Raspberry Pi Project

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dannyshing27, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Dannyshing27 macrumors regular


    Jan 29, 2013
    United Kingdom

    Just wanted to share a proof of concept project I have tinkered with today involving getting my Plex library to stream to my G3 desktop. I decided that the best route to go down considering the video capture card on my G3 was to use a raspberry Pi and the Apple TV OS9 app to view any shows I wanted to watch in OS9. Initially I set it all up, which left wires everywhere, so I decided to take another more seamless approach to improve the functionality of my G3 which was mounting it on a PCI card inside the Mac:

    Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 18.38.43.png
    Stage 1: I designed a PCI card layout for 3D printing which incorporated all the elements I wanted, namely swappable SD card, network ports, video ports and R Pi mounting points:

    Stage 2 I mounted the Pi to the printed PCI plate and attached the cables (this is a bit messy but its a prototype after all)

    soldered a molex connector to the Pi so I wouldn't need USB to power it and it would only be on when the mac was on.

    External view showing SD card access and network, sound and video leads

    Shot showing Plex streaming in OS9 window, the Pi movie selection is controlled by my phone

    The machine itself

    Future Improvements:

    Couplers on the PCI card so I can connect cables externally not just pass them through
    Bluetooth flex remote so I don't have to rely on another device
    Better molex coupler
    Wireless dongle rather than ethernet
    Incorporated capture card on PCI plate to allow for use in other Powermacs in OSX
    A Nubus Version
    Reset switch for Pi

    Other possible uses
    The Pi can be used as a wireless card to pass its wireless connection through to to a wired connection allowing old macs to connect to modern networks
    Web browser passover (pass you web browsing to the Pi on older machines)
  2. QSDP-User macrumors regular


    Jan 13, 2015
    California, USA
    I'm impressed.
    ...something you brought to life because you could.
    And a Nubus version? damn...

    I like your idea of a web browser passover.

    This kinda reminds me of that old upgrade...
    Nubus, I think...which added another cpu in a slot...Rocket something?

    Overall, I like the Raspberry Pi potentials tho I'm not geeky enough to involve myself in any such project.
  3. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    This is actually quite great and I like it! Excellent work! I may have to buy one if you make them mainstream :)
  4. CooperBox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    Sounds & looks interesting. I've been toying with the idea of getting a RPi for months.
  5. G4fanboy, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016

    G4fanboy macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2013
    Andalucia Spain

    It's great to see others thinking in rPi as an add-on/update to PowerPC machines. I theorized on something similar to this 2 years ago...


    Your G3 allows you to capture composite video. Clever to capture the video output on the rPi with the onboard card on the G3. It makes my G4 DA and MDD envy of your video inputs!

    In a Mac OS 9 setup, the chance to get USB 2.0 mass storage/speed transfers with a rPi with netatalk is to be considered too. I would make that printed board with a gap for the at least 1 USB 2.0 jacks to be reached somehow without opening the machine. Maybe with a small USB extenders. Some folks claim that the best way to use XMBC on a rPi is to have a quick USB stick as the OS drive instead of the SD route.

    Some could claim that original rPi is a toy, but the new http://swag.raspberrypi.org/collections/frontpage/products/raspberry-pi-2-model-b/
    is quad core at 900 Mhz.

  6. Dannyshing27 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 29, 2013
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for the response

    I chose to use the Rpi B model due to the composite out as it would save PCI card space as I would require a HDMI converter otherwise.

    I agree that a USB panel could easily be added to the PCI front to allow easy access to the USB slot for drive swapping, in addition adding a stripped down USB capture card such as an EasyCap DC60 to the PCI board would allow it to attach to later powermacs if a USB 2.0 PCI card with an internal port is fitted.

    Either way I will be having a look at refining the design this weekend to make it fit better in my G3 and will post back with the results.
  7. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020


    Apr 22, 2014
    Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
    I am extremely tempted to try this out... This adds a huge amount of usability to older PowerMacs.

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