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Now if only we had a mini case that would stack like this...

 
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greg
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:30 am    Post subject: Now if only we had a mini case that would stack like this... Reply with quote

Kinda cool...unfortunately my son would probably run off with them and use them as part of a lego wall to crash his toy trucks into.

http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10693
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cinemafia
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are so cool! I can totally see someone hacking a Mini's innards into one of these things...
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greg
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinemafia wrote:
Those are so cool! I can totally see someone hacking a Mini's innards into one of these things...


That would be a fun project. I've always thought it would be cool if someone could fit the mini innards in an original Apple II disk II drive case.
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cinemafia
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that's an idea...I just happen to have an old Apple 5.25" disk drive too....hmmmmmmmm

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g5g5
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to see either of those mods. Very Happy
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Leander
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol i love lego.

what a cool thing to have.
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GrendelPrime
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greg wrote:
That would be a fun project. I've always thought it would be cool if someone could fit the mini innards in an original Apple II disk II drive case.


Here I am, contemplating buying my first Mac, and what am I thinking about doing with it now?

Shoehorning it into one of these.


Currently on ebay starting at $7(USD) and another $14 or so to ship.

Cinemafia, care to do some measuring of your drive? If it can physically contain the volume of a Mini, I may just have to dust off the dremel. Twisted Evil
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cinemafia
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GrendelPrime wrote:
Cinemafia, care to do some measuring of your drive? If it can physically contain the volume of a Mini, I may just have to dust off the dremel. Twisted Evil


I'll measure it tonight and see. The main problem though is that the slot on the 5.25" drive is centered, whereas it's almost at the top on the Mini. So, doing an elegant hack where optical disks go in and out of the floppy slot would probably be impossible.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Difficult to be certain, but impossible is walking through a revolving door with cross-country skis over your shoulder.

um, or so I've heard. Rolling Eyes
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cinemafia
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What pushing a cart loaded with a dozen Minis though a revovling door?
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cinemafia
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I think this hack might just be do-able. I took apart my 5.25" drive, which was an easy affair. There's four screws on the bottom, two screws on the back. Just be careful not to yank the wire for the front LED, since you might want to preserve it for the hack. Pull off the top half firt, then gently pull the LED wire and the connector will pop off. Then just pull off the bottom and the whole drive is fairly self contained (and will even still work fine without the case!).

Now, here's the measurements:

Width/length of bottom floor of case, taking the side and back support 'bars' and fascia moulding into account:

15cm x 18cm

Height from bottom floor mount points to top ceiling:

6cm

Now, keep in mind that IMHO, the 5.25" case should be left untouched or modified as little as possible, to keep the hack elegant. Now, here's the outside dimensions of the Mini:

Width/length:

16.3cm x 16.3cm

Height:

5.3cm

So the height is fine, in fact, being that the Mini is shorter, it 'might' be possible to line up its optical drive slot with the 5.25" case's floppy slot. The length is also fine, however the width is more. So, despite my hopes, you won't be able to drop the entire, clothed Mini inside.

However, it will probably be possible to take apart the Mini and drop it's insides in. This should also help with having the optical slot line up. Also, given that the 5.25" case is a bit longer front to back than the Mini, one should be able to run some cables into the case through the auxillary drive port opening on the top right of the case's back. They would have to be slim cables, but they could then plug into the ports on the backplane of the Mini.

I'm going to take my Mini apart now and do some more measuring and eye-balling, but I'm excited now...it looks like this might just be possible (and without plastic surgery!).
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cinemafia
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news and bad news:

The good news is that the Mini's mobo is 14.6 square cm's, which means that it will fit inside the 5.25" with both unmodified. Also, the length from the outer backplane to the front of the optical drive/speaker (etc.) is 15.7cm, which also fits and gives 2.3cm space for cables to plug in. And, it cooks like the two LED wires for the 5.25" case *should* be able to be spliced to the LED connector on the Mini. I suppose you could also just use the LED in the Mini, and simply lengthen the wires it uses and position it behind the red rectangle.

The bad news is that given the height from the bottom of the Mini mobo to the center of it's optical drive slot is around 3.9cm, it's not going to line up with the floppy slot. Even if you sanded down the screw mount points and other raised bits at the floor of the 5.25", you're looking at 3.3cm for the center of of the floppy slot from the floor. The plastic used for the floor of the 5.25" is only 2mm thick, so there's really no lee-way there. Even if you 'raised' the floppy slot by cutting away the bevelled portion, you'd only buy an extra 3mm.

Also, while the power and ethernet cable can fit in the hole where the 5.25" drive connector cable was, and Firewire/USB cables can be run through the hole left by the auxillary port, connecting video is not going to be possible without cutting the back of the 5.25" case. A DVI cable's hefty connector will not fit between the backplane and the inside back of the case if assembled, and the same goes for a VGA cable with the DVI adapter.

So to sum it up, cutting will need to be done. The floppy slot will need to be heightened by about 8mm, which has the potential of making this hack look really hacky. Perhaps less troublesome is that the back of the drive case would need to either have a large hole cut for a DVI connector to fit through, or a small hole cut for the VGA port on the DVI-to-VGA adapter.

I'm not going to give up on this, though, as it has the potential to be a very cool hack. I just hate to ruin the look of the case, especially the front.
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OGN
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would be a cool looking mod! It sounds like you're going to have trouble lining up the slots for the optical drive. I wouldn't worry cutting holes in the back of the case, but you should really try to keep the front intact. What are you planning to do with the power button?
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cinemafia
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The power button probably won't be much of a problem. I can either do the camera cable release thing, or even just drill a small hole in the case directly behind the button and just have a short stick or something to push through it. But yeah, I really don't want to have to modify the front at all.
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GrendelPrime
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't thank you enough for going the extra mile and getting those hands-on measurements, makes everything a LOT easier. Very Happy

If the optical drive only has to drop about 6mm to line up, I can probably get away with removing a section of the floor and building in a drop pan, since the drive sits on molded plastic feet if I recall correctly.
Unless picking it up to look beneath, the mod should look normal.
I don't want to irreversably hack up the Mini, but expect to make huge changes to the drive enclosure.

Presuming that the floppy slot is centered in the unit, that leaves around 3cm of open space above the Mini when housed in the enclosure.
Enough room for a 3.5" IDE drive to nestle in comfortably.

I have a concept in mind for using the old drive release lever as an eject button, (for a standard CD), but unsure of any hardware-eject options for Mac.
Maybe some unused traces on the PCB of the drive could be exploited.
I'll have to see how all the mechanics play out.

Ideally, the only cable I would have going in is power, since I want to run it headless and wireless, adding to it's appearance of antiquity.
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