Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super

Posted by: flippy10

Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/23/08 05:24 PM

This is going to be my worklog thread for the modifications on my iBook G4 so far.
So far the plans are:

RIT Dyed Black Everything (But Top Lid)
Fiber Optic Backlit Keyboard (Ported to G4)
Clear Lid (Ported to G4)
Integrated Bluetooth (1.2Ghz No Internal Bluetooth... :/)
Integrated IR Sensor (Front Left Corner)
Integrated IR Sensor Bar (In Top Lid.. for? You guessed it.. Wiimote IR Cursor)
Backlit ports (Preferably Red... Same color as backlit keyboard.)
Backlit Speakers smile
MCE DL-DVD+-R Drive Installation (Not quite a mod. But a planned upgrade)
It's already maxed in RAM, and I'm looking to get the largest PATA drive I can find for it.

I've already considered the detrimental effect on battery life these mods will have, thats perfectly fine as I'll have my MacBook for my main traveling machine soon. Plus I've got two batteries smile

iBook Pre-Mods:


Upside down, flash.



Top Lid.



Bottom, No flash.



Side View, LED.

Mod Process Pictures:

It's important to clean the parts you're dying. The oils from fingerprints and dirt can repel the dye/water.


Find a pan that will fit the case, with a bit of extra room. Also, if I can recommend.. Stainless steel. The name pretty much gives away why. You won't have a purple/red/blue/brown stained pan when you're done.


My good old pan, filled with about a bit less than a gallon of water. Boiling it up.
And some friendly RIT dye!


I had to post a picture of this because it looked awesome. Pre-Stirring after putting the dye in the pan.


I'm meeeeeeeeeeeeeelting! (Bottom case is submerged. I think you can see it a little.)
Shiny New Bottom Cover Dyed (Correctly):


Top cover dyed (But not cleaned..)
[img]http://img530.imageshack.us/img530/1764/1000351mw1.th.jpg[/img]

[img]http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/6786/1000352iq4.th.jpg[/img]
The dyebath gets quite bubbly, not to mention I didn't want a purple stovetop. A cookie pan over the top of it should take care of it. And remember, don't put paper towels too close to the flames like I did wink

[img]http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/6355/1000357uw0.th.jpg[/img]
After all of the dying was finished, I washed the pieces (AFTER they cooled!) in warm water and gently wiped off some of the leftover stray dye.

[img]http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/1674/1000358cp2.th.jpg[/img]
Heres a shot of the LED inside my HD bay vent. Looks pretty sweet later on.

[img]http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/9703/1000362nt0.th.jpg[/img]
The victim. Poor little USB Bluetooth dongle (10$ eBay) that I'm going to demolish for this.

[img]http://img131.imageshack.us/img131/6549/1000363xg2.th.jpg[/img]
Originally, I was going to mount the Module right here. But as I realized later... The speaker on the palm rest actually takes up that entire area.

[img]http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/6473/1000364sl6.th.jpg[/img]
Soldered onto the USB Port bottom side pins for testing.

[img]http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/222/1000366ro5.th.jpg[/img]
Dip switch I inserted into the hollowed out FW400 Port. It controls 5V+ to the Bluetooth dongle. In other words, it's a bluetooth on/off switch. Next step for this is to get an 8 Pin DPDT switch and make the port usable again.

[img]http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/4559/1000367ys7.th.jpg[/img]
Test wiring...

[img]http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/9500/1000373xc3.th.jpg[/img]
Told you that HD bay LED looked sweet. (Test wiring 2)

[img]http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/3985/1000369zx3.th.jpg[/img]
Close up of the mini-DPDT toggle inside the FW400 Port.

[img]http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/5301/1000377df7.th.jpg[/img]
Final location of the Module ended up being right underneath the AP-E card but above the ram. The ideal spot for it would've been where the old 56K modem used to be.

