Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: new iceBook - help me before I mod again!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow new iceBook - help me before I mod again!

    So I found a place selling $199 iceBooks, and was unable to resist. I didn't let a rude security sticker keep me away, but something must be done to re-beautify the bugger since the security sticker permanently uglifies the cover plastics. (pic pending).

    The first plan is to remove the white paint and make it some color no iBook has ever seen. The rubbing alcohol idea worked perfectly on my Graphite Base Station, so I have full confidence that I can remove the white from the iceBook by sunset tonight.

    Painting suggestions welcome. I am somewhat inept, so complex and artistic designs are right out. Plus, it's No Repeat Tuesday today, so that locks out been-there-done-that colors like brown, red, orange, and even cool blue. I do like the skybook, and a pink stripe with thorns (no url bookmarked, boo!). but I am actually thinking along the lines of shocking pink, or neon green, or purple or flourescent orange. I want a subtlety-challenged ibook painted in a hue that no one (else) would consider carrying into a professional meeting.

    I have a LED VU meter kit PDF of docs) that i'm planning to install to display the sound output in dual lines of 15 LEDs each, with final LED color depending on the case color. And of course this project iBook requires the obligatory color change for the glowing Apple, and likely will get a colo change for the sleep pulse LED.

    What else? Someone did an internal USB-to-bluetooth dongle for a clamshell iBook, but I'm not into bluetooth.

    Suggestions welcome. Wilder the better.
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    I never was a huge fan of fluorescent colors even when they were hip back in the late '80s. I have to wear 'em sometimes at work though. The day-glo orange might be cool. Definately different.

    I would probably do something really whacked like make it look like it was made from flamed/curly maple or koa wood.

    How about chrome? Big bling factor there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    Actually, that chrome paint might look good on the inside of the plastic, with that deep shine looking through it. I am fond of bold primary colors like the red you linked to......I would go yellow or orange. And shoot, Apple charges extra for black, so that is an option. But hey, I am colorblind, so don't ask me.

    I got my fill of translucent plastic with the early imacs and ibooks, so I would do opaque, but that's just me. I do like the clear palm rests where you can see the HD. Pretty geeky.

    I happen to have a G3 700 ibook that really should have a new HD as the 20 giger is slow and small......if I go through the trouble of doing the swap, I think I might give it a go too. Let me know how it goes.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow she comes in colors

    well, i'm broke. i have on hand silver, gold, and red spray paint, in addition to clear coat, so it looks like it may be a bling book. Gold iBook is not a color i've seen before.
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    A few tips on painting plastic:

    If you use the alcohol bath to remove the white make sure you let it dry out throughly. That's probably the reason the paint cracked on that green paint job you linked to. The plastic will absorb the alcohol, and if you don't give it plenty of time to evaporate out it will cause the paint to wrinkle or fish-eye. I would give it at least 24 hours to dry before painting.

    Don't try to make it too thick. Since you're painting the inside durability is not an issue, and making it too thick can cause it to crack especially if the previous coat is not fully hardened. That takes at least a week.

    Krylon makes a paint called Fusion that is specially made for painting plastic. I've used it on ABS with very good results.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by M.Brane
    I've used [Krylon Fusion] on ABS with very good results.
    Wow, what a recommendation. _Nothing_ sticks to ABS!

    Made it this far:


    Won't have to worry about letting the alcohol dry for 24 hours. iBook Project on hold. Gotta refurb a Thinkpad for the father in-law by Monday.
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ricercar
    Wow, what a recommendation. _Nothing_ sticks to ABS!

    Surface prep is the key. It has to be very clean, and light sanding is also a good idea with ABS. Of course ABS is not clear. I don't know exactly what plastic is used for the iBook. It's probably something like PET or some kind of acrylic. Would be good to know.

    Painting plastic is an art unto itself. There are a lot of "tricks of the trade" that are closely guarded secrets. Stuff like heating the plastic to near the melting point or adding chemicals to the paint that "attack" the surface of the plastic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow impatience

    Could not muster the patience to wait.



    There's a satisfying crisp border between white apple and red lid. Camera phone really doesn't do it justice. Camera phone is just the easiest way to get pics online until I find my USB SD card reader.

    Chose red because the anti-theft stickers* below the Apple simply WILL NOT come off. On a red paint, one can't easily read the "tolen property" text on the label fragments I could not scrape off with a knife. On the red background, the reminants of the glue are now more eye catching than the red lettering.

