John's iMac-PC project!

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John's iMac-PC project!

Post by jdmlight » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:37 pm

Well I already started revealing some of this in maxuhmilian's Xbox 360 in an iMac G3 thread, so here goes.

I am working on fitting a PC into an iMac G3. It will have the following specs:
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • 2.66ghz Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 (will be overclocked to 3.33ghz, possibly higher we'll see :twisted: )
  • ATI Radeon HD4670
  • 6gb RAM (4gb and 2gb stick)
  • 460w Cooler Master power supply
  • 1tb 7200rpm hard drive
  • Integrated speakers will still work
  • Integrated mic will still work
  • Power light/button will still work
  • 15" 1024x768 LCD monitor
  • Blue and white case lighting
Pics: (because a build log is boring without them)
Here you can see the screen installed into its frame, this is where the CRT was mounted before.
Image
It fits perfectly in the inner (structural) bezel, but the outer (decorative) bezel needs a bit of trimming.
Image
My workspace:
Image
Here I'm testing the motherboard, graphics card, large CPU cooler (dual 92mm fans!), and PSU for fit:
Image
This is where the 200mm exhaust fan will be mounted:
Image
Here's how I mounted the monitor and its driver components (strips of wood, a few screws, and hot glue):
Image
Angle view with everything except monitor in place (nothing mounted yet, just setting there):
Image
Here's a possible easy access drive-tray-style mounting of the hard drive. It wouldn't stick out this much, it can be pushed in to be just barely sticking out from the back.
Image

TO-DO LIST:
  • Finish side port panel
  • Secure power jack
  • Mount 200mm exhaust fan
  • Mount motherboard/psu
  • Buy speaker amp/build headphone amp/get volume knob ready
  • Mount front USB ports (in the CD drive slot, since there won't be a built-in CD drive)
  • Wire up power light/switch
  • Wire up microphone
  • Install case lighting
  • Mount hard drive
Last edited by jdmlight on Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by eagle5953 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:16 pm

Nice! Shouldn't it be at least dual-booting OS X?

Blasphemy!

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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by bicostp » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:21 pm

Every project like this needs the appropriate software to bring it full circle. :lol:

You can run OS X 10.3 or 10.4 on PearPC, OS 9 on SheepShaver, or just plain old Hackintosh it. (The last option would give you the most stability. You should be able to run retail Snow Leopard on it since it's an SSE3 Intel, and there's probably a driver for your ATI card.)

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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by jdmlight » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:57 am

eagle5953 wrote:Nice! Shouldn't it be at least dual-booting OS X?

Blasphemy!
bicostp wrote:Every project like this needs the appropriate software to bring it full circle. :lol:

You can run OS X 10.3 or 10.4 on PearPC, OS 9 on SheepShaver, or just plain old Hackintosh it. (The last option would give you the most stability. You should be able to run retail Snow Leopard on it since it's an SSE3 Intel, and there's probably a driver for your ATI card.)
Oh don't worry, the Gigabyte motherboard I bought had many reviews on Newegg from people who had successfully used it for Hackintosh purposes. In addition, one of the Intel iMacs uses an ATI Radeon 4670, so I should be able to find drivers for that easily.

But I'd really only make it a Hackintosh just to say I can, the primary purpose of this is to have a highly portable gaming PC.
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by jdmlight » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:09 pm

Update!

In addition to crossing off a few smaller items on the todo list in the first post, I finished the audio board. This has a headphone amplifier and speaker amplifier, both controlled by the same volume control, where you push in the knob to mute the speakers.
Image
I'm using this speaker amplifier module for the speakers, coupled with a high-pass filter (because 1" speakers won't play the lows, and if you filter out the lows you can play the rest of the music louder without distortion). I've gotta say, I'm super-impressed by this amplifier module. Not only is it tiny (2 11/16" x 1 5/16" x maybe 1/2" high) but it is LOUD. It powers my desktop speakers/floorstanding speakers way past the comfortable listening volume. It's also incredibly clear sounding. I may consider using this in a portable if I'm not concerned about making the smallest possible portable...

Oh and here's another pic for the sake of having pics. This is my 12v adapter to power the monitor off of the PCIe power plug, along with my home-made right angle VGA connector. I did buy an official right-angle adapter from eBay, but I didn't pay attention that closely. The guy was selling a right-angle 9-pin VGA connector. :facepalm:
Image
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by eagle5953 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:02 am

It looks like your sound amplifier board has a rumble motor (for simulating the bass tremor that it isn't putting out?). :lol: What is that thing really?