Glamor Shots: (Mod as of 80% Finished...)
[img]http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/3620/1000378ms0.th.jpg[/img]

[img]http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/7033/1000380az8.th.jpg[/img]

[img]http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/2200/1000383dd2.th.jpg[/img]

[img]http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/9094/1000380am1.th.jpg[/img]

Fun Update (Sarcasm...):
One thing you should never do while modding, is assume. I assumed that the battery connector for the iBG4 14' and iBG4 12' were the same. Soldered the wires in matching order. What I didn't realize is that since the battery connector on the 12' flips, the order does too. Ruined the on-board power supply, and thus killing the logic.
New one is in the mail.

The screen from this computer was used to revive a PBG4, so this project will continue under the 14' model. Besides, there are reports of 14's hitting 1.53Ghz. Let the overclocking begin!
Posted by: BigO

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/25/08 08:08 AM

Have you used black die before for something like this? I'm wondering if it actually comes out completely black or if it's more grayish.
Posted by: ~Antonio

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/25/08 09:11 AM

Originally Posted By: "BigO"
Have you used black die before for something like this? I'm wondering if it actually comes out completely black or if it's more grayish.



It would be textured shades of gray, though you could make it darker with subsequent dying.It would look like concrete or marble... depending on the condition of the plastic. The somewhat organic finish which comes with these dye jobs is interesting and aesthetic... moreso than painting, I think.

Just to mention, you can also dye the battery cover. It's held on by a strip of double-sided adhesive, like two-sided tape, but much, much stronger. You'll want to use something wide and flat to fit between the cover and battery and gradually pry it off. It really doesn't take much work at all.

Somewhere in Philadelphia, there's a guy walking around with what used to be my red iBook G4 ;D
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/25/08 10:11 AM

You're right about that battery cover. Thanks for the idea smile I'm pretty sure I'm leaving the semi-translucent keys from the iBG3 the same color, and the trackpad too. I think it'll add a nice contrast effect.

I've never RIT Dyed anything before, but all of the ones I've seen online look awesome. I was sad when I found out that the iBG4 had white stained plastic, so I just moved the covers from my iBG3. And then I discovered dying! I'll have some before/during/after pictures up soon.
Posted by: ~Antonio

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/25/08 11:51 AM

If you're using the silver palmrest from the G3 as well, you'll need to use a bit of fine-grit sandpaper along the inside edges where it fits around the magnesium frame when assembled, as the G4's frame is just slightly larger... at first, it seems as if it will fit, albeit snugly. I found out the hard way when the heat from my hard drive caused a crack in the left palmrest, starting from the lower left corner, moving inward toward the keyboard. Of course, I was using a 5400rpm Seagate, which tends to churn out a lot of heat... more than the newer 7200rpm model I have in my MacBook, so the newer ones may run cooler. But, I would still add a little clearance room, and I would use sandpaper, as a Dremel is going to remove too much too quickly for something like this, where you want to remove barely anything at all
-the added clearance should be less than half a millimeter on all sides.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/25/08 01:41 PM

Top and bottom are clear, and there is a blue LED on the FW400 port. This is pretty much my proof of concept model. New G4 bottom came in today, along with 5/15 boxes of dye. Apple remote came in too. Just waiting on the IR LEDs and the USB IR Receiver to get this thing going.

Sorry about the crappy quality of the photos. Camera is pretty bad.
Posted by: ~Antonio

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/25/08 02:55 PM

They get the job done, and the LEDs look good so far!
..,.and I still like Image Shack best (despite the more "feature bloated" options), for this sort of think.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/26/08 08:59 AM

Yeah, I love imageshack. Their new account system is really buggy though. This is just straight up uploading... the best.

