PowerMac G4 Sawtooth restoration

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Xernicus, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Xernicus, Jan 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015

    Xernicus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    #1
    Inspired by the lot of you to get my 400Mhz Sawtooth running again, I just popped in a new HD, checked the memory (AHT on an iMac G3), and plugged her in.

    She chimes, and asks for a system folder, so I put in my OS 9 installation disc, reboot, and enter the startup volume chooser (Option upon boot)... and it sees nothing. So I dug around, swapped around some jumpers (AFAIK, these PowerMacs have the Optical on Master, and the HD on Slave, correct?), reset the PRAM and tried again- still nothing.

    This is of course, when I remembered that I bought it with a shot optical drive. In the past, I put the optical drive from a 1.6 G5 into the Sawtooth and installed Tiger. That optical drive however now resides in my 2.0DP G5, and that's my baby, so I don't want to dismantle it.

    So here's my main question: Can I take any old PATA Optical drive and shove it in this Sawtooth? :confused: I've got these things stacked from Wintel boxes that I've refurbished/parted out/etc. And so I'd like to use what's in my stock rather then going on a FeeBay/RE-PC/Interconnection hunt.

    I'd imagine I've got drives from Quanta, Pioneer, TDK, blablabla... so if the brand or Firmware plays a part in compatibility, I should have that covered.

    I've got pictures to share, but my upload speed is sloowwww, so I was hoping to share them while waiting for the Sawtooth to complete it's OS installation.

    Hope you all are having a good morning,
    Xern
     
  2. Xernicus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    #2
    Alrighty well in answer to my own question, it would seem that at the very least, Sony drives are compatible. In the past, I've had some issues with non-Apple shipping drives, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

    OS9 Has just finished installing, and I can tell that this thing needs a clean out- It's about as quiet as a Windtunnel. :s

    Here's the first of the pictures, including the Sawtooth in her full beauty on my workbench, a low-tech fix for a high-tech problem, and the gobs of dust that currently reside in the PSU and fan assembly. My next step (after taking compressed air to the internals) will be to remove the shaft and blade assembly from the fans, and give them a little oil.

    Upon booting to Mac OS 9, the display goes into sleep mode, something which I presume is because of incompatible drivers. So for now, I'll continue with my plan of dual-booting, and install Tiger, working out the OS 9 hoopla when I'm in the mood.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    I was going to say that it has been my experience that just about any CD/DVD PATA drive will work in a G4 - including Dual Layer DVD burners.

    But I see you've found that out.

    I'm not really a fan of the Sawtooths although I work with one every day. However, I AM a fan of pushing old Macs to their fullest capability so in that regard I'm with you.

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  4. Xernicus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    #4
    Tiger successfully installed

    I must admit, the Sawtooth is not my favorite either, though I must say that this is up and running like a dream. I'm not sure what exactly it's use will be, but with a 400Mhz G4 I'd say that a file server or classic gaming will probably be it's main purpose, at least until I get the CPU upgraded.


    After Tiger finished it's installation, for a quick test I plugged in my earphones into the speaker jack (I cannot fathom why there's no jacks on the front of this thing), turned the volume all the way up and opened up a 320kbps Mp3 file. Quicktime started within a few seconds and I was jamming away to my music. I also noticed that the built in audio (Apple Screamer) is incredibly well shielded. :D I couldn't hear any noise from CPU/HD/Optical drive load... so I might actually be using this for music production in the future.

    The video problem is exhibiting itself during boot of OS X as well, during the Spinning gear phase, though the display turns on once the "Starting Mac OS X" dialog box displays. Looking at the specs of the card (ATI Rage Pro 128), I'd say it's probably a resolution incompatibility. However it drives the monitor at 1280x1024@75Hz, so I must admit I am a little stumped. The card needs upgrading anyways however, so I'm not too bothered by it's quirks.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    The drivers for the Rage 128 are too old. If you do a verbose boot you will see a system message telling you such as things load.

    That said, the Rage 128 is still workable in Leopard. The Sawtooth right next to me is running Leopard (400mhz, 256mb ram) with an AGP Rage 128. I've also used the PCI Rage 128 in my Quicksilver at home.

