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General Category => Amstrad CPC hardware => Topic started by: Bryce on 15:53, 24 March 11

Title: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 15:53, 24 March 11
Hi All,
       I have been asked by several people, whether I could make some AD724 based Modulators, like the one seen below. It has several advantages over the old MC1377 based Modulator:

1) S-Video instead of Composite.
2) Picture quality is absolutely perfect, crisp clear picture with good contrast and vibrant colours, none of the wobbles, blurredness, darkness and other effects common with composite Modulators.
3) Very small (final version would be approx. 25mm x 40mm), so it can be installed anywhere.
4) Needs just 5V, so it can be installed inside a CPC Plus without the need for an additional power supply.

The final version would only have an S-Video Socket (no composite as seen below) and 6 input Pins: R,G,B, Sync, 5V, 0V which you can connect yourself as you wish, to whatever you wish (it works on all 8-Bitters with an RGB output).

Please let me know (in this thread), who's interested. If there's enough interest I will build a batch of them. I haven't worked out the final price, because it depends on how many I build. But as soon as I have the numbers, I will let you know.

Bryce.

Edit: I just did a quick calculation and they should cost around 25€ plus postage if I have 10 or more people interested.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 15:58, 24 March 11
I want one, too, please, but also with composite signal ;)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 16:00, 24 March 11
The composite output, isn't as good as the S-Video output and would needlessly add to the final price, so I will only offer an S-video version. If you want to connect it to Composite, then you can use an adapter.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: sigh on 16:03, 24 March 11
What's the advantage of this compared to the scart lead versions?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 16:15, 24 March 11
The composite output, isn't as good as the S-Video output and would needlessly add to the final price, so I will only offer an S-video version. If you want to connect it to Composite, then you can use an adapter.

Oh... ok, no problem ;) I still want one.
If it's good, I need  one for all my CPC's ;)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 16:24, 24 March 11
Well SCART doesn't work on all newer LCD/Plasma TVs and also, if like me, you want to connect your CPC to an LCD computer monitor (Via Converter) or to a PC TV Card, then there's no SCART socket to connect to.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: CPCIak on 16:33, 24 March 11
I'd like to buy one S-Video Modulator and one MegaFlashROM, please ;D
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 16:48, 24 March 11
The MegaFlash question will come later :) For now it's just S-Video Modulators.

Bryce
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: CPCIak on 16:49, 24 March 11
Yes of course, I know ;-)
1x S-Video Adapter for me, please.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: redbox on 16:51, 24 March 11
/me puts his hand up high


Especially if I can put it in the Plus  8)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Cpcmaniaco on 20:04, 24 March 11
I am interested on another one for me.
 
Thanks.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 20:07, 24 March 11
Yes, one for me too, please. And an HDMI model. Do you want me to announce it on the wiki's main page?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 20:35, 24 March 11
Still working on the HDMI model, it's taking a little longer than planned, because I decided to go for Wireless HDMI :D And then my alarm rang... and I was back in reality :D

No need to put it on the Main Page, I think most people will see it here. Either way, I have six orders at the moment, so I only need another 4 for it to be worthwhile. Which shouldn't be too hard to find.

Bryce.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Johnny Olsen on 21:07, 24 March 11
And I want one, please.



Johnny
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 21:49, 24 March 11
7
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MiguelSky on 22:22, 24 March 11
Ok, eight :)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: HAL 6128 on 22:44, 24 March 11
I'm also interested in one... (9)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: archcosmo on 01:10, 25 March 11
I'd be interested in one as well (10)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Axelay on 08:22, 25 March 11
If I wanted to use this modulator with a CPC464 but didnt want to modify the CPC at all, what else would I need to do/have/make to be able to use it?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: awergh on 08:25, 25 March 11
If I wanted to use this modulator with a CPC464 but didnt want to modify the CPC at all, what else would I need to do/have/make to be able to use it?

Yes that's exactly what I was wondering as well.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 11:18, 25 March 11
If I wanted to use this modulator with a CPC464 but didnt want to modify the CPC at all, what else would I need to do/have/make to be able to use it?

You would need a suitable cable with monitor plug. Also a 5v power supply for both: CPC and modulator.
The cable with monitor plug would be soldered to the modulator's PCB.

(Everyone would need to solder the monitoroutput to the modulator's pcb, so a little technical knowledge is necessary)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: xesrjb on 15:13, 25 March 11
11
 
xesrjb
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: jsa on 17:08, 25 March 11
2 here please if possible :) If not then I can manage with 1.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: awergh on 00:57, 26 March 11
hmm for use with a 464 the cable with monitor plug sounds like a problem, where do I find that?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 16:34, 26 March 11
Ok, I'm convinced, I'll order the parts today. I'll also add instructions to the wiki on how to connect it to all types of CPCs and what you'll need to do it. Obviously if you don't want to use your monitor you'll need a 5V supply (and 12V depending on the type of CPC you have). I use a normal PC PSU for my CPCs, cheap and powerful :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Ynot.zer0 on 23:04, 26 March 11
+1 for me too.....
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 23:29, 26 March 11
Ok, I've just finished the layout and ordered most of the parts. Tomorrow (if I have time) I'll build a sample and show you what it looks like. Because quite a few people want to install it inside their CPC, I've squeezed the layout down as much as I could. The final PCB will be a mere 40mm x 26mm so it will easily fit inside any 8-Bit. At the moment I have only planned for PAL versions, does anyone need NTSC or can I assume you all want PAL?

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 00:24, 27 March 11
Always bad to have another box (PC PSU in this case) hanging around... do you reckon it would work with the HxC emu? I think it draws too little power...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: awergh on 05:46, 27 March 11
Well if its going to be easy enough to connect then I'll have one to since I'll regret not getting one.
I don't really care if I have to use my Monitor to power it or some random AT PSU.
I just want to see colours :)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Axelay on 08:37, 27 March 11
I'll also add instructions to the wiki on how to connect it to all types of CPCs and what you'll need to do it.



