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After everything was soldered in place, I basically removed the obsolete Dockstar from the MacSE case, screwed the T5325 plus network card to a bit of plexiglass and screwed everything to the chassis of the MacSE. Unfortunately, the network-port now wasn't in the correct place anymore... but a small extension cable made from a bit of UTP and an RJ45 jack fixed that.

So, did all the solder, glue, wire and hacking end up working as a server? I'm happy to say it actually does. The speed to the HDs seems to have improved over the old solution which used USB2-to-SATA-converters, my rsyncs won't crash with out-of-memory-errors and while I had to recompile my framebuffer module to the new kernel, even the mac-emulation still runs perfectly fine. I've only run this setup for a few days yet, so I can't say if the contraption will stay functional or if the soldered wires end up bringing the complete system down in the future, but everything seems stable for now.

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17 comments

George wrote at 2 Jun 2017, 23.02:

I do not quite understand one thing: If the flash was connected via the Silicon Motion chip and the chip was removed, how is the flash accessed now ? Was the u-boot in a separate (NAND) flash from the main flash where the crippled Debian was installed ? Where is the OS installed now ? Still in the flash or maybe in a dedicated partition on the drives ?

Sarah wrote at 9 Sep 2013, 13.20:

Sarah wrote at 9 Sep 2013, 13.20:

Chris wrote at 16 Aug 2013, 0.15:

You're amazing...I love how many times you say "I found them after poking around"...thats where my hacks end.....after hours/days of trying to track traces or solder SMT pads..solder blobs...lifted pads...arrrrggghhh...give up. But your work is an inspiration to try harder!

ROland wrote at 22 Apr 2012, 12.58:

Never mind... I found them already... *note to self* look better before asking ;)

Roland wrote at 22 Apr 2012, 12.50:

cool mod! I'm thinking about adding a SATA port to my t5325 but I'm not quite sure how I should connect the 4 wire (2xblack, yellow and red) power cable to the main bord. I've only found GND and 3,3v and I also need the 5v line... any tips? ;-) also, when I only want to hook up 1 SATA port, do I have to place the capacitors? I'm planning to solder my SATA port to the available SATA connector

Sprite_tm wrote at 6 Jan 2012, 22.36:

Jake: Yeah, I had a shitload of luck; I tried getting some more for that proce but couldn't find any. $500 is too much tho': on eBay they are like $150-200, sometimes less. If you ever attempt replacing the PHY I'd be very interested to hear your results, regardless if you succeeded or failed.

Jake wrote at 2 Jan 2012, 1.01:

Not TOO too bad; I'll do it eventually. I'm having trouble getting one of these for less than $500 USD though; how'd you find it for 60EU?

Sprite_tm wrote at 13 Dec 2011, 23.16:

jake: That would involve de-soldering the 100MBit PHY, grabbing a GBit USB-adapter and desoldering the main network chip, looking up the pinouts for both the 100MBit PHY and the 1GBit PHY on the USB-adapter and connecting the wires through accordingly.

Jake wrote at 12 Dec 2011, 21.42:

Insanely impressive. Only pales in comparison to the original Mac/SE server, probably my favorite hack of all time to date ( I used your plastic-cleaning dishwasher method. epic success.). My question is: I want to repeat this, but unlike you I do not have a framebuffer built into another system. Could you elaborate a bit more on the other solution? I don't know much about networking chips :(

gnrl wrote at 28 Nov 2011, 22.45:

very cool! nice work undoing the BGA with a heat gun too. been there man and every time i swear im gonna break something else

Dan wrote at 28 Nov 2011, 16.16:

ah i forgot about the framebuffer you made ,out of interest , what did you do with the old sata ssd chips you took off the board ?

Johannes wrote at 27 Nov 2011, 12.37:

Hah! When I saw the thin client had onboard GPU I thought you were going to go the easy way.. Needless to say, this is very impressive!

Sprite_tm wrote at 26 Nov 2011, 23.24:

Bas, mancaveman: Thanks! Dan: Not over the DVI output, no, but there's an USB framebuffer connected to the device that drives the original Macs CRT. See the original macse/arm article for more info about that.

Bas wrote at 26 Nov 2011, 18.15:

Very, very impressive indeed!

mancaveman wrote at 26 Nov 2011, 17.54:

I did not think this mod could get any more extreme. My hat goes off to you, sir. Very impressive!

Dan wrote at 26 Nov 2011, 17.46:

So am i right in thinking that there is no video output now ?

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