Caring for a G4 Cube

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by CooperBox, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #1
    A few weeks ago I decided to give my Cube some t.l.c. It's used fairly regularly, for web browsing, together with a highly tweaked TenFourFox - again THANKS to those contributors!
    I rarely use the optical drive, but it's always bugged me that the drive (SR-8186-B) is not 100% serviceable, as (with most G4 cubes) the CD/DVD insertion is slow, and ejection very poor. I always keep a pair of tweezers (long pointed jaws protected by scotch tape) close by to serve as a manual extraction aid tool.
    In fact I'm never content if any of my 'old PPC girls' are not 100% serviceable, which led me recently to pull the drive and attempt a fix.
    I was guided by information read on the Cubeowner.com site, where it was stated that many attempts to modify the drive rollers apparently ended in failure. The main cause for poor ejection being the rubber rollers spinning on their guide rails. A tutorial on the same site indicated that a solution was found in removing both halves of the tapered rubber rollers from their guides, fitting heat-shrink tubing close to each ends of the roller guide, refitting the original rollers, then adding a further section of slightly larger diameter heat-shrink tubing in the centre area (as an aid to CD insertion).
    I succeeded in refitting both tapered rollers over the first 2 sections of heat-shrink tubing (difficult), and then getting the larger piece of heat-shrink tubing fitted in the centre over the rest of the assembly. However a subsequent power-up test showed no improvement. Automatic insertion of a CD was still sluggish, and the ejection still poor, necessitating use of tweezers to pull the CD from the slot.
    I again disassembled the drive, removed the sleeves I'd fitted, re-measured/re-recut new pieces of heat-sleeving, and re-installed. Again the result gave no improvement, which was a surprise, as the original author of the tutorial had stated it appeared to be an efficient fix.
    Fitting both innermost parts of added sleeving was straight forward. Sliding both tapered rubber rollers over this was difficult, as their tight inner diameter had a tendance to slightly deform the inner sleeves.

    CubeG4-CDrepair1.jpg

    CubeG4-CDrepair2.jpg
    CubeG4-CDrepair3.jpg
    CubeG4-CDrepair4.jpg

    So this post really serves as an SOS request to anyone who may have succeeded with this, or advise on some other proved modification to the rollers.
     
  2. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #2
    First off - I do not own a Cube. Still, I had some ideas.

    1.) What about putting a small piece of double sided tape around the roller - like scotch tape? It might give just enough sticky adhering power for the roller to lift the CD out. Yanno, just enough adhesion to keep the wheel from slipping against the CD and not sticky enough to leave a residue on the CD. I'd imagine you could replace it every few years as needed (if ever) and if it doesn't work, just disassemble and pull it off lol.
    2.) My other thought was turn the Cube sideways when ejecting a CD?

    I had the exact same issue with a slot-loader bondi Imac. Occasionally a CD would get stuck in it. I would use a butter knife (with double sided scotch tape LOL) to fish it out. Best of luck to you.
     
  3. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #3
    I did the lazy method... I got lucky and when I got a Pro Keyboard and Mouse that came from a cube setup (distinctive since the keyboard has a blue Apple logo on the back to match the cube's Apple logo as opposed to others that have a clear apple logo), the seller on LEM Swap included the modified ODD board that has the reversed connector so that you could use any IDE-based ODD, aka any Apple ODD until 2009. My cube currently has a DLSD ODD. I'd love to get an SSD for my cube, as well as a fan. And at some point, a fellow forum goer is sending me a new GPU to replace the original R128.
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #4
    I went the even lazier route and connected an external desktop DVD burner via FireWire. Works great, and for me it's a faster+better solution than fixing the internal drive. But I have opened the Cube several times to upgrade the VRM, CPU (1.8 GHz Sonnet Encore), add a fan, put in an SD card-based Solid State Drive (SSD), and will do so again once I figure out how to flash and make quieter the GeForce 6200 (currently using a GeForce 2MX for Tiger). Undoubtedly my Cube has received a decent amount of love.
     
  5. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #5
    At cube owner there is a step by step in putting an apple laptop slot drive in the cube. You have to make spacers to align with the slot on the cube, but then you have more up to date replacements which are bootable, and add DVD.
     
  6. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #7
    Many thanks for all your comments.
    @RhianB. I've tried turning the Cube on it's side in an attempt to aid ejection. No change. (Don't think this can be too healthy for the HD though).....
    I'll experiment a little more, including your suggestion of putting a small piece of double sided tape around the roller. And report back.
    Incidentally, what is your avatar? It always seems to give me a sense of 'deformed unease'.

    @Gamer9430. One of my Cubes came with original keyboard with blue Apple logo on the back, so I guess I got lucky too. I'm currently looking out too for a modified ODD board with the reversed connector.

    @redheeler. Not a bad idea, getting an external desktop DVD burner with FW connection. Unfortunately I've rarely seen any here. Believe LaCie made a few models, which I'll keep an eye open for.

