill points for the bolts and the second snapped while drilling. Mind you I have done them in half the time it took before so it wasnt all bad.

The back grill mount also snapped on me so that is being redone as well.

All part of the ups and downs I suppose grrr.

Anyway onto the pics first is of the slot for the optical drive being cut out of the front panels

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



Then the infamous rings of pain

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



And finally the redone ones that are the final article thank god. The protective coatin is still in place , but you get the idea from the older pics. The bolts look damn good but I may change them for countersunk ones I can’t decide hehe.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Faceplate brushing

2004-05-08

I’ve been kind of distracted by a redo of an older project and some other real life stuff so I’ve not done much on this project yet. I’ve decided I’m not happy with the front panel so I will be using this one as a test piece with a final build of a new one running along side this. I took the time to practice my brushing technique, there are a few finger prints on it but these shots give you a real idea of how the final thing will look:

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Removing the Logo

2004-05-15

Its been a while since I’ve updated this log , because I’ve been working on another project. I have done a quick bit of work today , pictures of which you can see now. Its just me removing the logo from the shuttle faceplate.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


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3
Jan

Project Little Devil

Project Little Devil

Project Summary:

Having owned almost a dozen shuttles including the very first model, I’ve always been a fan of them, but I’ve never really done a full blown mod project based around one. This project will change that, having sourced a bare g2 style case I have set to work creating something that is a class above the normal shuttle.

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Project Little Devil: First Update

2004-03-01

Its time for yet another Gordy modding project.

I’ve been a shuttle fan for some time now but I’ve yet to do a major modding job on one as I’ve not had the time or the inspiration till now. Having seen some amazing projects entered in a german shuttle modding contest I was very much enlightened on just how much was possible.

Anyway onto the project itself. I found a store that sells Shuttle SB61G2 cases with no motherboard inside. They come to around £45 delivered, they don’t pack them very well at all so I won’t recommend the store. The heat pipe was just left loose inside the case, needless to say the inside of the case was scratched and the heatpipe bent slightly. I wasn’t impressed.

I took some pictures of the case when it arrived :

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



I also ordered one of the new Silent X shuttle psu’s as I had only heard good things about them.
Its slightly larger than the stock 200watt PSU but fits in most shuttles along with being a 250watt psu

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



While I was doing my last project I found that I really needed a tool to allow me to remove the pins from an atx connector for a psu. This is just a tool, unfortunately it costs a massive £25 !!

Project Little Devil



I took some nicer shots of the front of the case here

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



The first thing to do was to removed the nasty grill for the main case fan as it only blocks the air and creates extra noise. I used a dremel to remove the grill, tidying with a set of files.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Making Some Progress

2004-03-05

I don’t want to reveal too much of my plans for this mod early on as it will spoil the fun. However you should be able to see something of what I have planned from this update. I’ve cut up a small section of aluminium so that I can mount a couple of 80mm fans. This was just a test piece to see what it looked like and how easy it was to make.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil



I also got some of the metal supplies I will be using in this project, this is 13swg aluminium sheet and a solid aluminium bar…

Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Cutting cutting and more cutting

2004-03-13

Its been a lot of hard work over the last couple of days to get some work done on this project.
I’ve got blisters and nightmare hands after spending bloomin ages cutting 8 discs of the aluminium bar. For what these are for I will leave you to guess for now 😉 . They need a lot more work as they are only rough cuts and need filing down to size. I have some new files on their way as my existing ones are going blunt and I need very sharp ones for all this work.

On to the pictures

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil


I’ve also got some small parts that I needed, first are some small hinges these are going to be too big, but I needed some for measuring up. If anyone knows a source of minuture hinges let me know. The other part are some small felt pads, no clues as to why I will need them yet.

Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Wiring parts arrive

2004-03-30

Some of my parts have arrived from Kustom Pcs these are the bits for my psu wiring loom and some fan insulators to reduce the noise of fans. All the molex’s arrived along with some UV cable but I wasn’t happy with the colouring so I will be using some different wiring as I wont have any uv lighting sources within the case. I will swap the UV molexs for the stock bloo ones as they are a better match for the p4 and atx connectors. Big shout out to graeme from Kustom Pcs for helping me sort all this out.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Power Supply Modding

2004-04-03

Its been a terrible couple of days, I had a massive flood in my flat due to a burst pipe. Its set me back a fair bit but I may get a workshop out of it so its not all bad .