    But, yeah, a new video card would be a serious improvement.

    Apple has always done audio very well. Despite my lack of love for certain Mac models, all of them have very good sound quality.
     
  6. Xernicus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    #6
    Thanks for the note about the drivers, I'll have to look into that. When I had Tiger on the old HD (about two years ago), I don't seem to recall having this issue, but then again it was years ago... :rolleyes:

    I went ahead and dusted the Sawtooth out before removing the cooling fan assembly and PSU. I was able to make the cooling fan quiet again by applying a drop of oil to the sleeve bearings, however the fan in the PSU appears to have a flat spot in one of said bearings. Ironically, I just put some of those 80mm fans into storage, so the fan replacement will have to wait. At any rate, the fan noise is now tolerable anyways. I also took advantage of having the Sawtooth opened up, and swapped out the lone 64MB memory module with a 128MB stick to match the others, and bring the total RAM up to 512MB.

    Somewhere in my mess of computer stuff I should have an ATI Radeon 9600 or 9800 that would be suitable for flashing- though I do all of my graphics work on my Dual G5, so I won't be missing out on much by leaving the factory video card in the Sawtooth for now.

    Just for fun, I took out my stopwatch and measured the time from chime to desktop, which is 36 seconds. Take away 7 seconds to account for the POST, and the boot time is at 29 seconds. Pretty spiffy. :cool:

    But how do I know that it took 7 seconds to POST? Well strangely enough, I'm able to see the spinning gear again- in the native resolution of the monitor, no less. The only thing that changed was the single stick of memory, so it looks like that might have been the culprit (Does the Rage Pro 128 utilize shared VRAM?). I must've mixed up one of the sticks and didn't test it, and put it in by mistake.

    For pictures, we have the cooling fan first, showing how to oil the bearings (remember, just a thin film is needed- there's no need for an ocean). Secondly, there's the PSU fan (I had to bend the sheet metal ever so slightly to get the fan out), which ironically has a plug that makes it super easy to add oil and not having to worry about it ruining the protective sticker. It's also probably the hardest component in this machine to change, being irreplaceable without bending the PSU sheet metal as I mentioned earlier (not that it's a hard thing to do, just exercise extreme caution). :rolleyes: And last but not least, the internal mounting screw for the PSU. My reason for including such a drab picture is because I was unable to get the screw back in without putting the Mac on it's back, and moving the PSU towards the top of the case and applying just a touch of pressure to the screw to get it through the second piece of sheet metal- I figure this might help someone in the future who's looking to replace a Sawtooth PSU.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    Good work on getting it going.

    I've occasionally had issues with certain computer/optical drive incompatibility(I've found B&W G3s, for example, really don't like Sony DVD-ROM drives and will lock up as soon as I try to launch a program-I've tried with multiple Sony drives and multiple B&Ws), but by and large pretty much anything goes in these.

    Our department IT guy lets me have my way with pretty much every Wintel box before it goes to Surplus, so I've gutted my fair share of optical drives myself. The above Sony/B&W is the only incompatibility I've ever noted.

    Since the Sawtooth only has a 2x AGP slot, you are somewhat limited in what graphics cards you can put in them. I have a(Mac edition) Radeon 8500 in mine, and it does great for what I ask of the Sawtooth.

    AFAIK, you can use pretty much any 4x AGP card in a Sawtooth, but 8x cards are off limits. The 9600 Pro PC and Mac edition is 4x(I just bought a couple of these cheap on Ebay). I'm not sure if it will work-I'll test when I get mine and report. I do know that the 9600XT Mac edition won't work.

    Depending on how much you want to spend, a GeForce4 Ti is probably your best bet on graphics but these can be a bit hard to find and pricey(I think these will work in a Sawtooth). On the more affordable side of things, a GeForce 4 MX or a Radeon 9000 would give you a good boost and will run fine in Tiger. These cards also have the advantage being the standard cards(not BTO) in the Quicksilver and the MDD, respectively, so are plentiful on the market. Just bear in mind that a Radeon 9000 will give you issues in OS 9 unless you install the Radeon drivers before installing the card(I spent 3 days trying to fix that problem on someone else's computer back in the fall before someone on here enlightened me to that).
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    For non-OS 9 uses, the ATI 9800 is the best card for a Sawtooth. Just make sure you get one that is compilable with AGP 2X slots as not all of them are.
     