That sounds like what I'm after.  I'll have one if that's still possible now that you've already ordered the parts.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: awergh on 08:58, 27 March 11
I was wondering about that if you had already got most of the parts I'd asked to late
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Apollo on 14:01, 27 March 11
I would like to have 2 (in words: two!) as well if the ordering is not over already? Seems a nice and easy way to connect the CPC to anything able to receive S-Video!  8)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:27, 27 March 11
I've ordered parts for 20 devices, so everyone who has asked here so far can have what they asked for. But there's only two left now.

@Gryzor (any anyone else who's interested), the Circuit pulls 48mA peak (ie: if the entire screen is white), so the CPC will barely notice that it's connected, you can easily connect it with the HxC and a few other bits connected at the same time.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: sigh on 14:47, 27 March 11
I'll take one.

Still using the RF modulator lead that came with my CPC 464 and the results are P R E T T Y bad.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 15:43, 27 March 11
Everything has been ordered now and I expect parts to start arriving by the end of the week. I'll keep you informed of how it's going.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Pentagon on 17:46, 27 March 11
I would like to have one of them please.


Thank you very much Bryce !


Kindly Regards

Tom / Pentagon
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 19:15, 27 March 11
Not meaning any offense to anyone, but I *do* hope people actually buy the items they've asked for, since Bryce already ordered the parts without getting any actual monies...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 22:03, 27 March 11
I'm a trusting sort of guy, but at some stage I'm going to need some cash. I've ordered around €300 of parts at this stage, so anyone who really wants one should send me a PM with their Address and I'll let them know my Paypal account. On the other hand, I also don't forget, so anyone who's said they want one and then pull out, I'll remember who you are, and they can forget ever getting anything else from me :D

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: sigh on 00:56, 28 March 11
PM sent.

Are you also going to put in a detailed step by step guide installation?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: archcosmo on 01:23, 28 March 11
PM sent also

thanks
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:21, 28 March 11
As soon as I have started producing them, I will add exact details with pictures for internal and external installation on both classic and Plus CPCs. But don't worry, It's all very easy to do, just six wires.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Pentagon on 12:57, 28 March 11
I sent you a PM....

thank you so much for that project and awesome work!

Kindly Regards

Tom / Pentagon
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: xesrjb on 20:20, 28 March 11
payed!! :police:

xesrjb
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 10:32, 29 March 11
Paid too. I can't stress enough how much I hope/believe that all those who requested them will pay...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: almasys on 20:26, 29 March 11
I'd like to buy 2 of them.

AlMaSys
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 21:00, 29 March 11
Hi Almasys,
       I can't guarantee two of them, because I think they're almost all sold. I'll do a head count later and let you know whether I have 1 or 2 left over.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 21:07, 29 March 11
Hi All,
       as I only have the parts for one complete device at the moment, I decided to build one so that you can see the actual device you'll be getting. The discrete parts (resistors / capacitors etc) arrived this morning and according to the company in China, that I ordered the AD724s from, those parts should arrive within the next 10 days. Until then, here's one to look at. The Euro in the picture isn't a reminder to those who haven't yet paid :D rather so that you can see it's relative size.

Bryce.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 21:10, 29 March 11
Damn it's small...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 22:49, 29 March 11
Well lots of people expressed an interest in getting it inside a CPC / MP2 / Other small things, so I came up with a mix of SMD and standard components to squeeze it down as much as I could. It still has all the function and quality of the original, it's just smaller. I also even added a by-pass diode, so that if you do happen to connect the power/signals incorrectly, it will survive. And believe me, it's easier and less time consuming to make things bigger, those SMD parts are a pain in the ass to hand solder.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 10:44, 30 March 11
And believe me, it's easier and less time consuming to make things bigger, those SMD parts are a pain in the ass to hand solder.
Bryce.

After all, have you ever looked into finding a company that produces complete populated PCBs? Is it still too expensive for small runs?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 11:09, 30 March 11
Having the PCB made is relatively expensive. For a very large batch (especially when the PCB itself is large) then it makes sense to have the PCB made, because making them by hand would just take too long. For small batches it rarely makes sense. And as far as populating the board with parts is concerned, this only makes sense for very very large volumes, because of the costs  associated with setting up the placement machines. On top of that, this particular board is a mix of SMD and regular parts, so it would be stupidly expensive. To get the price down as low as it is now, I would probably have to have several hundred built.

The chemical etching setup I have can handle boards up to 250mm x 100mm, which means I could do about 20 S-VHS boards in one session / evening. With the Megaflash however, I could only handle at most 4 PCBs per session, so a batch of 50 would take weeks (as I only have two evenings per week where I can get stuff done).

The soldering bit doesn't bother me, it's actually a very relaxing pasttime, I usually stick on some music too :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 14:16, 30 March 11
Paid... Cannot wait for it ;)
Then, youtube will be overflooded by videos :D
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: arnoldemu on 14:31, 30 March 11
Paid... Cannot wait for it ;)
Then, youtube will be overflooded by videos :D
all of Batman Forever demo  :laugh:
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:45, 30 March 11
The adapter supports overscanning, strange frequencies and all the other CRTC tricks out there. So Batman Forever looks great on it :) I tried.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 20:15, 30 March 11
Hi All,
      I just added the first connection details to the Wiki page http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/RGB_SVideo , so that you can see how it's connected. But it's a real no-brainer, so anyone should be easily able to connect it up. External only at the moment, but I will add internal connection details later when I have time.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 20:20, 30 March 11
Internal: yes please :)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 00:36, 31 March 11
@Bryce:

Wikipedia tells me that the chroma and luma signal can be joined to produce a composite signal. Your schematic shows an rca jack and a composite pin on the ad724.

