Sunday, January 2, 2011

17" DVI Pinout Confirmed

UPDATE: Please note that there are TWO DIFFERENT 17" necks.  This one works only for the 1 or 1.25ghz 17" Neck, not the 800mhz neck.  For updated information about BOTH necks and how to tell them apart please see this post:
The Two 17" iMac Necks


UPDATE #2: I have posted a step by step guide for the 17" version.  See this post:
Guide: 17" iMac G4 to DVI 

Here is the iMac G4 17" TMDS to DVI conversion guide.  I have just finished this and can confirm that it works beautifully.  I have not yet seen sleep mode, but the image is otherwise flawless.
A couple notes about the table.  The TMDS # refers to the pins on the 30pin JAE connector that plugs into to the LCD.   There are 2 large cables in the iMac neck for the TMDS signal.  One cable has four colors (Brown, Blue, Green, Red) each of these cables divides into a +RED, a -GREEN, and a BLACK (GROUND/SHIELD).  So up to pin 14 refers to these wires with the large wire written first.  The other cable has 8 multicolored wires.  Of these only the white and black connect to the DVI cable.  The others need to be connected to a power source.  This can be an ATX power supply or an AC to DC power brick.  I am using an AC to molex adapter, I stripped to molex leads to get a 12V rail, a 5V rail, and a GROUND.  The panel's actual specifications call for 3.3V to the PURPLE, YELLOW, and ORANGE wires, however as I don't have a 3.3V rail, I used 5V which worked fine.  I don't know if there are any long term consequences to using too much voltage, but if given the choice I'd go with 3.3V.  So I connected the 3 VCC wires together (PURPLE, YELLOW, and ORANGE) and connected them all to the 5V RED lead on my molex.  The 3 Ground wires get connected together (BLUE, GREEN, and GREY) and go to the GROUND - BLACK lead on my molex.

******However, there is one more thing, the DVI adapter will require 2 more connections.  This does not involve the iMac TMDS cable at all.  A computer doesn't send a signal through a DVI port not being used.  It only turns on when it gets a signal that there is something connected - this is the Hot Plug Detect.  It takes voltage from the monitor, because the iMac panel is not supplying anything to this pin (#16 on the DVI) we have to supply it.  Luckily pin 14 on the DVI supplies voltage to the iMac panel.  So, you will need an additional wire and a 1Kohm resistor.  Attach one end to DVI pin 14 (this pin should already have the RED wire from the iMac connected - so there will be two wires connected to pin 14 on the DVI), splice the 1 Kohm resistor into this wire and connect the other end to pin 16 on the DVI (the hot plug detect).  You will ALSO NEED A GROUND.  One more wire must be connected to pin 15 on the DVI and this wire can go with the other ground wires (BLUE, GREEN, and GREY) to connect to the Ground/Black lead on the power source.

Now connect the inverter to the power source (detailed in a previous post) and your done!!!

Few tips:
    As long as your colors match up you do not need to open the monitor housing.  But here is where the TMDS pins get their number.  The connector on the left is a 30 pin JAE connector that goes into the LCD panel.  The pins are numbered left to right.





 I highly recommend using one of these.  This is a DVI connector.  You can also remove these from a broken graphics card or motherboard.  The TMDS female ends can be pushed onto the male pins.  It takes some finesse, but can be done.  The nice thing about this is  you can verify your connection before you solder.  This is the connector with 3 pins placed.

Below is again the DVI pin assignments (corresponding to the Right-most column in the pinout).  The middle two rows (TMDS 4 and 5 are not used, nor are the analog data areas).  Plenty of other diagrams of DVI pinouts are available online if this one is confusing.  I also wanted to add that this diagram is a FEMALE DVI connector.  If you are cutting a male to male DVI plug or using a MALE connector, it will be the mirror image.

 Here are a couple of shots it operational.  This particular imac had the front bezel removed.  I apologize that the connections aren't very clear.  I'll try to add some better pics of the actual hookup in the future.  I will probably not being completing this as an all in one - I'm reserving my supplies for use on the 20".  I actually have made some headway with the 20" inverter and I will post updates shortly.

I know many are eager to try this out.  As always, I'd be happy to answer any questions.



70 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tobi, thank you for the kind words. It really is nice to know that my blog is helping you with your own projects and please keep me updated on your work in the future.

    Having done it both ways let me tell you that as long as the native LCD and inverter work you should 100% go with the existing screen method and convert the TMDS to DVI as noted in this post. There are several advantages to this method
    1) Cheaper - you really only need <$20 in supplies - a DVI cable, a few resistors, a power supply (which you'll need anyway)
    2) More room in the base - you do not need to worry about fitting the inverter/monitor into the base and taking up room
    3) Safety - once current passes through the inverter it becomes high voltage. See this video for details:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTIEI7lCeQc

    Although I used shielded cable. It's in a moving METAL neck. A wire could become frayed with movement if the happened it could be very dangerous. Using the native inverter which is in the monitor housing itself is preferable.