The work I’ve done is to completely rewire my shuttle silentX power supply. I’ve removed all the connectors and replaced them with three bloo connectors.
1 ATX (mobo)
1 P4
1 molex
You’re probably thinking I’m mad how am I going to use just one molex. Well I’m not. I’m going to have a single removable wiring loom coming off this connector.
For the wiring I used this lovely silver speaker cabling which looks spangly.

I need to remove one last sticker off the power supply to get it clean. It has some small scratches that will need polishing out at some stage.
Thats for another day tho.

Onto the pictures:

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



The final atx pin was nearly the end of my finger. It put a cut down my nail and the top of my finger. Blasted thing grrr.

Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Big load of updates for the Project

2004-04-11

Hi Folks, Another update. I’ve been working on lots of different parts of the project. First off I have received the Coolermaster Neon Fans in blue that I want to use for the project. I set upon them to re wire them so the cables were the same silver cabling used on the psu. I also rewired the circuit so that the led and fan circuit are separate.

This means that I can run the fans at any voltage without any problems.

Onto the pictures:

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil



I also setup the rheostat and mounted into the shuttle case where the wireless network arial would go.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Next up I attacked the front panel so that the fans can be placed in the front panel.

This was done with a dremmel, onto the pictures:

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Liquid Bloo: Front Panel work

2004-04-14

I’ve received some more supplies for the mod, mainly two huge sheets of blue plexi.

I set to work on the front panel modding, I’ve already cut a sheet of thick aluminium to size. I then cut a sheet of the plexi to size as well. Here’s some pictures of the work.

Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil


Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil
Project Little Devil



A quick picture of the cold cathodes I’m using for the project as well.

Project Little Devil


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1
Jan

Project Focus

Project Car Pc

Project Focus Summary:

MiniITX motherboards have changed the modding scene dramatically a motherboard this small means you can squeeze it into much smaller places. In this mod I took a Ford Focus Shell from a radio controlled car and fitted a full working PC inside. This project has featured in Custom PC magazine.


Project Focus: Full Project Log

2003-03-03

Project Car Pc


Introduction:

The traditional beige personal computer has been going through a dramatic change over the last few years. Following on from Apple’s lead in great looking non beige boxes people have realised that a computer can look good and still do its job. The modding communities have taken the lead and have made the manufacturers sit up and take note. Idea’s that were not even conceivable 2 years ago can now be accomplished very easily. There are now motherboards that take up approximately the same space as a tradition CD ROM drive. This leads to lots more places/ways you can build a pc.

For Project focus I exploited the new MiniITX form factor and set about building a computer that from the outside would look like a model car. Using a body shell normally used in the world of radio controlled cars means that some of the luxuries of a normal pc case are not available,but what you sacrifice in size you more than make up in looks and individuality.

This is not the first time that a PC has been made to looklike a model car, there was originally a larger MicroATX car pc’s that were manufactured commercially for a short while. Then along came a modder under the name of BlueSmurf. BlueSmurf created a project for the manufacturer VIA based inside a Volkswagen Beetle radio controlled car shell.
This gave me the idea to create one of my very own.

I started this project more by accident then any long term plan. I having seen Project Jelly Bean by BlueSmurf which was so neat and clean and having a spare MiniITX board going spare so had to find a use for it, Project Focus was born.

Walkthrough

The board itself was a Via Epia 5000; this mainboard is a mere 17cm x 17cm in size. Included is a 533 MHz processor actually soldered into the board so upgrading it is out of the question. Importantly the board has On-board audio, graphics and Ethernet LAN. This means it’s a complete solution; all you need is to add SDRAM, PSU and a hard disk to have a working computer. The whole ethos behind this form factor is small size, low power consumption and minimal cooling requirements. It’s not going to win any prizes in the raw speed stakes but it’s a good platform for modders.

