Xbox G4
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Xbox G4


Overview

This Powerbook modification is actually a spin-off of another project. Let me explain, my other project (Twenty First Century Mac) was originally based upon a 867Mhz PowerBook G4 Logic board. Unfortunately, the 867 is too slow for active TV Tuners (specifically, the one I already purchased.) so I had to scratch the 867Mhz from the project. Since I didn’t have any true use for it, it sat idle. (with 1.12GB of RAM, Combo Drive, etc. To go with it.)

I’m an avid broken Xbox 360 collector, trying to develop strategies for hacking and repairing once-thought dead consoles. I’ve got plenty of empty 360 cases around with nothing to do but gather dust. When it hit me, The PowerBook logic boards are tiny. Perfect for one of those cases. Even better with PSU integration.

I had plenty of left-over PowerBook parts to make a decent machine. With a nice small footprint.

Enter Xbox G4.


Specs

867Mhz PowerBook G4
60GB Fujitsu HD (Former test drive. ☺)
Functional Ring Of Light, including sleep indication
Combo Drive
Built In Battery
Stealth Power Button
65W Power Supply
OS X Tiger 10.4.11


Supplies
  • 50Ft of 30 Gauge Wrapping Wire
  • Vacated Xbox 360 Case (Including Silver Power Button, DVD Drive Front Bezel and Eject Button)
  • Xbox 360 Ring Of Light Assembly
  • Flat Black Spray Paint
  • Rustoleum Clear Enamel (Clearcoat)
  • Powerbook 867 Mhz Logic Board (With DC-DC Board, DC-Jack board, Battery, Combo Drive and Wiring harness)
  • Small PCB with Tact Button (Homemade, or Salvaged.)
  • 1.5K Resistors
  • Mini-VGA to VGA adapter
  • 65W PowerBook Power Adapter (Modular)
  • Plenty of Metal Cutting Discs

Process

Step 1 - Rewire Power
The process for this machine is not overly complex, the hardest part being the wiring mods.

First, I had to modify the Power Management Unit for the new battery placement. This process is mimicked between my two mods, so don’t fret about seeing the same pictures over again.

Close Up View Of The PMU.  I used a 40W Soldering Iron and a De-soldering Braid to de-solder the connector. It was a bit stubborn at first but it eventually came off.
XBoxG4-image003.jpg
De-Soldered Battery Connector.
XBoxG4-image005.jpg
I added around a foot of wire, for maximum placement flexibility.
XBoxG4-image007.jpg
It is important to remember the placement of the connector, to avoid mis-wiring the system and potentially ruining both the DC-DC board and the DC-Jack.

Here’s the final product, Yes. I like my colored wire ties, thank you.
XBoxG4-image009.jpg
Shortly after this modification, this DC-DC board died. iFixit to the rescue!
XBoxG4-image011.jpg
DC-DC #2 Done Annnnnnnnnd… Functional!
XBoxG4-image013.jpg

Step 2 - Test Positioning

This is the logic test fit. There’s enough room left between the case and the logic to use the original case to mount it.
XBoxG4-image015.jpg
Another test. This proves my previous theory that the original case can be used to mount the logic.
XBoxG4-image017.jpg

Step 3 - Dremel

I dremeled the markings I made on the case to allow it to properly fit into the case.
XBoxG4-image019.jpg
Motherboard fit into the new slim case. ;)
XBoxG4-image021.jpg
Prepping for the steel frame cuts.
XBoxG4-image023.jpg
Like I said, plenty of metal cutting discs. This is pretty stubborn casing.
XBoxG4-image025.jpg
Test fitting all of the parts.
XBoxG4-image027.jpg
And all of the parts orphaned.
XBoxG4-image029.jpg

Step 4 - Painting

Here’s the painting phase. I did NOT use the Xbox 360 Elite case, I used a white case. It was painted 3 coats of flat black, and 2 coats of clearcoat. Here’s the metal casing painted black.
XBoxG4-image031.jpg
Everything in the new painted case.
XBoxG4-image033.jpg

Step 5 - Case Population

After a bit of a blunder, just checking to make sure that everything was functioning properly still. Still was. :)
XBoxG4-image035.jpg
Now he’s the real conspiracy. Is this a coincidence?! I think not.
XBoxG4-image037.jpg
Here’s the case populated. I didn’t take as many pictures of this phase as I would’ve liked.

