Contribute
Register

iMac 21.5" 2011 monitor re use

Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
32
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-D3H
CPU
i5 4430
Graphics
MSI GTX660 Gaming
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Hi,

After doing my first hackintosh build and being busy with a g5 mod i was wondering if i can use my broken iMac 21.5" 2011 model.

After he was hit by lightning the motherboard died.
The idea is to re use the case and screen. And place an intel nuc or itx motherboard in it.
But i can't figure out if i can re use the screen.

Does anyone can help me with this?

Grtz,
Toos

ps. Sorry for my horrible English :p
 
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
773
Motherboard
DQ77KB
CPU
i7-3770S
Graphics
HD4000
Mac
MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
iOS
Hi,

After doing my first hackintosh build and being busy with a g5 mod i was wondering if i can use my broken iMac 21.5" 2011 model.

The idea is to re use the case and screen. And place an intel nuc or itx motherboard in it

But i can't figure out if i can re use the screen.

Grtz,
Toos
It may be possible to re-use the screen, but it will require some specialised work.

First you need to identify the part number of the panel, then find technical documentation, then adapt the screens input signal for use on a computer. If it is a TDMS panel then it will directly connect to HDMI/DVI, if it is a LVDS panel then it is much harder as requires separate controller to convert from TDMS to LVDS.

The second issue is the power supply requirements for the panel, in CCFL backlighting (prior to LED backlighting), a high voltage AC PSU is needed, a specialised part called an inverter provides this. The issue could be that this PSU is dead, in which case a replacement could be hard to come by. LED backlighting is much simpler

As for installing a computer into the iMac, the major issue is space. I would recommend you first disassemble the machine using an iFixit guide, then evaluate how much space there actually is, and what you could fit in there. You can also identify the panel, and the type of backlight.

http://www.ifixit.com/Device/iMac_Intel

Do you know that the panel is actually working?
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
32
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-D3H
CPU
i5 4430
Graphics
MSI GTX660 Gaming
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Thank you for you're reply.

I already disabled it a couple of times. The PSU is working great. But i really don't know if the screen is still working. I think only the motherboard didn't survive the lightning.

I will disassemble the imac again and put some photo's here with the part numbers.

Thanks!
 
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
773
Motherboard
DQ77KB
CPU
i7-3770S
Graphics
HD4000
Mac
MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
iOS
Short Answer - NO

The ebay reference you provide is for the SLC1 version of the panel,

The Specs for the LM215WF3 SLC1 panel are
http://www.panelook.com/LM215WF3-SLC1_LG Display_21.5_LCM_parameter_12152.html

The iFixit Teardown for your computer (my assumption is a Mid 2011 iMac) list the screen as an LM215WF3 if you look at the picture it has SDC2 on the end of the number
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2428+Teardown/5485

The Specs for the LM215WF3 SDC2 panel are
http://www.panelook.com/LM215WF3-SDC2_LG Display_21.5_LCM_parameter_13100.html

If you compare the specs you will see there are significant differences between them,

From my experience the main model number is everything about the glass panel, the last four character of the model number define the mechanical frame and electronics there are built around the glass panel. So really the only commonality between these two models is the glass itself. Apple has significant buying power and you may find the SDC2 model was a panel made exclusively for Apple.

So unfortunately NO.

But wait - There is some good news

If you look at the specs for the SDC2 panel, the Interface type is "eDP" or "Embedded Display Port", basically part of the "Display Port" family. So in short you there is no signal conversion if you come from a Display Port signal.

Of course its not as simple as all this, there are probably three main issues
  • Some differences minor between eDP and DP which you would have to account for, Like in JBergs iMac G4 builds he had to work out what the extra wires were for
  • You still have to supply power to the LED backlight, but this should just be DC, far simpler than CCFL that requires high voltage AC
  • The other issue is adapting the connector on the panel to a standard DP connector, this could be tricky.
Hope this helps.

EDIT: Here is a link to the full PDF Manual for the SDC2 Panel
http://ebookbrowsee.net/lm215wf3-sdc2-pdf-d433813977
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
32
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-D3H
CPU
i5 4430
Graphics
MSI GTX660 Gaming
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Thank you for this complete search for me. I will go and search for options when my g5 project is done. I will have to think about if it's worth the time and take a look at the costs.