    4) The Neck can be a real pain - while opening up the neck isn't difficult, the spring can easily slip off its moorings - when it does, and it will. You have to use a screw driver as a lever to force the spring back on. Trust me its not fun. For the 17" mod above - I want to include the touch screen, however that requires 4 wires. By sacrificing the microphone - I get 3 wires. I'm trying to find some way to utilize an existing wire for "double duty". I am dreading even threading one additional wire down the neck.

    (continued in next post)

    ReplyDelete
  3. So trust me, the native screen is the way to go - you will not regret it and I think you'll be amazed at how easy the conversion is. Yes there are some issues with sleep and the backlights being powered independently, but these don't really affect active usage of the computer and most can be fixed with minor tweaks, both software and hardware.

    So in terms of your project - I would recommend going with the 17". I have done both. There is extra screen real estate and it is the exact same level of difficulty, with a couple of extra wires. I also did not mean to discourage you about using a mini itx/core i3 mobo. I just have gotten emails from people that want atx power supplies, with the disc drive, run 2 pci 16 cards in cross fire etc. I do think a mini itx can fit but it would take planning, some internal modification, and some compromise. I'd love to see your design!!

    I know that the chart above may seem a bit confusing, but I would be happy to take you through it step by step - including a full parts list and where to order them from.

    I do need some information to start. For one - let me know which panel size you've decided to go with (just have to be sure that the inverter and panel work - if you're not sure about the inverter I can show you how to test it, the panel is difficult to test without a working iMac). Secondly, how are you powering your mobo, is it an atx power supply? (if it is - are you sure you can fit it into the base?). If its a DC-DC pico power supply, how many watts does it have and how many molex, sata, 4pin etc cables does it have? Once I know this I can tell you how to power it. Third, is soldering a possibility or completely out of the question? It can be done without soldering, but you would have to be mistake free and soldering would be more secure. Its literally wire to wire soldering not circuits - so it does not have to be perfect at all. I again would be happy to show you recommended equipment and promise that all you need is basic stuff ($20 - $40), not any professional grade equipment. And finally touch screen? This has pluses and minuses, it would amp up the cost and only resistive is feasible at this point because of weight issues. Also, it is a piece of plastic so does decrease the screen quality and increase glare a bit. But if I find a way to do it without opening the neck, it wouldn't be difficult to install.

    So please let me know and I am looking forward to seeing a core i3 in an imac g4 shell!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a 20" iMac G5 with a recently deceased Logic Board. I would like to put a mini-itx board inside and continue using it however when I started taking it apart I realized that the video connector was not DVI. I've been searching and found your post. Do you think that the pinout would be similar?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jon, thanks for your response.

    Let me start by answering your questions.

    1. I have decided to go with the 17" screen. This wasn't much of a choice really as I always intended to use the 15" screen for another project but thought I should mention that I have it in that the extra interchangeable parts are there to be used should I need them for the project.

    2. The power source that I am using is a Winmate DC-DC picopsu. At peak it is 130Watts but I don't really want to push it to much, I think the rest of my components are modest enough that I won't have a problem with this. Admittedly I am not an expert on the power management side of things but after doing quite a bit of research and consulting a few experts on the matter I am confident that this PSU is sufficient for my needs, whether it will additionally be able to handle the screen is something that I am sure you will be able to tell me. It comes with a 20-pin ATX which provides a SATA power connector, legacy 4-pin Molex, and a 2x2 AUX12V connector.

    A good review of it can be found here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article989-page1.html

    I will be pairing it with a 120 or 150 watt power brick.

    3. I am able to do some soldering although the extent of my expertise is a few science projects in high school and thats as far as it goes. That said, I don't think it is beyond me and although I don't know how now, should it be required to efficiently complete the project I don't have a problem with practicing and teaching myself until I am confident I can get it done successfully. Basically, soldering is not a problem.

    4. I am interested in the possibility of going with the touch screen although the added cost is somewhat discouraging. If I did decide to go with the touch screen it would just set me back a few weeks so that I could justify the extra spending. I'm not used to spending anything on projects like this, much less the amount I already have, so I'm not too keen on spending any more than I have to. Could it be an addition for the future?

    (continued in next post)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now that I have answered your questions let me tell you the components I have chosen to work with.

