How to put more than 5 drives into a K1/K2 case



I have, as you all know, a beige G3 Tower. This case has one internal Harddrive bay for a 3.5" drive and 4 external drive bays for 5.25" drives or smaller. In all configurations there is a Floppy Drive and a CD-ROM drive, which occupy the two upper slots. In some configurations there is also a Zip drive in the 3rd bay, leaving only one slots free. (The AV models for example).

Now I got a CDR/RW drive recently, filling my Mac completely - or so I thought.
After I got another harddrive from where I work during the weekends (a 9GB SCSI 3 IBM DNES), I found myself with one drive more than my Mac could accept. Of course, I could have bought an external case for the burner, but that would have cost me several dozen franks (sFr.)

Soon I noticed that the Zip drive and the harddrive seemed to be short enough to fit into one slot together.
Read on how I did what is usually said to be impossible. (According to Mac users on GameRanger)


This picture shows the doublewhopper Zip/HD combo A closeup of the metal strips that connect both drives

Left: original 3 device cable
Right: 5 device
cable of an 840av

A look at the connected setup An additional powerplug has been attached for the powersupply of the fans I added.
A look at the uncovered setup And that's how it looks afterwards

Adding a drive to a full beige MT
The drives
As you can see on the pictures above, the Zip drive and the harddrive are fixated by four metal strips, two to the left and two to the right. The strips can actually also be made of plastic or even wood, that really doesn't matter. What counts is that they are strong enough to hold the harddrive in its place. You'll also need 8 screws that fit each drive, in my case that were 4 M2 and 3 M3 screws. Those can be found in every hardware store or do-it-yourself center. The strips need to be cut out with a jigsaw for example, you have to measure the length of them yourself, that really depends on what drives you want to pack together. The holes in the stripes are preferably a little bigger than the screws, allowing for more adjustability.

Also you should see to it that the drives match in the back, so you don't have trouble connecting the power and SCSI or ATA cables to it (can be tight).
Then, you'll need a new SCSI ribbon cable, because the original device cable only supports 3 devices (Mac, Zip, and spare). I took a 5 device cable from an old, disabled Quadra 840av (that's the same as in all the small cases (Quadra up to 8500). This cable is, as you can see on the pict, rather short, making me sweat a little when installing it:) I needed to rip off the third connector and press it back on a few inches nearer to the middle, so I could fit it in the burner. Of course you can also take the original cable and press another SCSI connector to it, I guess that part can be bought in places like RadioShack, Fry's etc, otherwise you can rip one out of an other cable. Once the new ribbon cable is installed and all drives are connected, you might run into trouble with power supply. In case one of your drives is a Zip, you won't have trouble (it has a special connector), in case it is something else, you might need to clip another powerplug to one of the powercords.
(check the coding!)

Once you have power and SCSI connected to all the drives, you can close the Mac back up and see if it works. Remember to install the pack first, since it is the highest unit of all drives. The metal sledge of the upper bays reaches down a little further than it should, so you have to slide it in afterwards.

Possible issues
As far as I know the only issues that might arise are overheating of drives in case you pack two harddrives together, which is something I do not recommend, the other one is a hear-say that Zip drives may write erratic stuff onto you disks due to interference caused by a harddrive (magnetic fields?). Everything else shouldn't cause a lot of trouble, but as always:

All changes and tinkerings you do are on your own risk, I will not take any responsibility for any damage caused to your system, drives or performance. If you have questions about a certain task, feel free to ask.

Text: © by Bensch Blaser, Apr. 2000, all trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Pictures: © by Bensch Blaser, Apr. 2000