Resurrecting a Mac LC for server duties

It might just be a case mod, but we love [Eduard]‘s take on a modern Macintosh LC (translation). The donor motherboard came from a disused home server, and the LC came from [Eduard]‘s childhood memories of playing Glider and The Incredible Machine.

The case was donated from a venerable Macintosh LC, manufactured circa 1990. The original LC had a Motorola 68020 CPU, which [Eduard] upgraded to an Intel Atom board. It was a somewhat tricky build – he adapted a 90 Watt power supply from a piece of old office equipment to power the new Intel board. With a great deal of very careful Dremel work, the old-school Apple logo was modified into a power button for the new computer.

For frequent readers of Hack a Day, it’s no surprise that we’ll grab up any old Apple or Mac build. [Kevin] built a weather station and analog joypad for his Apple IIc, We’ve seen custom Mac ROM SIMMS, and of course [Sprite_tm]‘s amazing SE/30 emulation. If you’ve got something that will send our 68k senses tingling, send it on into the tip line.

13 thoughts on “Resurrecting a Mac LC for server duties

  1. Damn, he beat me to it. I have one of these and a pile of parts waiting to go into it. But i was going to use a laptop MB with beefed up cooling to keep it next to fanless, USB to ADB adapter to keep the old KB and mous, and i was going to rewire the RGB connector so the original monitor would work (it accepts VGA)

    1. On an LC? Did it have the 68851 MMU? The Mac II could do it, but only with the add-on MMU. I don’t remember there being a slot for that on the LC.

      Of course, if it were an LC II, this wouldn’t be a problem.

      1. With an LC III motherboard swap it could! (25 mhz ’030, and only one crystal away from 33 mhz.)

        The SE/30 was a really common server back in the day. Its small size, built-in screen, 128 MB RAM ceiling (if you run Mode32), space for multiple stacked PDS cards (040 upgrade and Ethernet), support for A/UX, and a relatively quick SCSI bus all added up to a very underestimated machine.

  2. Glider! Oh my, that brings back the memories on my LC, first time I used a mouse pretty much. It my a pretty crappy computer back then, but hey it was cheap.

  3. Well done! I have performed a similar power supply modification, using the existing power supply in a Scientific Atlanta digital cable box, reversing the diode and output filter capacitor on the +9VDC output of the power supply to make -9VDC to feed the -12VDC input of the Mini-ITX motherboard I put in the cable box that the board needed for the serial port to use for an LIRC receiver(I was making a media player). Worked quite well. In this particular hack, though, I would have removed the Apple logo, trimmed the plastic behind it to the dimensions of the logo so it could slide through, and then mounted the power switch so the logo was flush with the front when not being pressed, and recessed when being pressed…

    1. Well if the original system board was bad, I don’t see a problem with the mod. The only reason I haven’t gutted my Performa 460 (LC case) is because it still works flawlessly. I’m even considering dropping $20 for the 10baseT network card for it so it can connect to my local network. I know it won’t be able to do much but it might be fun to toy with. And it still has about 20 old games on it, including Shadowgate!

      When it does die, I’ll probably put a Raspberry Pi board in it (I’m ordering as many as I can afford) and throw vMac and a bunch of other emulators on it.

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