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Homemade Mini Case for LC, P475, Q605

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Package delivered at 6:41 pm. Behold the nuclear orange glory! Parts before assembly:

 

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and the final product:

 

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My white balance may be a little off, but it's a stupidly bright shade of orange with a clear top. Shown sitting on an LC 475 for size reference. It's almost exactly the same height, and a slight bit narrower, and only half as long as the LC 475 case. Mini LC is so cute!

 

I'm a little surprised everything fit together successfully. My measurements weren't super accurate, and acrylic isn't forgiving when pieces don't line up properly. It's very stiff. Some of the pieces do look slightly warped when it's all assembled, so I'll need to look further to see what's causing that.

 

Assembly was comically difficult! There are only six pieces, or seven if you count the shelf, but every time I got past three pieces I couldn't manage to add a new piece without having an old one fall off. After a lot failed attempts, I resorted to taping the whole thing together incrementally until it was complete, and I could add the T-slot screws. With the screws in place, it was nice and solid, so I was able to remove the tape. Here's a close-up of one of the T-slot screws:

 

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With a PDS ethernet card installed, the space below the shelf was just barely too short, making it impossible to install the shelf and the ethernet at the same time. I didn't account for the metal shield on the ethernet card, which adds a couple of millimeters of thickness. For now I'm running without the ethernet card, so there's nothing under the shelf but the logic board. But I discovered that the metal shield can be easily removed from the ethernet card, so I'll try that tomorrow. I think it will fit. Meanwhile, the height above the shelf is probably more generous than necessary, and could be reduced.

 

I have the case stuffed with an LC III board right now, and it's working fine. With no speaker, no fan, no spinning hard drive, and no LEDs, it's impossible to tell that it's on except by looking at the video display on the monitor. It's kind of weird. Even a Mac Plus isn't this silent. Having no speaker is unfortunate. Yes I could use headphones or an external speaker, but it's not the same. I'll look for a tiny speaker I can shove somewhere into the unused cubic centimeters.

 

Tomorrow I'll try restuffing the case with the guts of the LC 475. The 475's power supply has a screw on the end that's in a different location from the power supply I used as my reference, so that may be a problem. I probably shouldn't have tried to box the PSU so tightly.

 

Cooling doesn't look like a problem so far. With the case top in place and with no fan, after 30 minutes of run time SCSI2SD is 83 F, the power supply is 90 F, logic board chips are 94 F, and the hottest area near the CPU is 115 F (46 C). I can already see that the locations I chose for the passive cooling vents were stupid, though. Maybe the LC 475 with PDS ethernet card will show a more interesting thermal profile than the LC III.

 

Now back to playing with my little orange monster...

 

 

 

 

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Snazzy. It's vaguely reminiscent of the tangerine iMac color (at least as far as I can see from the internet). It'd probably block the airflow, but visually it looks like there might be space for the floppy and a fan? in the center middle  if the design had some additional support rails/platform inside. Seeing the circuit board is neat but it seems sad without anything on the front.

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It's gorgeous. [8D]

 

The only tweak for it I can think of offhand would be to make up a little bit longer SCSI cable. Slit it like a madman so you can rotate the SCSI2SD through 180 degrees and showcase its good side. You might consider sourcing a Sun cable made up of multi-hued individual wires to shorten up. Your design needs a bit more color. [;)]]'>

 

You've got the PersonalPizzaBox design nailed down, so there's no point in me playing with it more. However, you've inspired me to take a whack at the Q700 MiniTower form factor.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Thanks. The small empty space towards the front of the case is only about 2 inches square, so it could fit a small fan but definitely not a floppy drive. If a floppy is needed, the plan was to snake a cable outside the case, but I haven't tried that yet.

 

I really want to get a speaker in there somehow.

 

The SCSI cable is slit into six pieces, so maybe it could rotate 180 degrees. I didn't even think to try that! I suspect the molex power connector will be too short, but it's worth an attempt.

 

JT, I also tried it oriented as a tower, with the PSU on the bottom. It works, and it won't topple over in a breeze, but if you give it a good bump it'll fall over. If you want a tower config, you would definitely need a wider (taller) case, or outrigger feet.

 

I placed several vents in the bottom of the case, as you can see in the first photo. But when it's assembled the case sits flat on the desk and those vents are completely blocked.  :scrambled: What was I thinking? I guess some feet would be useful after all.

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  [;)]]'>  Feets™are invariably useful, I wish I had a set of round ones with the Apple logo imprint. They started out styling, got toned down until the IIcx and wound up a major fashion statement in the Q605.

 

The SCSI cable is slit into six pieces, so maybe it could rotate 180 degrees. I didn't even think to try that! I suspect the molex power connector will be too short, but it's worth an attempt.

