- (Sept.22/06) Please Note...***************
I've recently been contacted by computer tech. who at one time worked at NVIDIA. He brought to my attention the fact that my mod (as posted here) removes the heat-sink of this ibook. I knew this about a week after I posted this mod. (around 6 months ago now) however I casually dismissed it for I never noticed a substantial heat increase during regular usage. But it appears I'm just human ...and being the 'heat insensitive' creatures that we are it seems the ibook responds differently to slight temp. increases. To quote a part of his email ..."a chip's operational life-span is reduced by 50% for every 10ÉC temperature increase". As he explained it - by removing this heat-sink I potentially shorten the life-span of the affected chips by up to 75%! Yes, that sucks :-(
So please - take this warning into account when considering this mod. Perhaps try other methods to fit the card (modding the top cover plastic for example) or search the used parts bins at local computer shops for older Airport or Sony Vaio cards that can fit without issue. I hope I haven't inadvertently destroyed the future years on too many clamshells ...they are great things and should be treated respectfully.
I was about to buy an Airport Card for my 366 Clamshell when of course I stumbled upon the price - however not to be deterred I scoured the internet for the next best alternative - which turned out to be the Lucent chip set which happens to be in not only airport cards, but Orinoco, Wavelan and the older Sony Vaio card (to name a few).
I purchased the Orinoco Silver pcmcia card for $20 Can. (thanks Elliott) ...and what follows is the method I used to place the card into the clamshell with minimal damage. There is some damage of course - but nothing all that serious and nothing that you can't put back for resale purposes.
Take apart your card. If you do this carefully you can put it back together - make note of its orientation outside the casing as well.
Prep the ibook by removing the battery, keyboard, ram shield, top plastics along with the modem 'fingers' and gently pull the protecting foil away from the modem. Details of this can be found on the iFixit site.
I've placed the card into its 'functioning' position so you can see what the main problem is - its length is of such that the antenna end extends into the modem, particularly the large metal 'brace' that as far as I can tell serves to anchor the surrounding structures.
Although the brace looks impressive ...everything still stays in place once it's gone - so that's what we'll do next - remove it.
Remove the screws attached to the brace then remove the screws that hold the brace down. The brace will not shift because of a 'post' that is recessed into it from the bottom - so you have to not only pry the brace toward you but upwards as well in order to clear this post.
One thing that this bridge does do is serve as a spacer for one of the optical drive/ram shield mounts - you'll need a replacement for this and I used a small washer that was the right width.
Now for something strange ...attach the KEYBOARD.
Now for something stranger ...attach the RAM SHIELD.
One small thing though ;-) in my haste I attached my ram shield without realizing that it covers the 'trackpad ribbon connector' - this was of course a set back when I went to plug my trackpad in (thinking I was nearly finished) ...so needless to say it was a Homer Simpson moment - D-oh! I didn't however redo the earlier pictures with the ram shield modification - but I just indicated where you'll have to make the 'snip'...
Now you must loosen the remaining front modem screw and gently lift it up, attach the antenna to your wireless card, snug the bottom of the card into its connector and then slide the top of the card under the modem.
It's not so much to do once you actually get in there and see how it has to fit. If you notice I've taped the card innards with electrical (black) tape for obvious contact reasons.
The modem should now be anchored with its 3 remaining screws. Screwing down the modem will put some pressure on the antenna post, but only enough to keep it snug. You should also note that the upper left corner of the card fits under one of the metal screw holes that held down the brace we removed.
You can now place the modem foil back into position and place the 'fingers' across the top with tape. These fingers will no longer serve their electromagnetic purpose, however they are glued to a keyboard support pad which I choose to keep.
Here's the near finished job with the modification to the ram shield. Small wire cutters worked well on the shield and the metal is soft enough that a knife could be used in a pinch. Cut this shield before you install it.
The job is pretty much done. Be careful with your keyboard as you snap the top plastic section back into place. Snapping this thing in and out of position is always the worst part of any clamshell procedure ...you just know that after a dozen or so removals/installs that something is going to end up cracking. Notice in the picture below that the trackpad ribbon is no longer concealed by the ram shield.
Take a look under your own keyboard now for the comparison.
Here's the extra parts. The two small metal hunks are from the ram shield.
That's it kids.
- adding ram means taking off the ibook main cover
- your ram shield is permanently altered
- the missing parts affect the structure
- you're wireless for less $
- the card can be updated via Apple firmware
- the missing parts have no real affect on the structure
Thanks to a few great sites for the information/inspiration they provide...