Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The 15" iMac G4 Pinout (Courtesy of pgee70)

Here is the pinout from the 15" iMac G4 Mod that inspired all of my subsequent TMDS to DVI mods

This is the original pinout created by pgee70

- I highly recommend checking out some of his comments and posts on the macrumors forum:

- As well as some of his incredible mods on his youtube channel:

Thanks, Pete

Friday, October 21, 2011

The 17" iMac G4 to DVI - The Easiest Method Ever (So Far)

For full details please see this post:

GUIDE: Step by Step 17" iMac G4 TMDS TO DVI Conversion
which I will be updating to completion over the next several days.

The reason I call this the easiest so far is that it involves No Soldering, Minimal Technical Skill, and Can Reasonably be done in 1 Hour.

When I look back at my older mods which involved total neck disassembly, 50+ solder points, and hours upon hours of time, I can not believe how much easier this is.  Not only is it easier, it is cheaper, ore stable, and overall just better.  If you are interested in doing the 17" version  of this iMac mod then take it from someone who has already made every mistake you could possibly make - USE THIS METHOD!

For Now I am only taking this to the level of getting a DVI compatible connection in the base with power. The only thing you need to do is plug something into the DVI receptacle.  If that is an internal mini itx, ecx, or external mac mini, or windows atx tower - that is your choice.  I will likely demonstrate use of the ECX board later on.

To be honest the only difference is in one <$5 part and that is the DVI-I connector header
  Specifically I used a  MOLEX PN 74320-4004




Now this exact one is likely not needed.  The important this is that you need a DVI-D or DVI-I with these small pins as opposed to the usual connectors that use large pins:

I would recommend a right angle connector (you can work outside the dome then fit a right angle connector through the hole on top without having to remove all the pins).

Also, female is easier and I believe gives more connection options, but male can be used if you remember to alter the pinout and can find a connector with these small pins.

The remarkable thing about this connector is that it could not be designed better for the iMac G4s female pins.  Not only are the male pins on this connector identical to the ones on the iMac G4 motherboard shape, width, and length, but they are spaced well enough apart to prevent and disturbance between pins.  All you have to do is take the iMacs video connector and break apart its housing, freeing the individual pins/wires.  Easily push the iMacs wires onto the correct pins (12 TMDS pins, 2 control pins).  Then add an extra ground and make 1 split cable with a resistor (5V/hot plug).  Hook up 6 aligator wires to voltages (2 Ground, 3 5V, 1 12V) and turn it on.

Of note, I have tweaked the inverter pinout somewhat in the tutorial as well.  This change may be specific to this build.
I love that it lists the display as "iMac"
Enjoy and I look forward to hearing stories of rejuvinated iMac G4's! Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Future Is Here - KEEX 6100

This just arrived.  For those that don't follow my blog, this the Quanmax KEEX-6100.  It is an ECX board, an Intel created standard.  It is the exact size of a 3.5" drive.  While it may not look like much, after much research and personal experience with Quanmax boards, I believe this is the BEST size-to-power ratio motherboard that is commercially available.  This is not an atom board, does not use a ULV chip, or a 600mhz VIA processor.  This is a Socket G2 - Sandy Bridge Core i3/i5/i7 motherboard.  It does use a the mobile version (traditionally used in notebooks), but that is the only compromise you will have to make.  This is the same processor found in the new mac mini the (i5 or i7).

Board features:
Compact Flash Slot (Bootable)
SATA x 2
Mini PCIe
LVDS x2 (with backlight power)
VGA, HDMI, Display Port

But the real advantage is size.  In comparison to a 5.25" optical drive - this is miniscule.  This board will fit easily at the top of the dome in essentially otherwise unusable space.  This helps with heat issues.  In addition, this allows you to have the entire rest of the dome to use in any way you see fit.

I am not sure which design I am personally going to integrate this into, but I will discuss hooking up to an ECX board in my tutorial - which I assure you I have been working on.

ECX vs Mini-itx
For those interested in starting soon and utilizing this board.  By far the easiest way to obtain this board is from a company called Sliger.  They are a Quanmax distributor and were extremely helpful.  They can provide not only the board but DC power recommendations, accessory cables (some of which are required).  Not only do they have this board but all the other Quanmax ECX boards.  Everything from atoms to core 2 duos to amds to the sandy bridge 6100.  One of the owner's emailed me back within an hour after I sent an inquiry and answered all my questions.  I highly recommend Sliger if you are going to go the ECX route.


Stay tuned - I promise you the 17" tutorial is on the way with the 20" to follow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thank You, Steve