    CPU: Intel Core i3 550
    MB: Zotac H55ITX-C-E
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200rpm SATA
    RAM: G.Skill RipJaw 2x2GB 1333mhz DDR3
    OD: Sony Optiarc AD-7690H-01 8X Slot-loading DVD combo drive SATA (blu-ray in future possibly)
    Thermaltake Slim X3 CPU fan


    Because of the heat issues of the faraday cage in the G4 I have thought about modifying the superdrive door to increase ventilation, that is the main reason I have chosen to go with the slot loading drive. Honestly I haven't built the system completely so it is possible that I might run into problems keeping the temperature down but I won't know until I work the rest of it out.


    After doing measurements and leaving a slight margin for error I think it should all fit (hence the slim optical drive and fan) unless I come across some unforeseen problems in which case it's back to the drawing board (which might involve SSD instead of a regular HD), the same applies to if cooling becomes a problem, back to the drawing board :-).

    Now let me tell you the extent to which I have worked on the G4's to let you know what I am capable of.

    I have completely disassembled both the 15" and 17" G4's and put them back together, including the screen of the 17", and both are still functioning to an extent. I haven't done the 15" screen yet because I don't have the right size hex bit. I have also gone through the agony of opening both the necks and know full well what you mean when you talk about how little fun it is to get the spring back onto it's moorings. I have quite a few slices in my hands to prove it. That said I don't have a problem with opening them again should the need arise. Initially I opened the 17" to try and find out why the screen would turn pink and invert it's colors spontaneously, I was unsuccessful at fixing it, and the 15" to bang out a dent in the neck which was causing the sharp neck casing to shave the swivel mechanism every time the screen was lifted and lowered.

    As mentioned earlier the 17" screen works but only with serious convincing. I can get the colors to display true but the wrong movement causes it to turn pink and invert the colors. Funilly enough when I go into display settings and manually invert the screen colors, this solves the problem but obviously this is not a feasible long-term solution.

    In case you were not sure, you have completely convinced me to go with the existing screen so that is no longer a point of contention for me. I can't think of anything else to fill you in on so I will wait for you to ask questions. Anything more you need to know, ask, and I will try my best to answer. Again, thank you very much for your help and walking me through this project, I am very excited and only wish I had more time to dedicate to it. By the way, my email address is tobi.wd@gmail.com, it might be easier to communicate that way.

    Cheers,

    Tobi

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Matt - because I have not worked directly with the G5 I can not guarantee anything. But, the two panels that are found in the G5 are the ID Tech M201Z2 and the LM201W01(A6), these are both TMDS panels. Although the LM201W01 is usually LVDS it appears that the (A6) includes a TMDS chip. It is probably the same TI chip seen in the IDTech, the TFP403PZP, to convert TMDS to LVDS.
    So I do believe the pinout would be similar. Here is the spec sheet on the ID Tech panel:

    http://www.slira.nu/hacks/g5lcd/elecfans.com-M201Z2.pdf

    As you can see the voltages are different but in general the pin layout is essentially the same. Also the inverter does appear fairly straightforward, but again I can not say 100% for sure.
    Sounds like an interesting project. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I posted this breifly in the wrong section and deleted it, so if you've read this before I apologize:

    I am wiring my 17" imac to use as a monitor. First I want to say thanks for writing this guide. I wired everything as per your pinout, but when I turned on the ATX supply, it immediately shut off, indicating a ground. I probed the power connections and found that there was no resistance between the 3.3V bundle (grey, blue and green) and the ground bundle (purple, yellow and orange). I took the individual wires apart and tested the resistance between all of them. I found that if I switch blue and purple on your diagram, that it makes sense... That is, I found that grey, green and purple have zero resistance between one another and blue yellow orange have zero resistance between one another. Could there a)be an error in your pinout, b)manufacturing diffferences between our computers or c)be something else I am missing or unaware of? My wire colors match your pinout exactly, so the manufacturing differnce seems unlikely, and as I said, if I switch blue and purple, my tests make sense. Should I just do that and see if it works? I dont want to fry anything (but that is always a risk in these types of projects). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Sam, I will verify it, but anything is possible. Do you think what I call blue, you call purple and vice versa?

    When you look at the 1st picture in this post, the one below the chart (the one of the JAE connector) you see the triplet wires on the left, then the individual colors on the right. They go RED - (BLANK) - BLACK - WHITE - GREY - BLUE - GREEN - PURPLE - YELLOW - ORANGE. Make sure we are talking about the same colors.

    When you compare this to the panel spec sheet:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_inHxGWLPdTE/TPCuK1WSWFI/AAAAAAAAAQA/uAgZUEwHuXM/s1600/TMDSPanel.jpg

    Pins 19-20-21 are the grounds - this is grey, "blue", and green. Pins 22-23-24 are the VCC pins, this is "purple", yellow orange. All iMacs use the same panel, so I don't think the pinout is wrong. But is it possible there is a color variation - absolutely, but the pin numbers should always be the same as they all use the same panel.

    Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to open the monitor and look at the JAE connector and look to see what color pin 20 is (ground) and what color pin 22 is (vcc). Because voltage/grounds are the one thing you really don't want to mess up, I probably would recommend taking a look. But first look at the colors in the picture and make sure your purple is not my blue. Hope this helps and please let me know how it turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I appreciate your help. It turns out that we agree on what is purple and what is blue... it also turns out that my wiring is different than yours. I took the lcd panel out and found that the wires went to almost completely different pins on the 30 pin connector than yours! I rewired as per the pin numbers in your schematic and it works beautifully. I put an atx power supply in the base and fabricated a usb panel for the cd try door. That way I open the tray door and there are usb ports there. Its not really necessary, but I am using the imac as a monitor for a mac mini and figured it would be cool to have some function to the door. I can send pictures if you'd like.

    I was wondering what you mean when you said in your latest post that there are screen corruption issues with sleep mode on the 17". When the computer goes to sleep, the monitor goes black (although the backlights are still powered on).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sam, thank you so much for letting me know. By any chance do you have a picture of the JAE connector? I'd love to see how different it was.

    Your mod sounds awesome. Please it'd be great to see pics. And with your permission I'd love to even post them. Can I ask how you made the tray door accessible. Did you add a handle, or cut a groove? The iMac g4 was such an iconic design and its great to see creativity in rejuvenating it.

    When I got the 17" operational I kind of stopped there and then went on to my 20" mod (I only intended to get the pinout) - so I didn't really investigate the "screen corruption issue". In discussions regarding the 15" I have heard discussion about "gibberish" being displayed on the screen when it sleeps. You can read this discussion here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=224698&page=9

    Perhaps the voltages of the 17" match up better than the 15" and this is not an issue. If you could let it sleep, wake it and let me know if there are any issues, I'd appreciate it. In terms of the backlights being on independently - I was probably referring to the 20" inverter where I would need a separate 24V line, that I would have to turn on independently.

    I would also like to ask your opinion on where you think I'm going with my new 20" mod.

    Again, thank you for the feedback and I look forward to hearing from you again.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can't seem to find an email address to send pictures. You can shoot me an email at samfoh@aol.com.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey! This project is amazing, thanks for all you've done. I have however run into a problem and can't seem to figure it out. My screen is completely pink. I have tested all the connections over and over. Another person also mentioned inverted colors that were pink...but no mention on how to fix it. Any help would be great. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Erick, I'm not sure what to make of your problem. Does anything display at all or is it just pink, can you make out anything else on the screen? Did you verify your connections with a multmeter? Which 17"iMac are you using?

    I will be posting a step by step including accounting for the variation in necks. Check my latest post. I hope this may help you. - Jon

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hmmm i think that this mod is only for 17", not for 20" because piout's are not the same.

    You can look pinout of 17" (LM171W02) here (page 8):

    http://www.beyondinfinite.com/lcd/Library/LG-Philips/LM171W02-A4.pdf

    and pinout of 20" (LM201W01)page 9:

    http://www.beyondinfinite.com/lcd/Library/LG-Philips/LM171W02-A4.pdf

    or I'm wrong?



    When I look at my connector after triplet wires it goes: GRAY-RED-blank-BLACK-WHITE-BLUE-GREEN-BROWN-PURPLE-YELLOW-ORANGE

    (btw I have imac g5 20" with LG LCD)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey TDK, yes you are correct the pin out is based on connecting the DVI cable to the LM171W02-A4 lcd screen only any other screen will vary. That said, any TMDS lcd uses the same signaling. The voltage (# of voltage cables and ground wires) may also vary. So, using the pinout of any TMDS lcd you can determine how to hook it up to a DVI cable (as long as you have a power source).

    I do have the pinout for the 20" (including color of wires). However, the limiting factor for me was the inverter - I could never get the native inverter working, so I never proceeded with this. I hope this answers your question. - Jon

    ReplyDelete
  18. Please, can you send pinout for 20" (With colors and wires).

