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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,417
1,139
This isn’t using an iMac 5K as a display. This is using the iMac 5K’s display panel with an adapter to dual display ports housed in an iMac housing, without other iMac internals.

You would have to destroy an iMac or buy these parts to make this work.

This video is awesome (super creative). Slightly misleading title though. (Deciding between this and a Pro Display XDR (the LG UltraFine is hideous).)
 
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Rochlin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 9, 2019
19
0
This isn’t using an iMac 5K as a display. This is using the iMac 5K’s display panel with an adapter to dual display ports housed in an iMac housing, without other iMac internals.

You would have to destroy an iMac or buy these parts to make this work.

This video is awesome (super creative). Slightly misleading title though. (Deciding between this and a Pro Display XDR (the LG UltraFine is hideous).)

Its not my video, so didn't mean to mislead,
but I think if someone has a an early 5k and wants to still get some value as a display its a good option, even if you don't have an Imac and source the parts like he did in the video, its still better value than the UltraFine let alone the XDR
 

Rochlin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 9, 2019
19
0
Also theoretically you can do all the components in a box and run two cables through the memory panel. and keep the internals intact, if you ever want to revert it to an imac you can reconnect the cable to the display.
it would be annoying but possible.
 

tommy chen

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2018
907
389
 

AustinIllini

macrumors G5
Oct 20, 2011
12,689
10,524
Austin, TX
Luna Display can do this now without a hack. I'm strongly considering doing this with a 21.5" 2015 iMac I'm acquiring from a relative.

Luna Display is admittedly not cheap but it seems to work great.
 

Rochlin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 9, 2019
19
0
I have a feeling that luna not going to be good for photo work, I can't find any reviews for it yet
 
Last edited:

swh

macrumors newbie
Jun 22, 2010
7
3
Hey folks.

Dated OP, I realize but wanted to update with my setup.

I've got a 13-inch MBP 2019 with i7 (model 15,2), running 10.15.4. I also have a 27-inch Retina iMac 5K circa 2015 (model 17,1) running 10.15.4.

I was unable to use the iMac as a secondary display, as we all know. What I didn't realize, until searching the web and finding this forum post, was that I could use Luna to do this.

I have a few of their Display Port and USB-C dongles, and after installing the Luna secondary app on my iMac, and the primary app on the MBP-13, and inserting the USB-C dongle into the MBP-13, I was able to successfully use the iMac 27-inch 5K screen as a secondary monitor with no issue.

I did have a firmware update on the Luna dongle that I had to go through because I've had these sitting on the shelf for a few months.

Once that was complete, I had no issues. Hope that helps anyone else looking to do this.

✌?,

//Shawn
 

Enrico

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2007
294
90
Milano / Roma
Hey folks.

Dated OP, I realize but wanted to update with my setup.

I've got a 13-inch MBP 2019 with i7 (model 15,2), running 10.15.4. I also have a 27-inch Retina iMac 5K circa 2015 (model 17,1) running 10.15.4.

I was unable to use the iMac as a secondary display, as we all know. What I didn't realize, until searching the web and finding this forum post, was that I could use Luna to do this.

I have a few of their Display Port and USB-C dongles, and after installing the Luna secondary app on my iMac, and the primary app on the MBP-13, and inserting the USB-C dongle into the MBP-13, I was able to successfully use the iMac 27-inch 5K screen as a secondary monitor with no issue.

I did have a firmware update on the Luna dongle that I had to go through because I've had these sitting on the shelf for a few months.

Once that was complete, I had no issues. Hope that helps anyone else looking to do this.

✌?,

//Shawn

How are you finding the performance on the iMac as a second screen? It uses wifi connection to the primary MBP so I'm wondering whether its GPU & network speed would be sufficient....
 

DNJ

macrumors newbie
Nov 3, 2020
1
0
Hey folks.

Dated OP, I realize but wanted to update with my setup.

I've got a 13-inch MBP 2019 with i7 (model 15,2), running 10.15.4. I also have a 27-inch Retina iMac 5K circa 2015 (model 17,1) running 10.15.4.

I was unable to use the iMac as a secondary display, as we all know. What I didn't realize, until searching the web and finding this forum post, was that I could use Luna to do this.

I have a few of their Display Port and USB-C dongles, and after installing the Luna secondary app on my iMac, and the primary app on the MBP-13, and inserting the USB-C dongle into the MBP-13, I was able to successfully use the iMac 27-inch 5K screen as a secondary monitor with no issue.

I did have a firmware update on the Luna dongle that I had to go through because I've had these sitting on the shelf for a few months.

Once that was complete, I had no issues. Hope that helps anyone else looking to do this.