And thanks. I decided on a name for the finished product. The WiiBook! Google revealed that no one has used that name for any iBook mod (other than placing a Wii on a MacBook Pro smile ) Not incredibly original regardless, but whatever.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/28/08 06:27 AM

Update: I got my G4 Titanium 500Mhz Keyboard today, and moved all the keys from it to my iBG3 keyboard. It looks pretty awesome actually. It contrasts with the white case so nicely I almost feel bad dying it.
I'll give you a word of advice on keyboards, if you can buy one done already do it. The plastic mounts for the keys broke on at least 5 keys. And I was very gentle in lifting them off. frown But I keep spare keyboards to cannibalize so no big deal.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/28/08 07:02 AM

Since the dying did not go as well as I planned, I don't have a pictures of the final product yet. I should have some time to get this done tomorrow afternoon, so maybe I'll have some pictures then.
Posted by: BigO

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/28/08 09:22 AM

That looks sweet! Definitely keep us posted.
Posted by: ~Antonio

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/28/08 09:42 AM

Originally Posted By: "flippy10"
Update: I got my G4 Titanium 500Mhz Keyboard today, and moved all the keys from it to my iBG3 keyboard. It looks pretty awesome actually. It contrasts with the white case so nicely I almost feel bad dying it.
I'll give you a word of advice on keyboards, if you can buy one done already do it. The plastic mounts for the keys broke on at least 5 keys. And I was very gentle in lifting them off. frown But I keep spare keyboards to cannibalize so no big deal.


Yeah I did the same thing moving the translucent keys from my iBook G3 to my iBook G4. frown
Posted by: BigO

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/28/08 10:06 AM

I currently have an iBook that has nothing but the letter "J". Per Antonio's suggestion, I'm thinking about calling it the jBook. I'll be modding it soon and telling its' story.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 02/29/08 01:36 PM

Hahaha, I'm pretty interested in how you'd lose all those keys. I can't wait to see that one.

Cooking the iBook parts now smile Should be done in 20 minutes or less.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 03/02/08 08:55 PM

Well, I did finish dying everything friday... But it took me pretty much my full work day on Saturday to finish the internal mods. I hit ALOT of snags, stupidly. Anyway. Here are the WIP pictures and 80% Finished product. Still needed:
Internal IR sensor OR IR Bar on top of the display.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 03/02/08 09:04 PM

I still have to do the backlit speakers, but I didn't get the right size LEDs for them. So slight drawback there. I also decided to ditch the backlit keyboard, as the solid white keys contrast really nicely to the black plastics.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 03/07/08 08:40 AM

Alright.. well a lot of my plans have changed. But I guess that's the whole point of having a worklog right?

I got a hold of a 14' iBook 1.33 with a dead logic yesterday. I've got all the case plastics, working screen.. etc etc. The 1.33 has got the improved copper heatsink, which got me thinking.
One of the reasons why I haven't added the IR sensor and internal improvements is because of lack of space. But if I had a 14 Inch iBook I could make drastic improvements on cooling and additional functions. It shouldn't be too much of a chore to get the 12 Inch logic to go into the 14 inch case, and since it's the same general gen (G4) the screen is compatible. It'd be nice to have a larger screen, that was one of the drawbacks of the 12 in comparison to my MacBook.
Also.. having a 14 inch would reopen the possibility of the fiber-optic lighted keyboard because of the improved room. As well as finding a nice place for my bluetooth module, and a hub built into where the HD was... (I'm considering switching to SSD that seems to be the new in thing, and would definitely raise reliability.)
I had another question... If I'm doing this work log, if I create a mod guide will I be able to submit it to the mod contest? Another thing I wanted to ask was about multiple entries. I've got three projects, plus a project that I'm working on with my team.
I'm ditching the idea of backlit ports until I can develop a feasible strategy for doing so.
Finally, has anyone figured out a way to over clock the G4 iBooks?
All of the iBooks (2004 and Beyond) use the 7447A just at different clock speeds. Which would lead me to believe that if I clocked it higher, with sufficient cooling it'll be safe. If nobody has, I'm going to my test board with a magnifying glass.
The difference between the 14' heat sink and my 12' heat sink is enormous. With the fan running it idles 32C and load 40C. GPU is 38C idle, 43C load. I'm well within safe operating and over-clocking range.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: Worklog 1# iBook G4 Super - 03/07/08 10:24 AM

Woo!
http://www.macxtrem.com/articles.php?article=148

Score. (You need Google to translate it, but it's exactly what I was looking for.)