Retro display solutions (monitors, TVs, CRTs, flatscreens, upscaling, calibration)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. oculi

    oculi Member

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    Emulation station isn't too bad to navigate but the fonts could be bigger, the problem is in the desktop environment (raspbian) and how text lines up with the dots? pixels?

    here's two photos to show what I mean, it alternates between the two while dragging the window up or down (look at the text in the tabs especially)

    not too bad here

    [​IMG]

    pretty mushy here

    [​IMG]

    I tweaked it a bit and set the standard text to bold, and increased the font size in Chromium, not too bad now. I'll upsize the terminal text too some say, which will make it much easier to adjust the overscan.
     
  2. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    I previously used the 'tft' theme for ES and modified it a bit, pretty sure I increased the text size. You should be able to do this with your current theme if you edit the theme.xml in its folder. If any of the layers mess up you can probably figure out a way to fix it. This is what my end result was:
    IMG_20181011_222356.jpg

    I forgot about over scan tuning on the Pi, I definitely did it via remote terminal.
    Assuming there's no reason you can't remote into it my advice is just do that.
     
  3. oculi

    oculi Member

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    Only reason is I don't know how to RT, and I like it being self contained to a degree.
     
  4. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    It's good to learn but I totally get the disinterest if you don't see yourself tinkering with anything else similarly.
    I never enabled the wifi on my Pi and just plugged in ethernet when I wanted to change something or mess around with themes and stuff.
     
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  5. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Apologies if this has already been discussed and I missed it - what are some good rules to follow RE CRT longevity? Some googling turned up this list:

    1. Run at the manufacturers recommended resolution and refresh rate
    2. Use indirect lighting, turn the brightness and contrast down (this will also improve focus)
    3. Turn off the unit when not in use for long periods (over 8 hours) less than 8 hours use the energy saving modes, use a screen saver for shorter periods (over 15 minutes)
    4. Keep unit in a well ventilated area (Fans are not necessary) if you do steps 1 - 3
    5. Keep your fingers off the face of the tube
    6. Keep monitor a sufficient distance from anything that creates a magnetic field
    7. Degauss once a day (not necessary if you turn the unit off)
    8. Do not place anything on top of the monitor especially containers of water, do not block ventilation slots, top, bottom and sides
    9. Use a surge protector (Unplug the unit during thunderstorms)
    10. Avoid direct sunlight


    This all sounds reasonable enough. I use standby mode for the 2 VGA CRTs I have setup but it sounds like I should be turning them off, which is no problem. They'll get a regular degaussing that way too.

    The only thing here that bothers me is #2 - I generally crank the brightness and contrast up as high as they can go without making a mess of the image; I likes things bright and colourful. What's the consensus on that? Very bad, or only a problem if you use the screen 8 hours a day? Mine would be lucky if they say 8 hours of action a week.
     
  6. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    Re #6 - I need to magnetically shield my bookshelf speakers that sit next to my CRT. Various internet forums mention a product called MuMetal - Does anyone know where to buy this stuff or equivalent in Australia?
     
  7. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    In regards to the brightness and contrast i also have mine up a fair way which means the phosphors will age faster. I'm not too concerned as like you id be lucky if mine averages 8 hours a week so the ageing will be very minimal from usage.
     
  8. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Avoid dust .. and I personally don't switch any crt on until I've looked inside and vacuumed/ brushed down if needed. Particularly around anything HT
    HT tracking over dust etc is not cool..
     
  9. power

    power Member

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    forgotten in that list is taking care of any plugs or cables. don't put any strain on them.
     
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  10. MonoJoker

    MonoJoker Member

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    This may be slightly OT but we recently got hold of a Suzuka 8 Hours 2 twin bike arcade machine at a business I do the books for. Fun bit of gear, except the left hand sound, display, etc is not getting power. We are replacing the power supply but if that doesn't fix it I've heard of them needing to "have the CRT chassis replaced". What's the tl;dr version of this, is it replacing the control unit/pcb section on the end of the CRT tube and what's the typical expense to get this done?

    I'm guessing there's very few arcade CRTs still kicking around as the purists would hold onto them and know how to repair them?
     
  11. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    Mu-Metal only really matters if you have space constraints - that is, it's the most effective choice for shielding at a given thickness, but if you can go thicker than foil then other metals (like plain old carbon steel) will do the job just fine.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    If you're in/near Brisbane, contact Tim from 1UP Arcade. He might be able to help for a reasonable fee.

    CRT faults are generally in the electronics (the "chassis", or the PCB driving the CRT), and not in the tube. Fixing a chassis is not enormously difficult for someone who knows their way around one, and worst case you can pick up a replacement chassis these days easily (you need to know some values from the tube, but once you get them, finding a matching chassis is not an issue).