Now, while not every tv has an s-video connector, all I've seen in the last couple of years feature composite. Do you have any experience with the picture quality of the ad724 on composite connections?

Right now, I'm trying to figure out which arrangement in my room makes the most sense. If composite is a viable option that'll spare me some work.

MaV
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:53, 31 March 11
Hi MaV,
       The AD724 offers an S-Video output and a composite output. The first unit I built had an RCA socket on the board to test the composite. Unfortunately the composite output turned out to be much the same as on the old MP2, rather blurred, because of this, I chose to only have an S-Video output on the final version (the one you will be getting). This definitely gives the best picture quality. So there are several ways to connect the modulator to a TV:

A) Directly to an S-Video input (if the TV has one). Easiest / cheapest / best quality.

B) If your TV has no S-Video but has SCART, then use a SCART adapter  (Like this one  http://www.com-tra.de/img/p/scart_adapter.jpg (http://www.com-tra.de/img/p/scart_adapter.jpg) ) to connect the S-Video Signal (same quality as A). 99% of TVs have S-Video input within their SCART connection (check the TV manual).

C) Use an S-Video to Composite adapter (Like this one http://www.cable-trader.co.uk/images/items/SVHS%20plug%20to%20composite%20RCA%20socket%20adapter.jpg (http://www.cable-trader.co.uk/images/items/SVHS%20plug%20to%20composite%20RCA%20socket%20adapter.jpg) ) to connect to a composite input. This should only be done as a last resort, the quality is nowhere near as good as A or B.

Both adapters mentioned above can be bought for a few cents in most TV shops or online. Other than the quality issues, I also left the RCA off the final version because it makes the circuit more expensive, much bigger and more difficult to install internally.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 13:03, 31 March 11
Thanks, Bryce!

That'll help getting things sorted out in time for the modulator.  :)

MaV
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 20:11, 31 March 11
Hi All,
      I just added the first internal connection diagram (for the Classic CPC), can someone (who without a diagram would be totally lost) please take a look at this and tell me if it makes sense to them? http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/RGB_SVideo (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/RGB_SVideo)

The points I've chosen on the Mainboard are relatively safe to solder, so even a complete beginner can connect here without fear of damaging their CPC.

Thanks,
Bryce.

Edit: The Plus internal connection diagram has been added now too.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 12:06, 01 April 11
I just completely re-did the Wiki page, lots more info there now. http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/RGB_SVideo (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/RGB_SVideo)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: redbox on 12:29, 01 April 11
I just completely re-did the Wiki page, lots more info there now. http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/RGB_SVideo (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/RGB_SVideo)


This is mega, can't wait to put it in my Plus.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 12:32, 01 April 11
So the diagrams are understandable enough?

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: redbox on 13:16, 01 April 11
So the diagrams are understandable enough?


Sorry, yes, this is what I meant to say - even a cartridge burner like myself should be able to do this  ;)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 16:46, 01 April 11
Great work, man!!! Seems really easy to do anyway.

I haven't ever opened a hole in a CPC's case, what do you reckon would do the job nicely? I do have  (myself or access to) several Dremel accessories...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 21:02, 01 April 11
It might sound strange, but for a hole this size (S-Video Socket needs a 12 - 14mm hole) I usually drill a small 1mm guide hole first using a standard metal drill bit, but then the actual hole is drilled using a wood drill bit, with a variable speed drill. Try to keep the drill as slow as possible. The wood drill bit carves away the plastic much neater than a metal drill bit and keeping it slow avoids melting the plastic from heat. Practice on an old piece of scrap plastic first though, before you go and destroy the case or make a really ugly hole. And always check twice and three times that you have chosen the position correctly before you drill anything.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: HAL 6128 on 22:28, 01 April 11
Hi Bryce, thanks for the instructions and all the hints. Pretty good work! Everything is understandable und easy to adapt.
How about the Voltage (5V) of the board / power supply of the monitor? How much capacity is needed? I think about to install beneath the modulator the HxC-SD Floppy Emu (a little mod of Pentagons concept). What do you think?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: sigh on 22:55, 01 April 11
It might sound strange, but for a hole this size (S-Video Socket needs a 12 - 14mm hole) I usually drill a small 1mm guide hole first using a standard metal drill bit, but then the actual hole is drilled using a wood drill bit, with a variable speed drill. Try to keep the drill as slow as possible. The wood drill bit carves away the plastic much neater than a metal drill bit and keeping it slow avoids melting the plastic from heat. Practice on an old piece of scrap plastic first though, before you go and destroy the case or make a really ugly hole. And always check twice and three times that you have chosen the position correctly before you drill anything.

Bryce.

I'm definitely going external! ???
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 23:22, 01 April 11
Hi hal6128,
         the circuit pulls around 48mA max from the 5V supply. It needs a regulated supply, but so do both the CPC and the HxC, so there should be any problems supplying all of them from one source. If you are using the 5V output of the CPCs original monitor, then there's easily enough amps available for them all.
         As far as physically fitting where you want, you'll have to measure. The PCB is around 42mm long (the Socket protrudes a further 1.5mm at one end. It's approx. 27mm wide and about 18mm high. I say approx. for these dimensions because each PCB is cut individually and might vary slightly. On either side of the socket there are holes suitable for M3 screws, so that you can mount the device securely. The two holes are 19.5mm apart.
          The six pins (for RGB Sync connections etc) are RM2.54, ie: 2.54mm apart, this is a standard for such headers. The small plugs used on PC Motherboards (The ones that go to Speaker / LED / Reset etc) are this size also and might be useful to connect the circuit. If not, you could always solder directly on to the pins.
I'll be adding dimension drawings and further info on the wiki page as soon as I have time.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 00:54, 02 April 11
Ok, for those who really like planning things in advance, here's the dimension diagram of the modulator:

Bryce.