    @havokalien. There used to be hundreds of excellent articles and tutorials on Cubeowners. But it looks like the site has now ceased activity, no longer active, and the domain name now up for sale. In fact only two weeks ago, I'd not only logged on to the site, but used the optical drive repair tutorial and bookmarked it.
    http://cubeowner.com/kbase_2/indexphp?article=85
    Now an unreachable link.

    @ctmpkmlec4. Thanks. I didn't realize these MCE Cube upgrade drives were still available. If my future repair attempts prove futile, and I was in the U.S. I'd seriously consider purchasing one - although the $99 price of the Superdrive DL model exceeds the price I paid for one of my very respectable/serviceable Cubes. Plus p&p charges to Europe would again increase the total cost. I guess there's also an additional import tax to consider.
    As I'll be visiting Montreal next spring, would anyone know if delivery charges US-Canada would be significantly cheaper than U.S-France?
     
  7. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #8
    I calculated shipping within the site's shopping cart, and to Montreal H1A 0A1, U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail rate was $25.95 USD (6 to 10 days delivery time). One thing I forgot to mention about this DVD drive upgrade is that it appears to require OS X 10.2.8 or later. My guess is that disc burning won't work under OS 9, but I don't know that to be true. And, there are two different disc drive options depending on which model of disc drive was originally shipped with your Cube.

    I hadn't been to the Cubeowner site in several months; it was a great resource for upgrade and repair tips. Too bad it appears to be shutdown. I wonder if the admin made an archive of the site before taking it offline?
     
  8. RhianB, Nov 20, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016

    RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #9
    LOL Cooper, this was a self-portrait I drew when I was 4 in Kindergarten (33 years ago). My Mom n Dad had squirreled it away and when we were cleaning out their filing cabinets of documents etc. we found this along with a bunch of other stuff my brother and I did as kids. We couldn't stop laughing when I found it because its ... well, so damn ugly so naturally, I framed it ;)

    Just outside of view on the original it says "ME". :D

    Hey, check this out. I found a FW external DVD super drive on ebay with a low BIN of $21.00 so with freight to Canadia, it might make sense just to have so you can use it across all of your cubes. The auction is out of Texas but does not exclude shipping to Canada, Europe etc. Using USPS UnitedStatesPostalService Priority Mail Express International™ Padded Flat Rate Envelope would be about $60.00 to ship to France, so yeah shipping to Canada is a lot cheaper - roughly half that.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Acer-Ferrar...VD-RW-Slim-Multi-Drive-E0SD-0MP-/371780968363
     
  9. bobesch, Nov 20, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #10
    Here are two external firewire optical drives, that might fit your needs:
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/ICY-BOX-IB-5...211110?hash=item3606e9aba6:g:ipoAAOSw65FXqvTb
    or even better:
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/112210506594?_trksid=p2055359.m1431.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
    I was happy to "find" my old external "LG DVD-Burner-Drive" sitting somewhere in a shoebox sporting a FireWire-socket - bought it more than 10y ago for an outdated Win-PC.
    Did serve me well to boot-up the Cube(s) and I prefer using the external drive instead of the build in one to keep it alive 'cause that internal drive is a replacement-part from an otherwise not working Cube, I got from someone next door for 25EUR in combination with a 15" display...)
    For the Cubeowner-website use the Wayback-Machine to recover those valuable information. I even found a lot of forgotten Apps for PPC that way, since they even stored the downloadable files...

    PS: I'm the first bidder for the Plextor - just for the hell of it. Let me know if you jump in and I'm gonna cease bidding...

    Here some more:
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...w=extern+DVD+laufwerk+drive+firewire&_sacat=0
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/EZQUEST-Boa...634190?hash=item4647761ece:g:nOcAAMXQwwlR9Jb0
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/DVD-CD-Brenn...117307?hash=item33c35f087b:g:FgcAAOSw44BYDNL-
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/SONY-DRX-710...471171?hash=item2ef49db283:g:8~kAAOSwCGVX4Fn9
     
  10. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #11
    Your own self portrait - brilliant! I just sensed it was a young kids handiwork, which you've now confirmed. It's almost kept me asleep at night with worry. ;) I'll rest more peacefully tonight........
    Thanks for the shipping info, eBay link etc.
     
  11. CooperBox, Nov 21, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016

    CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #12
    Many thanks for the links. I won't be bidding for the Plextor, so go ahead, and good luck.
    In fact I'm not even a 'Bay' subscriber, but perhaps that could soon change in the future.
    Are you still looking for a Clamshell QUERTZ version keyboard? I'm still after a QWERTY........;)
     
  12. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #13
    What a pitty. Someone/we should save all the articles. One could try "the wayback machine" https://archive.org/web/

    Unfotunately, your sited article is not in the waybackmachine or I didn't search correctly, but there could be still other articles.