The low down:
I secured the hard drive, via it’s original mounting brackets, to the frame with 5mm threaded bolts. For minor shock protection, I hot glued the HD at it’s edge with the metal casing of the Xbox.

The Optical drive and Battery, have two decking screws passing through the battery’s aluminum plate and the optical drive bracket.

The motherboard sits in it’s bottom case, and is screwed into the original standoffs. As well as receives extra support from the APE card that’s in it.

The PSU is secured with very short screws (2-3mm max) and hot glue.

The DC jack is routed above the hard drive, and is hot glued in place.

There is a slot cut into the metal case for the optical drive opening, and for the AC input for the PSU.
XBoxG4-image039.jpg

Step 6 - Ring of Light

I never thought that something so seemingly simple, could cause so many issues. (Mainly the Power switch. I’ll get to that in a moment.) My concept for the RoL was that I wanted the LEDs in the ring to be the sleep LED. They should pulse red when it’s asleep. Additionally, I wanted the Power Switch working, and the Power LED working.

Now, the Sleep LED is a 3-5V LED driven on a capacitor-drain circuit. (That creates the pulse). The RoL LEDs are all 2.5V LEDs. However, I was able to drive all four of them at once to bring the voltage within their tolerance range.

It works!

(The Blue wires are GND, the White ones are V+)
XBoxG4-image041.jpg
The Power LED is driven off of the 5V+ and GND on the PMU. They’re labeled, so it’s nice and easy to find them. And convenient to solder onto. LEDs are polar so remember to keep continuity for your polarity.
XBoxG4-image043.jpg
Heres’ the finished product of the case. This is with the power LED connected, and the RoL lights connected. They were wired directly into the PMU Sleep LED header.
XBoxG4-image046.jpg

Step 7 - Power Problem

Here was the problem with this. The Power Button.

Now, my original design was going to use the RoL power button. It worked fine on my Inspiron 8600. (My original test of the computer in the Xbox) What I didn’t know, is that the power switch actually hovers around 50% resistance instead of going from 100% to 0%. So whenever the switch was connected, it would stop the computer from turning off/on. After stripping every SMT part off of my RoL, including the radio circuitry. It would still hover at high resistance. Tested another RoL same thing.

So I switched my plan. Instead, I wanted to stealth the power button in the back of the case. This would keep unwanted people from starting up (or force-shutting down!) my computer. A problem ended up becoming a nifty feature.

So, on an awesome bit of luck… The switch assembly from the drive enclosure I used in my (Twenty First Century Mac) was the perfect size for the Power Port on the Xbox case. Win!
XBoxG4-image048.jpg
With everything painted and ready to go, time to assemble the case.
XBoxG4-image050.jpg
Since the case itself is desk ridden, in the horizontal position, I flipped the power button assembly so that it would match that orientation.
XBoxG4-image052.jpg
I also hot glued the DVD drive bezel and Eject button in their appropriate places on the front of the case.
XBoxG4-image054.jpg
Here she is, sleeping. (Triumph!)
XBoxG4-image056.jpg


Final Thoughts

Overall, I had a lot of fun doing this mod. I was quite crunched for time between the two projects, school and my jobs. But I believe they came out well. I ended up ditching the APE and Bluetooth, since reception inside the case is horrid. The computer is supposed to be used on Ethernet anyway. In the future, I’d like to recut the side panels, or find a way to make a nice IO plate/door. Also, I’d like to re-add the APE and BT when I find out a way to receive better signal reception. Future upgrades include a very large HD, and a Superdrive.

Also, I’m running Tiger on this machine. It’s perfectly suited for the 867Mhz processor, and now outdated GeForce GPU. Overall, with the 1.12GB of RAM and 5400RPM 60GB drive, it’s performance is nice. It’s a great space saver machine, without having a half mauled PBG4 on my desk. :P


Final Images
XBoxG4-image057.jpg XBoxG4-image059.jpg
XBoxG4-image061.jpg XBoxG4-image063.jpg
XBoxG4-image065.jpg XBoxG4-image067.jpg
XBoxG4-image069.jpg XBoxG4-image071.jpg

