Saturday, November 27, 2010

17" Inverter Pinout/Instructions

To test pinouts I would recommend getting either a molex or sata to ac adapter such as this one:
By sacrificing an inexpensive molex splitter you get 2 12V, 2 5V, and 2 Grounds without having to deal with the hassle of an atx power supply.  It also comes with a handy on/off switch.  These are available from newegg for pretty cheap.  I would recommend getting an sata one if possible however, as that will give you a 3.3V line as well.

To get the 17" inverter to work you will need a source of power, the screen and inverter, as well as a couple 1Kohm resistors (mine were rated 1/2 watt).  Here is the pinout and connections on the right.

Interestingly I was unable to get the inverter to light without a resistor between the green and the 5V line.  I expected this with the purple, but not the green.  Also note that I am pretty certain the native power supply to the purple is actually 3.3V.  As it is simply an on/off I doubt the extra voltage will matter, but long term I can not say for sure.  If you have an sata power source you should try to use the 3.3V line and if it works I'd probably lean towards using the correct voltage.

As you can see I left the dimmer floating, there are various ways of making a dimmer, but it is not necessary as the backlights appear plenty bright by using this method.  Just as a reminder for those of you hooking up to a molex/sata power supply.  YELLOW = 12V, RED = 5V, BLACK = GROUND, GREY = 3.3V (only on sata).  There is also nothing wrong with using an atx power supply and its various voltages, I simply found this easier.

*NOTE: After hearing from a reader that the screen flickered with the Red line connected to 12V and stabilized when connected to 5V (and then confirmed by another reader) I decided to recheck it myself.  And 5V is indeed the correct voltage.  I then went and looked at my old notes which showed "Red - 5V".  I made an error when originally making this chart.  I apologize for any inconvenience and have updated the above chart.


  1. Hi,

    I have an Imac (2006) model and it has been completely stripped down as is no longer useable but I want salvage and reuse the the monitor. I have disconnected it all from the logic board and all the connections are intact. Thing is I'm not to sure what the connections are so don't know how to attach them to anything to get it working.

    I know two are for power (inverter) and the other is for the video signal. Just not sure how to connect them up to get the screen powered up and a laptop plugged into it, any idea on what sort of connectors i might need to get it too work?

    Some photos and a PDF on the spec of the monitor...

  2. Hey max,
    It is certainly possible, but I have to warn you that reusing lcds is never economically advantageous. Meaning getting it working will often mean spending more than buying a similarly spec'd 20" monitor. That said if it's simply a project you want to work on or you want to keep the original form factor it can be one. Based on your pics and the spec sheet this is a 1680:1050 20" monitor that uses LVDS signaling and 2 2pin and 2 4pin connections for backlights = 6 ccfl lamps. Now there are a couple options you could buy an LCD controller programmer for the monitor from a company like earthlcd or agilentpixel (if you email them them the panel number they can recommend and program a controller board for you) and buy an inverter from them or a cheap aftermarket inverter like this one:
    Which will work for your panel.
    Or the least expensive solution if you have time to wait is to use parts from a broken LCD that uses your panel. One such monitor is the Dell 207wfp. Even with an eBay search now - someone is selling the inverter:
    If you can find the controller board you're set. Now will this inverter with ac plug fit inside the housing - I'm not sure. I hope this helps and please let me know if I can be of any additional assistance.

  3. Thanks very much for that, appreciate it. Think I will try and give it a go as a bit of a project over Christmas, Will get back to you when some progress has been made!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hello, well done on the progress. Been following your blog for months.
    I have followed your instructions for the inverter pinout but the screen only illumanates for 15-20 seconds then turns off.

    Any Ideas?

  6. Andrew, it sounds like your connection is shorting out. It seems like youre neck has a different color variation than mine. What I would do is open up the monitor and look at the JAE connector. If you send me a pic I could tell you if it's different. But essentially count the pins from left to right (with pins exposed side facing you) and use th pin number instead of color. Let me know how I turn out.

  7. Thank you for your reply,

    I dont think its shorting out, but it is very frustrating. The image produced is flawless, and the brigness of the inverter is fine but after about 30 -45 seconds, the screen goes blank. I dont think I have a faulty inverter as i've tried with two different models.

  8. I'm not sure what exactly is going on. To troubleshoot i would first separate an inverter problem from a TMDS problem. Connect only the inverter to a power source and turn it on. Does it stay on?

    What power source are you using? Is it sufficient to power it? Are you using the right resistors? And at what wattage? Any chance that two wires are communicating? Even touching a ground?

  9. Thanks for the reply - as usual.

    I found the problem if you're interested.
    It voltage input required for the Inverter is different to that of yours.

    Orange - Floting
    Purple - 3.3v via 1k resistor
    Black - Ground
    Green - 3.3v via 1k resistor
    Blue - 12v
    Red - 5v

    No problems with this arrangment. I tested the voltage right from the original Logic Board.