✌?,

//Shawn
If i may ask, how did you manage to download Luna on your iMac 27-inch? in the app store it says "This app is available only on the App Store for iPad" ... or did i miss-understood the issue? looking forward for your support please
 

nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
4,222
3,211
If i may ask, how did you manage to download Luna on your iMac 27-inch? in the app store it says "This app is available only on the App Store for iPad" ... or did i miss-understood the issue? looking forward for your support please

Googling might have been quicker.

 

eksu

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2017
329
151
This seems like a really neat project, the display board also supposedly supports free sync as well. I wonder if you would get boot screens on this through OpenCore though.
 

Seanmitc

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2018
33
24
Guelph, Ontario
Also theoretically you can do all the components in a box and run two cables through the memory panel. and keep the internals intact, if you ever want to revert it to an imac you can reconnect the cable to the display.
it would be annoying but possible.
Have you seen any examples of this being done? Going through the comments section, I saw a few people asking about how to add the web cam and the speakers as well, but there doesn't appear to be an answer. This would be an ideal setup.
 

rx78

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2020
102
17
Have you seen any examples of this being done? Going through the comments section, I saw a few people asking about how to add the web cam and the speakers as well, but there doesn't appear to be an answer. This would be an ideal setup.
I want to know how to get the speakers working as well....i have seen videos of the web cam mods working though not done it myself. From memory one guy bought a camera module already modded for USB (i think, not 100% on this)

I've converted a broken 24 inch imac to an external HDMI display and I use it with my MP, and gaming consoles in my cave. Annoyingly my screen is affected by the yellowing.

I think you can snake the revlevant cables through the RAM slot if the imac still works but the cables provided with the boards are woefully short.
 

Seanmitc

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2018
33
24
Guelph, Ontario
I want to know how to get the speakers working as well....i have seen videos of the web cam mods working though not done it myself. From memory one guy bought a camera module already modded for USB (i think, not 100% on this)

I've converted a broken 24 inch imac to an external HDMI display and I use it with my MP, and gaming consoles in my cave. Annoyingly my screen is affected by the yellowing.

I think you can snake the revlevant cables through the RAM slot if the imac still works but the cables provided with the boards are woefully short.
Yea, I think I've come across similar thing RE the webcam. There's people who have used an iSight cam added a usb A end. Other's have done something similar to a A1398 MBP. One option I'm looking at for building a 5K display with peripherals is a third party cam like this that hopefully would fit. I you find an example of anyone modifying a FaceTime cam to a usb end lemme know. I'm also looking into whether the cam could possibly pug directly into the controller board, but I'm guessing that bandwidth limitations on the usb c that is already carrying 5k would be an issue.

Intereseting that you did an 24" iMac... Did you have trouble finding a monitor that would fit? I'm considering a shell from a thunderbolt display and I think the monitor will work, but getting one with glass shape of the thunderbolt display chassis will be tricky. Not sure if I could buy the monitor without the glass and try to use the existing glass.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2020
2,911
958
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Intereseting that you did an 24" iMac... Did you have trouble finding a monitor that would fit? I'm considering a shell from a thunderbolt display and I think the monitor will work, but getting one with glass shape of the thunderbolt display chassis will be tricky. Not sure if I could buy the monitor without the glass and try to use the existing glass.
The driver board for 24" iMac LCD is sold for about 25$. It include HDMI, DVI and VGA port, and an audio port.
If the LCD is still intact, it's not very hard job.
The hard part is how to re-use the original iMac PSU and the power button to power the LCD.
If you already know how to solder, re-wiring the cable of iSight camera, microphone and speaker to corresponding ports on the LCD driver board or USB type A female port on the back of the iMac is not an issue. Not a very high quality camera, though.
 

rx78

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2020
102
17
Yea, I think I've come across similar thing RE the webcam. There's people who have used an iSight cam added a usb A end. Other's have done something similar to a A1398 MBP. One option I'm looking at for building a 5K display with peripherals is a third party cam like this that hopefully would fit. I you find an example of anyone modifying a FaceTime cam to a usb end lemme know. I'm also looking into whether the cam could possibly pug directly into the controller board, but I'm guessing that bandwidth limitations on the usb c that is already carrying 5k would be an issue.

Intereseting that you did an 24" iMac... Did you have trouble finding a monitor that would fit? I'm considering a shell from a thunderbolt display and I think the monitor will work, but getting one with glass shape of the thunderbolt display chassis will be tricky. Not sure if I could buy the monitor without the glass and try to use the existing glass.
I bought the 24' iMac which didn't boot up and had it's hard drive removed, but the screen was fine apart from looking yellow with white backgrounds (since I use dark mode anyway it's not that noticeable, plus I use it for media consumption and gaming). I tried to fix it but since I couldn't, I did the next best thing. I just gutted it, cleaned it up, and bought the driver board and power board. I made the mistake of buying a power board that was too big to fit internally so I just have it outside of the display. Plus I didn't solder the power button to the control board but I just have it attached to the rear of the iMac anyway and I haven't had the need to touch it after the initial config. I'm just happy to be able to re-use the chassis and it looks great. When/if this breaks I'm going to gut a 27.