    My email: kruno_juice@hotmail.com

    TNX

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tdk, I have posted the pinout in my most recent post

    ReplyDelete
  20. JBerg, congrats on all your successes. I recently converted my non-working iMac G5 into a monitor with DVI input, everything works, except when the computer puts the monitor to sleep, the backlight stays on. I'm assuming the comp sends (or removes) a signal to sleep the display but I'm not sure how it achieves it. I measured voltages before and after sleep but no change. It must be a minute signal that I cannot pickup. Can you shed some light on the topic? I probably need an LCD controller board perhaps, like from another monitor, because I think it's built into the logic board on the G5's. Thank you for this pinout by the way, it works with the G5 display too.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Bill, one thing you could probably do is feed the inverter on/off from the 5V line from the DVI pin. This is the one thats already split to go to the hot plug detect. As the on/off is 5V, the backlights should then only turn on when the lcd itself is receiving a signal. I've never done it myself, but it may work. Keep me informed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi! I've just started reading your blog and I have to say that this is my favourite of your mods - it's more "perfect" than the others in a way. I'd love to do this to my dad's 17" 1GHz G4, which is pretty much the first computer I ever used and we all love it. There's just one thing I can't quite follow from your guide, which is brilliant nonetheless; the JAE pins 19-24 in your pinout; do these connect to the same power supply as the inverter cables, or are they the investor cables; does the JAE supply ALL the video and invertor cables to the screen. Or just video? Also, do you know where on the Internet I can get an AC to molex adapter; is this what I need;
    http://www.teensy.co.uk/External-AC-Power-Outlet-Molex-Adapter/c22/index.html
    With this splitter;
    http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/3518293/5-25-inch-to-2-x-Serial-ATA-SATA-Power-Splitter-Molex-Cable/Product.html?_%24ja=tsid:11518%7Ccat:3518293%7Cprd:3518293

    I'd love to get a mac mini and connect the two up...the G4 would make such a perfect monitor.

    ReplyDelete
  23. And would the DVI socket fom maplin be the right thing;
    http://mobile.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?moduleno=219030

    And how many resistors will I need - does the wattage matter as long as resistance is 1kO?
    Sorry to ask so many questions all at once, but I'm keen to get on with this mod. Great work Jon!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Bibby, thank you - to be honest ever since I made the 17" TMDS to LVDS mod, I haven't loved the 17" as much as the 20". These days monitors have gotten so big that the 17" seems to look tiny.
    All your equipment is fine. Just make sure that you make adjustments if you use a MALE DVI connector as the pin numbers refer to the FEMALE DVI connector. Also the SATA plugs come from a molex so they only have a 12V, 5V, and ground, which is fine. But there is no real 3.3V (which I did not use either).
    Yes they all connect to the same molex supply. But no the JAE connector only is responsible for the lcd panel, the inverter pinout is separate. A total of 3 1Kohm (id get at least 1/2 watt). resistors (2 for the inverter and 1 for the DVI/TMDS/JAE cable.

    Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks! I've gone ahead and bought most of the stuff...I think I might buy a faulty 17" on eBay though as it seems a shame to destroy this perfectly working but obsolete computer. If the fault is that the computer just didn't turn on one day, would it most likely be the PSU, and so the screen would be good? A power surge wouldn't affect the screen would it? Also, the sockets seem quite hard to get hold of unless you have alot of dead graphics cards lying around. Would taking apart an adapter get me the same part, ie; http://item.mobileweb.ebay.co.uk/viewitem?index=0&nav=SEARCH&nid=49101401831&itemId=110659349986 (although that one is in china...)
    Or would the insides be nasty and confusing...
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  26. OK, I've bought a 17" faulty iMac for £65 with P&P - I think it's just a software issue so should be able to sell on the logic board etc if I don't need it. All I need now is to find a DVI socket.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I got this; only £3.40, to take off the socket. Hope it will work..now to wait for everything to turn up in the post.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What kind of DVI do I need to use - I'm guessing its DVI-D, but is it dual link or single? I can't really work out whether you've used too many pins for it to be single or not. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bibby - it is DVI-D (Single LInk). I agree with you - try to avoid taking apart working machines. There are so many spare parts and broken components around that it would be a shame to break a computer that may still be of use to someone.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just acquired an iMac G4 17'', but it is the 800 mhz. If I understand your blog correctly, it seems that utilizing the stock inverter and panel is not possible with a standard DVI output (from a mini-itx board, for exzample)?

    This machine is sluggish, at best, but I love the design. A mini-ITX board running the stock panel would be great...

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. In your statement "The other cable has 8 multicolored wires. Of these only the white and black connect to the DVI cable." Isn't there actually 9 wires in that second cable with 3 that connect? White, Black and Red.
    White-7 Black-6 Red-14
    Thanks again for everything you do.

    Also is there any update on the 5v versus 3.3? Any long term effects?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Svtguy - that is not correct. There is no problem with using the stock inverter and panel from the 17" iMac G4 800mhz and splicing it to a DVI cable. Simply take the individual wires from the LCD connector that plugs into the motherboard in the dome and the individual wires from the cable labeled "inverter cable" that joins with the mic and led light to plug into the mobo and solder them onto a DVI cable or power source as directed in the pinout.

