powerbook top lid mod questions

Posted by: thecokebadger

powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/05/08 09:10 PM

I got a couple questions for you people out there. I can only assume that i am definitely not the first person to want to attempt this mod. So I'm hoping I can find some one out there that has already done it or can at least point me in the right direction. I want to alter the glowing Apple logo on a 15" powerbook G4 aluminum lid. I'm a DJ and would prefer to have something like a record or maybe the icon for audio. Just something that isn't the Apple logo. I have never taken apart a powerbook so i don't even know how the light is hooked up.
Does anyone know what the best way to approach this is? Is there a website or company that sells blank top bezels? What is the material that the Apple logo is made out of? Can i change the colour of the light as well? If I buy an extra top lid bezel from ebay, is there a difference between any of the 15" powerbook models (ie.. hi-res)? Thank you.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/05/08 10:46 PM

badger, welcome to macmod first of all.

The easiest way to do this mod is going to be to just dremel out the logo/icon you want in place of the apple logo. Obviously it will have to be larger. When you are done with that, you will want to create a clear cover to fit in that space. Maybe you can cut this as well out of plexi, or even make a mold and use a clear resin. Thats going the be the hard part. The rest is simple. It will light up. The back of the LCD is backlit, it uses the same light.
Posted by: manhackman

Re: powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/06/08 01:28 AM


The back of the LCD is backlit, it uses the same light.

I've seen a mod where some uses a colored gel to tint the logo. You'll have to experiment to get the desired color intensity!
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/06/08 08:08 AM

Badger, welcome.

It seems like you might appreciate some more details. The ;light; is actually just coming from the back of the display panel. Apple have simply cut an Apple shaped hole in the display rear housing to allow light through. As mentioned this can be tinted effectively with gel, I see no reason you couldn't print a colour transparency to do the job if you want more than one colour.
Like Jacob says, all you need to do is cut the desired shape out of the lid.

Care must be taken when removing the rear housing, there are two screws in the bottom front corners, the rest is done very carefully with a putty knife or similar.
Its easy to scratch or crack a display doing this so really take your time.
There are some electronics and labels on the rear of the LCD panel. These are arranged so that they avoid the apple logo on the back. You will need to bear them in mind when designing your logo.

I am not aware of anyone producing blank rear housings that would fit. Possibly you could have one fabricated but expect to pay a fair bit for it.
Posted by: thecokebadger

Re: powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/06/08 08:08 PM

Thanks a lot guys for your responses. I just need to know one last detail before i attempt this. My question about whether or not there is a difference in the lid bezel for the powerbook G$ 15". I've seen a couple on ebay. I would love to do a test run before i destroy the only lid i have. I just need to know if i can get any lid, or does it have to be specific to my model. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, I will have my first mac mod completed.

oh. one my question. How flush is the Apple logo to the back of the display? Is there any give? Thanks again.

and one more... does anyone have a picture of the back of the LCD of the powerbook, so i know what i have to avoid when designing my logo without have to remove my lid first?
Posted by: thecokebadger

Re: powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/12/08 04:39 AM

OK, another issue i didn't think about before for some reason. I guess I'll need to buy some sort of plexiglass to cut and fill in what i cut out of the powerbook cover. Anyone have any suggestions for what material i should use? Should i just go to my local hardware store and find something? Is there a "soft" plastic i can mold and then "bake" it into shape? Or even something with a rubber or gel feel.
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/12/08 01:53 PM

There are at least two different lids for the alluminum powerbook 15", based on the resolution of the LCD. The later, higher resolution models are a bit larger than the earlier ones. If the resolution of the model lid matches that of your book it should fit.

The logo itself is slightly thicker than the lid and slightly larger than the opening it sits in. there is a beveled edge that allows it to sit flush in the opening and leaves a bit around the edges on the inside to hold it in place.

As for the material I can attest that lexan or polycarbonate is much softer and easier to work than plexi/acrylic. Both can be gotten at the local building supply store.

Where I live in NYC there is a shop that custom laser cuts and engraves plastics, They are dirt cheap and super fast, usually cutting a piece while you wait. The can cut and engrave any shape or design you can provide. They do have a web site and you could contact them about possibly using their services by mail.

Posted by: thecokebadger

Re: powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/13/08 03:41 AM

Cool, I will explore those options.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: powerbook top lid mod questions - 08/13/08 08:17 AM

I must say I was unaware of any differences in the rear display housing of 15" aluminium PowerBooks. I know they have slight differences regarding antenna cables but as far as I know they all fit each other. If Mord is correct, the only high res units are the last-of-line 1.67GHz Dual layer superdrive models. I was under the impression these were still physically the same size as earlier models.

MacBook Pro housings are different and will not work on PowerBooks.