You could "just" buy an empty retina 27 inch iMac chassis, and a suitable 27-inch screen (probably best to just buy a replacement iMac screen) along with associated driver/power board and it should work, as again from memory, I remember watching a vid of someone disassembling some sort of Dell 27 inch display and mounting it onto the iMac chassis (but he had to do some light modding to make sure the screen fits).
 

Seanmitc

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2018
33
24
Guelph, Ontario
The driver board for 24" iMac LCD is sold for about 25$. It include HDMI, DVI and VGA port, and an audio port.
If the LCD is still intact, it's not very hard job.
The hard part is how to re-use the original iMac PSU and the power button to power the LCD.
If you already know how to solder, re-wiring the cable of iSight camera, microphone and speaker to corresponding ports on the LCD driver board or USB type A female port on the back of the iMac is not an issue. Not a very high quality camera, though.
yea I can solder, and I think I have the PSU and power button figured out. I agree, I don't think I'll go with an iSight camera, they're obsolete. From what I understand the new FaceTime cameras have a different cable entirely and might not be as easy as the iSights to convert to USB or connect them to the controller.
 

Seanmitc

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2018
33
24
Guelph, Ontario
I bought the 24' iMac which didn't boot up and had it's hard drive removed, but the screen was fine apart from looking yellow with white backgrounds (since I use dark mode anyway it's not that noticeable, plus I use it for media consumption and gaming). I tried to fix it but since I couldn't, I did the next best thing. I just gutted it, cleaned it up, and bought the driver board and power board. I made the mistake of buying a power board that was too big to fit internally so I just have it outside of the display. Plus I didn't solder the power button to the control board but I just have it attached to the rear of the iMac anyway and I haven't had the need to touch it after the initial config. I'm just happy to be able to re-use the chassis and it looks great. When/if this breaks I'm going to gut a 27.

You could "just" buy an empty retina 27 inch iMac chassis, and a suitable 27-inch screen (probably best to just buy a replacement iMac screen) along with associated driver/power board and it should work, as again from memory, I remember watching a vid of someone disassembling some sort of Dell 27 inch display and mounting it onto the iMac chassis (but he had to do some light modding to make sure the screen fits).
Yea, obviously the iMac case + 5k screen would be the most straightforward solution, but I'm interested in having it so that the peripherals work too, which will probably involve having a small TB3 dock inside. An A1312 case or a thunderbolt display would work better I think to allow for more internal capacity. Only reason for going with the thunderbolt case would be for aesthetic purposes... it has the cable outlet for the MagSafe and TB cables which could fairly easily be swapped out for a TB3 input cable. As a bonus, the TB3 I/O ports are more what I'm looking for (don't need the SD card slot) and it would be fairly satisfying to have all of the I/O working
 

rx78

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2020
102
17
Yea, obviously the iMac case + 5k screen would be the most straightforward solution, but I'm interested in having it so that the peripherals work too, which will probably involve having a small TB3 dock inside. An A1312 case or a thunderbolt display would work better I think to allow for more internal capacity. Only reason for going with the thunderbolt case would be for aesthetic purposes... it has the cable outlet for the MagSafe and TB cables which could fairly easily be swapped out for a TB3 input cable. As a bonus, the TB3 I/O ports are more what I'm looking for (don't need the SD card slot) and it would be fairly satisfying to have all of the I/O working
Sounds like that's going to be a pretty nice mod. If you run out of interior space (the insides are annoyingly cramped in some areas) you could glue the dock onto the back put of sight. Thunderbolt chassis are rare where I am so I've only considered retina 27 chassis.

I had a usb hub that I stuck inside the 24 so the ports line up with the old port holes but I removed it after it broke :(
 

Seanmitc

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2018
33
24
Guelph, Ontario
Sounds like that's going to be a pretty nice mod. If you run out of interior space (the insides are annoyingly cramped in some areas) you could glue the dock onto the back put of sight. Thunderbolt chassis are rare where I am so I've only considered retina 27 chassis.

I had a usb hub that I stuck inside the 24 so the ports line up with the old port holes but I removed it after it broke :(
that usb hub sounds slick if it has ethernet on it too? I'd be interested in the link if you have it handy
 

rx78

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2020
102
17
that usb hub sounds slick if it has ethernet on it too? I'd be interested in the link if you have it handy
Lol it was a cheapo USB hub that had separate cables for each port. Glue the ports together and they should just about be the correct distance to match the holes on the chassis. I remember having to bend the cables a lot and it just about fit. The stress on the join might be why it broke lol

Attached a photo, I think it was USB 2.0 as I bought that hub years ago and I've not see a 3.0 hub with that design. You could DIY a 3.0+ethernet yourself with short extension cables to a 3.0 hub that you leave inside the chassis, i guess.
 

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