Non-Motherboard Upgrade Questions

1.2.1 — How do I get stereo sound?

Alexey Danilchenko determined the details of the stereo upgrade independently of (and somewhat later than) the members of the CCSCC (first shown there in 1996), and I have developed these details into a parts list and step-by-step guide.

Update, early December 2001: I have finally found a reasonably good source for speakers. Check out the parts list for details.

Return to index

1.2.2 — How do I get higher-resolution video?

The original CC mobo (as well as those from the 520 and 550) can't drive or sync properly with a VGA signal (640x480, 60 Hz vertical refresh). As a result, you'll need to do the so-called "High-Res" video modification if you want 640x480 video. This modification gives 640x480 at 67 Hz vertical refresh, which is slightly easier on the eyes due to the lower flicker but has the disadvantage of putting higher voltages on some components that can be detrimental to component life.

If you have upgraded your CC to Mystic or Takky levels, you can use the VGA modification, which puts less stress on the components and should provide for longer life. With a 60 Hz vertical refresh rate, it flickers a bit more than the High-Res mod does, but most people, myself included, feel the lower component stress outweighs this small drawback.

In either case, but particularly in the case of the VGA modification or in converting a High-Res mod to a VGA mod, be absolutely sure you understand the concept of sense line coding and what it means to these modifications. MISUTHiKU (Mr Watanabe), of the CCSCC, has an excellent explanation of Apple's sense coding on one of his pages. Apple has a pretty good explanation of sense coding in Technical Note HW30.

Some CC analogue boards appear to be capable of driving 800x600 with the VGA modification, but John Stocker found the dot pitch of the CRT to be too coarse to allow for tolerable text viewing. In addition, many analogue boards may not have enough "capacity" to properly adjust the display once the higher resolution is achieved. (If someone can provide an explanation for why certain analogue boards will offer 800x600 and some won't, we'd love to know.) If you want to try it, do the VGA mod and then choose "800x600, 56Hz" in the Monitors control panel. Be prepared to drop back to 640x480 if necessary.

Return to index

1.2.3 — I did the video upgrade but my screen is too skinny. What can I do?

There are a couple of options for you. The first, easiest, and safest is to add a capacitor at CL26. The capacitor needs to be rated for at least 1000V (1 kV), and capacitances of 1-4 nF (1000-4000 pF) have been found to be ideal. The ideal capacitance varies from board to board (some boards don't even have the problem, and some boards do not respond to this modification at all) so you may have to experiment a bit. Stuart Bell's PowerCC site explains more.

The second option, which I found to be impossible on my three CCs, and which the CCSCC does NOT recommend doing due to the strain it puts on the various electronic components, is to adjust the potentiometer at PP1 on the analogue board. The English CCSCC site has details. This pot was glued in place with clear, very hard glue on my three CCs, so I was unable to adjust it. For what it's worth, the main issues that the CCSCC raise with this adjustment pertain more to the High-Res modification than to the VGA modification, so if you've done the VGA modification and can't source capacitors (or adding a cap doesn't help), you'll probably be safe trying this. The way I see it, VGA + this adjustment is still less than the High-Res mod by itself.

Stuart Bell has suggested a third issue that may be at work on some boards. It appears that, probably due to component aging, some CC analogue boards simply don't have enough "reserve capacity" to stretch out the picture even with the capacitor added at CL26. With these few boards, the only easy option is just to be satisfied with 512x384. Of course, if you know specifically what components to replace, you could probably replace them with higher-rated components, thus adding to the life of the board while solving your problem. My guess: they're somewhere in the horizontal deflection circuitry. Hopefully the schematics will help to answer this question.

Return to index

1.2.4 — Can I add an internal CD-ROM or other removeable media drive?

Yes. Alexey Danilchenko has gotten a 3.5" magneto-optical drive to work with no hacking to the front of the case and only minor modifications to the floppy drive carrier. Note that installing an MO drive in place of the floppy will necessitate removal of the floppy drive, of course.

