RetroMacCast

Where great old Macs live again!

My 1/3 scale mac is done! 

The Outside

I made the case using white 3m Sintra (a sheet of pvc, easy to cut and sand) using an x-acto knife, files and sandpaper for the bezels. The sides bottom and front were formed into one part of the case with the top and back as the second piece.

HDMI, two usb ports, ethernet ports.

The Inside

The monitor is a 3.5" composite monitor similar to this one. It's held in with two brackets at the bottom and a few velcro tabs at the top.

The rest of the hardware is attached to a bracket that is easily removed with a few screws.

On the left is the Raspberry Pi. To the right of that is a Four port powered usb hub similar to this, along with it's AC/DC adapter. Two of the USB ports are facing out and two facing in. One of the inside ports holds the wifi dongle and the other will hold the bluetooth dongle when it arrives. On the very top is a 2 port 2.4 amp usb charger that is powering the Pi and the monitor. A note on the monitor, even though it's supposed to use 12 volts, the 5 volt charger is powering it quite nicely but your results may vary :)

To make everything fit I had to make a few modifications.

On the Pi, I had to cut the SD card down almost flush with the edge of the Raspberry Pi board. I also had to cut away quite a bit of the USB cable on the top to get it to bend below the top of my case. The last thing I had to do was to solder wires directly to the Pi board to bypass the power connector. 

I tried to find some small wire connectors instead of having to twist and tape everything but no such luck :(

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Comment by Stephen on August 22, 2014 at 8:28pm
John!! I haven't caught up to the episode where you talk about this beauty, but this is just too cool for words!
Just ordered a raspberry pi. Wouldn't dare try to copy yours, but would love to have a portable emulator for classic mac software.
Comment by John on August 24, 2014 at 12:10pm

It's great for emulation. Mini vMac and Basilisk II both run quite well. I also just finished setting up one with an Apple IIe and IIgs emulator. 

Comment by Stephen on August 24, 2014 at 6:37pm
Sounds great. Never experienced an apple II. That might be a way for me to see what it's like.
What version of linux/Unix did you use?
Comment by John on August 25, 2014 at 11:12am

There is a version done specifically for the Raspberry Pi called Raspbian. The Apple II emulators for the Pi are available here

Comment by Nick S on October 28, 2014 at 4:35pm

Awesome build. I had a question... I'm trying to run vmac mini on my Raspberry Pi - unfortunately, every step says to merely 'drag the disk image to the vmac mini window to mount the install disks'. For some reason, this doesn't work for me (I'm using the standard LXDE desktop). The icon just animates back to the file manager from which I am dragging it. Do you have any insight on what could be wrong or any pertinent details regarding your software install? I'm also having a weird issue where text runs off the mac screen (it seems to be at too low a resolution?) Any guidance from a software standpoint will be appreciated and paid forward when I do a proper 'how-to' writeup for getting Mini vMac on RPI. :)

Comment by John on October 29, 2014 at 8:12am

What kind of resolution do you have for the monitor? As far as the disk images go try this, when Mini vMac is launched, it can automatically mount disk images named "disk1.dsk", "disk2.dsk", up to "disk6.dsk". See if that helps. You mentioned install disks. Do you have a working hard drive image or are you trying to start from scratch? The .img file I'm using was originally set up on my MacBook so I haven't tried using the drag method on the pi. I'll try it tonight when I get home to see if I have the same result as you.

Comment by Nick S on October 29, 2014 at 3:38pm

Hi John,

Thanks so much for the reply. The monitor has given me some trouble so that may be a separate issue (I couldn't get the Pi to boot higher than 592 x 448 despite it being a 2560x1440 monitor) -- but I will try your disk1.dsk - disk6.dsk approach tonight as I am starting from scratch on the Pi without a hard drive image.

I also find your install/setup approach appealing - are you saying you set up an img file with Mini vMac on your MacBook and then just plopped that img onto the pi? That seems like it could potentially be much easier.

Thanks again - 

Comment by John on October 30, 2014 at 10:18am

That is an odd resolution! Are you using Raspbian on the Pi? Also yes on the setup I set it up on my Laptop and then simply transferred it to the Pi with a USB drive.

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