    Can live with that. Figure I could polish them flat eventually and cover the buffed area with some sticker or skin. However, the used iBook was scratched enought that I'm going to spring for a $19 replacement lid and use that for the final project.

    Removed the cover for the umpteenth time and masked the outer and inner edges with clear packing tape. Masking the Apple logo was actually easier than I expected. The long straight edges of the case lid were harder to do properly than the Apple. Making sure the spraypaint coverage included the area between apple and leaf was more difficult than the masking.

    Placed the case cover on the roll of packing tape, within a cardboard box that allowed 4-8 inches of clearance all around. I might do this differently, because there was siginficant paint on the roll later, and indeed I had lots of red kleenex when i used light nail polish remover on the outside to check if there was paint mist that bled under.

    ASCII Side view, box/tape/cover

    B CCCCCCC B
    B___TTT___B

    Gave three light coats about five minutes apart, before the old spray can was empty (opened 2003, according to my perm marker). When I switched to the other can, it became apparent that the first one was barely functional. I added only one layer from the second can, and it covered as well as the first three.

    Used an old expendable Pringles can (might make a WiFi antenna someday) to gauge the paint coverage and dryness. First paint icebook cover, then pringles, and if the Pringles can is dry when I return, that means the icebook cover is dry too, ready for next coat.

    An hour later, the Pringles can was still tacky. Put the icebook cover (on a ceramic bowl on a cookie sheet) in a 175-degree F oven for 10 minutes to ensure dryness for immediate installation back on the laptop.

    Noticed a spider had crawled onto the cover and died in the La Brea iceBook Cover. Had to scrape the poor creature's torso off. The legs were imbedded into the paint, fortunately not visible from the outside. Hopefully this is the only fatality in the project. Bad enough to have a TombBook; hate to have a MassGraveBook.

    There were also other flaws, such as bad mask in a corner from tape peeling back, and one small spec of original white that missed my scrutiny in the initial alcochol bath. Overall I'm pleased but not ecstatic.

    Then the pictures.


    Next plans include
    - replacing the flakey internal CDROM drive with a DVD or possibly a combo CDRW-DVD
    - painting the bottom case
    - retrofitting a $15 Lucent Orinoco Silver 802.11b card into the Airport slot
    - changing the color of the pulsing sleep LED to blue or red (or maybe one of those progressive multi-color LEDs in so many of my kids' toys...

    * The $200 iBooks are ex-educational gear retired and sold by a public school in my area. The sticker security company offered to transfer their lifetime "call this number to return this stolen property" program to buyers of the surplus/retired gear, but I figured that any iBook thief worth his mettle would just replace the case cover like I plan to do.
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Thumbs up Nice Post

    Hope there are no other fatalities too!

    Do tell us about the airport card substitution too. Folks will need that.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow

    I've learned a few things.

    SOAK IT; SOAK IT GOOD
    The most important one is that if I have to scrub ro remove the paint, that means the cover hasn't soaked long enough. The paint falls off at a touch if you soak it long enough, and there's no apparent downside other then the time it takes.

    SIZE DOES MATTER
    Lucent Orinocco Silver cards do function as an original Airport card in my Clamshell and Dual-USB G3 ibooks. However, the Orinocco cards are physically too long. Even removing the Orinocco card from its metal shell, I can't close the keyboard in either of them without EXTENSIVE modifications. I'd have to remove plastic and metal I'm not prepared to explore tonight.

    Luckily, a Clamshell + Orinocco mod has been published on the web, showing that removing only the modem leaves a usable computer.

    However, in the Dual USB book, the airport socket points left-right, not forward/back, requiring a removal of the optical drive plus a rerouting of the keyboard ribbon. Seems ambitious for a weekday night. All hail the weekend.

    Pics pending.
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow Photo Op

    Here I show the area under the iBook Dual USB 500 keyboard, illustrating the lack of space for an Orinoco Silver Cardbus card.



    Here is the iBook lower case with all the paint removed. The photographer cameo was unintentional, but shows that the case is very reflective with paint only on the inside surface.



    Again I emphasize that web legend--messages suggesting the white paint is hard to remove from nooks and crannies--is posted by people who did not bathe the plastic in alcohol long enough to release the paint properly. I had only a mild pressure running a toothbrush over all of the posts/locks/spring-holders, and they came clean.

    Notice the Apple text, and the white stickers remain despite the 2-hour alcohol bath. I like the text, but the white stickers MUST go. Time for Goo-Gone.



