VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

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dhedberg
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VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby dhedberg » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:45 pm

Hi,

I'm an owner of one of the Blow-Up Hard adapters for the Falcon030 that sits between the Falcon030 monitor port and the standard VGA/RGB adapter.
It basically just contains a 50MHz oscillator that is fed to the Videl chip via pin 15 to allow higher screen resolutions.
I'm very happy with it but I dislike the fact that I have to daisy chain it with a DB19 to DB15 VGA adapter.

I've looked into creating a new adapter that will be a 3-in-1 type of adapter. It will include:
- A VGA adapter (DB15 connector on the other end)
- The Blow-Up hardware
- A switch for toggling RGB/VGA mode (by pin 18/19 - M0/M1) for those that have multi-sync monitors.

While the Blow-Up is powered by connecting it to one of the joystick ports I'm thinking about just adding a USB port on the adapter for the 5V.
Which means that I'll leave it up to you to find a way to power it, be it using a custom made (joystick) cable or an external power adapter.

Before I'm ordering the parts and designing the board for it I would like to know if there are more people interested in one of these adapters?
At this point I'm not sure I'll be able to find a suitable case for it, so expect it to come without a case.
Last edited by dhedberg on Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:51 am, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby itaboy » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:21 pm

I'd be interested

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby Estrayk » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:19 am

I declare interest.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby crashman » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:45 am

Another interested here.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby Ektus » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:18 pm

IF I hadn't already got a Screen Wonder PRO and a Screen Blaster (II/III?), and the internal 50MHz clock from the CT2A and the CTPCI with Radeon, I would have been interested. Nice Idea, but a little late for me.

The first two have adjustable frequency, too, IIRC.

BTW, as of a week ago I've connected a 24" NEC MultiSync PA241W to my CT2A equipped Falcon. Bus speeder 25MHz, Videl 50MHz, screen resolution is 1120x768@256 at 48Hz. Looks quite nice in full-screen on the 1920x1200 display, but is only feasible with the accelerated bus.

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby 1st1 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:13 pm

If it's also compatible to Screenblaster II/III hardware/software I also would be interestet, two pieces.

But I would prefer if it can also switch to monochrome (SM-124) mode. This would be an additional switch.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby blaylok » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:11 pm

I would be interested too.

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby troed » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:35 pm

I'm in.

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby tin » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:48 pm

Same here!

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby dhedberg » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:10 am

Thanks for showing interest!

I've ordered parts for 10 adapters. The first adapter will be a prototype, and of the other 9 I'll keep 1 for myself. So if everything works out OK I'll have 8 for sale.
I've ordered some parts from China to cut the costs, so please have patience. Shipping from China can be anything from 20 days to 80 days, or not at all! :-)
I'll post in this thread when I have all the parts and the prototype is ready.
Last edited by dhedberg on Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby Estrayk » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:47 pm

dhedberg wrote:Thanks for showing interest!

I've ordered parts for 10 adapters. The first adapter will be a prototype, and of the other 9 I'll keep 1 for myself. So if everything works out OK I'll have 8 for sale. I'll make another batch if there's enough interest later.
I've ordered some parts from China to cut the costs, so please have patience. Shipping from China can be anything from 20 days to 80 days, or not at all! :-)
I'll post in this thread when I have all the parts and the prototype is ready.


Thanks Daniel.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:06 pm

I would be interested too.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby Bama » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:31 am

If there's still one left I will happily purchase it! When should I send the Euros?
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby dhedberg » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:52 pm

1st1 wrote:If it's also compatible to Screenblaster II/III hardware/software I also would be interestet, two pieces.

Don't think I've ever used the Screenblaster software, but I can't see why it would not be compatible. Will verify it though and let you know.

1st1 wrote:But I would prefer if it can also switch to monochrome (SM-124) mode. This would be an additional switch.

Hm, it's a little bit more than just an extra switch. First you have to be able to ground both M0 and M1 instead of just one of them (that's an extra switch), but you also need to break the R/G/B signals from the Falcon to VGA out and instead connect mono out (pin 4) to R/G/B on the VGA out (via resistors) or am I missing something? Anyways, just out of curiosity, why would you want this? Isn't the ST-High compatible video mode enough? Are there any software on the Falcon that require a true monochrome video mode that isn't happy with the ST-High compatible video mode?

