How I rescued an iMac (aka Frankentosh)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by product26, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #1
    I have always liked the idea of rescuing and repurposing dead macs. See my previous G4 to G5 case conversion HERE.

    I found a seventeen inch intel iMac with a broken screen on ebay and dreamt up this little project. This is an early 2006 iMac that has had the EFI updated from 4,1 to 5,1 allowing for more ram to be installed.

    Due to the unreasonable cost of replacing the screen on the 17" iMac's I set out to built a mid tower mac with a sleek simple look, a quiet cooling system, easily accessible hard drives.

    System Specs:
    2.33 ghz T7600 Core 2 Duo CPU
    3GB Ram (2+1 GB)
    64GB SSD System Drive
    1TB Western Digital Green Storage Drive
    1 DVI port (digital only)
    USB 2.0 (4 ports)
    Firewire 400 (2 ports)
    Gigabit Ethernet
    Headphone Out
    Audio Line Input
    Original internal speakers

    Classic Mac Pro Inspired cooling system (quiet and efficient)
    2 filtered front panel fans (120mm & 140mm)
    Reconfigured original heat pipe cooler
    Spot cooled graphics and system chipsets with temperature monitoring and thermal controlled fans. (The fans and thermal sensors for the optical and harddrive have been repurposed for cooling these chipsets. GPU thermal paste was redone with arctic silver)

    Some pictures!

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  2. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    #2
    very nice indeed :D well done sir :D

    any ideas for a water damaged 2010MBP?
     
  3. BlueHedgehog, Jan 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    BlueHedgehog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    #3
    I wonder if a similar Frankentosh could be built to "rescue" a mid-2011 iMac (not that it currently needs a rescue right now).

    A few questions I have regarding this Frankentosh:
    1. What version of OS X is it running?
    2. Is the DVI port on the back the one originally used for external video out?
    3. I don't know much about video output via DVI, but are u able to use two displays using only that DVI port?

    Speaking of video out, if you were to rebuild (or rescue) a mid-2011 iMac (if possible), would there be a way to have a video out port (mDP or DP) connected to the main (internal) DisplayPort connector found in the logic board (used for the iMac's internal display)? It'd be great to retain video output to 3 displays instead of being limited to two (via the 2 Thunderbolt ports).
     
  4. macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #4
    Good to see there are still hobbyists like yourself around; people who have the inclination and patience to see what is possible with limited resources. Kudos to you!

    Let's not forget that this whole computer revolution came about by people like you, who came together at the Homebrew Computer Club, exchanging ideas and showing off prototypes.
     
  5. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #5
    I'd say so. I am contemplating picking up a newer Mavericks compatible iMac with screen issues (NOT graphics issues.) Combine that with a G5 or Mac Pro enclosure and have a go at round 2.

    1. 10.6 (10.7 possible but not officially supported by Apple.)
    2. Yes
    3. No. The internal display connector has been disconnected and is only compatible with the OEM LCD panel. This leaves only the single Mini DVI output that is included in the I/O panel on the back of the iMac.

    Thank you.
     
  6. product26, Feb 8, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014

    product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #6
    This thing is kind of amazing!

    Aside from the older GPU, this thing scoots along quite well!

    I just upgraded to 10.8.4 via MLPostFactor. I have dual wifi antennas on order. The stock iMac configuration only used one antenna but the airport card has two antenna terminals so I figured, why not upgrade?

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Kek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    #7
    Instead of putting the iMac parts into another case. You could have removed the screen and replace with plastic and turn it into a Pizzabox Mac.
     
  8. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #8
    I've done just that with another iMac and a 19" server rack tray. It's my computer at the shop where I work.
     
  9. Kek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    #9
    Can you take pictures? Also, how did you deal with the fact that the back of the iMac is round?
     
  10. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #10
    With no screen, the front is nice & flat.
     
  11. product26, Feb 22, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014

    product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #11
    New photo of the inside.
    I rearranged some cabling and removed one of the 'spot cooling' fans because there is already plenty of air flow. One spot cooling fan remains to blow air behind the logic board, over a heatsink and out the back of the case.
    Dual wifi antennas also installed. The stock setup only used one antenna.
    BTW: I am putting this up on ebay.

    Picture: (Gotta love the EF-S 10-22mm lens)
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  12. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    in a Shaw Brothers wu xia
    #12
    that's wonderful

    So great you can repurpose the innards and get them working again.

    I'd be curious to see what you do with a recent iMac's components.
     
  13. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #13
    Me too... but it takes a TON of time and I am a bit burnt out on projects at the moment. Maybe I will pick up an i3 or i5 imac with screen issues or a broken internal display connection and fit it in a G5 or Mac Pro case.
     
  14. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    in a Shaw Brothers wu xia
    #14
    Understood

    Understand on the too many projects angle. If you ever should update an i3 or i5, it would neat to see what you do.
     
  15. product26 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #15
    An update... I sold this to someone who seemed to be quite excited about it and extremely appreciative of the entire project. Sounds like it went to a good home.
     

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