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Apple Cinema Display Mod


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#1
jb111s

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Been after a 27" cinema display to complete my hackintosh setup. Come very close to buying one, but always been put off by the price & the fact I'd also have to spend £100 on another converter to allow dual link dvi to be converted to mdp.

In the end I ended up buying one of the Korean models which have the same LED panel (Achieva Shimian 27). Been really pleased with this monitor for the last 6 months but the thing just looks cheap and nasty on my desk & completely out of place with all my nice shiny apple stuff.

After a bit of browsing on ebay for cinema displays I found a broken one for sale as parts. LCD and front glass was smashed so sold as parts only for £150.

Did a bit of googling to see what the insides of the Shimian were like & whether it would be possible to put inside a cinema display chassis. Whilst the Apple cinema display consists of 2 large logic boards, speakers, subwoofer etc, the cheapy korean's only have 1 small circuit board that does everything & a very tiny power board.

Went for it & gutted all the insides from the ACD & put my panel in without problem. Couldn't quite fit both the Shimian's board in, but came close. The problem was the DVI cable was a bit too thick & the internal leads from the circuit board to the panel were a bit too short :(

Came up with a compromise & have the circuit board outside of the chassis & have ordered a project box that I'm going to fit this into & attach to the rear of the monitor. Not dangerous as such a low voltage (shimian has an external power brick).

Doesn't bother me as the back isn't visible, but very pleased to now have a proper cinema display to match the rest of my hackintosh.

Got a new glass panel on order from ebay & then she'll be complete! Looks a bit scruffy at the back but this will be tidied up once project box attached to the back.

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#2
Ira Aduro

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A very bold and interesting idea. Shame the components won't fit but as you say the back will be out of sight and so out of mind. I do like that some of the Korean displays have adjustable height and rotate. I have the Crossover one. Had wondered about it fitting it in a cinema display. You know, if you happen to see a cheap non workin 27" iMac this might all fit in. But I doubt it could be had for a reasonable price.

#3
jb111s

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I thought about trying an iMac as would have no problem fitting inside one. You can buy an empty 27" iMac case without stand for around £80 on ebay, but then you'd need another £90 for the glass panel & you also need the frame which goes around the lcd panel which also has the magnets on it to hold the glass on which I couldn't find.

Also the stands are another £30-80 & you also need a bracket inside to mount the stand on (if you weren't wall mounting it).

I was hoping I may be able to keep it original as all the internal components still worked & get the dvi adaptor but whilst the korean monitors are the same panel, Apple use a different connectors :(

#4
WhatTheTech

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Holy moly, I can't wait to see this all finished up! Before I read you were getting a project box, I wondered whether you could put it inside an empty mac mini case :D

Definitely following this!

#5
v3nom

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I love that idea! :thumbsup_anim: :thumbsup_anim:

#6
Mr.D.

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Holy moly, I can't wait to see this all finished up! Before I read you were getting a project box, I wondered whether you could put it inside an empty mac mini case :D


I agree - if you could find an empty Mac mini case, or even a broken Apple TV box and then gut that, you could use that to house the adapter - it all depends on the size of that board. It would be quite cool to be able to get that into a mac enclosure of some kind, keep the mac look and make it extra clean looking.

Very nice indeed!

#7
WhatTheTech

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Heck, keep the SuperDrive in a Mac mini and you can even keep it functional :D

*runs off to find broken acd on eBay*

#8
jb111s

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It certainly would be possible to fit the whole enclosure into the chassis, have no doubt about that.

I am a bit of a dremel newbie & after losing lots of blood and skin trying to cut through the g5 case wanted to keep any hacking away to a minimum! I would of had to have made holes for the dvi port which I did't fancy as I would of ruined it.

As such I didn't actually have to do any dremel work. All of the ACD components and boards come out easily & all the housing brackets that everything screws into are held on with extremely stong tape in the inside. The solution I found was to remove the apple logo at the back which lets me run the wires through. This is the ACD torn down, as you can see has way more components than the korean equivalents!

thunderbolt_display_teardown.jpg

I'm sure plenty of people on here who can do amazing things with their G5 customisation could achieve a much better all in one result though :thumbsup_anim:

All of the korean models seem to use the pretty much the same all in one board

image004.jpg

Also plan on putting a usb connector on the end of the isight module to have that up and running as well. Have attached the technician's guide which shows all the inside components.