Stuart Bell has installed a slot-loading CD-ROM drive into one of his CCs. Mr. Zubyobyo of the CCSCC has accomplished what is perhaps the most original-looking CD-ROM drive in a CC, but it requires, as Stuart says, a "decidedly non-trivial" amount of work. More details are on the Japanese version of the page. Mr. Tsun, from whom I got lots of stereo speaker placement ideas, has also done a CD-ROM-equipped CC, using a CD-ROM drive from an IBM Thinkpad laptop.

Return to index

1.2.5 — How can I paint my CC?

There are two basic methods for painting a CC. The first is paint, and the second is dye. The following tips on case preparation apply to both methods, but the dye will affect the overall texture of the final product much less (since it absorbs into the surface), and therefore, care should be taken to use fine sandpaper and minimal abrasives if you want to retain the original case texture.

  1. Remove all innards from the case before painting. (Duh. But you'd be surprised.)
  2. Wash the case thoroughly with a good dishwashing detergent or put the case through the dishwasher. If you put the case in the dishwasher, DO NOT USE ANY HEAT FOR DRYING. You run a very high risk of deforming the case.
  3. Lightly sand the entire surface to be painted with some rough-grit sandpaper (200 or lower). If you're using dye instead of paint, use a finer grade of sandpaper, like that used for auto body work (300 grit or higher). When you're done, rinse any dust off with water or alcohol. Better yet, put it back in the dishwasher. You might even get away with skipping the last step if you run it through the dishwasher again at this point.
  4. Thoroughly wipe/wash the case with rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol (also called IPA). If you can't get a 99 percent solution, 70 percent (available in most drugstores) will work fine. If you can't get rubbing alcohol at all, use a non-abrasive, water-soluble household cleaner like Windex or Fantastic and a soft cloth. DO NOT use solvent-based cleaners like Goof-Off or nail polish remover; they can — and will, if used carelessly — melt the case, and they're generally bad for you and the environment. Citrus-based degreasers (particularly those used for bicycle and auto maintenance) will also work reasonably well; make sure to use one without abrasives if you want to retain some semblance of the original case texture. If you have money to blow, many paint/dye manufacturers also sell special surface prep solutions that are meant to degrease the surface prior to application of their finish, though they're usually far more expensive and no better than the generic degreasers.

If you're planning on using dye, Connor Williams has a few recommendations. A product called "Molecubond," manufactured by a Canadian company called BrynDana International, is designed to be used for dying automotive interiors. It comes in six-ounce aerosol cans and costs about US$14/can on-line, though you can probably source it from major discount retailers (Wal-Mart, etc.) for less. Expect to use about three cans for one CC. The most important thing to remember about dyes is that they absolutely require multiple coats, allowing the work piece to dry thoroughly between coats. Connor used between five and six complete coats to get near-total coverage; the first three coats will cover about 90 percent of the original colour. One more important point to remember is that temperature and humidity affect the dye process much more than they affect paint; the work piece should be kept at or above room temperature during the drying/curing process (remember, this stuff is made for the interiors of cars and is meant to withstand the baking summer temperatures), and the humidity should be as low as possible to avoid "fogging" of the finish. Dyes will leave a matte finish, much like that of the original CC, so if you want a shine, you'll need to add a clear-coat finish once the dye has had time to cure (a week or two).

For more details on the painting process and other helpful suggestions/tips, I will now refer the interested reader to the "Mercury" Classic II on AppleFritter, quite possibly the most stunning case job I've ever seen.

Return to index

1.2.6 — How do I replace the power indicator LED with another one?

Gee, how convenient of you to ask. Matt Reidsma has done some very useful research and found that the stock LED is a 1206 package, 20 mA, 2.5V part. Based on this information, I've put together a little LED resistance calculator to determine the resistance you'll need for the replacement resistor. (If you use a 20 mA, 2.5V LED as a replacement, you don't need to change anything, but most other LED colours require different voltages.)