Edit: Maybe I should put this on the wikipage too.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: OCT on 14:25, 02 April 11
Quote from: Bryce
just did a quick calculation and they should cost around 25€ plus postage if I have 10 or more people interested.

Sure enough I'm interested if there's still one available, also preferably with Composite as well.

BTW, while it is hopefully going to be on a Plus in my case (thanks again for the plug&power specifications (http://cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php/topic,726.msg20716.html#msg20716) :)), the "old-gen CPC" leads could be nicely made out of Pollin.de 560341 cut in half I guess (in case the cable does have all 6 pins connected).
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Shredder11 on 14:40, 02 April 11
S-Video version for me please!  I've not had any luck with all the SCART RGB stuff that I got last year, so this might be just the job.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 15:14, 03 April 11
Hi All,
       just so that you know, all parts that I have ordered have been sold already and I haven't any more AD724s. Three people are now on the "waiting list" and three of the original orders have not yet been paid for. So these three will get the three unpaid ones, if they haven't been paid for by the time everything is built and ready to be sent out. I don't intend building a second batch at the moment, but that might change. I'll keep you all informed.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 20:27, 03 April 11
Got one to sell. Any good offers? :D
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:55, 06 April 11
Just a quick update, because someone asked "When can I expect mine to arrive" :

The parts ordered from China haven't arrived yet, and I suspect they are probably going to get stuck in customs. Even if they do arrive this week, I won't get a chance to build any before the 17th of this month due to other duties, so don't expect anything to arrive until around the end of the month at the earliest (assuming the parts actually arrive).

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 13:03, 06 April 11
Awwww there goes Xmas...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 19:16, 06 April 11
Awwww there goes Xmas...

Not really. Bryce uses the Julian calendar, so it's just two weeks later like christmas in some orthodox churches (russian, serbian, bulgarian). :P
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 19:39, 06 April 11
I actually worship the Silicon God of CMOS, so Christmas for me actually happens approximately 4000 times a second, which is known as the feast of the clock-cycle. Costs a fortune in presents :D

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:57, 18 April 11
Latest Update:

The last awaited components (The AD724s from China) arrived today :) Now all I have to do is start soldering everything together, I will start later this week and hopefully send out the first devices at the weekend :) I will inform each person individually when theirs has been sent.

Bryce.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 11:06, 18 April 11
Latest Update:

The last awaited components (The AD724s from China) arrived today :) Now all I have to do is start soldering everything together, I will start later this week and hopefully send out the first devices at the weekend :) I will inform each person individually when theirs has been sent.

Bryce.

All hail the Silicon God of CMOS! His presents have finally arrived. Let's slaughter some TTL-Chips on his altar!

;)
MaV
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 15:58, 18 April 11
Niiiice! Thanks for the update!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 22:02, 25 April 11
To those concerned: Despite many many distractions, including really good weather, several hangovers, having the inlaws over and not to mention the countless sleepless nights worrying that Gryzor thinks about me while he's under the shower :D I still managed to get some stuff done at the weekend. These will be sent out tomorrow and I'll hopefully get some time to build some more later in the week.

Bryce.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 10:04, 26 April 11
Yeeeees! :)

I thought I'd mention this, since it's very cool: a scanlines generator (http://wp1114205.wp150.webpack.hosteurope.de/wordpress/?page_id=745)!!! Expensive, but really nice.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:43, 26 April 11
I use one of these: http://www.pollin.de/shop/dt/OTA4ODcyOTk-/Computer_und_Zubehoer/Hardware/Monitore/Video_zu_VGA_Konverter_Box_PREMIUMBLUE_V2V.html
Much cheaper and offers all the inputs you need. My CPC and other 8-bitters are connected to a PC LCD Monitor using this (through the AD724 first).

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 13:20, 26 April 11
No - you don't get it, it's not the same functionality. What the one in my link does is generate scanlines so that you have a more faithful visual representation on modern screens. It's not a multi input/output device.

Still, nice and good price!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:00, 26 April 11
Oh, ok. I don't need one of those. Happy with the picture as it is :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 14:06, 26 April 11
Today I bought this item to connect my CPC to my PC:
http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400178121807

I hope it's useful ;)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:38, 26 April 11
Well you'll be able to connect the S-VHS modulator directly to the PC with this and record it too in very good quality.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: CPCIak on 12:05, 27 April 11
Got mine this morning. It looks professional, I'll test it next weekend (if it keeps raining).
Good work & thanks a lot, Bryce :D
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 12:17, 27 April 11
Cool. But, the weather forecast for the weekend is 24C and sunny, so I doubt you'll get any testing done :D I certainly won't be indoors :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: CPCIak on 12:23, 27 April 11
24°C - really? BTW Is it possible to get a pre-soldered cable for external connection? The local electronic supply has just closed its doors, so I have to order everything online at Conrad or Reichelt.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:07, 27 April 11
Well I don't intend building any connection cables, but everything you need is available on Reichelt for both Classic and Plus CPCs. For the 6way connection to the Modulator PCB I would recommend this connector:

http://www.reichelt.de/Platinen-Steckverbinder/PS-25-8G-WS/index.html?;ACTION=3;LA=2;ARTICLE=14831;GROUPID=3224;SID=13Tbf0sX8AAAIAABF8N9gdb2968004c08f80ab8428a1adc7eeb35

It has a short flylead with all the terminals crimped which saves some time and effort. It's not available in 6-pole, but that's not a problem, as there are no components either side of the header on the PCB. You can remove the extra wires completely or even cut the connector to the right length if you want. The wires are also colour coded, so you can swap them around to something more sensible so that it matches the RGB inputs etc.