    The lower case has an aluminum shield that I removed for effect, and because I have to remove some white paint that transferred from the case during an unfplanned nail-polish remover experiment. Unfortunately I may have to reinstall the shield. In a 30 minute test, the case did not warm as much as I'm accustomed. That heat must be hanging out inside the unit.

    The not-shown-here aluminum shielding appears to function as a heat sink for the CPU as well as a RFI shield. That light square in the lower left of the photo is a thermal pad on the CPU ... for transferring heat from the CPU to something else (such as an aluminum sink). I am concocting a plan involving a heat-pipe with some copper from a different thermal project, and an opening in the lower case. However, I'm wary of attaching something firmly to the CPU that is exposed to the external rough-and-tumble lifestyle of a portable computer. We'll see. I have four clear rubber feet installed, giving additional 5 mm clearance when on a flat surface.

    The row of four chips by the CDROM (hiding in the camera flash) is the 32MB graphics RAM. I bet a heat sink would let me overclock that higher...

    The battery plastic is white, not white paint on clear. Yet with a 5-hour battery lifespan, that battery gives me nothing else to complain about.

    Finally, here is a reprise of the bad photo I took with my Treo. Methinks the photographer needs a tripod, or at least a steadier hand.



    The annoying debris from the security sticker is more evident with the improved photography. I suspect it's only a short time before I buy another LCD cover ($20 USD @ iFixit.com) to replace this one.

    Still to come:
    - painting the lower base
    - thermal experimentation ?
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Thumbs up Cool Stuff!

    Thanks for the tips and insight. Nothing like experience to shed light on web legends.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow wrong, so wrong; i could not have been more wrong

    Errata
    When I removed the thermal transfer gunk, The square chip turned out to be the ATI Rage M3 graphics processor (GPU), not the PowerPC G3 CPU I expected. Additionally, the memories I pointed out in the last post are actually 64 MB of system RAM, not the 32 MB of graphics RAM.

    I love it when a plan comes together
    Tonight I drilled & dremelled the case base, installing a gold heat sink over the GPU. I think the gold heat sink could look industrial, nice, sticking out of the soon-to-be red base. It may even allow for a cooler GPU, considering the additional airspace beneath the laptop, provided by the taller colorless rubber feet I mentioned previously.



    Prior to cutting, at the request of a possible buyer (w00t!), I removed the case base, and stuck a heat sink on the GPU for a 10-minute power-up test. The buyer and I wanted to see if the heatsink would end up hot enough to burn flesh. It wasn't.

    It does seem warmer than the overall surface of the laptop with the aluminum RFI sheet installed. Yet I suspect that the mass of the heat sink is greater than the mass of the aluminum sheet, allowing more heat transfer away from the GPU, even if the sink surface temp is warmer.



    The heat sink wings keep the sink from falling out of the case, and plastic pins keep the sink from sliding around on the GPU.



    Worklog 060915
    1) Placed the sink on the case over the GPU (with the case base installed on the computer), and marked spotter holes for the heat sink wing pins.
    2) Removed the case base, drilled the two holes
    3) Temporarily mounted the sink firmly on the outside of the case with the pins to mark the inside of the case with the square of the sink outline.
    4) Drilled pilot holes at each corner of the square, and connected them with a dremel cutter disk.
    5) Spread a thin layer of thermal paste onto the GPU, and pressed the heat sink onto the chip.
    6) Closed the case base

    Ramblings and Details
    Sawing plexiglas sheets (another project, years ago) taught me that a saw melts plastic rather than cuts it. Someone told me to cover the cut with masking tape, so the plastic will cut instead of melt. That worked great.

    I didn't use masking tape tonight (tape lost, no forwarding address). So after each cut I had to push all the melted goo off the edges of the square opening (with my finger, ouch! hot!) to gauge my progress. This was tedious, and finding the masking tape probably would have been faster and less painful.

    Better pics later (maybe). Getting 1600 x 1200 iMB jpegs below the 39 KB limit is a pain in the cursor with only Preview.app on this machine.