    I noticed in your blog that you used a AC to Sata adaptor to test and power the inverter. Was the adaptor rated 12v / 2A and was this surfficient? I'm trying to calculate the Wattage require for the inverter.

    Thanks in advance,


  10. Hey Andrew, thank you for letting me know the solution to your problem. You are correct - I had also tested 3.3V for he purple and green, however only had a 5v available (due to the molex I was using) and this seemed to work fine. I do not remember if I had the red hooked up to 12v or 5v, I will test this, but may have written 12v in error. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and definitely want to see your mod when you are finished.

    Yes it was 12V / 2A and was sufficient. A typical 17" LCD uses 35 watts, including inverter. Thanks again, Jon

  11. Andrew, just to let you know you were correct - it is 5V. When making the above chart I likely copy/pasted from the blue line above it, but never changed 12V to 5V for the red line (dangers of blogging after 2AM). My notes indicate that 5V is correct and the 12V was an error. I have updated the chart. But, thanks again for bringing that to my attention.

  12. Hello, nice one on all the awesome work you are doing here. Just trying my own conversion in order to bring a bit of life into the old imac and have a quick question. I am trying to power up the backlight and don't seem to get anything even though the voltage is reading at the cut wires (haven't opened the neck or anything)

    So I guess my question is does the display need data in order to turn on? If not then any suggestions as to what might be wrong?


  13. Hey max - to be honest I'm trying to remember. I believe it lit up and then when data cable/dvi was hooked up it actually turned it off. Either way you should see some activity in th backlights as you connect the wires. Are you sure your inverter and/or backlights work?

  14. Hey yeah it definitely works. Since then I have managed to get it to flick on and off but not remain on, think the cables might have come a bit loose? I have another question now though, have spent all day today hooking up the dvi cable to the tmds and had initial success but since then have not been able to get it to work again. My laptop does pick up that an imac g4 monitor is plugged in and appears to use the screen just fine but there is no image at all. Any Ideas?

    Cheers again, think I just need to test the backlight cables in various configurations and then will hopefully get it to work!


  15. forgot to mention that there was a touch of smoke coming from the cable earlier. hopefully I haven't burnt out any connections or the screen!

  16. actually think I worked out the problem.. I'm going to replace that black cable and see how it helps, might have frayed slightly somewhere. The backlight is still just flickering though... back to the multimeter!

  17. Exactly what I was going to recommend. I can't tell you how many times I'd hook it up get it working then close it up and - no picture. Then I'd find out the red or green wires in the black cable came undone. Even one failed connection = no picture. Even when you get it working after multiple resolders you'll notice flickering pixels, distortions etc. Again, use a DVI cable for a source of TMDS wires. Let me know how it works out.

  18. got my dvi cable all stripped now and ready to go, any recommendations on what to do with the pins? I have lost two already trying to solder them onto the new wires. any suggestions as to how to replace them/substitute them? thanks

  19. Hi,
    Just got my DVI connection all completly soldered up. Using a Dell female DVI from a splitter worked great. You just have to take your time and verify every pin to every wire. Then double check them again. Thank you for all your hard work and knowledge.
    It was very exciting when I plugged the DVI into a computer and it lit up and everything worked. :) Now on to the bottom part. I promised myself I wouldn't buy any additional parts until I saw the monitor work. NewEgg...Here I come.

  20. IamSam - thank you for letting me know about your success and congrats. I know that feeling of disbelief when you plug it in and realize all those tiny solder joints have resulted in a crystal clear image.

    I get plenty of emails from people that swear they have it hooked up correctly, but fail to produce an image. I know that underneath some electrical tape they have one faulty connection. So you advise is spot on - every pin has to be checked and rechecked.

    The easiest way I found was to do my best to spare the pins on the bottom of the wires - especially the green/red/shield wires - to make a more stable solder joint. Is this the approach you took - or did you strip them all and solder wire to wire?

    Good luck with the base and let me know how it turns out. Again my advise would be to consider an ECX board. - Jon

  21. West - crimping and soldering pins can be a chore. Using new pins is always easiest. If you can't do that - I would consider using soldering the wires to some cheap lvds cables that have the pins already attached.

    I'd recommend these:

    Here you will get not only pins, but plenty of extra wires and 30 pin JAE connectors as backups in case you make a mistake.

  22. Hi,

    I'm trying the things you've done here on a G5 17'' Imac. Do you know if the inverter pin out is the same?
    i tried to make it work but when i put the 12v connection the power source shortens out.

  23. For this you'll be able to check the resistance, or 'continuity' check perform of your system. however before going for identical, initial invariably disconnect the appliance from power supply to avoid any accidents associated with electrical shocks. Now, set the multimeter dial to Resistance garage tools.

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