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Author Topic: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter  (Read 24322 times)

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joeH

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #80 on: January 16, 2013, 03:23:02 pm »
I have a few oddball questions. 

Would it be possible to make a simple circuit that could turn the scanlines on and off on the fly (without bypassing the whole thing)?

What happens when it gets a widescreen resolution like 1280x720 passed to it?

I was originally planning an on/off switch, but decided to not include one so I could keep the parts cost low & shave some time off of assembly. It is also a tight fit for the circuit board inside the shell, and it would be challenging to consistently mount a switch so that the case would snap close correctly.

For resolutions other than 640x480 or 1024x768, if the mini SLG is not compatible (the device requires a -vsync signal to work properly) then the screen will display normally without scanlines.

So, can the unit basically switch on its own depending on what resolution a PC is sending to the monitor? 

I use a 24" LCD to fool around with MAME and other emulators.  However, the same monitor is also used for my home server.  I'm assuming from what you are saying that when the PC sends a native 1920x1200 signal, the SLG won't work.  But if I start up an emulator, say MAME for example, and set the config for MAME to start up a game at 640x480, it will work?  That way the scanlines only appear when emulation is started? 

Or did I read that wrong? 

Also, will the SLG still work with an HDMI to VGA adapter?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 03:37:56 pm by joeH »

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #81 on: January 16, 2013, 07:26:52 pm »
Since this is the projects thread, I'll give a bit more detail about why the mini SLG does not work on VGA resolutions greater than 1024x768.

The design of the mini requires a VGA signal with a -vsync. VGA modes have a + or - vertical sync signal depending on the resolution. Generally, all the resolutions above 1024x768 have a +vsync. This works out fine for the mini SLG as scanlines don't tend to look very good at high resolutions due to banding effects caused by upscaling internally by an LCD to bring an input resolution to the native resolution of the monitor (unlike the older CRTs, LCDs have "pixels" of finite size).

So if the mini encounters a +vsync signal, the VGA signal simply passes through the device and the image displays normally on the monitor. A -vsync signal activates the circuitry and scanlines are added to the image.

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secret80sman

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #82 on: February 06, 2013, 02:02:21 pm »
I am worried about the unit damaging the pins on my video card since there are no thumb screws. Would it be better to connect a male/female cable to the computer, the connect the mini SLG and then the monitor to the SLG?

Or do you offer other larger cased options with thumb screws. I would pay more money so that is no prob if available.

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #83 on: February 06, 2013, 02:55:49 pm »
I have the screws that came with the case, and I can throw them in the package with the mini SLG on request. They pop into place in the case with a little push. However they are not thumbscrews and will require a small screwdriver (or really tiny fingers) to screw into place. I wouldn't recommend putting another cable in the chain between the computer and monitor, you want to install the unit preferably connected directly to your video card.
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Yvan256

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #84 on: February 06, 2013, 03:57:05 pm »
And now for the one million dollars question: does the miniSLG work with a PSOne LCD display that has been modded for VGA?

secret80sman

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Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #85 on: February 07, 2013, 06:49:19 am »
I have the screws that came with the case, and I can throw them in the package with the mini SLG on request. They pop into place in the case with a little push. However they are not thumbscrews and will require a small screwdriver (or really tiny fingers) to screw into place. I wouldn't recommend putting another cable in the chain between the computer and monitor, you want to install the unit preferably connected directly to your video card.

Ok, sign me up and include the screws please. What is the latest order method?

chopperthedog

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #86 on: February 07, 2013, 08:53:36 am »
Ok, sign me up and include the screws please. What is the latest order method?
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,129344.0.html


good day.

Furry131

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #87 on: February 18, 2013, 10:38:15 am »
congrats on winning the UCA's. :applaud: :cheers: :applaud: :droid  :cheers: :woot :droid  :applaud:  :woot :applaud:  http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,130500.0/topicseen.html

speach!!!!

Richie_jones

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #88 on: February 22, 2013, 05:14:02 pm »
Recieved thank you. Very pleased

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #89 on: February 24, 2013, 12:33:29 am »
Great to hear Richie!

Thanks Furry!

Four score and seven years ago...
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Richie_jones

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #90 on: February 24, 2013, 04:24:50 am »
Cheers I thought you'd sent me 100 given the size of the box!!!!!

secret80sman

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Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #91 on: February 24, 2013, 10:00:34 am »
Thanks Crafty. Got the unit days ago and the scan lines look good without taxing my CPU by running them in software as before. Do I have to get used to the hard to read text now on the list of games in Mameui since the effect is applied to the desktop as well or is there a workaround for that? Bumped font size up a bit and that helped somewhat.

I suppose using a graphical from end would eliminate that issue too. Great little unit.

Richie_jones

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Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #92 on: February 24, 2013, 10:25:29 am »
Thanks Crafty. Got the unit days ago and the scan lines look good without taxing my CPU by running them in software as before. Do I have to get used to the hard to read text now on the list of games in Mameui since the effect is applied to the desktop as well or is there a workaround for that? Bumped font size up a bit and that helped somewhat.

I suppose using a graphical from end would eliminate that issue too. Great little unit.

I'm sure crafty will chime in, but if you have your front end at a different resolution other than the one the slg uses then you won't get scan lines, my hyperspin is 1280x1024....
Not tried mine yet but I think this is the way around it...

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #93 on: February 24, 2013, 01:20:13 pm »
Cheers I thought you'd sent me 100 given the size of the box!!!!!

Yep! For overseas shipments I like a box with extra room for whatever punishment the postman inflicts on it :)

Thanks Crafty. Got the unit days ago and the scan lines look good without taxing my CPU by running them in software as before. Do I have to get used to the hard to read text now on the list of games in Mameui since the effect is applied to the desktop as well or is there a workaround for that? Bumped font size up a bit and that helped somewhat.