You could easily put a usb hub inside to re-use the usb ports on the back as well.

#9
WhatTheTech

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Hooooooow's it going??? :D

THE COLLECTIVE DEMANDS AN UPDATE!

I just picked up a mac mini case for a project, but I would never have thought of it if I hadn't of been reading your thread, so thanks!

#10
jb111s

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Lol.

Still waiting on the glass panel to arrive from the States :(

Got a cheap project box & fitted the circuit board in & attached to the back of the stand with double sided tape. Not happy with this as it was a bit rushed but it's safer & out of site. All working fine still.

Once the glass arrives will put up the pics as it'll be finished then.

#11
WhatTheTech

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Lol.

Still waiting on the glass panel to arrive from the States :(

Got a cheap project box & fitted the circuit board in & attached to the back of the stand with double sided tape. Not happy with this as it was a bit rushed but it's safer & out of site. All working fine still.

Once the glass arrives will put up the pics as it'll be finished then.


Looking forward to your final update! If you get a moment, I would love for you to upload pictures (once completed) to G5modders.com - we accept any apple mods in our gallery and this is just the sort of thing that everyone loves to see!

#12
Ira Aduro

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How hard is it to take apart to Korean monitor.

#13
jb111s

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Not hard at all. You just pull off the front bezel which is held on by double sided tape. Unscrew the white border & then a few screws to take the panel out. All that is inside is just that tiny board!

This is the video that taught me. Watch the ending of it which shows re-assembly..

http://teksyndicate....ld-solder-joint

#14
thegr8john

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Lol.

Still waiting on the glass panel to arrive from the States :(

Got a cheap project box & fitted the circuit board in & attached to the back of the stand with double sided tape. Not happy with this as it was a bit rushed but it's safer & out of site. All working fine still.

Once the glass arrives will put up the pics as it'll be finished then.


Hello.... I landed on this thread while searching for ideas on a G3 mod for my wife, and I got interested on your mod. I have a dead Mac Mini that I'm willing to donate if you pay for the shipping - I bought it off of eBay but it arrived damaged and I was not able to revive it. I took put the CPU and combo drive for testing on a laptop so that's missing; anything else is there.

PM me for more details.



#15
sharky311

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Very nice job here. Can't wait to see the final product.

#16
jb111s

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After 2 weeks of being lost in the US postal service my glass panel finally arrived!

Excuse the cr@p pictures but little light in my study & no flash on iPad. Will post some decent ones tmrw.

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#17
WhatTheTech

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Love how this finally came together!

#18
jb111s

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Ok, some sort of decent shots.

The glass panel + flash shows up loads of finger prints! Putting the glass panel on involved 30 mins of continual cleaning to get every finger print, hair off etc!

Here's the back

As you can see done a pretty crude implementation into a basic project box. This is attached to the stand via strong double sided tape (License plate tape!). Works a treat, holds on fine & up high enough so enough slack on the cables to move the monitor up and down..

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The small cable hanging out is the isight. Have yet to work out how to put a usb connector on the end of this as struggling to find the pinouts.

Here is is all finished

Posted Image

The glass panel had a metal strip around the inside & the strong magnets from the inside of the case hold it on.

As I said before, a much better job could be done by someone more skilled than me, but for my purposes it's fine. From the front and side the monitor looks brand new & project case hidden from view. If you know what you're doing you can get it all squeezed in.

If you can find a busted Cinema display on ebay, go for it. The parts needed to repair the cinema display are extortionate so look out for ones with smashed LCD panels & glass & get hold of a Korean monitor & it's fairly easy to put it all in.

Hated how Apple locked the lovely looking cinema display to Mini Display port & now thunderbolt & how this restricted proper hack use. Finally have a DVI cinema display that can last me for generations of hacks.

:)

Certainly looks a lot better than its old case..

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#19
Ira Aduro

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Bravo! Bravo! If you care to, there is a krylon spray paint the matches the anodized aluminum fairly well. Would help the box blend in.

Oh and for anyone looking at getting one of these monitors, microcenter sells a version for $400.





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