Wednesday, January 16, 2013

20" iMac G4 Intel NUC Ivy Bridge AiO Mod (Videos)

A video demonstration of my updated iMac G4 mod/hack (NUC/Ivy Bridge Mountain Lion Hackintosh)

 

Part 1:


Introduction and General Overview (YouTube Link)

Part 2:

Turning It On and Testing It Out (YouTube Link)

So that pretty much completes this mod.  I have thought about new HD 21.5" LCDs to the top of the arm in a custom LCD case that mimics the iMac G4, but I am not sure that would add very much.  This monitor falls just short of HD and I have not had any issues with it in terms of quality.  Though its something to consider for the future.  I find that larger monitors start to look "awkward" with the base.  Although placing the Cinema Display on the top of the monitor worked.  It wasn't until I went back to the original that I realized it was "off".  It didn't droop or tilt, but it didn't move as smoothly as the original.  The neck was obviously designed very specifically for the native monitor.  This includes not only the weight, but the thickness and shape as weight distribution changes as you tilt and swivel the neck.  Unfortunately, without the R&D budget of apple, its hard to design a new neck, but the old one works beautifully with the native LCD.

I would still like to make this into a touchscreen and perhaps add an iSight.  The awkward size and Mac compatibility issue make this difficult.  While I have a capacitive screen that works, its thick and heavy and would require dramatic hardware changes (LED lighting with custom thin diffuser) or physical changes (altering the LCD case and front bezel).  I am still hopeful that touch films will eventually be readily available, adding touch capability of any size with negligible cha ges in thickness.

Anyway, I'll worry about that later and enjoy this computer for a while.  I have tons of pics from this and previous mods, as well as the ability to fill in gaps with surplus materials.  As such, I'm thinking about putting together a "Moving Picture" Video Guide.  Sort of a compromise between a written and video guide.  I'll be able to explain from start to finish, step by step, how to do this with audio and annotated pics.  Let me know if this sounds at all interesting or useful to anyway.  Thanks for reading/watching.

31 comments:

  1. I would love to have you publish the Video Guide.

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    1. Cool, I think it will work well with annotated/animated pictures with audio description. I found the "filming while doing" approach to be very tedious and difficult. I would constantly be moving out of the camera shot and with the small pins, the focus was often off. Looking forward to making this.

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  2. CHAS-see’, ‘CHAS-sis’, or ‘SHAS-see’

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    1. Yea, to be honest, didn't even remember saying that.

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  3. How much for you to build me one of these?

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    1. To be totally honest, I don't have an interest in selling these. Its really time consuming and expensive. Plus, its a home built mod with old parts, there are no guarantees that something won't burn out or a solder point won't fail. But, I wouldn't want to provide "tech support". That said, advise is free, and once you build it, you will be able to "troubleshoot" any technical difficulties that may arise. Thank you for the interest though.

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  4. been following your stuff for a while now, absolutely love it!

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    1. Thank you, honestly, it's nice to hear. I decided to put this blog together when I read through forums full of posts talking about this mod. I had been working on it for a while and saw many making the mistakes that I already made. I figured this could save a lot of people a lot of time/money.

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  5. I have also been following your site for a while and haven a 20 inch G4 waiting here for some months to be modded. When the NUC was announced I also thought that this will be the one. In the meantime I have built a PowerMac G5 Hackintosh as an "exercise" - it works perfectly. I really appreciate your work - thank you very much. Stephan.

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    1. Stephan thank you. I felt similarly about the NUC, but I was still surprised at how well it worked. It literally slides into the grooves of the drive caddy vacated by the old 3.5" HDD, not to mention the hackintosh-ability. Good luck and live me a shout out if you need any help along the way

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  6. Can I just check is that the original LCD panel? If so how did you convert the unique connector to something useful.

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    1. Of course, This is the original 16:10 20.1" ID Tech panel. However, it is also interchangeable with the variations of LG 20" panels found in the 20" iMac G5 (POWERPC, not INTEL Models) and the Aluminum 20" Apple Cinema Display. All of these support TMDS.

      This link is for the 20":
      http://www.dremeljunkie.com/2011/11/all-in-one-20-imac-g4-genuine-tmds-to.html

      This link is for the 17":
      http://www.dremeljunkie.com/2011/08/guide-step-by-step-17-imac-g4-tmds-to.html

      They are reachable from the tabs below the title bar. Note that the 20" gives various methods for power including native PSU or PICO PSU. The guide goes on to place a Sandy Bridge ECX board in the base, but the first part is dedicated solely to conversion of the existing cables to Inverter power and DVI.

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  7. I absolutely love your mod! I have started a project to install the Intel NUC into an Apple G4 Cube (my second favorite Mac). Once my kids get tired of the slowness of our existing 20" G4 iMac (my favorite mac that I've upgraded and am familiar with the internals), I would like to perform the same upgrade.

    I tell my kids that the G4 iMac was such a work of art and engineering feat to accomplish, it ended up being so complex (and expensive to manufacture) that they will never see a computer like this again. The floating screen is amazing!

    What I also am amazed at is how clean the back ports of your mod look. How did you ever get the ports to line up so nicely? Would you have any photos that you could share on how you made the port connections in the base?