Looking good. I like the right-angle VGA particularly.

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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by jdmlight » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:58 am

eagle5953 wrote:It looks like your sound amplifier board has a rumble motor (for simulating the bass tremor that it isn't putting out?). :lol: What is that thing really?

Looking good. I like the right-angle VGA particularly.
That's the volume knob for the 15w speaker amplifier. The knob is only on it temporarily so that I can set the level, that potentiometer will be inside the case. There's another potentiometer that actually controls the volume/mute connected with the ribbon cable going off the picture (which will use the same silver knob eventually).
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by Reaper P7 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:38 am

Very awesome. Can I get a video?

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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by Haunted360 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:15 am

I like this project a lot. Nice work!

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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by impossiblescissors » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:17 pm

Will the screen adjust buttons on the LCD be functional?

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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by jdmlight » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:35 pm

I honestly haven't really touched this since Spring Break. :lol: Spring semester got pretty busy, then I for some reason was crazy enough to do a 40-hour-a-week internship plus ~6-10 hours at Target plus having a course over the summer. :roll:
impossiblescissors wrote:Will the screen adjust buttons on the LCD be functional?
I wasn't going to make them super-accessible because there isn't a really good reason for it. Once you hit auto-setup once, it's taken care of everything. There's also only one input, so you don't need to worry about an input switching button. I was thinking about making it accessible from one of the rear access panels or something, just so you wouldn't have to rip the entire thing apart if something went goofy with the monitor.

This has changed form some from the original project, so stay tuned! Now that I'm back in school I have more free time. (which is the opposite of most members :lol: )
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by victorzamora » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:10 pm

Hey, I've been following this for a while but just got an account setup because I gave up working from the information I had. Can you give me specs on your monitor? I'm looking to do this exact thing, and I've only found two places that are doing it the way that I'd hope. The other source quit and isn't doing anything else. I've got an iMac G3 Tray Loading and an impatient GF (it's hers) and I refuse to start without fixing the monitor first.

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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by jdmlight » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:21 am

victorzamora wrote:Hey, I've been following this for a while but just got an account setup because I gave up working from the information I had. Can you give me specs on your monitor? I'm looking to do this exact thing, and I've only found two places that are doing it the way that I'd hope. The other source quit and isn't doing anything else. I've got an iMac G3 Tray Loading and an impatient GF (it's hers) and I refuse to start without fixing the monitor first.
I used a Sylvania 15" monitor. It's a pretty old model. What I looked for primarily was a monitor that didn't have the 3-prong AC jack but rather had an external power brick. Makes it much easier, especially in the case of the monitor I have that just takes 12VDC. 12VDC is really easy to get from whatever you're hacking into the iMac, whether it's an Xbox or a PC or whatever. You sometimes can get lucky with a monitor that DOES have the 3-prong AC jack and the internal power supply is separate from the LCD controller board. If you're buying a monitor, I wouldn't bet on that though. You could post a WTB thread here asking for this; alternatively, you may be able to find something similar via Google.

As far as fitting it into the iMac, you have to completely disassemble the monitor. Typically the part that is so wide on LCD monitors is just the decorative plastic part, the actual panel is usually quite a bit smaller.
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by victorzamora » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:57 pm

I've found this one. It looks like it'll work.

So, assuming it works....I splice cables from my PSU into the 2-pronged wires to feed 12V into the monitor and that's it? I'm fairly handy, but electronics and I aren't good friends. I think that's all I'd need to do. Thoughts?

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Re: John's iMac-PC project!

Post by jdmlight » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:02 pm

victorzamora wrote:I've found this one. It looks like it'll work.

So, assuming it works....I splice cables from my PSU into the 2-pronged wires to feed 12V into the monitor and that's it? I'm fairly handy, but electronics and I aren't good friends. I think that's all I'd need to do. Thoughts?
Yep that's pretty much it. Just make sure you get the polarity right, match the polarity noted on the monitor/power brick. I bought a barrel plug from Radioshack so I didn't even have to take off the power jack from the monitor, but you could do without that if you wanted.
--John (and please call me John, it's really weird to be called by my username)
Fight MS Paint abominations! If you don't have a camera, go here, and pick something 3 megapixels or higher.

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