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wfriedwald

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
503
47
as I mentioned, a friend of mine gifted me with an older ENVISION monitor (VGA)

I was trying to attach it to my MAC MINI (2018).

I got an HDMI-VGA adaptor, but when I connected it, I only saw an error message - "OUT OF FREQUENCY"

then, just to see what would happen, I tried attaching it to my MacBook AIR (circa 2013).

And that worked!

Why might it work with my MacBook Air (although that's running Mojave, and the Mini has the latest Catalina).

Might the OS possibly be the issue?

Thanks for any feedback / suggestions!

w
 

wfriedwald

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
503
47
Okay, thank you! Good to know. I also just purchased a USB to VGA adaptor as well. So I shall see what happens when that arrives!
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,498
4,418
Delaware
If you are trying a USB 3 to VGA, that's probably not going to be a satisfactory experience, unless you like a lot of lag on the video. macOS has generally not easily supported USB with video out.
Better choice would be to use the USB-C/Thunderbolt to VGA, as THAT port supports DisplayPort natively, and efficiently converts to VGA, if that's what you need.
 
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wfriedwald

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
503
47
thanks! that is what I shall do.

By the way, I have had some good luck ordering parts / adaptors / cables through eBay lately, they seem much speedier than Amazon and the more high profile e-tailors. (and always cheaper.)

w
 

wfriedwald

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
503
47
okay, the latest adaptor(s) have arrived, and this is what's happening:

(by the way, the numbers of the ports are not actual numbers, I mean they're just my shorthand, don't know what order they are in on the back panel, although I certainly could look if someone tells me that's important.)

HDMI 1 - currently attached to #1 bigger main monitor

HDMI 2 - ready to be attached to projector, but not right at the moment.

USBC1 - adaptor splitting the signal between VGA and HDMI, going both to an older VGA monitor and a TV set - mirroring each other, which is groovy. (it sees the two displays at one, again, which is fine.)

USBC2 - adaptor going to another VGA monitor -

Now it's that final connection I wanted to ask about.

it seems like I can only get one USBC to VGA connection going at once, when ONE of these is on, then the other one isn't - the other one somehow doesn't get the signal.

Is that built into the hardware or the OS? I can only get one USB to VGA at once. Am I doing something wrong.

Anyhow, am happy that I got some stuff working, will keep trying to figure this out.

Grateful for any feedback, thanks again for that!

w
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,498
4,418
Delaware
I realize that you said that you were listing port numbers (not actual positions), but there's only one HDMI port on a Mac mini.
The 2018 mini allows you to use 2 displays connected to thunderbolt/USB-C ports, plus one on HDMI.
AFAIK, you can't use two HDMI displays at the same time. Another way to say this: If you want to connect more than one display, only one can use an HDMI connection. So, if you need to connect another display (the projector?) using HDMI, you would have to disconnect from the OTHER HDMI display.

Do you have any other video connections on the "#1 bigger monitor", such as displayport or even DVI? You may need to try another video connection (with the appropriate adapter for that from thunderbolt 3, not HDMI.)

Yeah, it confuses the h*** out of me, too!
 

wfriedwald

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
503
47
yes confusing, but I can tell you this:

I have always been using two HDMI ports, one to the (bigger) monitor and one to a projector.

And now, with the splitter, i think it is working , I am actually using three distinct HDMI outputs - three different displays, NOT mirrors of each other.

but I still can NOT get two USBC-to-VGA connections going, that does seem to be a bridge too far!

thanks for feedback!

w
 

wfriedwald

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
503
47
update - still more confusion and no answers:

it does indeed seem like I can NOT use two USBC ports connecting to monitors going at once.

right now I have:

1. one HDMI monitor attached (fine)

2. one VGA monitor attached via USBC-to-VGA adaptor (also fine)

& 3-4. one splitter monitor cable attached, going from USBC to both VGA & HDMI. This is NOT working at all, the monitors give me a "no signal" message and the system preferences are only seeing the above two monitors.

(yes the other day, when I did NOT have #2 attached, I was able to get the 3-4 monitors, the ones attached to the splitter cable, working, I presume that I can still do that.)

this is the splitter doo-dad I am using, if that makes any difference.

thanks! I still can't puzzle this out. thanks again for any feedback.

W

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