  9. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    There was that one MR guy who had an updated Sawtooth that he loved and swore was faster than just about any G4, he always posted defense of it and got mad if anyone said another G4 was faster. I forget his name, he was sometimes rude and I think was eventually banned, but he was a good source of info on Sawtooths.

    I still have my Gigabit Ethernet, which is only a single core 400mhz but it shocks me how fast it is. It's like my head can't wrap around that a 400mhz machine can still be that fast. It seems faster than a 1.42ghz eMac I have, could that be true? lol
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    If you've maxed the RAM out to 2gb and have put a newer 7200rpm hard drive in it, I expect it does feel fairly "fast." These things make more of a difference, I think, than we give them credit for.

    My one and only eMac(I'm not a fan of the things) is 700mhz and a bit of a pig. It also has a failing 5400rpm hard drive that I haven't yet found the patience to replace(plus it's a fairly low priority job).My Sawtooth is definitely a much better and faster computer than that eMac, although the Quicksilver I use all the time runs circles around the Sawtooth.

    I really should get my GigE out and play with it some. I installed an OS on it, but haven't gone past that. Mine's a dual 500mhz model, so I expect that it should be fairly speedy at least under OS X. I also need to get a decent graphics card in it-I think a GEForce 4MX(I have one lying around) should help it out a lot.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #11
    zen.state.

    I never really saw the guy as a bad sort, just direct. If you came off as a fraud about something you purported to be an expert at he called you on it. Most people took that as a personal attack.

    There's another guy like that in another forum I lurk on and they seem to be two of a kind. Experts in their particular area, but rather inept with social graces - not that either cared if your feelings were affronted. It's always best to state your case to that type of person in the form of a question instead of a statement you can be called on.

    In zen.state's case I think it was more a matter of a constant disruption over anything personally that he did to anyone here.

    Well that and the fact that he got involved with creating a website with two other members and when that fell apart the acrimony played out here.

    http://powerpcliberation.blogspot.ca/
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12
    What oil are you using? Hopefully you did not use WD-40.
     
  13. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #13
    I don't think this guy would do this. What oil would you use?
     
  14. Xernicus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    #14
    Oh I most certainly did not use WD-40. Good job (and thank you for) looking out though! :)


    What I used was "Lite Oil" by "Hob-E-Lube". It's part number appears to be HL654 (WS654 also seems to work). It's designed for model railroads, motors, R/C cars, etc. and safe on plastic (I didn't know there was oil that wasn't safe on plastic... huh. :confused:) I have used this in the past on various motor bearings with an excellent success rate, and it seems to be long lasting.

    Here's a link to the product on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Woodland-Scenics-Hob-E-Lube-Lite-Oil/dp/B0006N6ZXW
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #15
    I'm a model railroader from way, way back.

    I've used Hob-E-Lube products in the past, but mostly stuck to HL663(I'm an O gauge guy). I switched over to Labelle(mostly 107 and 108) primarily because I like the bottle better and prefer the finer needle point.

    Now I mostly use Labelle bottles refilled with 3-in-1 oil :) . I figure since pretty much every Lionel manual from about 1920 to 1970 suggested it by name(and at times even included a bottle of it), it was a safe choice. I also use 3-in-1 to lubricate the cone bearings on my Boley watchmaker's lathe(the proper technique for with these is to "flood" the bearings every time before the lathe is used and periodically in use) and as a cutting fluid during any kind of machining operations. Oh, and while I'm at it, it's also my gun oil of choice. I guess I could call myself a 3-in-1 oil fan. I typically empty an 8 ounce bottle every 2-3 years. If nothing else I like the smell :)

    With that said, I keep a bottle of Labelle 107 on hand, and do typically uses on more delicate things like computer fans, as well as newer model trains with plastic gears. I figure if I have to send something back to Lionel for service, I don't want the tell-tale scent of 3-in-1 on it. That reminds me-I'm sending a gun to Ruger tomorrow, and should probably wipe all the 3-in-1(and Ballistol) off it before I pack it up.
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #16
    That is decent oil. The issue with WD-40 is that it evaporates and leaves the bearings without much lubrication. I have used generic mineral oil from the drug store too with great success.
     
