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Author Topic: Retropie on 15khz monitor - recommended approach  (Read 5121 times)

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dth930

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Retropie on 15khz monitor - recommended approach
« on: January 03, 2021, 04:21:33 pm »
Is there a currently-recommended approach for attaching Retropie to a 15khz arcade monitor?  In my case, it's a WG 25K7401.  I've done a lot of searching and there are various opinions, most of them a few years old.  I'm wondering if there's any new feedback.

I know there are a few options, each with their own ideosyncracies:
  • j-pac + HDMI-VGA adapter - probably the easiest, though my cab isn't currently jamma.  I could convert it easily.  Also, most expensive but not unreasonable.
  • HDMI-VGA adapter plus VGA-CGA adapter - may be fiddly to set up and the lowest quality option.  A lot of parts and conversions.
  • GERT VGA 666 - higher quality output than adapter above, but also fiddly to set up/configure and uses all GPIO pins

Which require reconfiguration of resolutions in Retropie?

Are there any options or additional considerations that I'm missing?
 - Dave
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 05:08:55 pm by dth930 »

mahuti

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Re: Retropie on 15khz monitor - recommended approach
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2021, 05:27:54 pm »
I use a JPAC. My cabinet doesn't use jamma either... I ended up just soldering wires to the board. I had one lying around so...

Quote
HDMI-VGA adapter plus VGA-CGA adapter - may be fiddly to set up and the lowest quality option.  A lot of parts and conversions.

I had an HDMI-CGA adapter (or something like that). Several of them. Very disappointing. They had a lot of overscan, with settings to remove the overscan... but those settings didn't persist after a restart. Total crap. One of the 2 stopped working quickly, and I don't know if the second ever worked. Cheaply made junk imports. The ones that aren't are marketed cheaply go for $250, and probably have the same hardware  ::)

I had a Gert VGA. I prefer using the Pimoroni Arcade X-Hat on the GPIO pins for cabinet functions... so I hate that the Gert takes up the GPIO. Besides, I think these days you can pipe out the same thing via composite without using the Gert.

All I know is that after fiddling with a good solution for a long time, I plugged in the Jpac and forgot about it. Done. Easy. There are probably some resolution purists that would go on about HDMI-VGA-JPAC but... if that's the hang up, don't buy a Pi to begin with. I can get a screenshot of that machine running here in a bit.

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mahuti

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Re: Retropie on 15khz monitor - recommended approach
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2021, 05:34:16 pm »
Here are some pics.
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dth930

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Re: Retropie on 15khz monitor - recommended approach
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2021, 06:42:13 pm »
Thanks for the feedback.  Those screenshots look good to me.  I want things to look right, but I'm definitely not a purist.

I think I'm going to try the GERT with the J-Pac.  I'll convert to Jamma so I can swap to a 60-in-1 if I ever want to.  That's going to be the most flexible moving forward.  I have a Pi4, so no component output.

And, to your point, if I'm not happy with that then I'll switch to a PC-based solution.  That's probably what I should do in the first place, just for ease of setup and maintenance.
 - Dave

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Re: Retropie on 15khz monitor - recommended approach
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2021, 08:17:54 pm »
Pi4 has composite out via the audio jack. I use that on several  of my machines so I can confirm the composite works. You need a splitter though, and you need to add a key to the boot config to use it.

I use an HDMI-to-vga into the JPAC. I've read hours of stuff about this particular subject and in the  end none of it really stuck as important once I got that hook up going. But then again I'm not a purist. I'd love to see yours when you get it hooked up.
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Re: Retropie on 15khz monitor - recommended approach
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2021, 01:29:50 pm »
Could get a RGB-Pi or Pi2Scart device probably the most straightforward

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Re: Retropie on 15khz monitor - recommended approach
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 04:16:48 pm »
Definitely go for the gert, the whole point of keeping the CRT is getting that real nice picture. It would be a waste to spend all that money just to end up with a blurry interlaced mess from the converter.