Bryce.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Shredder11 on 21:30, 27 April 11
Yeeeees! :)

I thought I'd mention this, since it's very cool: a scanlines generator (http://wp1114205.wp150.webpack.hosteurope.de/wordpress/?page_id=745)!!! Expensive, but really nice.

That looks quite dinky and cool.  I currently use a Geniatech Supera Color HD Standalone External TV Tuner Box for LCD Monitors (19201200 Max Res) http://www.dealtoworld.com/goods-3655-Geniatech+Supera+Color+HD+Standalone+External+TV+Tuner+Box+for+LCD+Monitors+%2819201200+Max+Res%29++.html (http://www.dealtoworld.com/goods-3655-Geniatech+Supera+Color+HD+Standalone+External+TV+Tuner+Box+for+LCD+Monitors+%2819201200+Max+Res%29++.html)
 
This is a similar price and works well with most things.  Anyone who is familar with using an Atari ST in medium resolution, will know how difficult it is to display properly using other video boxes.  The Supera HD does it flawlessly.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 13:38, 28 April 11
Today my modulator also arrived!  ;D :D

Also my ordered Audio-Video grabber arrived today, too.

So I quickly connected my CPC via composite video to the grabber and took a few captures.
Surely the composite signal is not so good but it's even much better than captured from my old TV-card.

Will go now and buy a few necessary cables...

So stay tuned for HQ-videos ;)

The attached image shows the CPC output in a worser quality than it's really is. I had to make a quickly retouching because of overlay mode. (Video  output is not visible in screenshots)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 13:56, 28 April 11
Just got mine, too! :)

Just a question: if you install it internally, how do you fix it in place so that you have a normal port at the back?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:03, 28 April 11
I'll post some diagrams later with suggestions on how to mount the PCB.

Bryce.

Edit: There's two ways of fixing the Modulator inside a CPC using the two holes in the PCB. You can either use these holes to fix the PCB to the bottom of the case using M3 screws, but you will need to put some spacers between the PCB and the casing so that the components underneath the PCB aren't being crushed.

The other option is to use right-angle brackets such as these ones: http://www.reichelt.de/Befestigungssaetze/SV-WMG/index.html?;ACTION=3;LA=2;ARTICLE=19873;GROUPID=3212;SID=11Tbkvin8AAAIAADl1-jM423d0aa9e46badc213a5dcc631411a62
Using two of these you'll need to drill two 3mm holes either side of the hole you've made for the socket.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 16:56, 28 April 11
Here's a screenshot of the actual quality.
I built-in the modulator into my CPC+ ;)
Its easy to install and also to connect to an Audio-Video grabber.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 17:02, 28 April 11
Recording test:
http://cpc-live.com/grabber_test/
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 17:10, 28 April 11
Of course, MODE 2 must not hide...
Looks well, too!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: arnoldemu on 17:12, 28 April 11
Of course, MODE 2 must not hide...
Looks well, too!
great captures. This one really does it justice.
The capture of burning rubber is nice and clean and Markus's capture is great with synced video.
The quality of the image in mode 2 is really good too, proving this hardware is the business.

Nice work Bryce for the hardware.
Nice work Markus to show it off.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 17:17, 28 April 11
You can of course also capture with a higher resolution.
(I used 640x480 as a good result to get an image without black borders, but you can also capture with 720x576 pixels)
Result:
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 18:19, 28 April 11
Here a photo how I put the modulator into my CPC+:
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 09:49, 29 April 11
Very nice job, and the picture looks excellent even in Mode 2. IIRC mode 2 was unusable with my scart cable back in the day...

Can you show a pic of how you install it on the inside?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 13:24, 29 April 11
Well there's not much to see.
I just attached the modulator to the ground case and soldered a few cables inside.
You can find the video-jack pin description in CPCWiki.
http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Connector:Monitor
I also connected +/- wires to the 5v jack.
Thats all.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 13:43, 29 April 11
On the S-VHS Wiki page I've also put a description of where to solder the wires for each CPC version internally and externally:  http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/RGB_SVideo#Connecting_to_the_CPC

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 13:51, 29 April 11
@Markus: so you just screwed it to the case plastic.  That's what I meant, not the soldering itself. Was the plastic thick enough to support the screws?

Today I went to a few electronics stores looking for brackets or PCB mounts. Amazingly, the only shop where they knew what I was talking about didn't have any for 3mm screws :( I may just fill the thing with silicone in the end!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 13:56, 29 April 11
The plastic of the CPC casing should easily support the PCB if it's mounted like Markus has done.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 14:06, 29 April 11
What screw length would you recommend?

Damn! I was also at Praktiker this morning, didn't occur to me to buy some... :(
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:15, 29 April 11
No idea, I haven't tried to install one this way. It has to be M3 though. With an appropriate nut [nb]Nut does not refer to the person installing the device :D[/nb] on the end too.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 14:27, 29 April 11
Yeah, there's only one nut standing above it :D
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 15:11, 29 April 11
I used the default CPC case screws.
First I made the hole with a wood screw.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 15:33, 29 April 11
That might not hold for very long. I don't think the plastic is thick enough for self-threading screws, but maybe I'm wrong. I would recommend using screws with a small nuts underneath the CPC.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 16:04, 29 April 11
Today I also used hot-melt-glue to attach the modulator better to the plastic case.
I also used it on the S-Video jack to fix it better.
Now the "construct" is very solid!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Greg.0 on 18:12, 29 April 11
Hi Bryce !

I'm also very interested in getting one !