The part that is most important in this project was the shell itself. There are many different sizes of radio control car shells, the most common of which is around 200mm in length; there are much larger versions that are 280mm in length. With the motherboard only measuring 17cm square the smaller version was most suitable. I just had to pick a shell I liked and that would allow me space to fit the components. I needed one that was fairly high at the rear; looking on www.apexmodels.co.uk there are several manufacturers that make these shells I chose HPI ones as they are good quality and come in lots of different shapes. I narrowed the choices down to two; the Peugeot 206 WRC and the Ford Focus WRC. I’ve always been a keen follower of the World Rally Championship and love the look of both of these cars. In the end I chose the Focus as it has the most space to play with. While I was buying the shell I picked a nice blue metallic paint for the shell. I could have gone with the full rally look but I preferred the more subtle colour it would also reduce the number of stickers I would have to use.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Once I had purchased the shell I was free to source all the other parts. Normal ATX parts were out as they are too large. The power supply I located was a cheap 200W MicroATX PSU. Next I looked for cheap laptop parts, I was after a hard disc and optical drive, and I managed to source a second hand 6 gigabyte laptop hard drive and a laptop DVD-ROM drive. These are about half the height of a normal drive so they are very small. Laptop parts are not connected in the same way as normal IDE devices they have a different pin layout this meant converters were required to hook them up.
At the time it was hard to source any in the UK, nowadays they are available from a multitude of stores including; www.kustompcs.co.uk.

The hard disc version requires a normal four pin Molex power connector and the optical drive one uses a floppy disk style power connector. They are plugged into the back of the drives in the same way the cables normally are then the cables are plugged into the converter.

Once I had all the parts I required I ordered some 2mm thick aluminum sheet from www.maplin.co.uk. This was going to be used as the base for the project. I measured out roughly the layout of the shell and cut it out with a reinforced cutting wheel tool on a Dremmel. I could have used a jigsaw but I’m a fan of the Dremmel tool as it’s the tool I most used to. Once I had the rough shape I used a file to tidy up the base so that the shell would fit cleanly over the top. This took a few hours of tiring work but it was worth it.


Project Car Pc


At this stage I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the wheels, I had managed to purchase a set of white spoked wheels from a local shop, I had sprayed them silver to look more like alloy wheels. I took the tires from an old radio controlled car and glued them onto the wheels. I decided that the best way to fix them in place was to use normal bolts and have some metal at right angle to the base. My first thought was to use an L shaped bracket but I decided I could use the existing metal in the base. I measured the place where the wheels were going to go, and cut two slits the thickness of the wheels into the base. Next up I used the trust hammer and my front door step to bend the metal to 90°. This took some time to get it perfect but it worked very well.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


I was finally able to lay out the components for the first time; this I quickly realized was a problem. The PSU was too high; it simply wasn’t going to fit. Luckily, I had found out that there was a much smaller PSU now available. The 55W Morex PSU uses a small circuit with an external brick much like found on Laptops. This freed up space inside and I was able to cram it into place. The layout I chose was to have the hard disc and PSU underneath the mainboard with the DVD drive at the rear and spacers to raise the mainboard high enough.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


For the electronic side of things I bought two switches and wired them onto the mainboard and mounted them at the front of the base. All along I wanted to light the shell with headlights and brake lights and internal lights also to show of the interior. Using 5mm LED’s I had two white LED’s as power LED’s shining at the front and two red LED’s as hard disc LED’s at the rear. In the interior I used four blue LED’s to show everything off.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


The last few jobs in order to finish was to finish the shell, I did this exactly as you would for a normal RC car it took a couple of hours. I also cut out a small hole where the number plate would be, this would be where the cables would feed through.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


I finally got to boot up the machine for the first time and it didn’t work. After much swearing and cursing, I had found the problem was the PSU shorting out on the base. A quick covering of tape later and everything worked fine. I had a working PC that looked just like a model Ford Focus. At the moment the specifications are: Epia 5000 mainboard, 192Mb SDRAM, 6 Gigabyte hard drive, DVD-ROM drive and a 55W Morex PSU. I tend to use it as a silent downloading machine which I can leave on all night if necessary.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Project Focus: Remaking the chassis

2004-05-21

Well, this is now my fourth project running concurrently so I will apologise for gordy modding overload hehe. Due to a forth coming event I needed to look at project focus and give it a good tidy up. While I was at it I decided I may as well give it a proper make over and clean up.

Here is the project as it was this morning and when you all last saw it:

Click on the thumbnails for full 800×600 shots


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


I took everything out to start the chassis a fresh, I will be using aluminium sheet with L shaped aluminium sections riveted in place.

First thing to do was to cut out a new chassis plate:


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


I then cut 4 L shaped sections out to attach the wheels to:


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Thats probably all for the day unless I can sneak in some more modding later.

It all needs to be finished by the 2nd of june so i will be finishing this mod quickly.