    Like the 1/1.25ghz neck there is no problem with using the native LCD and inverter. The panels and inverters are identical the only difference is that apple changed the colors of some of the wires. So make sure you view my post "The Two 17" iMac necks" and use the pinout or what I can Neck B - which is the 800mhz neck.

    ReplyDelete
  34. IamSam - you are correct it should read 9 wires. I left off the red (VEDID) in that statement. And thank you or the kind words. Its my pleasure to help - as you can tell there was a lot of trial and error in these mods. I noticed people falling into the same pitfalls I did - I hope this site saves people interested in doing this a lot of time, money, and frustration.

    I really can't imagine there being too much of a long term consequence of using 5v instead of 3.3v. I had this voltage running through the inverter for days without ant problem. That said - all things being equal - meaning if you are using an atx power source that has both a 3.3 and 5v - you may as well use the 3.3v.

    ReplyDelete
  35. JBerg, thanks for your reply. I had read the post about the two different 17'' necks. I wasn't sure if you had sorted out the different wiring colors.

    Your blog has given me some great insight, and if I don't like the way Linux performs on my iMac (that I saved from a the garbage...sitting next to a dumpster in the rain), it will be getting a mini-ITX swap.

    Thanks again for all you work.

    ReplyDelete
  36. svtguy88 - thank you for the kind words. Its really been a pleasure to work on this and I'm hoping to make it easier for people. Eventually I would like to design a male counterpart to the existing TMDS cable that plugs into the motherboard. Such that you simply remove your video cable from the motherboard and plug it into a cable with the "male counterpart" on one side and a DVI or HDMI on the other. Also 2 wires would come off to be connected to a power source and ground respectively. It'd be nice to see this computer easily "recycled" even if you don't have "tech experience".

    ReplyDelete
  37. congrats for the great work

    I have here a 21" samsung panel that i taked out of a intell imac (imac was bricked, plastic broken...)
    I was wondering if i could fire up this litle baby whit the dvi hack. So far from my reseachs, it seems possible. I just need to get a copple of cables, then i ame good to go.
    Are there any tips that you can give me?

    It is for a mod that i whant to build...
    I dont whana tel what it is yet, but as soon its build, i will post it somewhere and link it.

    pS apple used for this model a LTM201M1 panel from samsung. It uses a LVDS cable whit 30 connections (not all is for the data, 4 orso ar used for power.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi, Firstly let me say great job with the blog and your mods! Anyway I was wondering if you could give me some advice with regards to the 17" mod. Originally I messed up the wire because I am using a male DVI. Anyway I tried again and that time it worked except for wherever there is an image with white/black there are green pixels and also there are horizontal lines across the screen. E.G. If there is a black square there will be green pixels on in the black square but barely any around other colors. I soldered everything again however the problem green pixels still appear. Ive tested all the pins with a multi-meter and separated the wires so they are not overlapping. Do you think I could have broken the screen? Originally the DVI cable was about 2 metres, do you think that it is too long. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello. I have been trying to figure out how to hook up the lcd from an old iMac G5 to a DVI connector. The model number for the panel is LM171W02(A4)(M1). From what I have read so far, the panel is TMDS so I think it should work, I'm just not sure on how to connect it to a DVI connector. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Alex, thank you very much. When you had it wired up with the male connector backwards, did you actually hook up the monitor? Did anything appear on the screen? It is possible the LCD could have ben damaged, but I still think it's likely the connection.
    With my 20" mod it worked perfectly through the neck, I meticulously preserved all the bottom female pins so I was able to wrap the dvi wires around them and put only a small dab of solder, unfortunately I forgot to put the dvi through the dome, so I had to cut my connection and start over this time without the benefit of the bottom pins. Even though I had a good connection on the multimeter, I had flashes, pixels, and distortions. I ended up replacing the black wire with the TMDS cables from the apple cinema display cable and the problem resolved. You can make a similar cable by purchasing an LVDS cable like these:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/7-x-Common-LVDS-cables-LCD-display-panel-controller-/280735330894?pt=COMP_EN_Networking_Components&hash=item415d21324e#ht_2405wt_897

    And then cut a dvi in half (or hdmi) and stripping for four cables with three wires inside ( these are the equivalent to the our cables in n black iMac wire). Solder the these to the tops of the LVDS cables for the pins and then rewire the neck with this instead of the black cable.