    Tim is the head tech over at 1UP Arcade, and fixes that sort of stuff a lot. He'll either be able to do the fix himself, or will know someone who can do it to a level of trustworthiness.

    No idea on the price though, as that will depend on the level of complexity (whether it's a few busted wires, caps, power supply, flyback transformer, full chassis, etc).
     
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  13. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    New year and the parts have arrived.

    I'm really impressed with how well this works. The value is out of the world. I paid $AU35.58 for both the GBS and the D1 Mini, and i even paid extra for the duel VGA output GBS.

    Below are some photos i've taken with my phone, but they do no justice as CRTs are such a pain to capture.
    It should be also noted that i haven't tested RGB in yet as i need to make up some cables to connect my devices. I've tested so far with a X-Box and a PS2. Both devices were connected with eBay component cables.

    The monitor is a one owner 17" Sampo AlphaScan 711 purchased in 1998.

    480p XBOX:-

    IMG_20200126_205744.jpg

    480i PS2 - GBS control offers both motion adaptive and bob deinterlacing. Motion adaptive adds 1 frame of lag, and also can have some artifacts.

    IMG_20200126_213329.jpg

    PS1 game running on the PS2 - Scanline generator disabled.

    IMG_20200126_224348.jpg

    Same game, Scanline generator enabled.

    IMG_20200126_224358.jpg

    Close up no scanlines
    1.jpg

    Close up scanlines

    2.jpg
     
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  14. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I mentioned that way back in this thread. :)

    Glad to see a local try it out!
     
  15. darknebula

    darknebula Member

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    Gradually progressing my plan to build a mame cab or two for home.

    I have a 21” CRT that I’d like to use rotated 90 degrees in a low boy for schmups. I have read the detailed guide here

    https://www.aussiearcade.com/forum/...dows-pc-to-an-sd-crt-tv-pvm-or-arcade-monitor

    the crt has component input and I have a spare amd card which has vga out and should support crt_emulator. What is the best way to convert vga to component?
     
  16. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    More details on your 21" monitor?

    That guide linked is directed at people who want low resolution (~15KHz horizontal sync rate, 320x240 or similar) modes to go to a CRT that matches in spec.

    If your monitor is a 21" VGA/SVGA monitor, that guide won't help you out much. Do you know the make and model?
     
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  17. darknebula

    darknebula Member

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    Sorry for not being clearer, it’s a Samsung CRT TV with component input.

    Model: CS-21K30MG
     
  18. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Ah OK, then that guide is the one you want. :)

    Your option of how you get a 15KHz / SD / 240p type signal out of your PC. crt_emudriver (Windows), soft15Khz (Windows), GroovyArcade+GroovyMAME (Linux) all work.

    To convert to component/YPbPr colour space, grab a RetroTink RGB2COMP:
    https://www.retrotink.com/product-page/rgb2comp

    The trickiest bit in the chain is getting composite sync (Csync) out of your PC. Typically a PC sends Hsync and VSync separately. Some video card / driver combos allow you to change this and send Csync on a single pin, which is what you want. If you can't do that, you'll need to combine it with a circuit, which can get a bit tricky (whatever you do, don't follow the "twist the wires together" advice, as that's bad). Generally something based on a 74HC86 XOR gate IC is what you want, although the variety of solutions around the Internet are a bit daunting. EvilTim (Tim Worthington) has a good option on his site:
    http://members.optusnet.com.au/eviltim/scart.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
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  19. darknebula

    darknebula Member

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    That’s fantastic thank you. I assume I just need a vga to start cable to feed the retrotink?
     
  20. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    VGA and SCART use the same video voltage levels, so the R/G/B part of the signal is fine to go direct into the 'Tink.

    The tricky bit is VGA uses a separated Hsync (Horizontal) and Vsync (Vertical) - with two cables, on per signal, whereas SCART uses Csync (Composite/Combined) on one cable. As above, you can't just twist these cables together as that's a bit dangerous for sensitive video equipment. You need a sync combiner circuit to combine the signals logically, and spit out the right voltage at the end. Tim's site I linked to above has an example circuit you can build.

    Some video cards can be co-erced to deliver Csync straight from a VGA connector, and tools like crt_emudriver in Windows or xrandr in Linux (that drives SwitchRes/GroovyArcade) can request Csync modelines. But I don't have a list of cards/chipsets that supports it, and it's always trial and error.

    Sadly that's the one missing part in the whole chain. The Behar Brothers have a sync combiner, but it's ridiculously expensive:
    https://www.beharbros.com/kenzei

    USD$ 60 for literally $3 worth of chips and components is a bit nuts if you ask me. I've spoken to Mike Chi about sync combiners before, and he's said he's considering working on one.
     

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