Hope you all like the progress so far 🙂

Project Focus: Finishing the chassis work

2004-05-22

I’ve done some more work on the chassis today. I’ve drill all the holes for the hard disc and psu board. I’ve rounded the corners of the chassis plate so it fits inside the shell. heres the pictures from today:


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Next up is to redo all the wiring and tidy it up as its far too long and untidy at present.

Project Focus: Finished for the second time

2004-05-24

I’ve pretty much finished this revisit of Project Focus. Its looking far better than it did before. The chassis is now much cleaner and better to look at.

First job of the day was to redo the wiring looms , they were far too long before taking up valuable room underneath the motherboard. I shortened the main wires and rewired completely the power for the psu. I also made up a new power switch.


Project Car Pc


I then mounted the dvd drive at the rear of the chassis, I had to add a new l-shaped aluminium section to hold the drive in place. The drive fits snugly between the two wheels.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Next I had to finish the chassis, I cut a small section out of the rear of the chassis to allow cables to exit the case cleanly. I also cut a small square hole out for the power switch. After these had been done I set to work brushing the aluminium. This was nice and easy to do. With a quick coat of clear coat spray paint the finish is very nice.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Then it was time to add all the components and the cables back onto the chassis.

Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


A quick shot of the base with all the parts in place including the switch for powering on the pc.


Project Car Pc


Now pretty much everything is installed and you can see how the drive is accessed


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


And finally some shots of the shell on the chassis and the pc under my tv in the lounge where it lives:


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


I have not put the lighting back in as it takes up so much room with all the cabling and it looks very untidy, I may add it back in with a tidier wiring setup at a later date. When time allows.

The project was nice and quick as I have to get on with my other projects as I have a deadline for this and project silicon to be finished by.

Project Focus: New Wheels

2004-08-11

I’ve been quiet on the mod front of late , that due to having to work on something secret. Its almost finished so I will be back working on my other projects on the go.

In the mean time , I got some new wheels for this project focus which look ace.


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Project Focus: Better Pictures

2006-08-04

It’s about time I added these new pictures to this log, they are better shots that the others!

Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc
Project Car Pc


1
Jan

Project Mac Cube

Project Summary:

In Project Bad Apple I took a standard Apple Powermac G4 case and converted it to pc use. Now I want to go down the apple route again. Taking the fabulous Apple Powermac Cube case I intend to convert it to pc use. The final aim is to have a small pretty file server for all my movies etc.

Project Mac Cube:

2005-06-29

I’m nearly finished on Project Little Devil I just have a few minor bits still to finish when I pull my finger out.

So with that in mind I started thinking about my next project, I have two other ones on the back burner but neither of them really inspire me at the moment or suit my needs. What I really need is a fileserver that small and good looking. With this in mind I started coming up with some idea’s as to what to do.

My original plan was to do a smaller version of Project Mini Me which was a shuttle flex atx sized based project. I liked this idea but I couldn’t decide what to do with the externals to make it nice. The plan was to spray paint it but after Project Little Devil I’ve had enough paint fumes in my lungs over the last few weeks to last me a lifetime hehe.

So I set about trying to find some other idea, I stumbled across Sun’s Cobalt Qube 3 these would be great to convert into a file server. The only problem is they go for far too much money on ebay to make it worthwhile.

Now with my current Apple switch in progress I was having a look at older mac’s on ebay to see what we could sell my girlfriends Powermac G4 for. When I did this I stumbled across some mac cubes. They are Powermac g4’s crammed into a cube space. These were the very first SFF computer and are still ahead of the current sff’s in many ways.

I’ve spent the last month or two trying to find a well priced Apple Powermac Cube and finally I found a great donor case. It was a incomplete cube with just the motherboard , cpu and psu included. This suited my needs perfectly and after a short bidding war I won the auction!

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

I picked up the cube two days ago from the courier and set about taking it apart. I realised the previous owner had really abused it when removing some of the components, the inner chassis was missing some parts and others were damaged grrrrrrrr. It didn’t bother me too much as I wouldn’t be using most of the insides anyway.

I started taking the cube apart which is no easy task, the cube drew blood in my battle with it but I finally got it into is components.

The perspex has a few scratches and has some dirt so it needs work but for the most part its in excellent condition considering its age.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

I’ve taken out most of the parts I won’t be needing now here’s the parts I will be using. including the very clever handle and locking mechanism which is going to be hard to use but worth the effort.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

The black item in the first picture is the heatsink believe it or not! Its massive and a structural part of the chassis. So I will have to make something up to replace it as it takes up too much room!