    Continued in next comment

    ReplyDelete
  41. Alex - one experiment you can do is turn the monitor on and hook it up but leave it open. Go to a screen that has a lot of black and has the green pixels you're talking about. Place your soldered connections (all the connections from the black wire) in the palm of your hand with the heat shrink or electical tape in place and squeeze your hand around them tightly. Is there an effect on the pixels? If the get better then its the quality of the connection.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jordie - I do believe that that screen is interchangeable with the iMac g4 (it's an A4) and the pinouts are the same. In the table above yo can see I've listed the pinouts on the JAE connector. Th iMac g5s cable is hard o work with so I wold purchase an LVDS cable like the one I pit a link to in my comment above. These cables are easy to work with and as you can see they have their own JAE connector. Ignore the colors, simply solder the pin number to the proper dvi position or power/ground exactly as noted abov or the G4.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I would actually like to do as little cutting as possible. Do you know what type of connector is on the G5 LCD cable, not the JAE, but small black one that plugs into the logic board. I would like to get a receptacle for it so that I can just go from that to a DVI connector on a proto-board as well as use the proto-board as a way to connect the lcd to power.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi. I tried to close the mac up finally having succesfully done this, but think I must have pulled a connection - it now just shows a black screen, with purple, green and blue lines and noise when no cable is connected. Once the cable is plugged in to the socket this goes. Have you got any ideas what could be wrong? Is it a connection to the DVI socket? Only a few have been soldered, but I'm pretty sure its not to do with teir connections from pin to pin, as these were working fine before. Could it be that a cable has torn inside? There are some bare wires that could be touching. Is this more likely to be the cause? Is there any way that I could check each wire to see if its torn?
    Please get back ASAP
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Jordie - I'm not sure exactly what kind of receptacle it is, but its likely some "Board to Flex connector" - some suppliers like mouser.com may have it, but these items usually need to be ordered in considerable quantity. It'd probably be easier to either splice the cable or take the receptacle right from the motherboard

    ReplyDelete
  46. Bibby, I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. It sounds like it's one of the signal wires (the small red or green ones), but it's hard to say for sure. But, unfortunately it does sound as if one wire is no longer making a connection. The only way to see if the signal is getting through is to use a multimeter with a continuity setting. The continuity setting will beep when a complete circuit is made. Check each one individually and I'm sure you'll find the culprit. As to where the defect may be in the wire - I really can't be sure. Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  47. well, I think I know what I'm going to do.
    I have a bit of proto board, one 40 pin and one 30 pin connector(male and female of both). I'm thinking that I can connect the lcd cable via the 40 pin connector to the proto board and then have the pins that carry the video signal connect to the 30 pin connector and have that then go to the dvi cable. I will take the pins that carry the power for the lcd and hook them up to a small power distribution board i'll make on one side of the board and this is also where I will power the back lights inverter.
    That's the plan. I don't know yet how to do everything required for this, but I think I should be able to get help from some of the guys on the robotics team at my school.
    Thank you for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  48. One thing I am having trouble with is figuring out the connections for the CCFL inverter. Unlike the G4, it has pin connectors for the power input. I've been looking on line for a data sheet or something on this, and have found nothing. Do you know what the connections are or where i could find out?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Jordie, I'm not really sure to be honest. Sometimes on the underside of the inverter there are labels, but I'm not very familiar with the G5's inverter. I assume the power cables are 12V and ground. You can try experimenting similar to my inverter pin out. Worst case scenario you can purchase a G4 inverter of eBay or use a 3rd party one (for 2 CCFLs)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi JBerg, I got it working! :) I cut the LVDS wire to about 3cm and put the dvi cable through the neck. It was working perfectly then I accidentally pulled a wire from the connector. :( I've ordered a touch screen so I have to wait another 2 weeks before I can put everything together anyway. I ordered a new LVDS cable in the meantime. NJYtouch sell the lvds cables individually btw.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270822008277&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123

    I bought this one; (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/320757732694?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_1692wt_1156). It is cheaper and ships faster although all of this partcular 30pin LVDS on eBay seem to be the same make.

    The last step is using the pro speakers. Can you tell me where you bought the Griffin PowerWave? I can't find it anywhere. I really don't know anything about speakers or amplifiers but if I strip the wires I think I will still need an amplifier. Do you know which amplifier I can buy?

    Thanks for your quick response and advice!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Alex - great work. Yea I agree that they are all the same make. I've found having the extra wires, pins, and JAE connectors To be very useful.

    Unfortunately both the griffin power wave and griffin ifire are no longer made, they come up on eBay from time to rime, but are often overpriced. I suspect the mini plug is a pretty standard TRS (tip, ring, shield) connector. But yes they have no onboard amp (its on the iMacs mobo). I'm really not sure what amp to recommend, but if I recall correctly they are 10watt speakers - so I wouldn't exceed 10 or so watts.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I think I found the pin layout for the G5 inverter.
    http://x704.net/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5257
    I haven't tested it yet, but I'm hoping its right. I will try to test it on Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  53. well, I plugged it all up to some bench-top power supplies to try and light the back lights. Nothing happened. At all. I would have expected something to happen if I plugged it up wrong, like a spark or something, but nope. nor did i see the back lights turn on.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Jordie, that pin out does not seem correct to me. As you stated nothing turned on - because "there is no on signal". One of the grounds may even be the dimmer. For most inverters including the 17" iMac G4 - 0V is actually default high brightness. That's why it's left floating in my pinout. For the 20" G4 it's reversed where 3.3V is high. Where apple went with the 17" G5, I have no idea. Just something to consider if you have brightness problems later on.

