G5 Cathode Help

Posted by: oojacoboo

G5 Cathode Help - 02/25/05 11:39 PM

This thread is being submitted on behalf of "Ice91"

Hey guys I'm just getting into moding my dual 1.8ghz G5 and would like to add some lighting to it. Problem is I don't have any clue how to do it. I've seen that many people have used cold cathode lights and I see they are powered by the standard power supply plug but I can't seem to find the right plug on my G5. Maybe it's because I'm a little hesitant to start ripping it apart without really knowing what I'm doing. So if any of you would like to give me some pointers on how to set up a cool lighting set up I would greatly appreciate it. Any and all tips are welcome.

Post edited by: oojacoboo, at: 2005/02/25 23:39
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:11 AM

Jack, the first thing that I can tell you is that you can't be too scared to get started. However, have a little fear is never a bad thing when you are messing with an expensive piece of equipment. wink Having done this mod just a few weeks ago myself, I can tell you that it was a piece of cake.

First you will want to start out with a pair of cathodes. Gearbox has some great stuff for excelent prices. I would choose the 12" Cathodes.


They sell the pair that has everything you need to complete the mod. It comes with:

(2) 12" Cold Cathodes
PCI switch to turn the lights on and off
Inverter that can control both cold cathode lights
Mounting Tape, Velcro Tape, Screw included [/ul]

Personally, if I were doing this mod again I would get a set of smaller cathodes as well. It is very difficult to get the cathodes to emit light through all of the sections of the G5. I had to do some dremel work on my system to get a 12" cathode in the top. I had never seen anyone do it that way and I felt that it was a much needed addition. The G5, as a result, looks alot more equalized.

You can have a look at this thread where I submitted some images.


Now, you had questions on how to locate the plug. What you are going to need to do is borrow the one from the optical drive. The kit that I recommended comes with the converter. Therefore, all you have to do is remove the optical drive from it's bay. Unplug the power cable and run the splitter. From there you will just run the included wiring to the cathodes and place there where you like. There is a pci switch that you can add to the back of your system so that you can turn the cathodes on and off as well.

The hardest part about this mod is the placement of the cathodes. I am also very meticulous so I spent alot of time concealing the wires. I wrapped them all in electrical tape.

You can see here where I placed the inverter box. It is located on the back of the internal speaker.

Here are some additional picture of where I placed the cathodes in the system. In this first one you can see where I had to dremel out a notch so that the cathode could fit. There is no other way because the cathode is too long. I know that it is not the most attractive cut, but the only way to get that is to take out that fan, and that would require a disassemby of nearly the entire G5. I wasn't about to do that :side:

This next image is a picture of the one that I placed in the front of the G5. What you can not see in this image is the electrical tape that I placed on the revese side, the side that faces the front of the case, you. I know, you are probably asking, why would you do that. Well, all too often these cathodes mods come out and the only thing you can see is the cathode, not the light from the cathode (I know you see the light). I wanted to block the direct light so that it wasn't overbearing. The result, is a pleasing illumination of the case and not a shining light.

On this cathode that is placed in the front, you will have to slide it down the tightly fitting front, between the cheese grated metal and the support for the bottom section. After you have decided your positioning, just place the velcro on the cathodes and put them into place. Keep in mind that once you stick the velcro to the computer its going to stay there. So, don't make any mistakes.

Finally, have fun and be creative, take plenty of pics and enjoy. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Posted by: Ice91

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:25 AM

Thanks for the help.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:29 AM

you bet, I want to see the progress. You are going to go ahead with it, right?
Posted by: Ice91

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:32 AM

Here's the pics

Post edited by: ice91, at: 2005/02/26 00:36
Posted by: Ice91

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:42 AM

oops here are the real pics

Post edited by: ice91, at: 2005/02/26 00:43
Posted by: Ice91

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:44 AM

Posted by: Ice91

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:45 AM

Post edited by: ice91, at: 2005/02/26 00:46
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:49 AM

already did the mod that fast? You already had everything and were ready to go and just couldn't find where to plug it up? Try some electrical tape on the front of those cathodes to diffuse some of that direct light, that way you can't see the cathodes.

Glad to see that you have 4 cathodes, it really takes that many to illuminate the whole case.
Posted by: Ice91

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:52 AM

Yeah I'm fast when it comes to these kind of things. I guess that comes from being a theatre lighting tech...you have to work fast and make your work look good.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 01:03 AM

is that a small cathode in the top section? If not, how did you get a 12" up there?
Posted by: Ice91

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 12:22 PM

Yep that's a full 12in cathode. I nudged it in so that it hangs diagonal accross my optical drive.

I guess I really should really give a full run down of what I have there. Currently I have 6 12" blue cathode tubes in my G5. Two are in the front panel, one is in the back, one is hanging just above my optical drive, one sits just under the heat sink on the bottom of my case and the last one is hanging from the plate that the optical and hard disks sit on. All of the inverters are hanging just behind that last cathod tube. I was really surprised that I was able to place all of them without have to cut any plastic away.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/26/05 11:19 PM

how did you fit the cathode under the heatsinks? Mine are about a mm from the base of the case.
Posted by: Ice91

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/27/05 12:36 AM

I just slid it under it under it. It was a tight fit but it fit. I mean on mine there must only be about 1cm or so of space. But it was enough to fit it in. Maybe they just made yours a little different? i don't know
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/27/05 01:00 AM

just had another look at mine and there is about a cm, but there is no way that one of the cathodes that I have would fit under it. You must have gotten your hands on some really thin cathodes :angry:

I really wanted to put mine there and I analyzed it for a good 10 min before relocating.

Ah well :pinch: , still satisfied with the result...
Posted by: Toyj

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/27/05 08:31 AM

if u want to find really thing cathodes. CompUSA has a really good selection of thin ones like that. i got some for mine and there perfect not to big at all. and there cheaper to.

look up the name Mad Dog to get them.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re:G5 Cathode Help - 02/27/05 10:19 AM

voyeur mods has lower prices on cathodes. you can get them for as low as three dollars.