Thanks.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: rub3ñ on 20:10, 29 April 11
is it possible to use the monitor and the s-video signal at the same time? if so i am interested!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 20:12, 29 April 11
Well, I still can connect my monitor to my CPC+.
I cannot tell you, if both works simulteanously.
But why not? The video signal is just grabbed. There is no extra power needed. (Just the 5v but they don't come through the monitor signals)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: HAL 6128 on 20:34, 29 April 11
Hi Bryce, got mine today. Crazy small it is. 'Going to integrate it at weekend. Thanks for new and cool hardware ideas.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: rub3ñ on 21:30, 29 April 11
I cannot tell you, if both works simulteanously.

is there a chance, that you test it?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 21:47, 29 April 11
Tested it...
On my CTM the image is a bit darker now. But still good adjustable.
When I power on my CTM, also the image on my A/V grabber is darker, but this can also be adjusted well in video-settings.
So both work together.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 22:01, 29 April 11
Tested it...
On my CTM the image is a bit darker now. But still good adjustable.
When I power on my CTM, also the image on my A/V grabber is darker, but this can also be adjusted well in video-settings.
So both work together.

I don't know, if that's a good idea. Perhaps Bryce can expound on that...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 22:41, 29 April 11
I don't know, if that's a good idea. Perhaps Bryce can expound on that...
Why not? We are working here with VERY low voltages. (~1v max.)
Just that the modulator turns the voltages a bit down (Reason why the CTM image appears a bit darker)
But I am absolutely sure, that it's totally harmless.
(I tested now about 1 hour and no negative result yet)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 01:15, 30 April 11
...yet. Just leave it on overnight :D

But, seriously, what could go wrong?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 01:31, 30 April 11
(I tested now about 1 hour and no negative result yet)

I'm not talking about peak voltages or strong currents, quite the contrary.

There's still the possibility that one of the components won't work reliably when either voltage or current is lower than specified for the parts. You noticed that with two monitors the screen appears darker, so a voltage drop occurs. In the worst case your cpc might have outages you won't relate to the changes you did. Instead you might be thinking it's broken, when it's actually not.

It seems to work within specs, so that's ok. And perhaps I'm overly cautious. Still, better wait for a qualified person to give the green light.

MaV
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Cpcmaniaco on 13:34, 30 April 11
  Hi Bryce, yesterday arrived it.     It's very small.     Thanks for new and cool hardware ideas.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: sigh on 14:44, 30 April 11
Here a photo how I put the modulator into my CPC+:

May I ask how you managed to make the hole for the SVideo in 6128? How did you cut the plastic? I've built computers and messed around with fans and processors in my T60p, but I've never done anything like this before.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 14:51, 30 April 11
Well I was very rude!
I used a cutter...
(http://picture.yatego.com/images/44200d73070e22.9/seitenschneider.jpg)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: sigh on 15:07, 30 April 11
Well I was very rude!
I used a cutter...
(http://picture.yatego.com/images/44200d73070e22.9/seitenschneider.jpg)

 ??? !!!!!

How did you stop it from splitting the casing?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 15:40, 30 April 11
Hi all,
      technically there's no problem with connecting both at the same time. As Markus has correctly observed, both pictures will be slightly darker, but this will not damage the CPC, the Monitor or the Modulator and is completely safe to do.

As far as cutting the casing is concerned, I think I would recommend using a small hacksaw rather than a cutters, but that's up to you.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: CPC Oz on 14:04, 03 May 11
Hi,
If they are still available I am very interested.
Thanks
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Ythcal on 19:43, 03 May 11

Hi,
If they are still available I am very interested.
Thanks


Then we are two, but unfortunately:

I don't intend building a second batch at the moment, but that might change.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Pentagon on 19:48, 03 May 11
I did not received mine  :(


Regards
Tom

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: redbox on 20:01, 03 May 11
Got mine today and am impressed before I've even soldered it into my Plus.

Can't wait to play Pang on a 32" LCD TV  :)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: OCT on 00:12, 04 May 11
    May I ask how you managed to make the hole for the SVideo in 6128? How did you cut the plastic?
Well I was very rude!
I used a cutter...
As far as cutting the casing is concerned, I think I would recommend using a small hacksaw
To "drill" holes into (aging) plastic casings full of electronics, I prefer the manual use of screwdrivers of increasing width.
Start with something like a watchmaker's 0.8-1.4mm flat screwdriver that is typically made to rotate within a ring at its end, then move on to a larger size at every other turn or so, thereby slowly scraping an ever larger diameter, in control of the process, with much less risk (than an electric drill or more crude tool) of damaging the remainder of the case or components.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: TFM on 00:57, 04 May 11
I did not received mine  :(


Regards
Tom

Patience is a virtue  ;)  Bryce is producing at least 42 of them, so he is currently (lower night) still working on them. Imagine to create that much modulators. Big respect for doing a hell of work :)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:22, 04 May 11
@OCT, I've used the "screw-driver process" in the past and it does work quite well. However I now just make a small guide hole with the smallest screwdriver and finish the hole with a wood drill-bit. It has the same "scraping" effect as the screw-driver, but only use a drill that has variable speed, and keep the speed as low as possible.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 10:23, 04 May 11
Bryce beat me to it - there is a huge variety of hole-opening drill bits...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: redbox on 11:23, 04 May 11
However I now just make a small guide hole with the smallest screwdriver and finish the hole with a wood drill-bit. It has the same "scraping" effect as the screw-driver, but only use a drill that has variable speed, and keep the speed as low as possible.


This is what I was thinking of doing, so am glad to be on the right track for once  :)


Just realised I don't have a S-Video lead though.... arrrrrgh!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 11:46, 04 May 11
S-Video Leads are usually included with lots of different devices (TV Cards, Converters and even DVD players sometimes) So take a look through your "Cable collection" before buying one :) But even if you don't find one, they cost less than 2€ for a 1.5m cable in most TV shops.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: redbox on 22:32, 04 May 11
So take a look through your "Cable collection" before buying one :)

Amazingly found one in the 'box'.  :)

Now I need to get the connector lead for the PCB.  8)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Shredder11 on 23:29, 04 May 11
I'm thinking of installing it inside my MP-1 external modulator, to save molesting the case of my CPC6128.  Apart from a few wires needing to be soldered and a S-Video cable, what else will I require or is that it?  Also where is it best to locate the little board inside the MP-1 to avoid interference etc?