    But first, you have to turn it on. The on/off usually is a very low voltage, so depending on the scale, you could easily miss it with a voltimeter. So you will need 1 (or maybe 2) 1kohm inverters and some guess and check. Hook up your 12V and the 2 3.3V lines to their power source. Now it's guess and check time. One wire may even control sleep, so I'd start like this: hook the first "ground" to ground, then connect the other 2 "grounds" to the 1 Kohm resistors (use separate resistors) and then to either 3.3 or 5V (these will be about the same). Listen for a click sound. If not then change the ground to one of the other pins.

    But the on/off/sleep is definitely missing from that pinout. Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  55. could it be possible that the on/off/sleep function was included on the G5 logic board?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hey Jordie, anything is possible, but there is no inverter I have ever seen that does not have some type of on/off function on it. Since its the same screen, I imagine the pin out for the inverter is similar to mine. I would take the pinout I have from the iMac G4 and set up those voltages and do a little guess and check. Remember, you could always buy a iMac G4 inverter on ebay.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Very cool mod and I am trying to revive my old 15" G4 by this method.

    I might have overlooked something here, but du you have the conversion chart for the 15"/800 Mhz?

    ReplyDelete
  58. It is available on the macrumors discussion forum, but I have now posted it on my blog:

    http://dremmeljunkie.blogspot.com/2011/10/15-imac-g4-pinout-courtesy-of-pgee70.html

    I have never hooked up the 15" myself, but the concepts are identical to the 17" mod

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi JBerg,
    If I am connecting purple to a 3.3V line do I still need a resistor? Also should I connect green to the 3.3V?
    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  60. BTW I tried using the iMacs psu however 12V and 24V go into the logic board and a 12v and 5v come out of the logic board for the hard drive/cd however it seems to me that the computer needs to be turned on for the 5v line to work. Instead I am using a normal computer psu. 3.3V has 25A, 5V has 36A, 12V has 15A. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  61. I do not know how to jump the native power supply. And you should be fine connecting the purpe and green to 3.3v but you will need the resistors, though I can not 100% guarantee as I have not tried it myself.

    To be honest, the purple may not need to be hooked up at all, but I'm still working this out.

    ReplyDelete
  62. HI, The neck can't hold up the screen anymore. What do I do? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  63. I took the neck apart but I just can't work out what's wrong with it. Just wondering if you have any ideas. Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Alex, are you using the right neck with the righ screen? There is no real way to "tighten" the neck. They used to sell these kits that replaced the washers and those green felt pieces that go in the holes with the main screws. This suposidly gave more traction. I don't know if that's even still available or worth it and to be honest, replacing the neck may be the only solution.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Yes that's probably the problem, I lost one of those green pieces. Ill see if I can buy one. Thanks You!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Completed mine using the pin out - many thanks

    ReplyDelete
  67. Chris, glad to hear it!! Happy to help

    ReplyDelete
  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hi im currently in the process of converting an broken g5 imac that was given to me by my workplace into a monitor. The lcd cable I have is wired a bit different. pin 2 is the shield for brown with pin 5 being the shield for blue and so on. pin 14 is grey. all of these are ground though so it shouldn't matter much. now that I am entrenched in this mod I wish I would have just desoldered the connector from the motherboard that this cable connected to. Then I wouldn't have to deal with these ultra fine wires. I think it would be cool to try to stuff a xbox 360 into one of these. it might be possible if you were to mod it like Benheck does to make a laptop. it would be awesome for lan parties. not as awesome as a 360 laptop but much cheaper and a bit easier. I also want to find a way to take out the steel frame inside. if i could find another way to mount the speakers and psu then I wouldn't need it and it would be much lighter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not that familiar with the 17" iMac G5, but the pinout you are describing matches the 20" iMac G4, since these monitors are the same I assume you have a 20" iMac G5. If that's the case you may want to see my 20" iMac G4 post. I have used part from a cinema display to convert the 20" iMac G5 into an external monitor. One thing that I found was that while the first generation (non-sight) was fairly roomy, the iSights were very tight and it was difficult to fit anything in there. I don't know about modding an xbox, but the G5s were notorious for running hot, make sure you include an adequate cooling solution. Good luck with your project, sounds interesting.

      Delete