Replacement 1206 package surface-mount LEDs can be purchased from Newark, Mouser, Digi-Key, and other electronics suppliers.

Return to index

1.2.7 — Can I replace the CRT with an LCD panel?

Not if your CC has a motherboard from which VGA-compatible signals can't be extracted. The Mystic and Takky motherboards will work fine. Once you extract the VGA signal, it needs to be run through an LCD interface controller to convert it into a digital signal for the LCD.

Alexey Danilchenko writes:

There are plenty of interface controllers available for various LCDs and various interfaces (analogues for VGA and video, digital for DVI). They are still pretty expensive though. The best source for those interface controllers I found so far is [DigitalView].

The interface controller card is a separate board [which] usually has a video input connector, power supply connector, and LCD output connector(s).

I hope to post all info about complete upgrade soon...

Stuart Bell, JW Musgrove, and myself, with help from John Stocker, are working on our own LCD projects at the moment using Sharp 8.4" LCDs and LCD controllers that we purchased on eBay. For more information, check out the forum or e-mail Stuart or me directly. John Stocker recommends EarthLCD as a potential source of LCD controllers, cables, and inverters, though I don't believe he's ever done business with them himself. They're the folks we were going to use for controllers, cables, and inverters until the LCD seller told Stuart of parts he had himself.

Return to index

1.2.8 — I want to replace my CC's fan. What size is it?

The CC uses an 80mm square fan that is 25mm deep. The housing, however, has enough room for a fan of approximately 10mm more depth if necessary. Panaflo and Papst fans with flow ratings of less than 30CFM and a 12V supply have been highly recommended. All Electronics currently stocks the Panaflo FBA08A12L for US$4.50 plus shipping, which is the best price I know of anywhere. (Out of stock, probably permanently, as of summer 2003.)

Return to index

1.2.9 — How do I add an internal Zip or SuperDisk drive?

Al Miner has very carefully documented the procedure for replacing the internal floppy with a Zip drive, and I've edited and compiled his instructions into a step-by-step guide.

Connor Williams went the other route, replacing his floppy drive with an Imation LS-120 SuperDisk drive, and notes the following:

I have just completed the project and it works beautifully. I had to shave down the back side of the floppy disk opening to allow the unit to physically move forward more than the original floppy drive. The SuperDisk drive does not grab the floppy and pull it in as the [early] Mac drives do. [This makes it very similar to the manual-inject floppies on the later Quadras and Power Macs. -cl] You have to be able to push the disks in completely for the drive to pull the disk downward to seat in the unit. This was accomplished by ... removing about 3/16" off of the back side of the floppy opening.

A new SCSI cable was made up with two connectors on it and a "Y" power cable used for power. The SuperDisk uses a small 4-pin connector for power which was supplied with the unit and simply plugged into the aforementioned "Y" adaptor.

I have archived Winstation's Mac SuperDisk drivers (880K, binhex) for download if anyone needs them.

Return to index

1.2.10 — I'm bored. What else can I do?

Well, let's see... These are just a few random brainstorms that I had. Feel free to use your imagination. I've listed them in table form with what I anticipate the level of difficulty would be. (Difficulty of 1 is the easiest.) If you have ideas to add, feel free to e-mail me, and thanks for the startup and internal CD ideas, Muffin.

Add a HD activity light 3
Add touch-screen capability 7
Startup/Shut down button 2
Internal CD/DVD drive 7-9

Return to index

Last Modified on 06 November 2013
by Chris Lawson

All layout and HTML code is copyright ©2000-4 by the pickle and Chris Lawson. Text content is ©1999-2005 by Stuart Bell, Chris Lawson, members of the Colo(u)r Classic Forum, and members of the Club for Creating the Strongest Color Classic (CCSCC). Quotations from other sources used by permission. While every effort is made to verify information, neither Chris Lawson nor the other copyright holders take any responsibility for the content or accuracy of external links. If you break something as a result of what you read here, it is exclusively your own fault.

Valid HTML 4.01!