Normal Connectors For Apple Studio Display

[Sherry Wu] sent in a link to her Apple Studio Display hack. She got her hands on the 17″ display which has a proprietary Apple Display Connector that rolls signals for DVI, USB, and 25V power into one plug. Convenient right? Not if you want to use it on a machine that has standard video connections. No problem, she got out her meter and figured out which wires belong to each signal. After some soldering she now has a DVI connector for the video, and a 24V bench supply is standing in for power until a dedicated unit arrives. No luck so far at getting the USB and hotplug detection to work but she plans to keep going until that’s accomplished.

Looks like you can pick these displays up refurbished for as low as $75. Might not be a bad addition to your home setup if you’re willing to do some soldering.

25 thoughts on “Normal Connectors For Apple Studio Display

  1. I have one of the 17″ models that weigh a ton.
    I had a g4 that worked with but sold it and now nobody wants the studio display. Listed on freecycle, craigslist, etc. and no one wanted a free studio display.
    Maybe Ill splice it up and connect to my linux box in the closet.

  2. @P: The sheet doesn’t quite help because I cut off the actual connector instead of soldering the wires from there. Soldering the wires onto there might have been easier, but since this was my first time soldering, I figured that soldering the individual wires together would have been easier. Thanks anyway. :)

  3. I have two – a 22″ 1600×1200, and a 23″ 1920×1200 and this is a godsend. My old G4 and G5 could drive them, but they are old so aren’t where I would like to use the monitor.

    Just because the pinout is there doesn’t mean that it is trivial or easy to wire something from it. (the connector itself might prove interesting to find a mate).

  4. Nice hack, but why would you buy things with a non-standard connector just to hack them to work?

    /not a fan of buying nonstandard proprietary crap just so the company can make an extra buck off of me for rearranging a wire or two.


  5. ugh, that damn ADC 25V line… if you think replacing a monitor cable is a pain because of it, try hacking together a Power Mac G5 power supply. like, 25V?! really? they couldn’t go with, say, 24V?

    @Someone: because they’re cheap – and discontinued. whatever money Apple made off that is long gone…

  6. @Sherry
    there’s a trick for that as well!
    take the connector you cut off (hopefully you didn’t cut it too close), strip some of the wire, and then probe it using the pinout as a reference

    match up the colors/thicknesses to the other piece of cable coming out of the monitor

  7. My Sympathies for having to use Apples in the first place my IBM compatable has Standard connectors so i have no such problems, i also don’t get twirly bananas on the screen at anything more than moving the mouse, unlike Macs

  8. Did this mod on my two 23’s years ago, when i buily my first hackintosh. Got the USB working too. The reason that the “adaptor” Apple sells is $150, is that it’s not only an adaptor, it’s also an power supply for the monitor. The reason Apple uses 25 volts is because of the voltage drop along the very long display cable. The electronics inside the monitor is happy with anything over 21 volts. I powered mine from some open frame industrial supplies (24 volts) and it worked fine the time i had it (sold the hack + one of the displays) and bought the iMac 27 instead. The person that said “rearranging a wire or two” is just SO wrong. It’s a completely different plug than DVI, it has more pins and i could go on…. It is genius to get rid of all those extra pesky cables and power supplies. The old Cube + cinema display was the most beautiful system Apple ever made. So simple and clean looking. A single cable to the monitor that carries display data, usb and power. A picture of the mod here:

  9. I picked up an apple ADC-DVI power adaptor (the one that used to retail for 100+ used for about 40$.

    Good idea if one is interested in a project; but the adaptors can be pretty inexpensive these days.

    1. I git one of these ADC-DVI power adaptor for 30 euros. The plan was to connect an Apple Studio Display to my M1 Mac mini. The Mini recognised the monitor, but the (tested working) monitor dis not show any image.
      Maybe the ADC-DVI power adaptor is broken, but I have no way to check that. Unless I buy another one…

  10. Jason, that adaptor does only pass thru the DVI display information, neither USB, neither power, so it simply won’t work at all. These adaptors is for the CRT monitors Apple made at the time, which have a standard IEC socket in the back for powering off the grid.

  11. I like this, his first electronic hack, first time soldering, and a project that he wanted to complete. Congrats on the desire, learning, and follow through.

    The ADC to the best of my knowledge was pre-dvi, it was apple saying, why do we want to go from digital to analog in the video card, only to convert back to digital in the monitor? So they stayed digital all the way. PC’s came this way with the DVI connector. Also, some dont realize, theat putting a DVI/VGA connector on the card to use an analog cable on an LCD is not a true DVI to VGA, the card outputd digital along with the VGA analog, so the connector is just a pass through.

  12. I just used some 4 Amps open frame power supplies for mine. You should just be aware, that 1,5 Amps is maybe not enough with the brightness adjusted all the way to the top, then the monitor gets pretty power hungry. When the USB is connected, you can control the brightness from the keyboard or System Preferences (Mac) and in Boot Camp tool (Windows)

  13. Hey can you guys please make a video tutorial on how to do this or something? I just got my 15 inch apple studio display off eBay and I don’t want to accidentally do something wrong.

  14. Bull Shit This hack is so simple then sherry present attached direct pin form apple lcd panel strip to dvi-d cable
    no metter what is the color of dvi-d cable. check these pin with ohm meter
    apple lcd panel strip have 20 pin pair of three cable and all pair 4 here on the lcd pane strip ( wiht diffrent color)

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