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Mac Mini Pro Mod
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really liked the mod but needs to be in english so we can read the site.
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Yvan256
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

macmanmacman wrote:
Really liked the mod but needs to be in english so we can read the site.


In those cases, Babelfish is your friend.
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bellboy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be cool if a company were to release a case mod kit for the Mac Mini like this one (except in aluminum). I'd be first in line! Wink
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Yvan256
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bellboy wrote:
It would be cool if a company were to release a case mod kit for the Mac Mini like this one (except in aluminum). I'd be first in line! Wink


Hum, if only there was a company that made aluminum accessories for the Mac mini and the owner was a user on 123Macmini.com ... Wink
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blazer
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be interested in one as well. Well, at least at the right price. I don't think that I would pay more than $100 dollars for one. I would also hope for the same level of detail. I especially like how the Mac mini comes through the back of this mod with the rounded corners. That really gives the back a finished look. I also would want the USB port, power button and LED up front. It should also have some sort of internal mount for a 3.5" HDD.
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Yvan256
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blazer wrote:
I would be interested in one as well. Well, at least at the right price. I don't think that I would pay more than $100 dollars for one. I would also hope for the same level of detail. I especially like how the Mac mini comes through the back of this mod with the rounded corners. That really gives the back a finished look. I also would want the USB port, power button and LED up front. It should also have some sort of internal mount for a 3.5" HDD.


But would you (and others) want a case that you just insert your Mac mini inside it, or something which requires you to take your Mac mini apart to install it inside? (though I'm thinking about a case that lets you do either setup).

I don't see how, apart from a mechanical arm, the front power button would work without connecting a new wire to the motherboard.

It also means, for all intent and purposes, a new pcboard/connector to replace the internal 2.5" drive by a 3.5" drive.

This means a lot of "hacking", and it means I couldn't be responsible for people who break up something while trying to fit their Mac mini inside the new case... and I also have no idea how he connected the front USB port or the power LED. Confused

Given the size of the Mac mini (even modded into such a case), I think a simple front USB port (with the cable connected in a port in the back) would suffice, it's not like the power button is out of reach. What do you think? As for the power LED, maybe simply put a hole in the new case to let the Mac mini LED show through?

But that leaves us with the main point of such a mod: replacing the 2.5" drive with a 3.5" one for added storage/speed...

I'll look into it, one way or the other (modded Mac mini or not)

P.S.: the one thing I won't be able to do is put the Apple logo on the side, but I'll try to make it possible to apply a standard Apple sticker over my own logo. Wink
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blazer
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Apple logo? Shocked Sad Wink

It sounds like you're on the right path. I don't think the power button mod is that hard. A simple USB cable (male to female) would be fine too. You could just snake it back through the case. The mount for a 3.5" HDD is a must though. I also think that you need to design this for an open Mac mini. The top of the Mac mini's case is just going to get in the way. It will be easier to work with wires and stuff with it open. Plus, this allows the back to be flush with the Mac mini.
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Yvan256
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blazer wrote:
No Apple logo? Shocked Sad Wink

It sounds like you're on the right path. I don't think the power button mod is that hard. A simple USB cable (male to female) would be fine too. You could just snake it back through the case. The mount for a 3.5" HDD is a must though. I also think that you need to design this for an open Mac mini. The top of the Mac mini's case is just going to get in the way. It will be easier to work with wires and stuff with it open. Plus, this allows the back to be flush with the Mac mini.


I've just done a bit of research, and you're right, the power button mod would only require a simple Y-splitter cable (so you could still use the power button in the back of the Mac mini), however I can't find any information about the plug/connector used on the wire/motherboard. I see that Carnetix have such cables, but I'm not sure they'll give me that information. Confused

The USB cable will probably be "plug in the back", which won't be as clean as this guy's mod, but much easier for anyone to do.

The mount for the 3.5" drive is a given, I'm more puzzled as to how to easily connect it to the motherboard to replace the 2.5" drive (and still have a functionnal combo/superdrive). A custom pcboard will probably be required.

And yes, I also think it will require to run the Mac mini without its shell.

Last detail: the power LED... Worst case scenario, I'm thinking about an optical extension that aligns with the Mac mini's LED.

As for the price, I think 100$ CAD is probably going to be too way low (anodized aluminum case, custom pcboard to connect the 3.5" drive, Y splitter cable for the power button, FireWire or USB IDE/SATA converter bridge, etc), not to mention that I have no idea how popular such an item would be.

edit: it seems people on Gizmodo like it too, with a number of people wanting one too.

In any case, I've now added it to my list of "products to build". The 3.5" drive mod alone makes me want one for myself. Very Happy

edit 2: it seems the front LED is also connected via a small cable, so the LED mod wouldn't pose any problem either. The best part is, I already have "a few" small white LEDs right here on my desktop for another product in development. Wink

edit 3: I just had the best idea for the internal SATA connection inside the Mac mini. It's going to be quite simple and extremely clean. However, the price just increased. Shocked
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Last edited by Yvan256 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:42 am; edited 4 times in total
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a pity that the Japanese dude hasn't XBenched the machine. It would be interesting to know how big of a difference that 3.5" drive made.
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Yvan256
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
It's a pity that the Japanese dude hasn't XBenched the machine. It would be interesting to know how big of a difference that 3.5" drive made.


His mod may look better than most, but he's certainly not the first to have replaced the 2.5" drive of a Mac mini by a 3.5":
- Monster (Phase 2)
- Mac Mini eSata Hard Disk
- Mac Mini Core Duo SATA mod (warning: javascript will resize your browser window)
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Last edited by Yvan256 on Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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trustory
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blazer wrote:
I would be interested in one as well. Well, at least at the right price. I don't think that I would pay more than $100 dollars for one. I would also hope for the same level of detail. I especially like how the Mac mini comes through the back of this mod with the rounded corners. That really gives the back a finished look. I also would want the USB port, power button and LED up front. It should also have some sort of internal mount for a 3.5" HDD.

All for less than $100 I think that is very wishful thinking. $200 would be closer to the mark I think.
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catseye27
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be willing to pay $200 at most.
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j2tran
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thing rocks! I want one.
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minimonkey
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This would look so cool sitting on my desk. I would definitely love a kit if someone were to offer one. Definitely.
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Mac Migs
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yvan256 wrote:
JohnnyBoy wrote:
It's a pity that the Japanese dude hasn't XBenched the machine. It would be interesting to know how big of a difference that 3.5" drive made.


His mod may look better than most, but he's certainly not the first to have replaced the 2.5" drive of a Mac mini by a 3.5":
- Monster (Phase 2)
- Mac Mini eSata Hard Disk
- Mac Mini Core Duo SATA mod (warning: javascript will resize your browser window)



So are you working on any prototype designs yet...? Very Happy
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