 

Don't have one handy, but it looks to me to be a bit short to make it around the bend and up the hill to the SCSI2SD connector. Your brain does electronics development, mine's just topsy turvy  .  .  .

 

.  .  .  collaboration is the bombe!

 

.  .  .  tried it oriented as a tower, with the PSU on the bottom. It works, and it won't topple over in a breeze, but if you give it a good bump it'll fall over. If you want a tower config, you would definitely need a wider (taller) case, or outrigger feet.

 

Looked it over earlier and it's got some real potential. I'd already pulled the Missile Command Module off the display shelves and it'll be heading to NASA's Body & Fender Shop to emerge flight ready. Gotta get one of my printers running to do that Missile Command graphic up in color for the poster board front panel overlay. Chintz cuts both ways in terminology. [:D]]'>

 

You've got the 605 project well under control and I've toppled it up and over the top with mj's input. Floofies has the Quadra 630 covered, so developing a Saturn_V scale SAM from that platform is kinda silly  .  .  .  even for me.

 

So I'm hot on the trail of the mother lode of IIsi parts tucked away somewhe  .  .  .   ::)

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This is way cooler than I imagined when you first started the thread. Now you have me thinking of what other mini-Macs might be fun to make.

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Well, the IIsi itch has been well and truly scratched. Fits on letter size paper, so the area of that one side's 1.375 sq.in. less than the CorrugatedQuadra's, but cubic is waaaay over the top  .  .  .

 

.  .  .  imagine that. [:D]]'>

 

Film at 11.

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Little orange monster version 1.1, now with LC 475 guts, a PDS ethernet card, and a speaker. Here it is outfit with a Floppy Emu and ADB-USB Wombat:

 

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I realized I mounted one of the side pieces upside down yesterday, which explains why things seemed a little warped. It's better now.

 

After removing the metal shield from the ethernet card, there's just barely enough interior height to fit the card, the shelf, and the SCSI2SD above it. Using a SCSI cable with integrated strain relief, it wouldn't fit, and I had to substitute a different SCSI cable that's a couple of mm thinner. Rotating SCSI2SD 180 degrees with the component side up was impossible.

 

The case opening for the PDS card is fine, but without the metal shield, there's a gap around the ethernet jack. Bonus ventilation! Here's a photo of that, along with the right side vents:

 

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The speaker is taped to the inside of the case to prevent it from moving around, which is ugly. There's not enough space for it to lie flat, so it's propped up at a strange angle. I'll hunt around for a smaller 16 ohm speaker to use in its place.

 

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There's a slot in the front where I've run a floppy ribbon cable, so I can hook up a Floppy Emu when needed.

 

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The LC 475 version runs cooler than the LC III did (which was already fairly cool). I'll find some proper feet later, but for now I've propped up the case to provide some passive airflow to the underside vents. Even with no fan, I couldn't find anything inside warmer than 88 F / 31 C. I was prepared to mount a tiny fan inside, but that doesn't look necessary now since the passive cooling is more than adequate.

 

So I think this little guy is pretty much done, aside from feet and maybe a new speaker! It's barely any bigger than my keyboard, which is neat.

 

If anybody wants to build their own, or use this as a starting point for further experiments, take the files I posted here: https://68kmla.org/forums/index.php?/topic/30772-homemade-mini-case-for-lc-p475-q605/?p=334916. There are two files: one for the bottom and sides, and one for the top and shelf, so you can have the two different sheets made in different colors. Upload the files to ponoko.com, and have each one cut on a P2 sized 3mm thick acrylic of your color choice. You can also use 3mm MDF wood if you want a different look. Along with the case pieces, you'll need 11 M3x10mm screws with matching nuts. #4-40 size screws probably fit too, but I haven't tried it. You'll also want some plastic zip ties to strap down the power supply.

 

A few things I'd do differently, if I were going to do this again:

 

- Add about 3mm to the height under the shelf, to fit thicker PDS cards

- Add about 3mm to the height above the shelf, to fit thicker SCSI cables

- Integrate small feet into the side pieces, to elevate the case for better underside airflow

- Have fewer vents around the PSU, and more vents around the CPU and PDS card

- Cut the vent slots into the shape of an Apple logo

- Reposition the floppy cable slot, so it's better aligned with the logic board's floppy connector

- Add an opening for a power LED so I can tell when it's on

 

 

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Cooling update: after a few of hours of use, the case temperature with passive cooling crept up to 112 F / 44 C. That should still be fine, but it was enough for me to be curious how much a fan would help. Not much, as it turns out. I mounted a tiny 1-inch diameter fan over the bottom vents, in the same spot where I had the speaker earlier. I could definitely feel some warm air blowing out the top vents, so it was working, but it had an annoying high pitched sound. After an hour or so with the fan, the warmest spots were around 100 F / 38 C. A difference, but not a dramatic one.

