Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable!

Posted by: georgesturges

Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 03/31/08 08:23 PM

So i have an old Macintosh Portablehttp://apple-history.com/?page=gallery&model=portable. And i dont think it works anymore. So i want to hollow it out and put a MacMini inside of it; with widescreen LCD and trackpad. While running it on batteries. (A portable, video editing studio for art school!) Im going to work on this with my dad (been using apples since the apple I, and has quite a shop to utilize), so we can make any sort of casing or hardware hacking adjustments needed.

Im excited because the Macintosh Portable has quite a bit of room inside. (It's dimensions are 4.05" H x 15.25" W x 14.83" D. The useable part in the back is roughly 4.05x14.83x8
I think the mini will easily fit inside. The extra room will go to batteries(maybe lots of batteries), and the power supply (and circuitry for it). Thinking of going with an intel macmini.

The portable has a lot of area in it's display lid. The display panel that opens up is about 6.5" tall, and about 14.75" across.
So a widescreen would be superb. Like a 16:9.
Since the mini outputs DVI/VGA/svideo/component, what is the best way to put a screen on it?
Are there any displays that are more power efficient than others?
I think i may look into portable DVD players for my screen. Not sure how it will connect though. I guess it would differ from model to model. I would like to utilize as much of the room as possible for a screen. And it's a tight fit at the bottom where it closes, so it cant be taller than 6.25".
Are there any other ways of hacking a screen into a mini that i could find helpful? Like, instead hooking into the display port, opening up a cord and soldering the wires?
Any info about putting an lcd on a portable mini would be helpful.

Now im wondering about the keyboard. I wish i could keep the clickity-clack keyboard that's in there, but i don't think it'll fly. So a backlit one would be nice. It would be great to get an apple laptop keyboard to work with it; but that doesn't seem likely.
As with anything in this project i'm willing to hack pieces apart, open wires etc.

Any ideas, thoughts or questions? Im still in the planning stages. But my dad and i are determined to get this done the best way possible.


Macintosh portable
not my photos
Those metal pieces will be gone

Disassembly pics by Michael H. Darland:
http://12.25.246.15/dissport/portd.html


Then comes design

Im also thinking of a theme to style it with when completed. Ideas appreciated. Thinking of movie themes. or shows.
Lost is my best idea so far, i think. Making it look like aged metal with an Apple Dharma logo on it.
Or x-files, or kubrick, or the WOPR from Wargames, or the Matrix, star wars, aperture science, initech, TRON. edit: or Pi? oh the pun
Any others?
Posted by: TonimusMaximus

Re: Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 04/01/08 12:37 AM

2001. Hal. Definitely. I wish I had thought of it.
Posted by: TonimusMaximus

Re: Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 04/02/08 10:13 PM

Now that I think about it, I bet you could power a mini with a couple of laptop batteries.
Posted by: krusher117

Re: Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 04/03/08 05:36 AM

Dont think twice!!! this is one of the coolest mod ideas in a long time!
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 04/03/08 07:49 AM

http://homepage.mac.com/peter_green/MMP_MkII/index.html

This guy has dealt with many of the same issues you will face, including the power supply and display designes. This can def be done and will be a very cool mod.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 04/03/08 04:30 PM

Its a pity a mini won't drive dual displays. You could fit two in there quite nicely.
Posted by: georgesturges

Re: Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 04/08/08 04:13 PM

Im having trouble finding a nice widescreen LCD. What should i look for, and where should i look? I know it should be DVI or VGA, but are there alternatives? Like laptop LCD soldered on? I would try two displays, but that would drain batteries quickly. Something like this: [http://www.optrex.com/products/partdetail.asp?PartNumber=T-55312D121J-FW-A-ABN] would be nice. But i cant tell how to interface with it.

All i want is a widescreen, rather high resolution LCD in the 11.5" range. anyone know where to look?
Posted by: TonimusMaximus

Re: Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 04/08/08 09:20 PM

I looked over the technical specifications for the LCD that you listed, and it uses the standard 20 pin interface for laptop displays and the like. I've yet to figure out how to turn one into an "external" display. I have yet to find anyone who has figured it out either.
Posted by: georgesturges

Re: Putting a portable mac mini in my mac portable! - 04/15/08 09:53 AM

http://www.logicsupply.com/products/102tpc

What about this? It connects via VGA; and should fit in the lid.
Think the touchscreen would work?