Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive...

Posted by: MacAttack

Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 05/20/09 05:16 PM

But with what?
I've been thinking a USB hub. I prefer not to modify the outside at all, so the ports need to line up with the hole where the zip drive is (unless someone has a better idea), and it would need to be powered by the computer, as the only USB 2.0 cards for Mac that I've found have only one internal usb port.

Has anyone done a mod like this here, and could they point me in the right direction for parts? I remember a while back there was a hub that could be placed in there, specifically made to replace the zip drive, but I can't find it anywhere (it would help to know the name).
Posted by: TonimusMaximus

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 05/21/09 04:11 PM

Man, Google is an amazing thing. I dug this up my typing "zip drive usb hub" http://www.everythingusb.com/hardware/index/Belkin_Hi-Speed_USB_2.0_Drive_Bay_Hub.htm But you'll want to read this too, just so you're aware. I trust Belkin products anyway. http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/internal_firewire_usb_hub/internal_firewire_usb_hub.html#storytop
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/usb_internal_hub/usb_internal_hub.html#storytop
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 05/21/09 04:37 PM

Its a 3.5" floppy bay usb hub, I have one I forget the brand, but it does have the four USB ports in a single line, which is more in keeping with what you are after in not modifying the face plate.
Posted by: MacAttack

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 05/22/09 08:22 AM


That's pretty much what I'm planning, although I plan to use a pci card with an internal port. I want the front ports to be usb 2.0, as the back ones are 1.0. The pci card would also give me a few 2.0 ports in the back.

Although, I am curious to see how the first one, with the modified bezel, was done. 

Thanks!
Posted by: dbculp

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 05/26/09 07:26 PM

I have a "Sweet Multiport" by Gee Three which fits all models of G4 & G3 smurfs. It has firewire 400, USB and memory card (SD, CF, memory stick) ports on the front. The PCI card it comes with is USB 1.1 so I use a newer USB 2 card with an internal port to power it. The kit sold for about $50 new. They're hard to find now, try the LEM swap list (Google Group).
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 05/26/09 09:08 PM

Know what would be fun and different? Put in a fan controller or get a LED strip and build a circuit and make the LEDs pulse when there is harddrive activity and such.
Posted by: MacAttack

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 05/27/09 10:57 PM

Originally Posted By: "dbculp"
I have a "Sweet Multiport" by Gee Three which fits all models of G4 & G3 smurfs. It has firewire 400, USB and memory card (SD, CF, memory stick) ports on the front. The PCI card it comes with is USB 1.1 so I use a newer USB 2 card with an internal port to power it. The kit sold for about $50 new. They're hard to find now, try the LEM swap list (Google Group).

That's what I was looking for.

But what does it do for the bezel in the front?
Posted by: dbculp

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 05/30/09 06:48 PM

It comes with several bezels in the package, one for a Sawtooth/Gig-e/DA, one for a quicksilver, one for MDD.
Posted by: johnodd4

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 07/27/09 08:25 PM

Kinda funny a lot of people seem to get rid of the zip drive on the g3 tower macintosh and even on the g4 i perfer to use it for additional storage o photo's and word documents
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 07/29/09 04:35 PM

Originally Posted By: "johnodd4"
Kinda funny a lot of people seem to get rid of the zip drive on the g3 tower macintosh and even on the g4 i perfer to use it for additional storage o photo's and word documents


I agree
Posted by: Oelmuvun

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 07/29/09 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: "johnodd4"
Kinda funny a lot of people seem to get rid of the zip drive on the g3 tower macintosh and even on the g4 i perfer to use it for additional storage o photo's and word documents
People get rid of them because not everybody has spare ZIP disks around and ZIP drives are known to not only have high failure rates, but to take disks with them when they die.
You are far better off just getting a USB flash drive. Much sturdier, more reliable and compatible with pretty much any year 2000 or later computer.

If you want to use zip disks for backward compatibility with older Macs then I do totally understand that and I even have a USB ZIP100 drive for that. But just make sure each disk is backed up to some other type of media.

Use em if you like, but just be careful and always have a backup.
Posted by: MacAttack

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 08/15/09 04:07 PM

Yeah, having 4 front facing usb ports would be a lot more useful than a zip drive.
The whole point of a portable media format is the fact that I can plug it in anywhere. No one uses Zip drives anymore, and their storage capacity is a lot lower than a usb drive.

Seems pretty obvious to me: replace it.

Although, currently, I'm strapped for cash. Here's what I plan to buy though:
Front Panel replacement: http://www.sourcingmap.com/inch-internal-front-panel-port-usb-hub-p-27750.html
PCI card: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/IOGEAR/GIC251U/
Posted by: Oelmuvun

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 08/15/09 09:44 PM

See if a local PC shop has one with a NEC chipset for $15 or something.
You can also get ones with tiny PCBs instead of the massive one you linked to.

Also, if you buy one from a PC shop avoid VIA based ones like the plague.
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 08/17/09 03:44 AM

Have the face plate custom made, thats what I did. There is a shop near where I live in NYC that laser cuts plastic and its pretty cheap, I replaced almost the entire front of my G3 Smurf with a custom cut face for $50. I am sure the small piece for the zip bay would be much cheaper to have done and it would be perfect.

http://www.canalplasticscenter.com/index2.shtml

They take jobs via email and send you the result.

My results were very worth it:

http://gallery.me.com/mordaskyt/100013
Posted by: TonimusMaximus

Re: Replace that PowerMac Zip Drive... - 08/17/09 05:04 AM

Very sweet Mordaskyt.