    EDIT:
    After a two-hour session editing the pics and composing this post, the heat sink is hot enough to be painful on flesh. Drats. I haven't even tested a 3D application yet. If I start seeing graphics corruption, I'll have to restore the aluminum sheet, and reconsider the heatsink entirely. [Gross tactical error: no soup for me, one year!]
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    7,056

    Default

    Your comment
    After a two-hour session editing the pics and composing this post, the heat sink is hot enough to be painful on flesh. Drats. I haven't even tested a 3D application yet. If I start seeing graphics corruption, I'll have to restore the aluminum sheet, and reconsider the heatsink entirely. [Gross tactical error: no soup for me, one year!]
    set me to thinking. So many things could be wrong but one thing brings back chemistry. If I recall correctly, thermal conductivity of pure metals (alloys or sandwiches of two metals would be different) from least to most thermal conductive:
    aluminum, gold, copper, silver.
    Now why the heat sink is so hot, unfortunately I have no idea. Could be something to do with the fact that electrical conductivity in general is the same order as above (but I don't think that is the problem). Another possibility, and I have had first hand experience with this, is a previous water heater that was installed. Short lengths of water pipe stubs at both inlet and outlet with copper pipe and brass screw ons at both ends. After a short while I noticed white deposits around the connections between the water pipe stubs and the brass.

    I called a friend of my son who used to install water heaters. He told me that isolators must be installed to prevent migration between dissimilar metals and that heat accelerates the metal migration. He came over with two isolators and installed them for me. My present water heater was installed with those without my asking but I did watch to see that it was done.
    And they were a combination of isolators and one-way check valves to prevent water back flow in the opposite direction. k

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow hot metal

    Metal migration impacts consumers a lot in the x86 water-cooling scene. Consumers tend not to discern between copper and aluminum for water-cooling blocks, fittings, and radiators, and mix parts from vendors. This produces oxidization as the copper migrates to the aluminum or vice versa, and oxidization reduce thermal dissipation of the metal. I believe fluids sold by Koolance and Inovatek work against this.

    However this doesn't apply to most air convection heat sinks. Even when a heat sink is anodized, i've never heard of migration at operational temperatures.

    I really believe this heat sink is hot because the GPU runs hot. A Rage3D GPU is among the last top-of-the-line graphics processors that didn't require a fan.

    Luckily I have some OEM laptop fans that I can use if I get the oompf to find a place to tap into the laptop power grid. Unfortunately I'm not knowledgable to design a thermostat, so it would have to be switched on or off manually.
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow Mood iBook

    So I bought new plastics for the iBook: a new LCD cover to rid myself of the security sticker debris, and a new bottom cover to rid myself of that exposed heat sink. My instinct was to repaint them in metal flake gold, but then a friend directed me to a product that made me think I'll go in a new direction.

    The Mood iBook
    Edmund Scientific Co has some 12" x 12" thermal crystal sheeting that changes color depending on the temperature. Sheets are available that change color across different temperature ranges: 68-77?, 77-86?, 86-95?, 95-96.8?, 95-104?, and 104 - 113, all in Fahrenheit.



    I don't want an iBook that gets black-hot under all conditions. I want the most dramatic color-changes for each surface. So I'm testing various situations, taking temps of bottom, lid, and palm-rest. In coffee shops, on my office desktop, on my lap, and even on my pillow. Need more drama. Must have colors.

    With my heat sink experiment, I suspect the bottom color-changing can be dramatic even with the least-sensitive 104 - 113?F sheet, but I don't have a clue yet how hot the LCD gets under normal use. Perhaps the LCD lid will change color only to contact with operator flesh.
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default Breaking new ground!

    This is interesting.....really got my imagination now...
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Martinez, GA
    Posts
    448

    Default buffing

    Anyone know how to buff scratches and nicks out of the ibook shells ?

    Mad Dog

    :jollyroger:

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
    Posts
    461

    Arrow bwa ha ha

    Quote Originally Posted by MadDog
    Anyone know how to buff scratches and nicks out of the ibook shells ?
    Brasso is a fine grade polish I've used successfully to restore CDs and DVDs. Infortunately, I don't have any for testing on an iBook. And while toothpaste and jeweler's rouge work successfully on optical disk scratches, so far they're not working on my iBook. I'm too afraid to use a dremel polisher, since I used some green rouge (is that weird? "green rouge") on the Apple, and it made it fuzzy, not scratchless. A red rouge hand job with a suede cloth wasn't aggressive enough to be visible.



    The thermal crystal sheets are here. more to come.
    haiku:
    I can't remember
    the last time I restarted
    I love OS X

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    For deep scrathes/nicks you'll have to sand first, then buff. For light scratches/haze use clear-coat polish.

    Fine sanding should be done wet.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •