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Macbook Mod II

Posted by Tyler | Posted in E-Modding | Posted on 30-11-2009


And now the conclusion to the Macbook mod post. An inference can be drawn from the title of this post, and the previous post, as to the nature of the content. But let me continue the story of how the macbook came to be. From the initial idea of getting a macbook logic board and making it run again, my best friend and I had been toiling with several ways to display the *repaired* innards of an older macbook. If you would like to see the technical write up, please visit the next post: Macbook Mod III

My alter ego and I, always came back to one simple, yet amazing concept. Some of the possible ideas included: mounting the finished product like a billy the big mouth bass, trophy case style, another idea was to simply finish the plastic enclosure and have a plain, run of the mill, boring see through case, I also pondered mounting it on wood at one point, but it never really stuck. Our back and forth banter (discussions) always came back to enclosing it in an old linksys router case and so that is how this mod was finally finished. After a year of talking and discussing, it is finished and in working order.

snapping the back plate into place.

I started off this conquest with a parts run; I stalked ebay and trolled google for a few days weeks until I had figured out what I generally needed. I ended up using ‘buy it now’ from a place on ebay that turned out to only be a few hours away from where I live (what a small world). After the purchase, I emailed Hammerhead Technology and explained my plan for the mod and they sent me some cabling and a wifi card or bluetooth card (can’t remember which) and the fan/heatsink assembly as well as the logic board I had bought.

All the pieces of the pie.

I know there is a mess of sharpie on the plexiglas but let me explain. It was a pain to mark the mounting holes for the logic board. Besides holding the drill bit and hand turning it to mark where to drill, I couldn’t think of a better way to get the marks of where to drill. Plus the screws were a tad to big for the holes (i think they are like 1/32 and the threads made them just a fraction bigger. I circled the holes that were a hair off and then carefully edged them until everything was perfect.

The mounting base.

The severed power connector from the keyboard.

The picture below is of it turning on for the first time. Besides the end of the mod, this had to be the biggest build up; it actually turned on and was working. All I needed to do was load up OSX.  Thankfully I had a mac mini handy and a copy of leopard (an actual install disc) and a firewire cable. It took some googling to figure out how to push the install over (I had only been using OSX for a few weeks at this point), but it was all loaded and set.

The initial mounting and test start up.

Below are the two base’s and the front portion of the linksys cases. I took the original circuit boards out and was greeted with a set of two mounting holes on each base. The boards weren’t screwed in but they were ‘clicked’ into the base using a nib in each corner. The nib was attached to a riser (which by itself was the same height as the mounting holes in the middle of the plate), so all I had to do was cut off the nib. After I leveled out the risers, the plastic sheet fit firmly on the two base’s. After adding four holes for screws (and screws), it wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry.

The base plates lined up.

The mounting base on the case base.

The logic board mounted on the base.

I actually ended up drilling two sets of holes for the iSight/microphone. When I attempted to close the front of the case, the cabling was preventing it. The boardwalk property space in the front of the case is a hot commodity as the mounting base is jutted right up against both the front and back plates. Needless to say it was a close call in terms of space.

Drilling the mic and iSight holes.

Glueing the mic in place.

A nice top down view of the mod assembled.

A nice view of all the guts of the mod.

Below you can see the whole of the project. The little orange stick on the right is the bluetooth antenna, while the two white cables on the left are the wifi antennas.

The back with the bluetooth module installed

The back with the bluetooth module installed.

Assembled in the shop.

Assembled on the desk.

Another pic of me putting the front sticker back on

Another pic of me putting the front sticker back on.

Below the finishing touches are added to my hidden network admin cam. It should allow the boss to check on the network babysitter, unless they are BOFH, then its game over.

Glueing the face plate back on.

The only light that was handy was from the little LED on my phone. I am checking to see the reflection from the iSight lens. I saw the sparkle/reflection that I was looking for and called it as done.

Checking alignment for the mic/iSight holes.

The boot up before being sealed up.

Front profile of the finished mod.

Side profile shot.

All done and booting up

Below you can see an upside down iSight shot of my alter ego/best friend as he is taking a picture of the mod working. I think he was attempting the never ending picture paradox.

My alter ego caught by iSight

My alter ego caught by iSight

If you would like to see the technical write up, please visit the next post: Macbook Mod III

Comments (67)

Great job!Next you need a router that is built into a mini computer

Thanks. Lol, i’ll put it on my list of projects

Nice Job, Thx

my wifi antenna is nickel and chrome plated, i think it also uses OFC metal or something-“.

This is actually a nice and very helpful piece of details. I am glad that you shared this very helpful information around. You need to keep informed similar to this. Thank you sharing.

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