Options for a switch that can handle both component and svideo?

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by badmofo, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Does it look like the video below? It might be a bug in the C64 design itself. Have you got some other S-Video device you can test?

     
  2. Camm

    Camm Member

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  3. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Good thought but no this is definitely either the new switch or the cable from switch to RetroTink. If I plug the C64 directly into the Tink then all good, and PS1 svideo via the switch looks like arse too. I've remembered that I do have another svideo switch that I can try so that will determine if it's the new switch or the cable, will do that tonight.

    Side note I do have one of those Lumafix doo-dads and they do work as advertised, but the banding varies from colour to colour and changes slightly as the C64 warms up, so I spent more time adjusting it than using it and took it out in the end. Still a nice effort by the community.

    I'm sounding a bit fussy and whiney now so I'll just say that I've had a great time messing around with all of this stuff, and it's good to know that I have options when my trusty old Sony CRT TV dies.
     
  4. power

    power Member

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    this looks really great, so a couple of you have this? I'm thinking i could pipe all my analogue shit into this so s-video, component, composite and then what just one component out to the tink?

    i'm with you here mate, i currently have a great tv that accepts tons of analogue inputs (it even has an analogue tuner if needed) and the thought of it going and having to look for a solution down the track has seen me investigating stuff like you. I've even considered investigating ripping the electronics out of the tv itself if it dies... dunno if anyone has ever bothered but those are the crazy thoughts you have.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  5. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I haven't given up on this setup after a couple of wins - I tried a different HDMI-->VGA adapter and the image is great and doesn't do anything weird, so that's great. And I tried another svideo switch, and the checker pattern was exactly the same, so no I suspect a bad cable now. I'll need to get another and try it out.
     
  6. power

    power Member

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    so you've now got two switches? Which one is best and what is the second one, link?
     
  7. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    The second switch was just a composite / svideo only thing that I had hanging around - a mechanical run-of-the-mill thing. I only used that to check whether the first switch was causing the dodgy image via svideo or not, and it doesn't seem to be. I have a new cable on the way so will report back.

    If the new cable fixes the issue then the one Grant suggested is a winner - I've been using it daily (for component) and it's really nice.
     
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  8. power

    power Member

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    you'll have to post up your results and how it all operates when you get your cable.
     
  9. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Yep so I got the same result with the new svideo cable (i.e. the cable that runs from the switch to the Retrotink). I did some googling and this seems to be a known issue with the C64's Chroma line, it looks like this (not my pic):

    https://ilesj.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/scart-s-video-a.jpg

    Given that the svideo image is great when plugged directly into the Retrotink, but a lot less clear and checkered via the switch, I guess the switch is messing with the signal somehow. The C64 doesn't produce a standard svideo signal so maybe that has something to do with it? I don't know nearly enough about it all to even speculate why or guess at how to fix it.

    As elvis mentioned earlier the Lumafix does allow you to adjust the Chroma with a variable resister - I gave that another crack and it is possible to remove the checkered thing so apologies elvis, I shouldn't have been so quick to dismiss you there. The image quality is still pretty arse though so it's not a solution I can settle on.

    I'm leaning towards ditching the switch, looking for some port savers, and just switching manually at this point. There's no point going to all of this trouble to get a great image and then mess it up again for convenience.
     
  10. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I'd almost dismissed this whole switching-multiple-inputs-into-the-retrotink thing as too hard but then this little guy showed up:

    https://www.selby.com.au/2-way-av-input-selector-switch-box-with-s-video-avs24a.html

    It's svideo / composite only obviously but it doesn't mess up my C64 svideo signal like the other 2 switches I've tried - the other 2 were helpfully converting svideo to composite for me but in the process made the svideo output awful. I'm assuming this wouldn't happen with a standard svideo device but as I mentioned, the C64 doesn't produce a standard svideo signal (from what I read).

