MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-13 @ 08:39

The EGA card (EGAMAX 860)arrived, and I could test the revised PCB for the MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter
This works well.
Here is a first demo : https://youtu.be/MksKrSr_AaI
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-1-13 @ 09:30

Fantastic job! Any idea when it will be released and how much it will cost?
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby derSammler » 2018-1-13 @ 09:33

Does it support CGA color 6 behaviour? (brown instead of dark yellow)
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby 386_junkie » 2018-1-14 @ 13:19

Wow, this is excellent... great to see on an LCD!

+1 ... would definitely be interested in one, either parts or pre-assembled.
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby Plasma » 2018-1-14 @ 14:25

I have some kits left. $63 shipped if you are in the US.
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby keropi » 2018-1-20 @ 20:21

Yesterday I got a test converter from dreamblaster (Image )

I will start with the image quality that is perfect IMHO, just look at this SimCity photo:

Image

It is my opinion though that some colors are too vibrant/hot , mainly red, pink and maybe also blue to some degree. I am not saying that the adapter is wrong - maybe that's their 101% correct values and the difference is the way CRT monitors displayed these colors, maybe they needed more brighter ones to achieve the desired effect on crt. It is also understandable that some drawing styles are meant for CRT display and the crispness of an LCD is working against it.

I took some photos - keep in mind that it's hard to photograph a crt but I am sure you'll get the idea of what I am talking about .

Gobliiins on CRT and LCD, the pink is really bright on LCD and also the tree on the left side is just awful...

Image

Image


Gods title screen

Image

Image


Eye of the Beholder II title screen, the banner is hard to read on LCD , it's a little better in person but still nowhere near the CRT color difference

Image

Image


Eye of the Beholder II in game - it's drawing style seems to produce some artifacts on LCD

Image

Image


and some mandatory Commander Keen 4 photos, watch again for reds and pinks

Image

Image


Image

Image


Image

Image


Image

Image


The whole red/pink issue reminds me of what happens when I play with the COLOR MODE switch on my EIZO multisync monitor, with the wrong mode I get a similar result.
Maybe some toning-down is needed to compensate for the lcd panels? I hope someone more knowledgeable has a solution :blush:
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-20 @ 21:13

looks similar on my pcb

keen01.jpg
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby Plasma » 2018-1-21 @ 07:06

Commander Keen colors look ok on mine. How does it look if you turn your LCD brightness down?

I tried to test Gobliins but I can't find the CGA/EGA version. However, looking at this screenshot from Mobygames, it appears that your low/high intensity colors don't have enough contrast. Notice how close the reds and blues are. The dark gray is also way too light. I'm not sure what is causing this.

Image
Image

I tried Eye of the Beholder II and the colors look fine on mine. There is dithering which probably doesn't show on a fuzzy CRT. If you turn on scanline emulation (the last switch) it will look a little better. But there is definitely something off with yours since the light red and dark red are nearly the same.

Are all your screenshots using the same video card? I did notice that on one of my EGA cards, high intensity white appears as high intensity cyan. But on my other EGA it is correct.
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby Plasma » 2018-1-21 @ 07:35

Some screenshots from my LCD.
Attachments
1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby keropi » 2018-1-21 @ 10:21

Plasma your lcd shots look fine... I am using an ATI EGA Wonder 800, I'll try with another card and report back
I also just noticed the lost detail on the spaceship's window on my lcd shot...
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby keropi » 2018-1-21 @ 11:42

well I tested with another EGA card and with another monitor - sadly I get the same results as the pics I posted above...

Plasma, what firmware are you using on your board?
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby Plasma » 2018-1-21 @ 19:17

I am using the Dec 16 version. As far as I am aware, the only changes since then are the OSD controls.

However, I am using the original V2 PCB design by Luis. From the pictures dreamblaster has posted, it looks like he redid the PCB to use more surface mount components. I'm guessing there is an error somewhere with the resistors, since those are used to generate the colors.
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-21 @ 20:33

Plasma wrote:However, I am using the original V2 PCB design by Luis. From the pictures dreamblaster has posted, it looks like he redid the PCB to use more surface mount components. I'm guessing there is an error somewhere with the resistors, since those are used to generate the colors.


Yes, keropi is using my redesigned pcb.
I compared schematics and my pcb revsion schematic seems correct.
Maybe I made a mistake during assembly. I will doublecheck my pcb.
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-21 @ 22:20

I measured my pcb, look ok,
and also tested with keen 4 :
Clipboard01.jpg


this is fine ?
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby Plasma » 2018-1-21 @ 22:23

It's difficult to tell. I think maybe your dark gray is too light. We should probably be using a proper EGA color test program to compare.

Are you using 2% resistors?
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-21 @ 22:31

Plasma wrote:It's difficult to tell. I think maybe your dark gray is too light. We should probably be using a proper EGA color test program to compare.

Are you using 2% resistors?


these are CAT16-102J4LF, they are 5%
maybe it is that
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-21 @ 22:36

I can put CAY16-1001F4LFCT-ND on it, these are 1%. I will do so for next pcb's.
(but I don't have these around so will need to order). Let's first find out if this is the cause
My tft image looks pretty good to me, but I can also not compare to CRT.
Also it is hard to make a photo and accurately represent the colors, on this TFT they're quite dependent on the angle as well.
On Keropi's pcb, something seems wrong though, it is not subtle.
There could be a short in the finer soldering, or maybe a cable issue.
Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, MIDI PCB's, and video converters
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby keropi » 2018-1-21 @ 22:52

I took 2 more shots , put my monitor to 1:1 scale so the display area was a small centered one:

Image

Image

direct full-size links:
https://i.imgur.com/CsGkVrn.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/iYNzVwv.jpg

I notice that my browns and greys are too bright, my blue is too dark (look at the spaceship's window) and pink is too hot. I will check the board and test tomorrow with a completely different system and LCD monitor/cable , who knows maybe that's the issue
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby retrocanada76 » 2018-1-21 @ 23:31

dreamblaster wrote:
Plasma wrote:It's difficult to tell. I think maybe your dark gray is too light. We should probably be using a proper EGA color test program to compare.

Are you using 2% resistors?


these are CAT16-102J4LF, they are 5%
maybe it is that


I use 5% on my designs. I only use 1K resistors. Is it the same for your board ? The 47 ohm resistors are for the sync lines, all the colors are generated combining 1K resistors in parallel and in series.
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Re: MDA/CGA/EGA to VGA Converter Released!

Postby Plasma » 2018-1-21 @ 23:46

It probably doesn't matter, but you have 2% resistor arrays on your BOM.
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