The original cube is very well built the motherboard is amazing its very nice indeed. How they shoehorned a fully working g4 in there all those years ago is amazing particularly when it was running 100% passive.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

Here’s a couple of final shots of the motherboard to compare it to the mini-itx board that will be replacing it and a shuttle motherboard for comparison.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

The first task for me to complete was to replace the missing top chassis plate , I’ve started work on cutting and bending a piece of aluminium to replace this section. After that I need to find a way of replacing the huge heatsink to allow me too shoehorn 2 hard discs in there. I ideally want 500gb of storage in the cube so I will use 2 x 250gb ide hard discs along with a laptop combo drive for optical storage.

I hope you like the project so far let me know what you think.

Project Mac Cube: First update modding with Ovens!

2005-07-04

Well its time for the first update on this project and its something I don’t normally do thats for sure!

I had a play with the internal layout and I worked out that I can fit 2x hard discs and one laptop optical drive in the cube chassis whilst still using the heatsink/structural element with a few changes. The advantage of this is that I dont have to machine a whole new structural element. It would be a nightmare to recreate. The only issue was that the bottom section of the heatsink would have to be removed.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

You can see the bottom section in the second picture above. At first I thought it was screwed into place but I quickly realised it was soldered in place. This gave me some second thoughts on the idea but I came across the idea of heating the whole heatsink till the solder melted….

So for the first time ever for me I had to use my oven for modding 280 degrees of modding power hehe!

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

I wrapped the heatsink in foil to save my oven, apologises for the sorry state of the oven its in desperate need of a clean hehe. After five minutes in the oven the parts fell apart in my oven mitts!

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

I’ve also started to create the new top chassis plate along with the motherboard plate. During the creating of the motherboard plate I discovered that the chassis is 16.7cm thick on the base and barring in mind the dimensions of the motherboard is 17.0cm that creates a small problem. I will have to sand back the area where the motherboard will fit to squeeze it in.

I’ve not taken any pictures of the plate so far, but I will do that tomorrow.

Project Mac Cube: Motherboard tray making

2005-07-06

I’ve had a chance to do a few more bits on this project, first thing to do was to make a motherboard tray after a couple of different designs I got one that worked. I had trouble finding a method of fitting it to the heatsink whilst still being able to mount the motherboard standoffs. I realised the best way round this was to use existing threads and I found three in the middle of the heatsink and even more luck they were m3 threads!

So I went about putting the heatsink and the handle mechanism back together this was far from easy!

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

Then the motherboard tray was attached to the heatsink. It sits flush to the heatsink which will help cooling I hope.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

With the motherboard in place it works a treat.

Project Mac Cube

I then did a test fit of the heatsink/motherboard tray combination and it fits perfectly. I didn’t test fit the motherboard as it wont fit without the port cutouts that was next!

Project Mac Cube

I’ve started on cutting a rectangle into the chassis, I used a nibbler tool which takes little “bites” of metal so its great for this sort of thing. The only problem is that it gives nasty blisters without gloves and I hate using gloves grrr. I’d forgotten how hard steel is compared to aluminium this was hard work. It needs finishing yet but a particularly nasty blisters has stopped me for the day.

Project Mac Cube

Thats all for today I hope to get the motherboard into place tomorrow and then finish up the motherboard tray.

Project Mac Cube: Major Progress

2005-07-17

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.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

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.

Project Mac Cube

As you can see the two ps2 ports are blocked but I don’t 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.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

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.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

This was nice and easy to make well not that easy but I had to change my plans as this setup wouldn’t 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 separate 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!

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

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 original 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 original.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

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 original 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.

Project Mac Cube: Wiring and Problems

2005-08-04

This project hasn’t 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 wasn’t possible so I created a little plate to go onto the chassis like the motherboard I/O plate.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

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 original 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.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

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.

Project Mac Cube: Booting!

2005-08-13

Ok a short text update on my progress pictures will follow tomorrow. 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 believe 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.

Project Mac Cube: Final Bits and Bobs

2005-08-14

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.

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube
Project Mac Cube

Project Mac Cube: Complete!