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    1. I can not agree with you more. There has never been anything like it and unfortunately, there likely won't be anything like it again. With most "upgrade" mods, the miniaturization and power efficiency improvements of modern tech allow you to overcome any design problems fairly easily. This usually happens only a few years after the original products release. This was so ahead of its time that it took 10 years for "modern" tech to allow this mod to be built. It simply couldn't have been done in 2007.

      It's why I tried to change as little as possible. Variation in the weight of the LCD can cause the arm to droop or fall, of course. But even small differences (The almost identically weighing Cinema Display mod) - just felt wrong - when moving the LCD. Showed me the insane precision it must have required.

      The ports include the electrical plug, 4 USBs, a power FireWire, and a 3.5mm female audio jack, and the power button. With ports less=more. The electrical is native and screwed into the base. The USBs come from an extender (it actually was an octopus, but I removed the "body"). The FireWire was a modded moles/FireWire hybrid cable and a 3.5mm extender was used for audio. I used a while modeling clay (combine 2 substances to start the reaction). While I had previously used hot glue (and this works), you need to elevate the ports, which the clay is better for. But, honestly, both work fine. Just leave adequate drying time.

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  8. Very nice stuff. As the owner of a G4 Cube (modded to a 1.5GHz G4 and GeForce 6400 video board), that Intel board is giving me an idea or three.

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  9. Awesome work! You should open a crowdfunding or PayPal account for donations! I would be happy to help you!

    Please keep on working on it!

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    1. Thanks so much. You know the crowd funding idea isn't a bad one. While there are several reasons (including legal/patent issues) why I would not want to sell an upgraded or modified iMac G4, I would love to make this process even easier and produce an "upgrade kit". I envision this as essentially a plug and play solution, where you would unplug everything from the mobo and then plug the power/video connector into an adapter board. this would give you DVI, and maybe molex/sata or even ATX power out. There had at one time existed a PCB version of the video connector. Companies like Mouser do manufacture these things, but the minimum amount would be "one reel" - which is something like 1500 parts at $8 per. So obviously, this would be a huge amount of money.

      Honestly, do you think there would be a market for such an adapter/upgrade kit? I would be fine with breaking even and am intrigued by the idea of crowd funding.

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  10. Man.. This really awsome. I know maybe I tend to use that word to easy, but I nevertheless feel that it describes you work perfectly. I listening fascinated by your obvious fascination and your tenacity to bring this mod to a good end. Absolutely a an achievement to keep the outer appearance of the iMac intact and surgically change the innards. So the you and iMac win!

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    1. Thank you so much, I really do appreciate the kind words. It's been a truly enjoyable challenge and I'm delighted that so many others seem to appreciate this classic/iconic design

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  11. H, Man, I very enjoyed your blog for quite some time. After seeing this, I am thinking that it is time for me to do some mods on my beloved iMac 20 now. Would you mind put up a complete list that I suppose to buy?

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  12. Your work is freaking awesome!!! I'm from Mexico and i really love the iMac G4, and this mod is amazing, the simply idea of making it possible is awesome, i have a 20" iMac G4 and i can't wait to see this tutorial posted.

    Just a sugestion, i think i'll be better for everyone if you combine in one post, all the steps together starting with the convertion from TMDS to DVI (i believe is the most difficult step) that way all the people who wants to do this mod, won't get confussed in the process.

    But that's a little suggestion :D

    You're awesome, seriously.

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  13. Hi, Great job. Again impressed with your dedication to this project. As
    my Intel Core Duo reaching the end of it's usefulness I am more and more considering the mod of my beloved imac G4 20". Your recent breakthrough with the DVI conector and inverter are further incentives for me to make the jump.

    For the Audio I was thinking that a USB based internal solution could be found using something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Small-Power-USB-5V-Digital-Stereo-Audio-Amplifier-Dual-Channel-2-CH-3W-3W-/140940541422?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item20d0b5fdee
    Would not crank out much wattage but it could be wired directly into the original proprietary Pro speaker plug.
    There are probably some $10 or less mini amp board available on Dealextreme as well.

    Greg

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  16. I was looking into the intel NUC and it seems that it can take straight 12V without the need to convert to 19V (http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/digital-signage-on-the-next-unit-of-computing.pdf) have you tried running it at 12V?

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    1. Page 4, end of the paragraph 2. The Next Unit of Computing
      "The unit is powered through a backpanel DC-jack which supports 12V-19V DC
      power supplies at 65W."

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    2. I will definitely try this - this would help a lot if 12V is adequate

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  17. Are you going to post a guide any time soon?

    -John Panos

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    1. Maclifehacker112 - I've had a step by step guide for the 20" posted since November of 2011. This guide takes you completely through the wiring of the LCD to the installation of the Sandy Bridge KEEX-6100. This guide did not use the original PSU, but has been updated to include that option. Installation of a different or newer board is as simple as powering the board and hooking the HDMI cable to it. Soon after I completed the step by step for the 17" - including both models/necks. I also have a video guide for the 17" as well. Please see the top of the blog. There are tabs under the title for the guides. The 20" picture/video guide will differ from the old guide simply by connecting it to an NUC board, but nothing else is different.

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