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joshc

Power Mac G4 with Sonnet Encore ST G4 1.6 GHz - Restoration thread

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Original thread for this machine in Conquests:

 

This is the restoration thread for my Power Mac G4 with Sonnet 1.6 GHz upgrade that I recently acquired from eBay.

 

The stock speed of this machine was 400MHz. It has been upgraded to 1.5 GB RAM by the previous owner. No hard drives are in the machine yet.

 

When I received the machine, it was not in the best of condition (cosmetically), but most of this was just because it hadn't been cleaned for a long time by the looks of it.

 

What I'm doing to begin with is cleaning, I don't like working on a dirty machine so this is my first priority, upgrades and further changes can come later.

 

Typical dirt under the top cover, no idea how this happens but it seems to be a common problem.

 

IMG_9271.thumb.jpg.59b9326ba5190635c91fa736068a3e42.jpg

 

The front panel, not too bad:
 

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Inside, typical dirt

 

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Side panels have seen better days, but most of this is just light surface marks although some of the scratches are deep.

 

The real reason I bought the machine, the Sonnet Encore GT upgrade:

 

 

 

I did a power on test, and the machine boots from a Tiger disc OK - System profiler confirms the RAM / CPU specs I've mentioned above. I can't go further than that until I get some storage for the machine.

 

So, onto the cleaning. I started at 11AM today and finished at 3.30PM, to completey disassemble and clean everything and then reassemble the machine.

 

Top cover removed to clean that first...

 

IMG_9283.thumb.jpg.20cc6e4fc685796d220c688e0c48be63.jpg

 

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Afterwards:
 

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The state I received the bottom covers and handles in:
 

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I didn't want to spend ages scrubbing the handles, so I soaked them in hot water and detergent

 

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Someone wrote 'M' in permanent marker on the back...ugh

 

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Dirt, dirt everywhere

 

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Inside, things don't improve...

 

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OK, it was then time to remove the first side panel. The fan assembly has to be removed first. There are plastic clips behind the fan assembly which need to be pushed inwards to release the side panel. This was a little tricky but they eventually loosened up - and they didn't break!

 

IMG_9314.thumb.jpg.b423ab8a52e7ccd9db3e92d8d9bc7387.jpg

 

It's not surprising, but the vents don't have lots of room so dust gets stuck easily over time.

 

Back of the side panel:
 

IMG_9315.thumb.jpg.825ae24c9568418730adc545bc4a02ba.jpg

 

Don't worry fan, you'll get some attention soon...

 

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With the back cover removed, the Mac starts to look more naked...

 

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Front panel removed from... the front:

 

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The chassis is very roomy when there's nothing in there...

 

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Drive caddys needed a good wipe down

 

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I made some progress with the permanent marker, but got bored of scrubbing, so this is where it's up to now...

 

IMG_9330.thumb.jpg.3c9d21f64494ae6ef888b99cac5e0f7c.jpg

 

I took the cover off the PSU to inspect it. No surprises here, it looks pretty clean and there's no obvious sign of any imminent component failure. I gave it a quick clean, took the fan out to clean it, and put it back together. This won't be recapped for now as it seems fine.

 

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All the things were cleaned...

 

IMG_9333.thumb.jpg.3b561d05d87800492b0b1800ae6e617a.jpg

 

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The side panels were a little challenging, but I did make some improvement to them...Tooth paste worked the best for removing the stubborn scuff marks.

 

Before:

D

IMG_9339.thumb.jpg.0269713f8913dff7e8b642ecec23768d.jpg

 

During:

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After. I couldn't remove the blue marks - one to tackle another day.

 

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Getting closer now... I took apart the CPU fan assembly to clean it. This is a silly little fan which makes too much noise - I will work something out to improve this later.

 

IMG_9343.thumb.jpg.7928d04e7bda7388f4eb72169ae9b27b.jpg

 

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Ahhh, this is better...

 

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Things going back in:
 

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I'm pleased with it for now, pretty handsome...

 

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So, what's next for this machine?
 

An 80GB IDE hard drive is meant to be arriving in the post next week, and I should have a compatible OS 9 install disc by then too (I found some original Power Mac G4 discs and a manual on eBay).

 

Longer term plans...

 

- A 2nd IDE drive? Dual boot OS 9 / OS X

- SATA card / SATA SSD

- Better fans

- Recap logic board

- Work out what to use it for, except for it looking very pretty under my desk

 

Thanks for reading :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by joshc

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Looks lovely all cleaned up!

 

1.6 GHz is quite the upgrade from stock -- quite a fast G4, especially for one that can run Mac OS 9. It's the upper echelon of native classic performance. Great score there. Useful for all sorts of things. 

 

Recapping does seem prudent as the oldest G4s are getting to be about 20 years old now -- though I'm curious, has anybody actually seen catastrophic cap failure on a G4, or a G3 for that matter? Caps can of course be out of spec without having leaked or blown, but I'm wondering how the caps on these machines have generally held up.  

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I do like a happy ending.

Certainly a SATA with a SIL3112 chipset will allow you to use 2 SSDs per card and make your G4 quieter.

 

Maybe a SCSI card to allow to connect SCSI devices?

A 64MB card (Radeon 9000 Pro or a nVidia GeForce4 MX) might be nice too.

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If you want to use a SIL3112 based card keep in mind you will need to replace the flash chip on it with either a AM29LV040 or a SST39LV040 (Or is it SST39LF040? it's been so long i'm not 100% sure....) flashed with the sonnet firmware (it dose flash ID checks so it has to be one of those two chips), they don't just work out of the box

 

I have a couple of flashed 3112's around still if they are of interest to you, I did have issues with them on some models but the seemed to work fine on my Sawtooth

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16 hours ago, max1zzz said:

If you want to use a SIL3112 based card keep in mind you will need to replace the flash chip on it with either a AM29LV040 or a SST39LV040 (Or is it SST39LF040? it's been so long i'm not 100% sure....) flashed with the sonnet firmware (it dose flash ID checks so it has to be one of those two chips), they don't just work out of the box

IIRC, there's a Macronix chip that works as well, and Digikey has stock of it.  I was reading the SIL3112 thread where (Bolle?) the details were figured out regarding the resistors to switch between 5V and 3.3V on the flash chip.

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Nice work! Always good to hear that happy chime once a Mac is all cleaned up and functional.

 

I wouldn’t touch the motherboard caps at this stage - maybe give it another 5 years and check for cap leakage every now and then. 

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22 hours ago, ArmorAlley said:

Maybe a SCSI card to allow to connect SCSI devices?

A 64MB card (Radeon 9000 Pro or a nVidia GeForce4 MX) might be nice too.

Thanks, I forgot about these - yes both planned. I need to find a spares/repairs MDD to raid the graphics card from.

 

12 hours ago, Byrd said:

Nice work! Always good to hear that happy chime once a Mac is all cleaned up and functional.

 

I wouldn’t touch the motherboard caps at this stage - maybe give it another 5 years and check for cap leakage every now and then. 

Funnily enough, this Mac only chimed once - when I first got it, every single boot since then hasn't produced a chime (even before I did the tear down). I'm not sure why this is yet. And yes the speaker is plugged in :-)

 

21 hours ago, max1zzz said:

I have a couple of flashed 3112's around still if they are of interest to you, I did have issues with them on some models but the seemed to work fine on my Sawtooth

You might get a PM from me about this!

Edited by joshc

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