2005-08-15

Now that the project has been completed I have taken some more shots of the cube in place on my desk as well as a couple of other shots. I’ve also done two video’s one of me removing the components from the cube to show how easy it is and another to show the cool effect of the leds.

mac cube

mac cube

mac cube

mac cube

mac cube

mac cube

mac cube

mac cube

And the two video’s right click and select save as to download them.

Video 1: Taking it Apart (5.10mb)

Video 2: Blue Leds in action (2.84mb)

30
Dec

Project Bad Apple

Project Summary:

Some of my favourite case designs have come from Apple and I have always wanted to convert one of their cases for PC use. I finally got the chance with this project to do just that. This project has featured in both Custom PC magazine and on Hexus.net

Project Bad Apple: Full Project Log

2003-09-01

Apple computers have for a long time now led the world in design. They were the first mainstream manufacturer to make a pc look any good. They rewrote the rules for the beige box. To get a pc that looks as good as a Mac is quite hard even nowadays. I’ve long been a fan of the G4 case and was determined to get hold of one for a project. After almost 2 years I finally got my wish. This article will describe the route I took to complete the project I named ‘Project Bad Apple’.

A Quick Note or Two.

This project guide is going to be slightly different to the normal project log: it is going to be very text heavy. A picture speaks a 1000 words and its much easier for you to get the idea of what I’ve done with them. I took well over 300 images during the build I have used the best ones. I’ve tried to explain how I did everything in the most obvious order not in the order that I did it so if I get confused about the time sorry.

If you intend to copy or repeat any of the mods described in this article please be aware some of them have inherant risks and should only be undertaken if you know what you are doing.

Please note I take no responsiblity for any damage to parts of persons as a result of this article, sorry we have to cover our backs nowadays.(Mumbles something about lawyers).

Aims of the Project

I’ve been wanting to do a G4 to ATX case conversion for ages now, I really wanted to get a quicksilver case but they are a lot harder to come across. So I settled for a stock G4 case I bought from the US via Ebay. My aim for the conversion was that from the outside there was very little to differentiate it from a Apple G4. This means as

The Apple Mac G4 Case

The stock G4 case is around the size of a MATX motherboard, with some main differences. The motherboard ports do not line up with the ATX I/O plate at the rear of the case and the Motherboard standoffs don’t line up either. In order to convert the case both these issues would haven to be addressed. The case itself is made of stainless steel with perspex panels to give the case its great looks. All of these panels can be removed very easily with a few clips and bolts. To access the inside of the case, there is a small lever and the whole right hand side of the case drops down with the motherboard in place. This gives excellent access to the motherboard, the lever can be prevented from opening for security reasons if neccessary by using the inbuilt padlock loop at the rear of the case. A great addition for LAN parties.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Here is the case fresh out of the box, it looks great.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Next I opened up the case and look at what I was going to be modding. I then removed all the plastic parts from the case to get it down to its bare shell.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

The bare shell from the front and two parts that need to be removed. The first is the wireless network aerial, and the second is the support for extra long pci cards and the slot for the wireless network card. Also on this is a small magnet which prevents someone opening the case while its powered on. I will take these off later.

Power Supply

The first part I wanted to fit was the Power Supply(PSU). In the stock Apple setup the PSU is similiar to a ATX sized one from a normal PC case. I didn’t need or want a PSU this large so I choose a smaller MATX sized one I had lying around from an earlier project. I decided to spray paint it a nice shade of metallic blue. I used normal car paint with a layer of primer then the colour coat and finally a clear coat to give a nice shine. The PSU fan is a 80mm sized fan but its thinner than a normal 80mm fan. Luckily the fans I choose (Coolermaster LED fan) fitted. The fan was modified as described later in this guide in the fans section.

In order to attach the PSU to the case I need some kind of adapter, I had some spare perspex lying about and got out my Dremel and cut out a peice that would fit perfectly. The holes were then measured and drilled out so that it could be attached with normal pc type screws.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Fans

I am a real difficult person when it comes to fan choice, I want really quiet fans that look nice and can be controlled easily. I’ve not yet found my ideal fan but the best comprimise solution I’ve come across is the Coolermaster LED fans, they are clear fans with 4 LED’s for lighting (RED. BLUE , GREEN , WHITE or PURPLE in colour). The fan is quite quiet at stock speeds and can be modified to make them quieter. They are more importantly very cheap in comparison to the normal quiet fan options. I sourced four 80mm white versions for this project. One for the CPU Fan, one for the PSU, and two for the case cooling.