Thanks for your input,
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby Atari030 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:40 am

I've built a similar switch and piggy backed an SBII on to it. Big, but handy. I've never had ST high in VGA or RGB modes cause an issue.

I have CT2 as well so I don't really need one, although it might be nice to tidy up the stock falcon I have. What would be really cool is if software could be written to cope with all the external screen expanders (like SB, CT, Blowup etc). It can be a bit of a headache trying to run Centscreen and SBIII and switching between Falcons.

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby mzry » Fri May 05, 2017 12:42 pm

I'd like one too please :)

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby dhedberg » Fri May 05, 2017 1:27 pm

mzry wrote:I'd like one too please :)

Put you up on the list. I'm waiting for the PCBs to arrive.
Last edited by dhedberg on Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby rian_ata » Fri May 05, 2017 2:09 pm

Daniel,

would you like to reserve one for me too? This might be a solution for me as well, cause I hade switching those monitor adapters in the back of my Falcon!

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby dhedberg » Fri May 05, 2017 7:55 pm

rian_ata wrote:Would you like to reserve one for me too? This might be a solution for me as well, cause I hade switching those monitor adapters in the back of my Falcon!

Added you to the list, but please note that this adapter is a VGA adapter with a switch to control the output video mode of the Falcon030. So while you can switch to RGB video, you can only connect a monitor using a standard DSUB-15 VGA output connector. The adapter does not have multiple output connectors. So you need a monitor that is able to handle both RGB and VGA frequencies to take advantage of the RGB/VGA switch of the adapter.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby Nimrod » Fri May 05, 2017 8:34 pm

As I apparently just became a Falcon owner I would like to reserve one as well.

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby dbsys » Fri May 05, 2017 9:10 pm

Hi, I would like to sign up for two, please!

Will you also provide the software for setting the VGA adapter up?

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby dhedberg » Fri May 05, 2017 9:50 pm

dbsys wrote:Hi, I would like to sign up for two, please!
Will you also provide the software for setting the VGA adapter up?

I use the Blow-Up software which has been released (as freeware?) by the author. Even the sources were released.
But I can't see why software such as Screenblaster and Videlity wouldn't work as well? There's no magic involved, just an external clock signal.
Once I've assembled the first adapter I'll run some tests with different software so I can tell for sure what works and what does not.
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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby dbsys » Fri May 05, 2017 10:01 pm

dhedberg wrote:I use the Blow-Up software which has been released (as freeware?) by the author. Even the sources were released.
But I can't see why software such as Screenblaster and Videlity wouldn't work as well? There's no magic involved, just an external clock signal.
Once I've assembled the first adapter I'll run some tests with different software so I can tell for sure what works and what does not.


Thanks. I am looking forward to the results of your testing.

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby mikro » Sat May 06, 2017 5:47 am

Hi Daniel,

just curious -- how "well" Falcon takes higher resolutions (say 640x480x16-bit in VGA) when data bus stays at 16 MHz? Is it even usable? IIRC, similar mods made sense back in the 90s where improving the refresh rate on CRT monitors was equally important (i.e. having, say, 640x480x256 at 85 MHz) but nowadays... I don't know, is it still worth it?

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Re: VGA adapter with Blow Up and VGA/RGB switch

Postby Cyprian » Sat May 06, 2017 10:50 am

Micro IIRC its not possible on no overclocked Videl.
16bit color mode is available when PixelClock is set to max half of the main clock. For stock Falcon this is 16MHz - 640 pixels in TV mode, and 12,5Mhz 320 pixels in VGA mode. You can remove left/right borders and get 720 in TV mode and about 400 in VGA mode.

But you can feed Videl with 50Mhz instead of 25MHz. This should allows 16bit mode in 640x480 in VGA 60Hz mode.
I check that in 90's, and IIRC Falcon (desktop, and other applications) was working ok, but a screen was wasn't ok. There were strange vertical strips every 16 pixels and a lot of other noises. I guess 16Mhz bus was to slow for that mode.
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