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Bookends 12.5.8 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more
Chromium 44.0.2403.125 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 44.0.2403.125: This release contains a number... Read more
iMazing 1.2.2 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
Audio Hijack 3.2.0 - Record and enhance...
Audio Hijack (was Audio Hijack Pro) drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 5.0.1 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
Calcbot 1.0.2 - Intelligent calculator a...
Calcbot is an intelligent calculator and unit converter for the rest of us. Featuring an easy-to-read history tape, expression view, intuitive conversion, and much more! Features History Tape -... Read more
MTR 5.0.0.1 - The Mac's oldest and...
MTR (was MacTheRipper)--the Mac's oldest and smartest DVD-backup app--is now updated to version 5.001 MTR -- the complete toolbox, not a one-trick, point-and-click extractor. MTR is intended for... Read more
LibreOffice 4.4.5.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Adobe Lightroom 6.1.1 - Import, develop,...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more
File Juicer 4.41 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. It finds and... Read more

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX has brou...
Bandai Namco has released Pac-Man Championship Edition DX on iOS and Android, which features the classic arcade gameplay that we've all grown to love. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX can be enjoyed in much shorter bursts than the arcade versions... | Read more »
Cosmonautica (Games)
Cosmonautica 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Cast off! Are you ready for some hilarious adventures in outer space? | Read more »
Rescue humanity from a Demon horde in An...
Angel Stone is Fincon's follow up to the massively successful Hello Hero and is out now on iOS and Android. You play as a member of The Resistance, a group of mighty human warriors who have risen up in defiance of the Demon horde threatening to... | Read more »
Gallery Doctor (Photography)
Gallery Doctor 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Free up valuable iCloud and iPhone storage with Gallery Doctor, the only iPhone cleaner that automatically identifies the... | Read more »
You Against Me (Games)
You Against Me 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A simple game… You. Me. Claim, steal, lock, score, win! | Read more »
Yep, it's True - Angry Birds 2 is O...
The not exactly rumors were true and the birds are back. Angry Birds 2 has come to the App Store and the world will... well I suppose it'll still be the same, but now we have more bird-flinging options! [Read more] | Read more »
You Could Design Your Own Card for Chain...
If you've ever wanted to create your own item, weapon, trap, or even monster for Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night, this is your chance. Auroch Digital is currently holding a contest so that fans can fight to the death (not really) to see which... | Read more »
Bitcoin Billionaire is Going Back in Tim...
If you thought you managed to buy everything there is to buy in Bitcoin Billionaire and make all the money, well you though wrong. Those of you who made it far enough might remember investing in time travel - and it looks like that investment is... | Read more »
Domino Drop (Games)
Domino Drop 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Domino Drop is a delightful new puzzle game with dominos and gravity!Learn how to play it in a minute, master it day by day.Your... | Read more »
OPERATION DRACULA (Games)
OPERATION DRACULA 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 25% off launch sale!!! 'Could prove to be one of the most accurate representations of the Japanese bullet hell shmup... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.5GHz/500GB MacBook Pro: $999.99 save $100 - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina... Read more
Sale! Save $100 on 13-inch MacBook Airs this...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model.... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Market Decline Continues, Ap...
The worldwide tablet market declined -7.0% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15) with shipments totaling 44.7 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data... Read more
TP-LINK TL-PA8030P KIT Powerline Featuring Ho...
Consumer and business networking products provider TP-LINK is now shipping its TL-PA8030P KIT AV1200 3-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit that expands your home’s network over its... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available for u...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2s available for up to $140 off the price of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB... Read more
Updated Apple iPad Price Trackers
We’ve updated our iPad Air Price Tracker and our iPad mini Price Tracker with the latest information on prices and availability from Apple and other resellers. Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch 128GB MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more

Jobs Board

Executive Administrative Assistant, *Apple*...
…supporting presentation development for senior leadership. * User experience with Apple hardware and software is preferred. Additional Requirements The following list Read more
*Apple* Bus Company is now hirin - Apple Bus...
Apple Bus Company is now hiring school bus drivers in the Pettis County area. Class B CDL preferred. Free training provided. No nights or weekends required. Flexible Read more
*Apple* Certified Mac Technician - Updated 6...
…and friendly, hands-on technical support to customers troubleshooting and repairing Apple /Mac products with courtesy, speed and skill. Use your problem-solving skills Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac Envir...
…a part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales. Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales. Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.