I suppose using a graphical from end would eliminate that issue too. Great little unit.

Richie had the right idea, running your front end at 1280x1024 will give you a normal display, and then run your games at one of the supported resolutions (640x480 or 1024x768) for scanlines. Let me know how that works out for you!
BitKit 8bit FPGA Multi - http://craftymech.com

secret80sman

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Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #94 on: February 24, 2013, 02:58:04 pm »
Thanks Crafty. Got the unit days ago and the scan lines look good without taxing my CPU by running them in software as before. Do I have to get used to the hard to read text now on the list of games in Mameui since the effect is applied to the desktop as well or is there a workaround for that? Bumped font size up a bit and that helped somewhat.

I suppose using a graphical from end would eliminate that issue too. Great little unit.

Richie had the right idea, running your front end at 1280x1024 will give you a normal display, and then run your games at one of the supported resolutions (640x480 or 1024x768) for scanlines. Let me know how that works out for you!
[/quote]

Will do guys, thanks. I forgot to mention that my monitor is mounter vertically since its a vertical cab (Ms. PAC Man style). Let me know if I need to do anything different. I thought I was running the desktop at 1024x768 already but will check it out.

sharpfork

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #95 on: February 24, 2013, 03:20:17 pm »
Scanlines on a vertical, Tate monitor run vertically so you don't have to change a thing.

SIII + Cyanogen + Tapatalk 2


Richie_jones

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Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #96 on: February 27, 2013, 11:34:42 pm »
Crafty I'm using the dvi signal on my cab, can I use a dvi to VGA adapter then your slg then another VGA to dvi converter to get me back to the dvi socket...

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #97 on: February 28, 2013, 12:11:50 am »
From a technical standpoint, that should work Richie. Practically though, it depends on how well the DVI<>VGA adapters & the mini SLG get along. As long as all three adapters are chained together, interference should be minimal. However the only true test would be to try it out, if you happen to have those adapters handy or can borrow them.

If you are able to get VGA out of your video card directly, that would be preferred with the VGA->DVI adapter as the last piece of the chain. However, I'm guessing from your question that your video card might be dvi out only?
BitKit 8bit FPGA Multi - http://craftymech.com

Richie_jones

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Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #98 on: February 28, 2013, 12:28:31 am »
Ok thanks crafty. 

I use my Bartop to play modern games also, so didn't want to loose my dvi connection.  As I'm unable to switch between VGA and dvi from within windows on the fly I would need to use the VGA connection all the time hence loosing the dvi quality.  I'll try it and report back here...

Alcc

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #99 on: May 07, 2013, 05:23:19 pm »
Hey CraftyMech,
Does this converter work for a 19" LCD Monitor? If so, how can I order at least one to try it?

Thanks!

Nephasth

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #100 on: May 07, 2013, 05:52:54 pm »
Hey CraftyMech,
Does this converter work for a 19" LCD Monitor? If so, how can I order at least one to try it?

Thanks!

Yup. Click the link in his signature.

koolmoecraig

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #101 on: May 16, 2013, 09:32:36 pm »
Just learning about this now.  Really awesome work.

Helder

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #102 on: February 02, 2014, 10:00:15 am »
I know this is an old topic but whatever became of the CGA to VGA board that was being worked on? I would love to have the schematic so I can implement it into some projects for the retro consoles.

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #103 on: February 02, 2014, 12:40:04 pm »
I'm still working on the CGA2VGA board, trying to finish up a few lingering issues.
BitKit 8bit FPGA Multi - http://craftymech.com

Helder

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #104 on: February 02, 2014, 09:11:20 pm »
Are you still going the transistor/caps/resistor route or are you going to use a specific IC? I have a good schematic to take RGB and spit out component but I really would like to have it upscaled to work on modern TV's with out issue, but it seems that to properly upscale you will need ram/memory to buffer the image. Does your current design get around this ?

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #105 on: February 03, 2014, 03:52:28 pm »
The design uses several specialized chips, and a number of TTL logic chips. I'm planning on replacing the TTL chips with a CPLD to save on space and cost.
BitKit 8bit FPGA Multi - http://craftymech.com

Helder

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #106 on: February 04, 2014, 12:12:43 pm »
How far along are you in the project?

jayfrost

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #107 on: March 27, 2014, 11:06:35 am »
Craft. I would like to order one but cannot message u.  Please contact me if possible.

Jay frost

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #108 on: March 27, 2014, 12:57:58 pm »
Hi Jay, just send me an email at orders@craftymech.com

The forums here require a couple posts before you can send PMs.
BitKit 8bit FPGA Multi - http://craftymech.com

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #109 on: March 27, 2014, 01:01:24 pm »
How far along are you in the project?

Sorry Helder, missed your earlier post. I don't have a release date yet, but the project is still alive and kicking. I wish I had more info I could share, but everything has taken longer than expected and I don't want to set any expectations for a release yet. The converter works great for some sources, not so much for others, so compatibility issues are what I am focused on fixing.
BitKit 8bit FPGA Multi - http://craftymech.com

Helder

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #110 on: June 30, 2014, 11:38:25 pm »
It's been a few months and wondering the status of the project.

CraftyMech

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Re: Side Projects: "mini" SLG & CGA->VGA converter
« Reply #111 on: July 01, 2014, 12:19:47 pm »
It's been a few months and wondering the status of the project.

So am I :)

Another side project exploded a few months at into a much larger endeavor: http://forums.arcade-museum.com/showthread.php?t=297247&page=65

I'm finally getting caught up on my pre-orders for that project, so can return my focus to the CGA->VGA board.
BitKit 8bit FPGA Multi - http://craftymech.com

  
 

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