Headless Mac mini 2012 & Video Dongle?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Buckeyes1995, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Buckeyes1995 macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2011
    Is anyone successfully running a 2012 Mac Mini (thunderbolt port) with the Mini-DP to VGA dongle/100ohm resistor?

    I've followed the directions online, insuring a 100 ohm resistor in pins 1 & 6 and I still don't get it to "fake" out the mini to think there's a monitor connected.. I'm stuck with 1280x1024 video resolution over screen sharing. Wondering if this is a problem because of the thunderbolt port connection instead of a true mini display port?
  2. JockeO macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2013
    STOCKHOLM, Sweden
    Yup that works for me

    Running a 2011 mini with the amd 6630 graphics with the adapter. Works perfectly "headless" with standard VGA resolutions, up to 1600x1200. Didn't even bother with any resistor, but just put a thin wire between the pin 1 and 6 :D
  3. Buckeyes1995 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2011
    Doesn't look like it works on a 2012.

    Tried both the VGA dongle and HDMI-DVI dongle, no dice. Only way I can use full resolution screen sharing is by plugging in a monitor.

    May try and EDID emulator.. but $70 is steep for an experiment.
  4. FredT2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    Gefen DVI Detective works well. I've had one for a year running 1920x1080.


    Gefen DVI Detective works well. I've had one for a year running 1920x1080 with a 2012 Mini.
  5. roycemac macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2007
    i run my Mac Mini with an Mini-Ipad. Just got the Mac Mini 1 month ago.
    My experience is as follows (as strange as it may seem)

    1. I am using Air Display by Avatron. Not the friendliest nor fastest customer service. There is an update to Air Display 2. Drivers for the Mac are free. iPad app is $10 in iTunes store.
    2. You need to connect the mini to a monitor. Easy...connect to any any TV with an HDMI cable. You will need a keyboard & mouse.
    3. Go to Radio Shack and pick up a DVI to VGA Adapter and a 100 ohm resistor. Macminicolo blog says to use an 85 Ohm resistor, but Radio Shack doesn"t have one. May make a difference. if I find an 85 ohm I'll let you know. Anyone who can send me one I will be happy to send you a self-address, stamped envelope.
    Make sure Air Display is set to run at start-up (it should be in the start-up bar at the top/right along side Bluetooth, drop-box, etc)
    4. After set up and making sure the Air Display works with your iPad, shut down the Mac Mini and disconnect whatever monitor you had connected for Start-Up
    5. Here's what I have to do to make it work:

    Start the Mac-Mini with the VGA adapter connected and the 100 OHM resistor across pins 1 & 6 (THE DONGLE)
    Start Air Display on your iPad. it takes a minute or two for the Mac to start-up.
    You (or at least I) see a screen that is an extension of the Mac mini Screen...the screen saver with no DOCK.
    Pull out the resistor (from the dongle), wait a few seconds, and the active desktop will appear, mouse cursor and all.

    I can go from my iPad screen to my Mac screen back and forth without incident.
    When I want to stop work on the Mac Mini, I put the mini to SLEEP. Sleep mode has no ill effects on the computer.
    When I return to my desk, I simply hit the space bar of my keyboard to wake up the mini and launch Air Display on my iPad.
    Back in business!

    This set-up is a bit laggy due the the wifi, but it serves my purpose to have a very small footprint on my desk. When I find a 10-12" monitor with full resolution I will switch over to a hard wired monitor. All suggestions would be appreciated.

    As for the Screen Resolution...the screen looks great except for the fact the in full screen mode on my iPad, i do NOT always see all of the width of the subject matter. This site is a perfect example....I do not have the full width of the forum posts...even in full screen. i need to scroll to see the right side of the screen just a bit. I suppose that is a matter of screen resolution? Any info on this subject is appreciated.
  6. roycemac macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2007
    An UPDATE:


    IT worked perfectly but since the V 2.0.4 Update it crashes every 2 minutes.
    It is completely unusable.

    i have to go out and buy a hardwired monitor because of this software update.
    Do they test these updates before they send them out?

    I wasted my money and more important, my time.

    And when i asked of they could offer a backwards compatible version, they said that APPLE would nto allow it. Sad that Mommy & Daddy APPLE tell a company what they can and cannot do with their software...and they put up with it.
    It's a short term gain for a long term death sentence as an independent developer.
  7. nollimac macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2013
    In my case the Mac Mini is also my HTPC...so, I am stuck with having to buy an EDID emulator which goes for $125 - 1700 range only because I want the HDMI cable stay connected to a HDMI switcher for on-demand viewing.
  8. stukdog macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2004
  9. nollimac macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2013
  10. andrewbley macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2013
    Different Resolutions?

    Hey all, just curious - this device allows LARGER resolutions, but does it allow different resolutions? Running a Mini 2012 Headless, and using my 13" MBP as a screen. I'm continually limited to 1024x768, but would like to fill up the MBP screen to 1280x800. Any idea if this device will do that (before spending the $15)!

    Thanks all!


    Just realized that if this device creates its own EDID it should be able to be modified with other resolutions, like this video demonstrates. Can anyone confirm this?
  11. roycemac macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2007
    I solved my problem as follows:
    I bought a DoubleSight 9.5" display. Comes with a stand and connects via USB.
    It's small so it fits on my desktop in a very low profile, takes up very little space, and looks great.
    This is not intended to watch movies or play games...this a a business setup...and working with a Mac mini constantly prepared me for working with such a small monitor, so no biggie for me. I run every Mac business program there is with little or no issues. (See bottom of post for issues I have encountered)
    The DoubleSight was designed for mirror display, so I use a VGA dongle out of the Mac mini with a 100 ohm resistor to mimic a monitor present.
    I rarely turn off the mini and the display turns on and off with the mini.
    I set the mini to go to sleep after 10 minutes of non-use.
    If I have an issue I just do a restart and wait a few minutes.

    Between the Mac mini which is completely hidden because of its size, the very small display, the Bluetooth Mac keyboard and Bluetooth Mac trackpad, and my mini ipad sitting on its stand next to the DoubleSight, I have 2 devices and 75% of my desk still available for....dare I say???actual paper!

    The display will never be the resolution or shape of a MAC or my ipad. With very few exceptions, all software looks and behaves perfectly.
    Numbers has an intro screen that doesn't quite fit so you can't access the bottom of the screen to turn it off, but you can close it.
    Quick books for MAC has an intro screen that cannot be turned off because the "don't show this again" button is on the bottom of the screen which can't be seen due to the unusual resolution. For this, and other similar instances, I plug in an old standard VGA monitor, view the whiole screen, and access what is hidden on the DoubleSight...problem solved.

    The DoubleSight is only about $125 and it allows my roll top desk to not look cluttered and crowded. I'm happy.
  12. Mr. Buzzcut, Mar 8, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014

    Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

    Jul 25, 2011
    I never understood why this is such an issue for Mac / Unix / Linux. This is one thing that works well on Windows. Is there really no better way to work remotely on a Mac? Monitor hacks are just absurd.

    Note - I do know there are Remote Desktop tools for OSX but this does not appear to be its intended use and purchasing it would be overkill. I may do so anyway if there is nothing more appropriate.

Share This Page