Fan Modification

In order to control the fans noise levels I wanted to be able to control the speed of the fans. This means adjusting the voltage supplied to the fans. Now in a normal fan this is easy, in LED fans things get slightly more complex. The LED’s in these fans are fed by the same power as the fan themselves, this means that when you lower the voltage supplied the LED’s get dimmer. Clearly this wouldn’t do, so I set about modifying the fan so that this wouldn’t happen.

The parts/tools I needed for this were:

  • Soldering Iron/Solder
  • Heatshrink
  • 1 x Resistor per fan (120Ohm)
  • Some wire
  • Wire Cutters
  • A lighter

The first step I took was to peel back the sticker that hides the wires in the center of the back of the fan. I held it back with a small section of bluetac.

The LED circuit is powered via three clear wires, so I unsoldered them from the fan keeping the two that were soldered on the same connection together (Positive wires). While I was at it I unsoldered the yellow wire as this won’t be used in the connector I am using.

Now I soldered the Resistor to the two power wires I had unsoldered before. After which I added a length of wire after the resistor and solder it into place. When I’d done this add some heatshrink over the bare wires and used the lighter to shrink it into place.

Now solder a length of wire onto the negative LED wire and heatshrink the bare cable. Once this is done you are free to use the connector of your choice. I’ve used a four pin connector similar to the standard three pin one. With the 2 fan leads and 2 LED leads connected.

Fan Control

To allow me to control the speed of the fans from one single point I devised a circuit that would allow me to power the fans from a single point. Its to be made of stripboard as its only a basic circuit.

The parts/tools I needed for this were:

  • Soldering Iron/Solder
  • 4 x 4 Pin female connectors
  • 2 x 3 Pin female connectors
  • Some wire
  • Wire Cutters
  • Rheostat fan controller.

The first step is to solder the four 4 pin connectors to the section of stripboard making sure there is space between them and that the copper tracks are connecting them together. Parallel to the 4 pin connectors solder in the two 3 pin connectors again space them a couple of holes apart. Once these are done you can add the wires , you need two wires powering two of the four pin connectors tracks. The other two that take the power from the top of the three pin connectors to the other 2 spare tracks on the 4 pin ones. After this add a positive and negative pair of wires that connect to a molex connector.

The basic circuit is now done, I have a rheostat which has 3 pin input and output which slots into the three pin connectors. This rheostat is mounted in a spare pci slot as its a convenient way of hiding the switch but it still being accessible.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

I tested the circuit out on my shuttle machine and it worked perfectly. I then mounted the circuit using sticky velcro tabs onto the side of the PSU. All the fans in the system are hooked up to this circuit so one turn of the knob controls all of the fans.

Removing Unwanted Case Parts

Lining the motherboard up for a test made me quickly realise there was going to be a major problem. The motherboard wouldn’t fit. The memory slots were hitting the section of the case where the cd drive was due to go. This was going to be a major pain in the backside. My first idea was to remove the central case strut and cd drive sections from the case, and run the Optical drive in an external case either USB 2.0 or firewire. With this decided I got out a drill and removed the rivets holding the central strut in place.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

As you can see, in the picture above when I shut the side of the case, the memory slots hit the side of the cd bay; this would have to be fixed.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Then I removed the extended PCI card holder and wireless network slot again held in with rivets. This gave me a much larger space to work with. While I was at it I removed the aerial for the wireless network which is attached to the side of the case with small screws.

Modding the Motherboard

Lining up the motherboard for the first time showed another problem, the audio ports where not going to fit. These were too low on the standard ATX I/O plate and would hit the back of the case preventing the motherboard from being placed in the right place. The solution is to remove them from the motherboard entirely, which means attacking it with a soldering iron and wire cutters. Its not an easy job and you are very likely to kill the motherboard if you are not carefull.

The motherboard I am using is a Gigabyte GA-8IG1000MK, its a Intel 865G MATX board. The board is the best specified Pentium 4 MATX board I can find at the moment with onboard audio/network/graphics and other goodies such as SATA. I really liked this board.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

While I was removing the audio connector, I decided to remove the parallel port as well as I never use them. Next I attacked the audio port, the minor side effect being blood pouring out of my finger. This modding lark hurts more than they give credit sometimes.

