How to put a Cube (and I assume, Mac Mini) in a CC
Even though I have a DM-10 Pisces monitor that Greg Younk used for his cube-in-a-cc-hack, I am always drawn back to the challenge of working with regular analog boards both for the challenge and because it's more useful to more people- Pisces monitors appear to be rare and LCDs are expensive. After the mini came out I returned to the lab to see if I couldn't get my cube to sync with a CC analog board, which had failed in the past.
Turns out the problem was that I was trying to outsmart the cube. I tried to use an Apple DB15-HD15 adapter and modify the sense lines, but I was never able to get it to work. What got it to work was:
1) hooking up only the video, video grounds, h/v sync (tied together) and sync ground, leaving the sense lines unattached and
2) using the resolution switching trick mentioned for the iMac-CC hack. Since OS X defaults at 800x600, you need a way to switch it to VGA with a trick of some kind. The iMac-CC page recommends SwitchRes, I use a shell script (cscreen) tied to a function key through Xkeys. Previously I had thought the whole thing didn't work because my CC has given me 800x600 before with a 575 m/b, so I thought I didn't need to worry about the resolution switching trick. But for some reason it won't sync at that resolution with the cube.
And as I discovered quite a while ago but will remind here:
3) brightness and contrast are controlled this way. I run a 5v line through the control knobs of an MCD monitor.
Now, that's just for VGA. Most people prefer SVGA, and although OS X is perfectly useable at VGA, most people seem to think otherwise. So I kept working at it, and found a solution, the good ol' Macintosh Color Display (M1212). I first tried an LC575 a/b, which I feel gets a slightly better SVGA picture, but I was never able to get it to sync. The MCD will sync at SVGA@56hz, but *not* at VGA@60hz. The procedure is the same; just hook up video and sync lines/grounds, but no sense lines. Even after adjustments, there will likely be some distortion of the top few scan lines, and I have 1 cm borders around the raster area. It's up to you to decide you like a larger area with fuzzier convergence (requiring a yoke transplant) or a smaller area but crisper image.
I assume that this would all work with a mini, unless going through a DVI-VGA adapter changes anything. I'm surprised that in all this time that the mini has been out no one has done this hack, I wish I could do it but I have no need to buy a mini right now, and money is too tight to do it just for glory. But I think a cube in a CC makes an excellent, useful hack, allowing up to date speeds and operating system without having to spend the money for an LCD.