RetroMacCast

Where great old Macs live again!

Before we start.....

PLEASE NOTE: I am not responsible for any damage done to your beautiful G4 Xserve if you follow any of the information below!

Ok, now that I've got that out of the way....

Haven't had much time to do any tinkering of late. Out of necessit, however, I've done some investigating on replacement G4 Xserve blowers. You see, my G4 Xserve started making even more noise than usual recently, and shortly after that, the CPU blower died.

Given that the machine isn't worth a lot anymore, I started looking for the cheapest option to replace the blower and found that several manufacturers that make a compatible model. Fortunatey it seems, the blower is shared with some older P4 Dell and Gateway servers.

So, to the list of compatible units. The following can be made to work with some connector modifications:

JMC Model b9733-12hb a

SUNON Model pmb1297pybx-ay

NMB Model BG0903-B047-P0S

AVC Model 8008516


The one I settled on was the AVC. I purchased this off eBay for under US$7 (plus a lot of shipping to Australia!) Not bad when most online Apple parts dealers are charging over US$50 for the unit alone.

Now there are some things you need to be aware of:

Firstly, the pins on the connector may need to be swapped around. I was unable to find any information on the internet regarding the correct pin outs.

PLEASE NOTE (AGAIN): I am not responsible for any damage done to your beautiful G4 Xserve if you follow any of the information below!

Secondly, some of the eBay people mention this on their auctions. However, the ad for mine said to swap 2 wires. In fact In may case, I ended up having to swap all 4 wires!

Being too impatient to wait for the seller to respond to an email, I did some detective work (read: guess work) by looking at the two different blowers that were already in my Xserve and comparing to the new blower. In my case, I needed to swap the Red and Black wires with each other, and swap the Yellow and White wires with each other.

Lastly, in my case, the fan works but has some issues.

According to ServerMonitor the CPU and PCI areas have not gone above 40 degrees since I put the new blower in. However, the blower is not recognised by ServerMonitor (or the Xserve for that matter), and I still get a 'failed blower' warning in ServerMonitor and a flashing yellow LED on the status panel of the Xserve. However, the blower is spinning and according to the temperature monitors, must be doing a good job!

So, if you have money to spend and need a new blower for your G4 Xserve, then find one of the few online dealers that have the genuine part. For those, like me, who want to save a few dollars - there are alternatives.

Regards to all,

Macdownunder

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