    Anyway the switch above - 12 bucks delivered at the time of writing - just passes the signal through, no quality loss from what I can tell. It seems to be decent quality with a tough plastic case and satisfying buttons. It doesn't handle component obviously but from my testing so far, having the component directly into the tink and being able to "turn off" the svideo signal with the switch is enough to keep the RetroTink happy. So my plan is to use the switch for svideo / audio for all devices, and have the component input plugged directly into the tink. Switching b/w the 2 inputs is effectively all still handled by the switch.

    I'll report back.
     
  11. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Wow that is cheap. I spoke too soon about the build quality on mine - one of the audio outs is dead on one channel, but I'm betting it's an easy fix.
     
  13. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    Mine has a slight rattle to it but it works. I tried to pull it apart to look inside but couldn't figure it out quickly so just started using it. It doesn't sound like something is loose inside I'd say it's just part of the switching mechanism. For $20 I was curious about the inside.
     
  14. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    So this is the setup I settled on in the end if anyone's interested. The aim was to get better image quality than my trusty little 14" Sony CRT TV could do - it's composite only but does look surprisingly good. I think its small size has something to do with it.

    Inputs are a C64 via svideo, a SMD (on which I mainly play SMS games), and a PS1.

    List of ingredients:

    - RetroTink 2X
    - HD RetroVision Genesis cable (plus model 2 to model 1 adapter): https://www.hdretrovision.com/genesis
    - PS1 HD RetroVision adapter: https://www.hdretrovision.com/playstation
    - svideo switch: https://www.selby.com.au/2-way-av-input-selector-switch-box-with-s-video-avs24a.html
    - svideo cable: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1m-Neot...igh-Performance-NC2501-RRP-79-99/222054254013
    - HDMI to VGA adapter: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Mini-HD...-miniHDMI-Small-LOT-FREE-POSTAGE/312069909412
    - Micro USB cable with switch: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1-5m-Mi...rger-Cable-Wire-ON-OFF-Switch-AU/352497319078
    - Speakers
    - CRT VGA Monitor

    The switch was required because having both svideo and component connected to the RetroTink impacted the image.

    The USB cable with a switch was required to turn off the RetroTink - it has no power switch and gets warm even when doing nothing, so didn't want to leave it on all the time.

    I tried a few different HDMI to VGA adapters; the other contenders either looked wonky or did strange things. The one linked above was also the cheapest.

    Decent CRT monitors are getting hard to find but I was lucky enough to find a local computer shop a few years ago with a couple of NOS 17" screens hanging around, so I had this nice Acer flatscreen in the shed. Image and geometry are great - if it didn't clunk every time the resolution changed it would have been perfect, but nothing's perfect.

    Pros of this setup:
    - the image quality of both the PS1 and the SMD are outstanding; the SMD image in particular rocked my world.
    - bigger screen
    - switching b/w SMD and PS1 is just a case of switching the consoles and using the right adapter; having them both use the same cable is cool and makes cable management easier.

    Cons:
    - the C64 image is a little softer than it is on the CRT TV, and less bright. It still looks amazing but I feel like I can do better, so I'll try a different cable and do some reading.
    - slightly more fiddling around when I want to switch b/w C64 and PS1. The RetroTink defaults to component every time it's turned on, so I need to hit a button to switch to svideo. This is a VERY small deal.
    - the telly cost me 30 bucks :lol:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    oh man that svideo cable means business!
     
  16. power

    power Member

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    gl with your C64, i tell you mate a soft image is one of my pet peeves.
     
  17. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    What display are you using for yours?
     
  18. power

    power Member

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    I don't have a C64, but anything I have through component is soft. That's on my old plasma. I'm going to be honest, I have a Saturn over s-video, Atari XEGS over composite and they are both clearer. Soft images is just annoying to me.
     
  19. OP
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    badmofo

    badmofo Member

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  20. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    hahaha... another day another acrylic cased pcb
     

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