  17. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #17
    Would olive oil or vegetable oil or similar work? :p
     
  18. Xernicus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    #18
    That made me LOL. I suppose one could have a french fry scented tower. There have also been people who have substituted Applesauce for oil (in cooking)- and that might be more appropriate given what we're working with. :p
     
  19. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #19
    But I wonder if it actually would work? Or would it dry up and leave a residue?
     
  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #20

    No. Once the fan motor starts to crank under load it will evaporate and leave a film over the bearings. There will be very little left to actually lubricate the system. Plus, olive oil is extremely thick for a fan. Go to your local drug store and get some mineral oil. Make sure it is just the laxative type with no additives. If this fan is grinding, always clean the bearings with 90%+ isopropyl alcohol first. I am happy to create a guide if people are interested.
     
  21. bunnspecial, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #21
    Actually, many "synthetic" oils are sort-of kind-of derived from vegetable oils-or more specifically they use fatty acid esters, which are excellent lubricants.

    The big problem with using a natural oil in an application like this is that it can turn rancid, which kills their lubricating ability and can cause them to congeal. Back when natural oils(whether animal or plant derived) were still pretty common in use it was typical that they would last a couple of years. Since vegetable oils aren't explicitly designed as lubricants, I don't know how long you could count on them lasting.

    At one time, the gold standard in precision oil was whale oil, and in many cases porpoise jaw oil. I have some bottles of Nye "porpoise" oil from the 1930s that are solid in the bottom of the bottle. I've also taken apart plenty of watches that probably haven't been apart in 100+ years, and actually have to manually scrape the old whale oil out of the jewels and off the pivots-the ultrasonic cleaner won't touch it. I've seen really extreme cases(probably from over-lubrication in the past) where a wheel was physically "glued" into a jewel and I was afraid I was going to break the pivot(or crack the jewel) getting them separated.

    But, all that's way off topic-use either a petroleum oil or a mineral oil on your fans, and all will be good. I'll stick with 3-in-1, since I like the inside of my computers smelling like Citronella :) . Regular 10W-30 motor oil-or whatever weight you prefer/keep on hand(of course poured up into a small squeeze bottle or other dispenser) would probably work great also. I know many folks who swear by Mobil 1 for guns and other precision uses-I've been tempted to try it since I buy the stuff 10 quarts at a time anyway for my car.

    Lubricant discussions are always fun and always a good way to start an argument!
     
  22. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #22
    I used some soybean based oil in my MacBook Pro fan when the bearings started going berserk and making noises and driving me crazy. It's been fine ever since.
     
  23. Xernicus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    #23
    I was going to use either 3-in-1 or this Lite Oil; it simply depended on which I found first. :p

    I use 3-in-1 on my old Attic hideaway stairs, as well as door hinges and they get near silent besides the wood creaking.
     
  24. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #24
    That is a true statement. Olive oil is rather thick though. The plus side to mineral oil is that is clear and will not stain other parts in the event that too much is applied. Like you stated, any oil under stress will eventually degrade. When I got a ThinkPad T400 that was grinding, I simply removed the fan and used 91% isopropyl alcohol and a dropper to add drops into the fan assembly. I then reinstalled the fan blade and shaft and cranked it over a few times to circulate the alcohol. I continued to apply drops of alcohol for a good 20 minutes while repeating the step. This clears out all the old degraded oil and any debris inside the bearings. There will likely be a mess but it is safe for the fan electronics. I then applied two to three drops of mineral oil, cranked the fan over a couple of times and wiped up the excess. The fan is doing great to this day a few months later and I stress it with playing different games on the dGPU (switchable graphics).
     

Share This Page