Well; I got bored a few weeks ago and my Main machines were both in trouble (a G4 Mac Mini – 1.42 overclocked to 1.67 – its HD is full and DVD burner doesnt burn anymore – cost to upgrade HD and replace DVD drive – about $200.00 and a old DellDesktop tower that has been cobbled together and running dual boot XP and Ubuntu 8.10)
So; I was looking around in the netbook forums – SERIOUSLY considering getting myself a MSI Wind to play with (which; will now be my NEXT purchase) and I caught wind of the MSI Wind PC (a mini Desktop using most of the winds components)
so; a plan was hatched.
-One mini PC based on MSI Wind Desktop hardware
-Boot the Granny Smith related operating system
-Full hardware support in all operating system
-no lack of features.
I also have a lot of hardware laying around so without haste I ordered this stuff:
A few months ago a costumer of mine GAVE me his daughters water damaged MacBook when he found out what a motherboard replacement would cost him. sad for her – GREAT for me.
take a good look at what a Dunkin Donuts coffee can do to a computer –
…Moving on – lets harvest this AirPort card: (it is an 802.11 a/b/g/n card. )
…and now for the bluetooth module; which is located under the DVD drive – here you can also see the MacBooks Bluetooth Antenna (that green stick looking thing on the top right hand side of the dvd burner)
there it is:
make sure that you get the cable too!
I had one of these kicking around from some previous upgrades:
we’re going to be taking the bluetooth antenna from that upgrade kit
Mac Mini upgrade kit Bluetooth antenna vs. the MacBook bluetooth antenna:
MacBook bluetooth module; its cable; and the Mac Mini antenna:
now to MORE of my salvage parts – here is the IR receiver and its cable from a 1.83ghz Intel 17″ iMac
the extra parts of the cable branch off to connect to the iMac’s built in iSight camera – which we wont be using.
and – I actually had to BUY two other things:
MacBook Pro Airport Antenna module – bought off of eBAY FOR $15.00
and a 4 port USB hub from Best Buy – $15.00
ok; the PC hadn’t arrived yet at this point – but no reason not to get down to business!!
Lets gut this USB hub…
oh wow; look at that AWFUL blue LED (MUCH brighter in person) – that HAD to go!! LOL
Ok, now I have removed the AWFUL blue LED; and de-soldered one of the USB port connectors from the hub:
and in its place; soldered on the Bluetooth module’s cable:
Ok; before moving forward – let me let everone who doesnt know; know.
in any iMac; MacBook; MBP; etc, etc – the Bluetooth module; keyboard and trackpad (on laptops); built in iSight; and IR Reciever are USB devices!! (this makes my project VERY easy!!)
**Note about the IR Recievers – the MacBook and MacBook Pro recievers are ULTRA minituraized; and integrated into the harddrive cable – so even though they ARE USB devices – they are very difficult to seperate out and use; additionally – on the MacMini – the IR Reciever board on the front of the frame is JUST the IR reciever eye; and not the whole module – the other part of it is semi-integral to the machine – so its a no go also… this is why I went with the iMac IR Reciever!!
and; here are some notes that may help anyone else doing this:
..My notes on the Bluetooth Board:
…and my notes on the IR Receiver:
any USB port is only 4 wires…
Vcc = +5 Volts
D- = Data –
D+ = Data +
GND = ground
and the “Stnadard” USB cable colors are:
Vcc = Red
D- = White
D+ = Green
GND = Ground
Like I said; the IR cable also has the connectors for the built in iSight – which we are not using and don’t need -so cut them off!!
and here I have mocked it up to an old USB pigtail I had (cord from an old Apple Pro mouse. LOL )
The system arrived!!
standard fare of accessories included..
power supply, and stand
Drivers CD for windows and a “Manual”
pretty good looking little box actually!!
OK lets rip it apart!!
Plenty of room; Removable tray for drives
internal (bootable) Compact Flash socket, two SATA connectors, a MINI PCIe connector; and an unpopulated header for a second MINI PCIe connector are on the board
And; the Airport card just slots right in!
no disks or anything; i just fired it up to check out the BIOS
ok; now the idea is to mount all of these extra accessories inside of the case – without taking up a USB port on the front or back of the case – so I need to look for places to pick it up on the board – I need a Vcc, GND, D- and D+…
As for Vcc and GND; i just tapped them off of the front USB ports (I couldn’t find any other 5v output on the board)
…Wire used here for power is 24ga (from a piece of CAT 5 cabling)
and; held down with tape to protect against shorting (would rathe use Kapton tape; but I haven’t got any – so Super 33 it was! )
Then I needed to find D+ and D- points on the board…. part of the MINI PCIe spec is USB on the header;
leg 36=D- and
leg 38=D+ to be specific!!
so I figured that I would try the unused Mini PCIe header on the board:
but; these proved to not work out for me – my USB devices got Power; but not Data – now truth be told I dont know for sure if it was a bad solder joint on my part – or the fact that the supporting circuitry is not in place for the second Mini PCIe header….
…either way; that left my only option being the USB on legs 36 and 38 of the primary mini PCIe header (the one that the airport card was installed into)
this is not a big deal; since the airport card does not use USB and is not connected to these lines – and I most likely wont be using any other devices in that slot other than the Airport card…
so; for this i used 30gauge wire (“wire wrapping” wire available at any electronics store)
After the lines were connected I held them to the board with some electrical tape and hot glue.
At this point I want to test my handy-work up until now; so I threw this hodge-podge together; and stuck a flash drive prepared with an Ubuntu 8.10 live image on it into the front usb port; and fired it up!!!!
the system came right up; and I promptly opened a terminal window and typed: “lsusb” to see what Ubuntu saw hanging off of its USB ports…
SUCCESS!!!! my devices are recognized!!
Now I insulated the back corner of the case from anything that could be “Shorted out” upon:
cleaned up the USB wiring with the aid of some shrink wrap; hot glue and electrical tape – and mounted the USB hub and the Bluetooth module into the case with the aid of some double back tape!
Now I wanted to get the IR module mounted in the front of the case so that the Apple Remote, etc can control the systems…
I want to fit the module right here inside the front panel;
but; some plastic and standoffs are in the way:
but not for long!!
also; must be conscious of the positioning when it will be sandwiched between the faceplate and the chassis
the cable will pass through that little space in the bottom right; but so does one of the tabs to hold the faceplate on – theres enough room for both; but youve got to be careful on installation
now I need to position the IR sensor and make a hole for the light to pass into so I positioned it and made a mark for the hole, and took a chance with the drill:
held in place:
Wrapped in tape:
held in place with double back foam tape:
during the process I broke the memory retention clips off
but that was easily fixed:
I installed the drives; and then affixed the MacBook Pro wireless antenna with my good friends double back foam tape and electrical tape:
Mounted the faceplate:
and that left me with the Bluetooth antenna install….
Then on to the operating systems installation…
(PLEASE make sure that you buy it.)
I will not discuss how to install or configure any of these operating systems; or provide any links to any resources to enable you to do so. This machine was built as a special project for my own personal software development purposes and I WILL NOT discuss the installation of operating systems.
The Triple boot configuration took a while to get down; but now I have it assembled, and triple booting using the GRUB boot loader; and under windows I installed the Boot Camp software from apple and all of my internal hardware is supported 100%
Sorry for the ULTRA long post!! But i thought that someone out there would be interested!!!!