Bryce, should I pay you up front or wait until I have received them?


Thanks. :)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: redbox on 00:04, 05 May 11
http://www.reichelt.de/Platinen-Steckverbinder/PS-25-8G-WS/index.html?;ACTION=3;LA=2;ARTICLE=14831;GROUPID=3224;SID=13Tbf0sX8AAAIAABF8N9gdb2968004c08f80ab8428a1adc7eeb35 (http://www.reichelt.de/Platinen-Steckverbinder/PS-25-8G-WS/index.html?;ACTION=3;LA=2;ARTICLE=14831;GROUPID=3224;SID=13Tbf0sX8AAAIAABF8N9gdb2968004c08f80ab8428a1adc7eeb35)

This cable is no longer available and they've removed the description so I can't see what type you mean.  Do you know of any alternatives so I can buy something similar in the UK?

Also, the S-Video cable I found appears to be 4 pins - is this the right one?  And excuse me for possibly sounding stupid, but does the S-Video output also contain the sound or do I need to do this from the Plus headphone socket separately?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 01:07, 05 May 11
@Shredder11: It should easily fit inside an MP1. The best position is probably at the rear left side, directly above the original MC1377 PCB, but I would have to open one and check how much space really is available. The RGB and Sync signals can be connected directly where they enter from the CPC, the GND and 5V will also need to be connected where they leave the PCB. That's all.

@RedBox: The connector needs to be a 1x6 connector with 0,8 terminals and a pitch of 2,54. ie: 1 row of 6 terminals and each terminal is 0,8mm wide and 2,54mm apart from each other. There are loads of connectors that fit this description.
And to question 2: No. S-Video is only a video carrier, there's no sound data in the signal, so you'll have to use the internal speaker or additional external ones, the TV won't be making any noise :)

Bryce.   
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: jsa on 14:02, 08 May 11
Okay installed Bryce's piece of art into 6128+. Adapter seem to work fine but I have some issue that i need to as from you guys whether you have found similar things.

Tested adapter with:
 - Sony 29"
 - Philips 21"
 - Dell 2007fp
 - Epson TW-620

First of all Dell 2007 Svideo input did not like adapter at all - no picture, in matter of fact no nothing. Just blank screen.
Philips 21" apparently did not support S-Video on scart so black and white picture in that TV set.
Sony 29" worked quite well but with brief testing for example hires screen in Batman Forever did not sync properly, picture was shown but was there was fair bit of offsetting and interlace effect was not working. Same screen on Epson TW-620 resulted blank screen :) .


With Epson needed to enforce progressive mode, otherwise screen would jitter somewhat.


Tested few games,but Ghosts and Goblins was odd. With Epson colours were ok in main menu but when game started they "washed" away and I was greeted with black and white screen, until I jumped from one tombstone upwards and colours apparead -> landed back to tombstone -> out of colours again :D . While scrolling onward, at certain point before first raven and projectile plant picture went away for brief moment.


Need to test with Sony TV whether same happens there as well .


Edit: well not exactly like that :D. Colors with Sony were more or less off but then on similar places as with Epson colors returned to black and white and then back to normal for brief moment of time.


Ran thru Sappy and no problems with colors, need to test more as this is bit odd..
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 21:07, 08 May 11
Hi all,
     a few things to remember. In certain demos where overscanning and other CRTC tricks have been used, the TV won't be able to handle these changes. These tricks only work with "real" Amstrad CRTs, so there will be flickering or jagged edges. On a "normal" CPC screen everything should work fine.
If you are connecting to the TV through a SCART adapter, you may have to use a particular SCART input to use S-VHS and you may also have to manually tell the TV that it's to use the S-VHS signal, otherwise it may go to Composite and will probably be black and white.
Try to keep all connections as short as possible (a 10 Metre S-VHS cable is not a good idea, nor is 10 Metres of cable for the RGB).
The GND connection of the Modulator MUST be connected to the CPCs Ground, so if you are using a separate power supply for the modulator, the GND still needs to be connected to the GND of the CPCs Monitor socket.

Hope this solves any issues anyone has had,
Bryce.


Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: jsa on 22:03, 08 May 11
Yeah newer TV sets can be tricky, need to build some adapters and retest again same sets with pure RGB. (Okay, scratch Dell from list as it does not have proper connectors. Ghosts and Goblins kinda suprised me as it does not seem to use any special screenmode nor crtc tricks but apparently it is doing "something".
Atleast visual comparison between RGB and adapters picture quality did not reveal any difference to my eyes, so I am happy with it :) .

Anyway big thanks for Bryce for creating it, sure makes things bit easier :)

 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 11:38, 12 May 11
I tested the S-Video-Modulator on three TVs, two of them LCDs (LG) and one a CRT (Daewoo).

The Daewoo had an S-Video input, everything went fine with a very nice picture (unfortunately, that one's in the bedroom and too big for my hobby room).

The LGs both had the same problems although one was definitively listed as having S-Video (Bryce and I were checking on that). Neither had an S-Video input, but each of them two Scarts.

The Picture with scart was a crisp black and white. For a colour picture I bought an S-Video to Scart cable, which had a switch for FBAS (= composite). I opened the Scart plug to find that it had a capacitor.

The bottom line is: If you have a tv that shows a black&white picture with scart, try to find a menu item that activates S-Video on Scart. If that doesn't help try the composite pins + the capacitor as described in the wiki. The picture won't be as crisp, but at least you have colour.

Alternatively buy a TV with a real S-Video connector.