I really thank you for all the searching and thinking with me here!
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Messages
86
Motherboard
ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe
CPU
i7-7820X
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Do you have something new about this topic? I have an iMac 27" case here, wondering if it's possible in a way to use it as a "monitor" case...
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
3
Motherboard
Asus Formula IV Hero
CPU
i7-4770k
Graphics
Asus R9 280x Matrix Platinum
Mac
iMac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Hi, i just read this Thread, because i would like to use my iMac, with the LCD Panel LM215WF3-SDA1, as a monitor for my PC. Sadly does my iMac (21.5 mid 2010) not support "Target Display Mode" like most new iMac's do.
Therefor i decided to connect the LCD directly to the PC graphics card. It would be nice if someone could explain me if this theoretical works.
Btw, my graphics card got a Displayport output, which should help alot, because i dont have to convert the signals.
(please correct me if im wrong)

Grtz, C3I2B3I2U5
 
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
773
Motherboard
DQ77KB
CPU
i7-3770S
Graphics
HD4000
Mac
MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
iOS
Hi, i just read this Thread, because i would like to use my iMac, with the LCD Panel LM215WF3-SDA1, as a monitor for my PC. Sadly does my iMac (21.5 mid 2010) not support "Target Display Mode" like most new iMac's do.
Therefor i decided to connect the LCD directly to the PC graphics card. It would be nice if someone could explain me if this theoretical works.
Btw, my graphics card got a Displayport output, which should help alot, because i dont have to convert the signals.
(please correct me if im wrong)

Grtz, C3I2B3I2U5
In theory use this will work. The LM215WF3-SDA1 panel uses a DisplayPort interface

http://www.panelook.com/LM215WF3-SDA1_LG Display_21.5_LCM_overview_4919.html
http://www.displayalliance.com/storage/1-spec-sheets/LM215WF3-SDA1.pdf

Of course the issues I stated in previous posts are your main challenges.

You need a PSU to power the LED backlight 58V DC, and vertical sync. The best way is to reuse the existing board to do this. Here is the guide showing the removal of this board.

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2389+LED+Driver+Board+Replacement/6286

You will need to provide power to this board, and 12V DC to the main LCD interface. One way is to use the existing iMac PSU, but you have to work out what the pinout of the PSU is, and how it is turned on by the computer.

The other issue is adapting the connector on the panel to a standard DP connector, this could be the hardest part as the connector used is different and much smaller than the connector used in the iMac G4

I will be attempting this shortly on my iMac G5 build.

Kiwi
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
3
Motherboard
Asus Formula IV Hero
CPU
i7-4770k
Graphics
Asus R9 280x Matrix Platinum
Mac
iMac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
In theory use this will work. The LM215WF3-SDA1 panel uses a DisplayPort interface

http://www.panelook.com/LM215WF3-SDA1_LG Display_21.5_LCM_overview_4919.html
http://www.displayalliance.com/storage/1-spec-sheets/LM215WF3-SDA1.pdf

Of course the issues I stated in previous posts are your main challenges.

You need a PSU to power the LED backlight 58V DC, and vertical sync. The best way is to reuse the existing board to do this. Here is the guide showing the removal of this board.

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2389+LED+Driver+Board+Replacement/6286

You will need to provide power to this board, and 12V DC to the main LCD interface. One way is to use the existing iMac PSU, but you have to work out what the pinout of the PSU is, and how it is turned on by the computer.

The other issue is adapting the connector on the panel to a standard DP connector, this could be the hardest part as the connector used is different and much smaller than the connector used in the iMac G4

I will be attempting this shortly on my iMac G5 build.

Kiwi
Hi, thanks for the answer.
Is it possible to let the LCD Panel stay inside the iMac and just connect the graphics card with the LCD connector? It doesn't matter if the iMac has to be turned while I'm using the LCD Panel as screen.
This way it would easier for me, since I'm not that familiar with all the electronic stuff.

Edit: Is it maybe possible to get a LED driver board from a new iMac, that supports TDM? I don't know which hardware in the iMac is used for TDM, any thoughts?
 
Top