Throbbing Hackintosh Logo
August 23, 2009 Leave a comment
After successfully getting my computer desktop computer to run Leopard 10.6, I started wondering what else I could do to make my hackintosh more mac like. The result was a metal decal that would glow when the computer is on, and slowly fade on and off when the computer is in standby or shutdown. Very similar to a real macbook when it goes to sleep.
I made this using an Atmega 168 (aka, arduino) an led, a 16mhz crystal and some noise filtering capacitors. Now hold on, before you jump out of your seat claiming that this is overkill, realize that this was my first real project with electronics. An “aTiny” or even a 555 probably could have gotten the job done, but I have no experience with either.
The circuit is powered by tapping into the 5v standby line on my power supply. Even when the computer is off, it sends a 5v trickle via the purple cable to the motherboard that the computer uses for standby, and powering usb devices even when turned off. I used a couple of automotive quick splice connectors to tap into the purple and black wires running to the motherboard.
The Atmega “detects” whether the computer is on or is asleep based on the status of the power led on the mother board. When the computer is on, the pins are high. In sleep it is low. The arduino uses a pull up resistor and constantly checks to see the input pin status, low or high.
Note that in order for this to work, your computer must go into a deep sleep. (Usually called s3 in the bios). My motherboard has an option where it could go into a light sleep (aka S1), however this mode left all the fans running and only turned off the cpu.
The results turned out great. When I put my mac to sleep, the blue led instantly starts to fade to black, then back on, throbbing just like a real mac does.
An atmega 168
2 .22pf decoupling caps
2 blue leds (only 1 necessary)
A pull up resistor
A 1k reset resistor
2 Noise reducing capacitors
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Some auto quick clips, and a spare molex connector hooked up to the purple (5v) and black (gnd) give the unit quick and easy power. (Some have asked why the purple cable. The reason is that the purple is your standby voltage line. Even when the computer is completely turned off, a small amount of juice still comes through this wire to power usb devices, and help the computer wake up).
If you want more info about what each wire does, check out this site.
Source code and schematics are in archives. I will post them as soon as I find them.