    I think I saved the articles about how to flash certain graphics cards via several different methods as pdfs. We need a Cloud were we could save dying sites, maybe asking the makers of the sites first, of course.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 21, 2016 ---
    is this the whole logicboard with the connector or an adapter cable that was sent to you with the logicboard?
     
  13. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #14
    Yesterday, I sent an email to the site admin/owner. No reply yet...
     
  14. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #15
    I'm very interested to see if you get a reply. More-so if it's positive.
     
  15. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #16
    I remember a year back or so, I registered with the forum and wanted to open a thread, but it took an admin to activate my posting abbility and it didn't happen, so I send them an email, but I didn't get an answer back then, too. The site might have been abandonned for longer.

    I found a mirror of a few cubeowner.com threads/sites: http://archive.is/www.cubeowner.com and this http://newsalloy.com/cubeowner/cubeowner.com
    I didn't bother to look at page 2 of the google results ;)
     
  16. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #17
    I just got a error message today saying my email was not deliverable. I know the admin's name is Laurie Duncan. Other than the email associated with cubeowner.com, I have no other contact information for her.
     
  17. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #18
    Here you go, contact info for Laurie at her day job.

    http://www.macsamurai.com/contact-us/
     
  18. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #19
    I started to save some websites with articles on xlr8yourmac on my disk. They are not accessable via the website, only via google and keywords, so I fear they will disappear somewhen, too. Same with barefeets. I have yet to use the waybackmaschine to find sites from cubeowner.com to saved, because I have so little time. :(

    @ctmpkmlec4
    I wish you luck with contacting her (for all our own advantage :) ).
     
  19. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #20
    I too couldn't retrieve any info from those links either.
    I've just spent some time searching through archive.org and it's been frustrating.
    Found this link https://web.archive.org/web/20041213081957/http://cubeowner.com/kbase/index.php?page=index_v1&c=4
    This whets our appetite to many indexed categories and articles on the Cube, but all the links I've tried are dead.
    I'll keep at it and may find one or two still active, but don't hold a lot of hope for that.
     
  20. Cox Orange, Dec 6, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #21
    I tried a bit here and there:
    - go to your link, go on the left side and hit "ctrl.+click", choose "copy link adress", then paste that into waybackmachine -> didn't work this time...
    - I typed "cubeowner" in my Firefox browser-adressfield and it completed it to some links. I copied these links and put them into waybackmachine and I finally had a hit https://web.archive.org/web/20151004111142/http://www.cubeowner.com/forums//index.php?showtopic=8798 (important how-to guide)
    - I also tried my link from the browser adress-bar in google and looked for a cached version, which didn't work

    I had posted the above link sometimes in forums, so I will look for old posts in other forums, because I know, I most likely will have posted not only the graphics cards how-to link series 1, but also the others. I will save the site content on my HDD, if you like you can do it, too, so we have two backups. I will also save the site as pdf. -> when saving the site content with Firefox, I think it will be best to choose the option "website, complete" or has someone a better recommendation? (According to Firefox FAQ it will save the site as you saw it on the internet, but it might break html structure, but you will be able to watch it offline. There is another option that keeps html structure intact, but is without pictures, if I am correct).

    The problem will be to save what is behind the links in the article's text. Some actually work... https://web.archive.org/web/20080218021238/http://cubeowner.com/kbase_2/?page=index_v2&id=265&c=2 but I will also have to download all the files for download there (ATI driver etc.). If there was only an easier way.
    IMPORTANT: the last link above shows a list of all graphics flashing guides at the top (and the driver zip files at the bottom). The interesting thing is, they have the same texts as the original ones, but they refer to a newer design of cubeowner.com site and it has "Invision power board" added above. (at the bottom it says: "time is now: ... 2007")

    Invision Board / cubeowner guides:
    series 1 https://web.archive.org/web/20080227012833/http://www.cubeowner.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8798
    series 2 https://web.archive.org/web/20070406172510/http://www.cubeowner.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8806
    series 3 https://web.archive.org/web/20080325125108/http://www.cubeowner.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8804
    series 4 https://web.archive.org/web/20071102132347/http://www.cubeowner.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8807

    I am not sure, if this other design has just the design different or more active links.
     
  21. CooperBox, Dec 12, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016

    CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #23
    Not yet, I must follow this up.

    **NEWS FLASH**
    It only seems like minutes ago that I contacted Laurie, and a reply has come back at boomerang speed. And it's GOOD NEWS!!
    Laurie informs that 'Cubeowners' is not down intentionally or intended to be down for good. It appears that it will be revived on another server, other urgent priorities to date have prevented that from happening so far.
    Once it's back I would urge all Cube owners or potential owners to subscribe to the new site. I certainly will.
    Cheers Laurie! (Can't you see I'm smiling again)......
     
  22. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #24
    I just hope I'll be able to actually register an account after this happens...
     
  23. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #25
    After unsuccessfully trying to registrate to the old site 1-2 years ago I didn't have the feeling the site was supported in any way, any longer, back then, retrospectly speaking.
     

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