Mounting the motherboard

In order to fit the motherboard I was going to have to do a lot of work. I needed to cut off the old motherboard standoff’s and fit new ones.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Here the dremel fun begins, I have to cut off all the old motherboard standoffs with the dremel. Lots of sparks and dust later I had removed them all.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

In order to get the motherboard in place I needed to cut the rear ATX I/O plate a bit, again I attacked it with a dremel.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

For the motherboard standoffs I used small 1cm hexagonal spacers. I had to drill the holes and make sure the plastic (Part of the door opening mechanism) was able to move as before. I finally got the motherboard in place. The project was starting to take shape.

Cooling

I wanting to find a great looking cooler for this project. It needed to support 80mm fans and be an excellent cooler. The obvious choice was the Swiftech MCX 4000. Overclock.co.uk, kindly provided the cooler along with a few grills and a filter for the bottom blowhole. Its nice to get some support from stores like Overclock.co.uk and its greatly appreciated.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

The swiftech cooler along with the grills and filter. Mounting the cooler onto the motherboard requires the stock P4 mounting to be removed. Then the cooler is bolted into place. It looks great with the 80mm clear fan.

In terms of physical cooling the Swiftech is excellent. It is better than any other cooler I’ve used before. The temperatures with the fan on really low voltages is amazing.

CD Drive

I originally planned to use the normal layout of the standard Apple Mac G4 with the optical drive but this was not going to be possible. The next idea was to use an external drive bay but they are expensive and it wasn’t an ideal solution. However while looking at the case I realised that it would be possible to mount the drive on its side ejecting out of the back of the case. This would mean that I would need to remove the 120mm fan and its shroud but this wasn’t a problem.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

First I need to remove the screw mounts for the 120mm fan, I attacked them with a dremmel and cut them off.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

I intended to mount the drive using 2 brass brackets, after drilling the mounting points I realised I hadn’t taken into account the perspex handles at the drive wasnt able to eject. Luckily I hadn’t cut out the slot yet so I re-did the mounting with the drive raised higher.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

With the drive placement fixed, I cut a thin slot in the metal at the rear. The CD is ejected via Windows or pressing the button which is accessible through one of the old vent holes.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

The slot being cut out of the perspex and the CD drive tray ejecting from the rear of the case.

Blowholes

I had always wanted to add a fan to the bottom of the case, but with the 120mm case fan having to go I decided to stick a 80mm blowhole at the top of the case as well.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

To make the bottom blowhole I cut out the hole with my trusty dremel. With the hole cut and filed back to shape. The bolt holes were drilled out as well.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

In order to prevent dust being sucked up into the case I fitted a filter to the bottom fan.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

With the top fan I repeat the same dremel process as before to create the blowhole in the steel chassis.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

This time I added some blowhole trim as it is going to be on show. I then had to cut the perspex section as well to get air out of the case.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

The perspex was again cut with a dremel then filed back to shape with a sander. With the white LED fans the top blowhole looks ace.

Extending the PSU Cables

Due to the way that the case opens I needed to make an extra long PSU cable, I sourced a male and a female atx connector and set to work soldering all the wires required. Its long and boring work but it was cheaper than buying one. I wrapped the finished cable in black tape to make it look at lot nice. I also extended the p4 connector to reach the motherboard.

Switch Gear

I wanted to use the existing switches to keep the case looking as standard as possible. The existing switch circuit is setup for the mac and requires alteration for pc use. I tried to convert it but it wasnt very succesful so I ditched the circuit and bought some cheap push to make switches. And set about making an aluminium plate to hold them in place.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Here is the stock circuit, its mounted inside a steel square which clips into place. On the back there was a reed switch which disables the power buttons when the case side is opened. I bypassed the reed switch entirely and tried some modification of the orginal ciruit but it didn’t work.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Here’s the alternate switch setup, I made a sqaure of aluminium and drilled the holes for the two switches and the LED.

Finshing touches

With all the modding done it was time to put everything into the case and boot it up for the first time. It worked fine with the side down, booting first time. However, when I closed the case the system shut itself down straight away. I quickly found that the motherboard was shorting out on the square of metal keeping the plastic section used to open and close the case in place. I used some tape to insulate the piece of metal and it was all sorted. I took the perspex panels off and gave them a good scrub down in the bath and then removed the fine scratches with Novus polish.

I use the system as my day to day system, using it for games and work. I love the case, it looks great and is fairly easy to cart around.

Gallery

Here are the final selection of pictures.

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion

Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion
Project Bad Apple: Apple Powermac G4 case conversion