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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:05 am 
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Hi guys. I have an early 2008 mac, out of warranty (6 years old) and second hand anyway. Unsurprisingly from what I've read about the issue, the logic board has fried :bonk: and my local mac repair specialist says its too old to bother with. However, the screen still works, and at 20" its a beauty of a screen, nice and crisp, and clear.

So, I tried seeing if I could install geexbox on it, or openelec, to no avail (there's a surprise) and I wanted to know if theres any way to use the screen as an external monitor. I've not opened it up yet, but I'm fairly happy with taking apart computers, and I've been looking at moding it into a monitor that I can use with all my other devices (preferably hdmi/dvi, but i'm not fussy)

I did see one guide while googleing, but it was in french, and I cant read french. Anyone got any hints or guides in english? Thanks

Dan


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:34 am 
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Welcome aboard Dan ! :welcome:

I think it's possible, there was/is at least one thread here talking about how to use a G5 iMac's screen as an external monitor... involved wiring up a DVI connector I believe.

Searching so far hasn't helped, might need somebody to jog my memory on it.

Oh, do you have a link to that French guide?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:47 am 
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Thanks for the kind welcome :)

I have manage to lose the link to the french version, but found a poorly translated English version (here) As far as i can tell, diet and food refer to the power supply...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:16 am 
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Yeah, that's the basics there of how to do it, not sure how different the 2008 iMac will be.

Hopefully we get more help in here.

With a good meter I think those directions would work though.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:25 pm 
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I think this thread [MacRumors] has the link to the French version and perhaps some motivational input too.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Thanks Avon. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:12 pm 
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For some reason the 20inch references in the French document have been blocked out . Perhaps there's a difference that makes the guide inadequate for the 20 inch model or that the user hadn't tested it on that machine?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:36 pm 
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If you get the model number off the LCD we can look up whether it's a TMDS display (uses signaling equivalent to DVI/HDMI). If it is, it might work. If it's not, it won't -- at least not without a more expensive interface board to convert a TMDS or VGA signal from a computer in to something the display recognizes (like FPD-L). You can buy such boards but you may need to match the board to the LCD panel. They run $25+ on up.

For what it's worth, I suspect the panel is probably LVDS/FPD-L and you'd need an adapter board, but I don't know for sure. The LCD's model number (from the manufacturer, not Apple's model number) and the LCD manufacturer would provide enough information to likely chase this down.

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Thanks Anon. :)

I was wondering, wouldn't the oMac have to have that converter board if needed, since...

2nd Display Support: Dual/Mirroring 2nd Max. Resolution: 1920x1200*
Details: Apple reports that this model supports "digital resolutions up to 1920x1200" and "analog resolutions up to 2048x1536".


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Hmmm, on the drive home, it crossed my mind that the built in converter might only wok one way, not the other way. :bonk:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:36 pm 
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I had the same idea about my lampshade Mac with a 20"... thought it would be cool. It turns out it's probably easier to switch out the LCD display.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:43 pm 
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Indeed, and it was only an easy conversion for the G5 because it used an LCD panel that was already roughly speaking a DVI monitor without a case or power supply. That's relatively uncommon, although it would be a welcome change if it caught on.

As for the VGA/DVI --> LVDS converters, the iMac probably doesn't have one built in because that would be an extra step. Instead it likely just generates the correct signal directly. Not that it would help you even if it did have such a converter since a) that would be part of the dead motherboard, and b) you'd have no way to wire anything up to it.

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:32 pm 
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New iMacs can be used as a secondary display by connecting up Displayport and doing something or other, so they can go in reverse, but it uses logic board components for this connection so if the logic board is fried then you lose the ability to do this.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:41 pm 
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...and I'm pretty sure that feature wasn't present on the 2008 iMac, although I'm not sure with which model arrived. I used to remember things like that before I got old and started filling my brain with answers to other questions, like "how many gallons of alcohol-free gasoline do I have to buy in order not to run out while I'm pressure washing the driveway?", and "do I need a permit to buy/operate/apply something powerful enough to kill this %*$& ivy that's trying envelope my yard like something out of a bad 1950s sci-fi movie, and if so whom must I pay to get one, or should I just wait for nuclear apocalypse and see which of us is still standing?"

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:33 am 
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As far as I know that feature was added only a couple generations ago. It certainly didn't include models before DisplayPort (which I think used that weird Mini-DVI connector?).

I tried to include "new" to separate them from the older models being discussed here, but obviously I failed. :coffee:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:45 am 
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Been looking over the guide, and am now thinking that it'll save me alot of time and effort (and less likely to brake it) if I just get a "raw" lcd interface board.

I'm going to start dismataling things soon, so i'll keep you posted :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:12 am 
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OK, looking forward to good news & details! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:53 pm 
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I think mine (late 2009 - 27inch) was the first iMac model to get video input. I think the late 2009, 21inch iMacs weren't invited to the party though.

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