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epicMac's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 10
Uses for a bare iMac G3 mainboard? (VGA-less)

Some time ago I salvaged parts from a trashed blue iMac G3, including the mainboard. It wasn't an older or newer model, sorta middle ground in this case. It's kind of feature-less, such as no wireless port I think and no on-board VGA port. The holes in the PCB for a through hole port are still there though, but I don't know if they're connected.

Anyway, what do you guys do with a bare mainboard like this?

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Joined: 2009 Nov 14

Well, Max1zzz had built his old iMac into an Xbox 360 (I am doing a similar project, except the iMac isn't fully disassembled). You might be able to scrounge up enough working parts via eBay: a new connection to power supply, a hard drive, a few other essentials, and a case to throw all of them into.

Then load up a bunch of old games from Mac Garden (don't forget G3 Throttler!) and have at it. Cool

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Joined: 2010 Oct 3

Yeah, if you have the little board which connects the logic board to the internal video port you can do something like i did. alternatively, you could load up a hdd on another computer, put it on the imac, and run it as some kind of headless box.

epicMac's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 10

Making a kind of Mac-in-a-Box, like a 360 case, sounds good and all, but I've had little experience in such mod projects. I'm more of a soldering guy.

Is there a picture of this video port board you speak of, max? Where would it plug into? Would soldering a VGA port into the back of the mainboard not work? It's 15 holes in 3 rows, which is VGA.

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Joined: 2010 Oct 3

hmm, is it from a slotloading or tray loading imac?

epicMac's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 10

Slot loading. It's rather feature-less, it doesn't even have an Airport slot soldered on or FireWire ports. The solder pads for the Airport card are still there though, just like the VGA port.

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Joined: 2010 Oct 3

ok, it won't have the little board i was talking about, thats only in tray loaders, as for soldering on a vga port, i'm not sure, it may work it may not.

epicMac's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 10

Do you know if there exists an ATX adapter for the iMac? The power plug mounted on the board is similar but has it's differences. Or do you need an actual iMac PSU? Those things seem to die as often as the monitor...

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Joined: 2010 Oct 3

no pre made ones exist (that i am aware of), however it is possible (and very simple to use a atx psu to power a imac, i'll take a look for the details tomorrow (or you can find them, should be easy to find on google, just make sure you get the slotloading pinout, as the trayloader uses a different one)

epicMac's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 10

All I'd really need is a pinout for the slotloader's PSU plug, including the voltages and amps required to run an iMac. That way I could get a DC - DC converter and wire up the iMac to it. From there anything I'd want to do would be a piece of cake.