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Proline's HD Mounting Kit for the B&W G3
Low-Cost, Easily installed solution for taller SCSI drives
Published: 3/31/99
Introduction:

[Update: Kenneth Gan reported that his new B&W G3 addendum booklet notes the hard drive tray now supports 1.6" (40.6mm) drives. His machine had a 3/24/99 mfg date label on the box.]

One of the common complaints of the new Blue & White (aka Yosemite) G3 systems is the fact you can't install hard drives taller than 1.5 inches on the standard drive mounting tray (see my B&W IDE Slave Upgrade article for more info). Although most current design hard drives are 1 inch high, some large capacity SCSI drives are too tall to fit. I immediately saw this problem when trying to add my Quantum Atlas III 18GB U2 SCSI drive in the B&W G3. Although the drive measured just a tad over 1.5 inches high (specs showed 1.6 inches high) it was too tall to allow the drive tray to be inserted back in the cabinet with the drive attached.

Proline has produced a low cost solution to this problem with their single drive, easily installed (on top of the existing CDRom housing) and low cost ($13.95 list) B9924 kit.

What's Included:
The kit includes a single drive, adhesive-backed velcro attached drive mounting bracket and a 'Y' adapter power cable.

The Y adapter is used to add a second drive power connector for the new drive. The two items are pictured here (note: my early unit arrived with no Y-adapter, but Proline said they are shipping with all end-user orders. The Y-adapter shown is one from my personal stock) but all are similar (lengths may vary).

The purpose of the Y-adapter is to provide an additional power connection for the drive to be added. Y-adapters are available at most computer supply stores (Radio Shack, CompUSA, Office Depot, Staples, etc.). I try to keep several on hand for projects as they are low cost (appx. $5 or less, usually $3 at PC Computer Shows).


Disclaimer:
All information here is for reference only. Working inside any computer can be potentially dangerous to you or your computer. If you're not qualified, get someone who is to do this. You assume all risk from any work done inside your computer. Modifications or upgrades may void the Apple warranty. Always make sure power is off and power cables disconnected before working inside any electronic equipment. The use of an anti-static wrist strap and work pad is highly recommended to avoid static discharges that can destroy or shorten the life of electronic components. Never work on a carpeted surface and always discharge any static buildup you have by touching the metal chassis before touching, inserting or removing any components.

Now that I've got the Legal CMA out of the way, make sure power is off and disconnect all AC power cords from the Mac. I always touch the exterior of the metal power supply housing to discharge any buildup I have before starting work.

What's Required for Installation:

  • Proline bracket kit
  • B&W G3 (natch!)
  • SCSI Hard Drive*
  • Screwdriver
  • 4 drive mounting screws
  • Antistatic wrist strap (recommended)
  • Optional: Cable ties or Adhesive backed Velcro or other non-conductive retainers
    (recommended to secure SCSI ribbon cable if needed)
*Note: Due to cable length limits on IDE and the position of this bracket when installed I consider this a SCSI only application. (If your cable will reach, the HD would have to be the master and the original CD/DVD drive a slave. The CD/DVD drive may or may not boot set to slave position.) If you need to add another drive and have no PCI IDE card (and the primary cable fully populated) - some readers have used the ZIP bay for a 2nd (slave) hard drive. (However Apple had a TIL that does not recommend using the ZIP bay for Hard Drives - due to possible heat issues I assume.) Also be aware the CDROM interface is ATA/3 (16.6MB/sec max interface), where the primary IDE bus is ATA/33 in the B&W G3. (See the IDE articles page for other install guides and note that the rev 1 B&W G3s IDE chip revision often has data corruption issues with modern (ATA/66 or better) IDE drives even when used as a master only drive on the primary bus. For how to check your B&W G3 IDE chip to see if it's the revised one that solves this problem - see the Rev 2 B&W G3 features page which shows the location and marking on the revised IDE chip.

Installation:
There are no installation instructions provided with my sample, but it was a breeze. Here are a few tips I learned that you should follow to avoid having to reposition the bracket:

Template the Position of the Bracket First:
Since you have to install the bracket with the drive mounted to it and the adhesive velcro strips will make repositioning the drive tedious (the adhesive will stick to the metal chassis and clearance is tight with a tall drive), you want to make sure that you've located the bracket properly the first time, allowing clearance for the Memory (SDRAM) DIMMS that protrude over the CDROM housing. Here's the procedure that I suggest you use:

  1. Before installing the drive or removing the protective strips from the adhesive, position the bare bracket over the cdrom approximately 2 inches inboard from the edge of the CDrom housing (see photo below).
    Clearance for Memory Dimms when case closed

  2. Close the case gently, watching carefully that the dimms clear the bracket (it will push the bracket aside if you're too close to the edge since it's not secured).

  3. Open the Case and then do any minor adjustments needed to the position of the bracket, remembering to position it close to the rear edge of the CDrom housing (for cable connections). Use a pencil to mark the edges of the velcro strips on the bracket on the top of the CDrom Housing. These will be your guides to the where to secure the adhesive backed strips in the next step.

  4. Once you've marked your positions of the two strips, remove the bracket and then carefully peel away the bottom velcro mating strips from the drive bracket (don't remove the protective plastic adhesive covers yet).

  5. Remove the plastic protective (mylar) strips to expose the adhesive backing on the velcro strips you just removed. Position them according to the markings you made on the CDrom housing. Press firmly to ensure the strips are bonded well to the metal chassis.

  6. Mount the drive on the bracket. Make sure you use short screws to avoid protruding too far into the drive and possibly shorting out the drive electronics. Many drives come with mounting screws, if so use them.

  7. Install the Y-Cable to the drive power connector before you install the bracket. Once installed it's very cramped in that area and the velcro is suprisingly strong (making removing the drive to attach it later tedious).

  8. Remove the power connector (4 pin white cable connector) form the CDrom in preparation of mating it to the female connector on the Y-cable.

  9. Mount the bracket. Keep the drive/bracket positioned as high as possible until over the mating velcro strips. Otherwise the velcro will 'mate' during the process and make positioning difficult. Once over the mating strips press the drive/bracket down firmly to secure it.

  10. Attach the power connector from the CDrom drive to the Y-Cable female socket and then attach the remaining male connector to the CDrom drive.

    Y cable installed

  11. Attach your SCSI cable. Ultra2 SCSI cables are often very long and require dressing back (securing in place - I used a cable tie routed through the existing case support). The idea is to make sure that a) no cables get pinched or interfere with case closing and b) that no spare SCSI connector pins can get shorted to another metal surface (this will ruin your day big time and is possible with male pins in UW or U2 SCSI connectors left dangling near metal surfaces). Take time to verify that no SCSI connectors can contact a metal surface and short before proceeding.

    Cable tie securing SCSI Cable

  12. After all cables are connected, verify that when you close the case (slowly, peering into the interior of the case) that the cables and bracket clear the Dimms, SCSI card, and other motherboard components.

I felt a bit sheepish posting such a long explanation, but after having to reposition the bracket with the velcro attached I though I'd pass on this lesson learned the hard way.

Summary:
This is one of those "Why didn't I think of it?" products. Simple, low-cost and does the job. Check out more of Proline's products at the link below. Proline also manufactures many other items for Apple G3 and other models of PowerMacs.




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