Inspired by the smart jobs completed by yourself and Ritalin I thought I'd try similar to the above as I've had an old Sawtooth hanging around for a while. Just getting all the parts together and figuring out a plan of attack. I just have a couple of questions:
1. In terms of airflow, are your top blowholes going in or out? I would have thought out makes sense as heat rises. Also I like what you did with the fan in the sidewall over the original intake holes.
2. The front panel! I saw your pics but am not really sure what you did there - I take it the pins in the connector from the front panel don't match the layout expected by the micro ATX board. Is there a pinout or something showing what should go where? I've googled various terms but not found anything so far.
If you're interested, the bits I settled on for the rest of the build are:
For the airflow, i do believe Steve's design allowed air to be drawn out from the top 2 fans. As for the yellow inside fan, that drew air in over the hard drives.
The biggest problem with reusing the front panel board is knowing the connections. You have a power switch, a reset switch, and a hard drive LED. Don't worry about the sleep led. If you look at a Sawtooth cable connector for the front panel, you will notice it looks like a serial cable connector. The B&W's almost look like a floppy cable. You can try using these cables, but you have to do some major surgery in order to get the pins right on the PC motherboard. It would be simpler to solder on new cables you find in a regular PC case and then connect them to the motherboard when newly soldered onto the mac front panel board.
I hope this info is helpful to you.
PS. i noticed your hardware list. You might have a small problem with closing the mac while using the motherboard mentioned. Unless you are planning on using a slim cd or none at all, you will have some complications with that motherboard. The memory sticks out past the one mounting hole causing issues on what cd/dvd drives you can use. I know Ritalin's board does the same thing, but both Steve and mine don't. Also, you might find some complications using the Zalman cooler and trying to close the door too.
Great ideas, but it's just the spacing issues mac created with their custom hardware.
So, for the front panel, if I can find a PC cable/connector it should be a case of matching up the wires to their apple cable counterparts e.g. power plus and minus etc and then just connect to the board?
Yeah, I guessed I'd need to deal with the optical drive versus ram modules problem. I plan to cut off a section of the 'shelf' that holds the optical drive + 3.5 in place and I may get a slimline model - there are some on ebay now for approx £30 from Hong Kong. For the initial install though, I might just keep the side panel open.
I was toying with the idea of mounting the slim optical drive upright somehow and putting a slot in the top of the case as a homage to the Cube but I'm not sure I'm crafty enough to pull it off!
I'm hoping the Zalman doesn't cause additional problems - I tested the fit with the stock Intel C2D cooler and realised it is blocked by the PSU so ordered the low-profile Zalman cooler. Do you think it is a height issue or that the cooler may 'overhang' the top edge of the motherboard?
This is how i mounted the wires and these are the ends of the wires.
It's easier to do it this way than trying to deal with these cables.
B&W cable & Sawtooth DA cable
You can cut away the shim easily, i have done this before, but it's the drive itself that you can't cut. I measured some time back different cd drives. I found that the new LG and Pioneer drives both are 160mm and the space required for safe closing distance is 170mm.
You can go with the laptop cd drives, though i haven't done this myself. According to others, it works like a charm.
The only problem i may see from using the zalman, is the fact that it might get in the way of the cd drive. But if you use a slim cd and take the cd cage out completely, then you should have no troubles at all.
The best advice i can give you is to try it first and see if it all fits and works together nicely.
No, it's not a stupid question. The last PC mobo i had in the case had it's leads too far away for normal wires, so i had to make a set of my own. The black wires are reset and power, and the red and black is the power LED. If you were to measure them, they are over a foot long in length. What you see in the picture is them being extra long. I just loop them under the one riser panel for the farthest hard drive then connect them to the motherboard.