Introduction: Turn a Broken IMac 2009 24 Into a Secondary Vertical Display

Quick and dirty instructable. Sorry. You can send a message if you have a question. I had lots of trouble finding online information about this so I made this instructable.

Basically : read the whole instructable, empty the imac, keep the case and screen, buy the controller board + the power board, plug the whole thing like in the pictures, plug a fan using the 5V pins, close the thing.

Here are tutorials that I found + internet archive links :

Step 1: Open and Empty Your IMac, Identify the Screen Number and Find the Right Board on Ebay Etc

Step 2: Buy This or What Corresponds to Your Screen (triple Check.)

I am in the EU and the plug worked fine.

Step 3: Wire It Approximately Like This

Don't hesitate to ask the seller.

The last picture is to show how I managed to wire the freaking fan.

Step 4: Notes, in No Particular Order

  • I ran into an issue at first where a band on the side of the display was duplicating another part of the display. To give you an idea, it's a bit like if in macosx you had the menu bar on top of the scren as usual but also 3/4 of the way down of the screen. This was really problematic and distracting. I reached out to the seller and he sent me another card with the right firmware, it work flawlessly with a minor modification in the cable management. Don't hesitate to ask your seller if you have this kind of issue or if you don't know how to plug the thing.
  • The firmware allows to control colors as well as brightness, dynamic range, auto gamma correction etc.
  • The whole thing (screen + 2 boards) fits into the imac case with lots of room to spare.
  • It gets a bit too hot, and unevenely, so I added a 12V fan that I plugged into the 5V available pins of the power board. Turns out that 5V is enough to move enough air for this. It made lots of noise tho so I added a switch. Also, be careful : the 5V stays on when the screen is off, so I had to unplug it every night before adding the switch. Oh and I tried random combination of connection with the 4 lead moldex of the fan to make it work, couldn't find any better way.
  • I destroyed the usb sockets holes to make room for the fan toggle + an HDMI extender cord and taped it all so it doesn't move too much. The control board of the controller board is where the RAM slots access hole used to be.
  • I removed the "foot" of the imac, this way I can put it vertically and however I want (it's quite light). Highly recommended.
  • I used one screw to hold each board to a mounting hole inside the case then tape to tape to hold it in place. I'm lazy like that.
  • Without its "foot", the screen still stands upright with good balance, I added black sticky pads that are dirt cheap on ebay to make sure it won't slide.
  • You can reuse the "ac" input of the case to plug into the power supply board, I didn't use the ground tho.
  • apparently you can add speakers to the board, but I didn't care (and it seems to be mono)
  • I made heave use of my voltmeter and ohmmeter to make sure the connections were OK
  • power consumption (approximate) : 7W when off, 70W when on
  • you can also add a VESA mount quite easily and have a very nice screen that can be put in every direction imaginable. If you don't use the case and put the board aside (isolate it though, don't electrocute yourself) you can have a very lightweight setup!
  • you could also add a temperature sensor that triggers the fan