 

I'll probably remove the fan. I'm not sure how hot is "too hot", and I'm not sure my temperature measurement method is the best, but I'll arbitrarily define 140 F / 60 C as the red line. Although as long as the computer is still working and doesn't glitch or crash, isn't that the true test?

 

What's interesting is that the hottest area isn't the CPU or the power supply, but a couple of the support chips near the SCSI and serial ports. They run about 10-15 degrees F hotter than anything else I measured.

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My GeForce GT 610 idles at 44 C, and my CPU (Using Core Temp) states it's max temp per core is 60 C.

44 doesn't seem high to me.

And great work on the case! Feel like commissioning one for a G4 board?  [;)]]'>

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Feel like commissioning one for a G4 board?  [ ;)]

 

Hehe, you can do it yourself, it's easy! I used Inkscape, which is a free vector drawing program. The only really critical measurements are for the locations of the screw holes in the bottom plate, so you can screw down the logic board. But even those could be fudged a little if you make them small slots instead of round holes, so there's room to slide the screw back and forth as needed. The rest is just:

 

1. Draw a rectangle of desired size

2. Add tabs to the sides of the rectangle, that stick out 3 mm

3. Add slots to the mating rectangles, with 3.3 mm width (10% fudge factor)

 

You could also use a "box maker" tool for the initial layout, then tweak it: http://www.makercase.com

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Corrugated G4 prototyping! That's a big board! If you're serious about it, there's another thread in the making.

 

You're looking at something the size of the PEx In a Drawer. Using an ATX PSU to replace the big honking 9600 PSU in that thing would reduce the width by a lot and the height to MoBo components under any given PSU case.

 

Quadra700/8500/G4 is a nice format wit a significant cubic reduction.

 

When you've got vertically oriented expansion cards you're pretty much defining your form factor's limits. Not using them at all is one option. Using a pair of them on U-risers would be another.

 

610/6100 build seems promising.

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The final (?) update for the Little Orange Monster:

 

1. Even though I don't think it's necessary, I added a tiny 1-inch fan. It was annoyingly loud and whiney, so I rigged it to run from +5V instead of +12V. Now it's much quieter, but also turns more slowly and moves less air. After several hours of run time, the hottest internal temperature is 113 F / 45 C on the bottom of the logic board near the serial ports. The CPU temperature is about 90 F / 32 C.

 

2. I relocated the speaker, using a very professional scrap of cardboard to float it above the RAM. It's sandwiched tight when the case's top is installed. I thought this might cause muffled sound, but it's not at all.

 

Here you can see the fan and speaker placements:

 

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3. Added some stick-on feet to the case bottom, so it sits about 4mm above the desk. This provides a little more airflow to the bottom vents. I went overboard with the feet, and used 10 of them!

 

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4. Stole some RAM from the detestable Performa 6205, so now this machine has 36 MB.

 

5. Now that I know how to transfer software to the SCSI2SD card, I loaded it up with everything I could find. That includes the Tetris Max source code, other strange pieces of shareware that I wrote, Hypercard stacks I made in 1989, SoundMaster audio recordings I thought were hilarious when I was 18, and other gems.

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Yay, finally some cardboard! Got duct tape?

 

Next time you pop the top of that very orange crush can, have a Variable decibel output level control unit ready to pop in there under a cooling slot so you can punch its buttons.. Gotta give mine a spin. [;)]]'>

 

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Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Just wanted to add my congratulations for a job well done, BMOW. It's a really cool project and I look forward to seeing where things go from here. The LC has always been near and dear to my heart.

 

One thing that really makes me smile is the inclusion of your Retro USB in those pictures. I'm really enjoying mine and it's currently connected to a beige G3 desktop, which will become my primary machine for producing screen capture videos for my channel. Just dropped a hefty sum on a VGA to USB 3.0 capture device for that purpose. Was getting tired of the relatively limited software options on classic Mac OS. Capturing anything over 640x480 or anything remotely CPU intensive was impossible. Still, the G4 MDD did a pretty decent job of it for a while. =P

 

P.S. what 'other strange shareware' did you write and can we get our hands on it?? ????

Edited by LazarusNine

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I made a game called Dr. Max, which was a sort-of clone of Dr. Mario. It wasn't very popular, but I think it was the best and most polished shareware game I ever did. I think it's on Macintosh Garden if you want to check it out.

 

Lots of other stuff was just for my own amusement. Puzzle games, half-finished adventure games, fractals, stuff like that. I made a Hypercard stack using a 1-bit digitized image of myself (from a Thunderscan), cut out and animated the jaw in a crude sort of talking dummy effect, and loosely synced it to some audio so it looked like I was talking. Then made it say various amusing/inappropriate things.

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