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G5 late 2005 (PCIe) Bluetooth module

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This is a request for anyone that has a late 2005 G5 with the factory Bluetooth install.

 

Due to the fact that the 'runway' card is basically impossible to find at a reasonable price, I'm looking for high resolution images of both sides of it.

 

This seems like the kind of thing that someone experienced in pcb design should be able to duplicate relatively easily, given that it's just a board with passive components and a connector. Sourcing the connector would be the next hurdle.

 

Any pointers to high quality images of the bare board (without the Bluetooth card attached, please) would be appreciated.

 

Or if someone has a dead G5 with this board and would like to donate it, I'm happy to pay for shipping.

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Wow, I can't believe the prices for a passive card I saw in a search. Unfortunately my dual G5 doesn't have that upgrade installed.

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Have fun making that; why not a USB BT adapter?  Even routed internally with an antenna would be a good option.

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@jeremywork

Thanks for your fast response.  The camera flash looks like it washed out the traces in a fair few of the pictures.  We can try playing with the levels for the darker pictures.  It's hard taking pictures of small traces on dark PCBs.

 

If you could run it on a scanner just to see what it looks like, I would very much appreciate it.

 

Edit:

And as for 'why not a USB one', my only real response is 'why not remake the original?'  USB is a CPU-heavy bus anyway, and being able to use the original data path will save some CPU cycles.  And I'd really like to undercut those people selling the riser card for $75

Edited by androda

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33 minutes ago, Unknown_K said:

that board is unobtanium. 

 

Sure seems to be... I ended up backordering this through my GSX account back in 2012 because original retail price seemed like a better deal :p

 

9 minutes ago, androda said:

@jeremywork

Thanks for your fast response.  The camera flash looks like it washed out the traces in a fair few of the pictures.  We can try playing with the levels for the darker pictures.  It's hard taking pictures of small traces on dark PCBs.

 

If you could run it on a scanner just to see what it looks like, I would very much appreciate it.

 

Gladly- that was two from different cameras, so hopefully between the two the detail is useful. I'll see if I can upload scans shortly.

 

You could try this one for $75, supposing it really is in stock.

https://www.macsology.com/922-7152-runway-card-power-mac-g5-late-2005-820-1830-a-630-7054.html

 

 

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Hopefully these are clearer... 

 

Compliments of the Color OneScanner 1200/30 (which apparently could use a good cleaning inside, sorry.)

 

 

Frontside.thumb.png.d82bc1525ccf3ee27bebfd1bc42cbc2e.png

Backside.thumb.png.4d74d6850f6e75f9f6581665492bc90d.png

 

Edited by jeremywork

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5 hours ago, androda said:

And as for 'why not a USB one', my only real response is 'why not remake the original?'  USB is a CPU-heavy bus anyway, and being able to use the original data path will save some CPU cycles.

The Bluetooth modules on all of the G5s (and G4s and some if not all Intel models) run over an internal USB interface. So you're really not saving any cycles by using the internal USB-based card vs. an external USB device, except you'd maybe save a little clutter and maybe have a better antenna with the internal card.

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On 5/28/2020 at 10:37 AM, androda said:

And as for 'why not a USB one', my only real response is 'why not remake the original?'  USB is a CPU-heavy bus anyway, and being able to use the original data path will save some CPU cycles.  And I'd really like to undercut those people selling the riser card for $75

 

One website you probably wouldn't buy from is selling it for $75, even if was available it'll cost you a lot more time and money to reproduce.  As the the precious USB cycles thing? :-I  Perhaps look out for a junker PCIe G5 with the card - G5s can be found pretty cheaply if picked up locally.

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Thanks for the pictures. Hopefully I can make some progress as time goes on.

 

Actually, the board is small enough that making it isn't expensive. The time consuming part will be tracing it all out and making the board files. Finding the connector will be the next hard part.

 

And if it really is just using USB, then making an adapter board for the slot will be much easier. Mount the USB stick inside the computer instead of outside. Maybe use the built in antennas.

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The PCIe G5 models use a combined AirPort Extreme/Bluetooth module, so the runway board and its connectors provide both PCIe signals to the AirPort section and USB signals to the BT section. If you just want to provide an internal BT connection, you could save yourself some effort and production cost by just figuring out which traces are used for the BT section and connect only those, and also just use a USB header instead of whatever special connector is used for the full combo card, Shouldn't be more than 5-10 traces or so. Or you could possibly go all-out and design a custom board that provides a standard mini-PCIe connector and a USB header so you can use both a standard PC wifi card (including upgraded N or AC cards, assuming the chipset has 10.4 or 10.5 support) and standard USB BT module internally. I may buy one of those.

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I followed this video's suggestion to stick an older card into the late 2005 G5, and it works fine.  

 

In Apple system profiler, the card appears under PCI, listed in slot 'GIGE'. Normal PCIe cards are listed in 'SLOT-1', and so on. Edit: not sure why it's in the list twice.

 

Given that this older card works, that means it's not a PCIe bus at least on the wifi side (older cards like this don't offer Bluetooth). No older Apple computers had PCIe. I suppose the slot could be using one of those PCI to PCIe adapters in the chipset it connects to.

 

Edit: bcm5714 (as shown in the PCIe device list) is a pci-e to pci-x bridge chip with built-in dial gigabit Ethernet ports. So it's 100% a PCI link for at least some of the card.

 

I am curious whether the Bluetooth module is listed under USB. Hey @jeremywork, could you check under PCI and USB in the apple system profiler to see how your card appears?

 

Ignore the date in the attached picture, I just took that this morning without setting the time.

 

Another fun possibility this brings up would be a card that lets you use a PCI card in the G5. Wonder whether it's specialized to airport only.

DSC_1783.JPG

Edited by androda
Definitely a bridge chip

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Mine also shows two 'bcom5714' interfaces in the GIGE slot, despite the airport card reporting as a BCM43xx. I suspect these are the two gigabit ethernet ports built-in to the late 2005 models (possibly adapted from the same parts Apple used for the older PCI-X gigabit ethernet add-in cards.) The Bluetooth on mine is definitely a USB device.

 

(PCIe Slot 3 and 4 are an AJA Kona 3 and Apple Fibre Channel Card, which also account for the '7x4' and 'dxc' slots.)

 

211712339_Picture5.png.45041a0441cc95f7ecc1e03f1730cd49.png1814151905_Picture8.png.47ba2a9431539b84ec372f8091be3739.png1129326061_Picture6.png.0ce68cd5d58015d828894b46b3898894.png391747660_Picture7.png.5fd786766f23418d1d492b174e7b9ebb.png

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Yeah looks like I got some bad info on that and jumped to the wrong conclusions. Sorry. Definitely no PCIe signals available at the AirPort Extreme socket in a late 2005 G5.

 

However if all you wanted was internal BT the rest of my post stands: you can just trace out the 5-10 USB lines and install a USB connector rather than run all of the unnecessary lines and find the special connector and then an adapter for whatever BT module you were planning to install.

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