First post, by mac57mac57
I recently purchased an old 286 PC AT machine on eBay. It comes with a lot of decidedly vintage hardware, including an MFM disk and EGA graphics. It is the EGA graphics that is the topic of this post. It was not until after I placed the order that I realized how very different EGA and VGA are. They are quite unique on a pinout, cable and signal level basis. I naively thought that I could just buy a simple adapter, plug one end of it into the EGA output of the computer and the other end into a standard VGA cable to a VGA monitor. This is most definitely not the case! EGA is "digital" whereas VGA is analog. EGA has only two horizontal scan rates and both of them are lower than the base scan rate of VGA. And of course, the pin outs are quite different - 9 pin vs. 15 pin and very different pin assignments.
Once I discovered all of this, I went looking for a native EGA monitor. These can be found from time to time on eBay, but at quite a hefty price. New EGA monitors can still be bought as well, but they are also high dollar items. Changing approaches, I then went looking for an EGA to VGA converter... and active device that receives in EGA, transforms the intent into VGA and output that. I did find a few, but none that can be currently purchased, absent one that was only a partial solution, requiring me to purchase and add a Raspberry Pi and then assemble the whole thing as a kit.
So, somewhat dejected, I have decided that I may have to fall back to VGA graphics after all; remove the EGA card in the machine and put a VGA one in its place. This would be a real shame, since it would destroy the period authenticity of the box. I am hoping that I don't end up in the same bind with the hard drive, which the seller reports will not spin up. I can find lots of controllers and MFM drives out on eBay thankfully, so hopefully I can rescue that situation.
Do any of you out there reading this know of a good solution that will absorb an EGA output and convert it to another more common format of today, such as VGA, DVI, HDMI, DP.... without costing an arm and a leg?