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Mac mini 2012 DC input specs


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I've bought myself a 2012 mac mini- I've seen the Gotham Sound DC conversion instructions, but am wondering what kind of tolerance it'll take voltage-wise...Will it be ok with a LiFePO4 battery hooked up directly or will it need a 12V regulator?  I've had a look at max current draw and it looks like it's 85W (8A at 12V should be enough)

Any experiences after having it done?

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You will have to contact Gotham directly for the real answer to your question. I have a Mac Mini that I was considering doing the conversion but not totally confident in my own ability to do this. I did ask at Gotham the exact question you asked: voltage range that is acceptable and whether DC regulation was necessary. The answer was no, DC regulation not necessary and acceptable voltage range was 11 to 16 volts. I'm not totally convinced since I do not know exactly where within the Mac Mini the voltage regulation occurs.

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The Unibody Mac Mini's will run on a wide range of DC input voltages. The mod removes the internal AC supply and then makes a direct connection from an external DC supply to the Mac Mini's main board which no doubt has it's own DC-DC conversion. My 2010 and 2012 models would work just fine off the over 17 volts of a freshly charged V-Lock battery. However....

Depending on what is installed in the Mac Mini such as hard drives, SSD's and RAM, basic current draw can be in the range of .8 to 1.5 amps at 12 volts or 10 to 20 watts. If using a regulated supply, the crunch occurs during boot as current draw can peak at over 4 amps. If you are using a bus powered audio interface then you need to build that into the equation. The mains power supply is rated at over 80 watts to cope with the boot requirements and whatever the user has added in the way of external firewire and USB devices.

I ran a Metacorder setup for 10 years and found that I had to use DC-DC converters to fully float the Mac Mini power supply or there would be some level of bus noise introduced into the audio system. I used Traco converters and settled on 60 to 100 watt versions at 12 or 15 volts to get through the boot phase. My audio interface for most of the 10 years was a Metric Halo 2882 that was powered separately. A  ground lift firewire cable was required between the Mac Mini and the 2882 to be relatively noise free. USB bus noise can also be problematic. 

There are a couple of so called audiophile companies that have made filter and regulated DC supply boards that fit in the place of the AC supply but I haven't tried any of those. 

David

(2 Metacorder Licenses / Dongles for sale! PM if interested)

 

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, davidm said:

The Unibody Mac Mini's will run on a wide range of DC input voltages. The mod removes the internal AC supply and then makes a direct connection from an external DC supply to the Mac Mini's main board which no doubt has it's own DC-DC conversion. My 2010 and 2012 models would work just fine off the over 17 volts of a freshly charged V-Lock battery. However....

Depending on what is installed in the Mac Mini such as hard drives, SSD's and RAM, basic current draw can be in the range of .8 to 1.5 amps at 12 volts or 10 to 20 watts. If using a regulated supply, the crunch occurs during boot as current draw can peak at over 4 amps. If you are using a bus powered audio interface then you need to build that into the equation. The mains power supply is rated at over 80 watts to cope with the boot requirements and whatever the user has added in the way of external firewire and USB devices.

I ran a Metacorder setup for 10 years and found that I had to use DC-DC converters to fully float the Mac Mini power supply or there would be some level of bus noise introduced into the audio system. I used Traco converters and settled on 60 to 100 watt versions at 12 or 15 volts to get through the boot phase. My audio interface for most of the 10 years was a Metric Halo 2882 that was powered separately. A  ground lift firewire cable was required between the Mac Mini and the 2882 to be relatively noise free. USB bus noise can also be problematic. 

There are a couple of so called audiophile companies that have made filter and regulated DC supply boards that fit in the place of the AC supply but I haven't tried any of those. 

David

(2 Metacorder Licenses / Dongles for sale! PM if interested)

 

 

 

 

 

Brilliant- thanks David
I think it's mainly going to be running from a LiFePO4 battery, so should be good- and it's good to know it'll probably be ok off Li-Ion too 
 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

My first G4 Mac Mini 12volt DC power setup was with a Carnetix system. The fan was a bit loud for my liking. 

The Carnetix powe supply was designed for the the G4 and early Intel Mac Mini's which needed around 18 volts to boot. Wouldn't reccomed for the 2010 onwards 12 volt Unibody Mac Mini's.

 

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  • 4 years later...

https://debugger.medium.com/why-is-apples-m1-chip-so-fast-3262b158cba2

 

Quote

On YouTube, I watched a Mac user who had bought an iMac last year. It was maxed out with 40 GB of RAM costing him about $4,000. He watched in disbelief how his hyperexpensive iMac was being demolished by his new M1 Mac Mini, which he had paid a measly $700 for.

In real-world test after test, the M1 Macs are not merely inching past top-of-the-line Intel Macs, they are destroying them. In disbelief, people have started asking how on earth this is possible?


Anybody started thinking about how to DC power mod these new M1 Mac Minis?

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Stumbled across this just now:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/TeraDak-MAC-Mini-2010-2018-Audiophile-power-module-for-Linear-Power-Supply-/133386978500

Just mentions the 2010 to 2018 Mac Minis as being compatible with, dunno if it will work with the 2020 Mac Mini. 
 

3 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

Is anyone asking when all the apps I use on Macs will be updated (and not broken) to work well with M1?


That's another very good question, does Metacorder or Boomrecorder work with the new M1 Mac Mini?

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24 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

That's another very good question, does Metacorder or Boomrecorder work with the new M1 Mac Mini?

Both seem to be fairly abandoned. Metacorder site still mentions OS 10.3, the newer Gallery site at gallery.co.uk doesn't even mention it as a product. Boomrecorder at least talks about known issues on 10.14, but their Discord server (I guess that's how they interact with customers) hasn't seen much activity in quite a while.

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I got a reply:
 

Quote

Hi David

 

Metacorder is deprecated and will not be further developed or updated

 

it works very nicely on the supported platforms (macOS 32-bit) but there is no scope to add support for any unsupported platforms.

 

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Metacorder has been EOL for a very long time now.  I was a very frequent user of the app when recording on a laptop was my main field recording axe, it worked very well back then on those old slow laptops with firewire interfaces and drives, up to around 24 tracks+ a mix for me.  But the programmer-owner of the company was pretty unsupportive and combative in dealings with users, and then he didn't make the investment in upgrading his app to newer mac OS.  I still have a Metacorder dongle--a seriously paranoid thing to use on location I would point out.  When Boom Recorder came along, with Take Vos taking pretty much the opposite tack on user support and integration of requests, most of us moved to BR and didn't look back.   Metacorder is far from being the only Mac app that I ended up having to leave behind because the programmers decided that modifying their app to work with newer OS didn't make economic sense for them, but it was probably the most expensive!

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Thanks Philip, that's useful to hear, so if someone wanted to try dabbling with giving Mac recording a spin, you wouldn't even bother wasting your time trying out Metacorder? Just go straight to Boom Recorder, or try out something else more modern like Reaper. 

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