MaV

PS: It's sad that TVs are sold with specs that they can't deliver because the manufacturer doesn't implement it for cost reasons. I'm sure they can get away with it because there are not many people which need s-Video.  >:(
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:50, 12 May 11
Tested few games,but Ghosts and Goblins was odd. With Epson colours were ok in main menu but when game started they "washed" away and I was greeted with black and white screen, until I jumped from one tombstone upwards and colours apparead -> landed back to tombstone -> out of colours again :D . While scrolling onward, at certain point before first raven and projectile plant picture went away for brief moment.
Welcome jsa!

Excellent feedback about Ghosts and Goblins. The same is reported when using Amstrad modulator with a television.
It's down to the method used to smooth the hardware scroll (it uses a crtc trick here)
It switches between hsync lengths, one length shows colour and the other must make it go to b/w.

So this confirms to some degree that using this type of scrolling is not always good.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 12:23, 12 May 11
The Ghosts and Goblins issue is annoying, but also quite rare on older games. Newer Demos also use CRTC tricks to enhance the graphics and animation. These tricks are fine-tuned to how the original Amstrad Monitors works, so no matter how good your SCART Cable / Modulator is, the effects probably won't work on other displays.

As MaV said above, anyone who is considering buying a small LCD TV for their CPC should try to get one with a REAL S-Video input, ie: the small round 4 pin socket and not rely on the SCART S-Video, in many cases these don't work as advertised. Strangely, it's often the cheaper no-name devices that offer this option, the more expensive devices seem to have already moved to Component Video which is not compatible with this Modulator (or any modulator I know of in fact).

If anyone is really looking for a suitable small TV, this 15" TV can be found for around €90 and offers real S-Video:
http://www.odys.de/web/web_lan_de_hmp_1_mp_4_an_X810046_sw_ja.html (http://www.odys.de/web/web_lan_de_hmp_1_mp_4_an_X810046_sw_ja.html)

Another option is to use an S-Video to VGA converter (as I do), so that you can then use a standard PC VGA Monitor. The advantage being that you probably have a VGA monitor already and the device is generally pretty handy for connecting all sorts of devices to the display (and it's cheaper than a TV too): http://www.pollin.de/shop/dt/OTA4ODcyOTk-/Computer_und_Zubehoer/Hardware/Monitore/Video_zu_VGA_Konverter_Box_PREMIUMBLUE_V2V.html

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: arnoldemu on 12:48, 12 May 11
The Ghosts and Goblins issue is annoying, but also quite rare on older games. Newer Demos also use CRTC tricks to enhance the graphics and animation. These tricks are fine-tuned to how the original Amstrad Monitors works, so no matter how good your SCART Cable / Modulator is, the effects probably won't work on other displays.
Yes. I wanted to say more about my post:

Bryce's hardware is very good and works very well, the problems that may been seen are due to crtc tricks used in demos (and a small number of games) AND the television/display you use.

So it's not Bryce's hardware that is the problem.

I think the vast majority of software will work fine.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 12:50, 12 May 11
The S-Video to VGA-Converter may be the cheapest option.

Another interesting fact: On my LG TV the CPC's screen shows 480i if I press the info button, though it should be 576i for PAL.  ???

Anyway, I'll have a look at the internals of the scart connector to see which resistor and capacitor did the trick with my tv. The cheapest S-Video to Scart connectors don't have them, and there's no need to buy a new cable like I did, when you can just solder to parts worth a few cents.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:01, 12 May 11
Well technically PAL is a 625 Line (576 visible + 49 hidden) 25fps analogue signal, the S-Video ouput of the Modulator produces this exact format too. If you are using the Modulator on an Analogue CRT TV, you will be really seeing 576 lines (if you have good enough eyes :) ). However modern LCD TVs re-sample the picture to a format suitable for it's display. To avoid complications (and because the TV doesn't know exactly what it's receiving), they usually automatically choose the lowest resolution ie:480i when an analogue signal is being received. Some TVs will let you manually change the resolution, but it may not noticably improve the picture quality.

I can add some more technical details on the Wiki page if anyones interested, but I didn't want to over-complicate the page.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: redbox on 15:49, 12 May 11
The bottom line is: If you have a tv that shows a black&white picture with scart, try to find a menu item that activates S-Video on Scart. If that doesn't help try the composite pins + the capacitor as described in the wiki.


I haven't tried my modulator yet (damn kids) but checked out my TV which along with an S-Video input does have these options for Scart - either 'normal' Scart or Scart(S) which the manual says stands for S-Video over Scart.


Now just need some time to get the soldering iron out  >:(
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Shredder11 on 16:26, 12 May 11
Yeah Ghosts & Goblins did not display properly for me either with my MP-1 modulator back in the 80s.  Another game was Cobra the scramble type game with fast smooth horizontal scrolling, but the colour flickered on and off; great game though!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: arnoldemu on 17:02, 12 May 11
Yeah Ghosts & Goblins did not display properly for me either with my MP-1 modulator back in the 80s.  Another game was Cobra the scramble type game with fast smooth horizontal scrolling, but the colour flickered on and off; great game though!
Both use the same method to smoothly scroll the screen.
(CRTC Register 3 - hsync and vsync width)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 23:41, 12 May 11
So, I've built a connector from the DIN socket to the modulator, in order to use one modulator with many CPCs. The 5 volt wire is soldered on the board now. I have to look for a one wire connector this Saturday. That way I won't need to mod the CPC case. Instead I'll glue the connector in the corner right below the disk port.

And then I'll have to build a case for the modulator itself.


Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 23:48, 12 May 11
Why don't you just take the 5V by putting a plug and socket between the CPC 5V supply?

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 23:53, 12 May 11
Why don't you just take the 5V by putting a plug and socket between the CPC 5V supply?

I've been thinking about that. The socket I have right here looks the same as the one soldered on the board and would make for an awkward solution.  :(
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 23:58, 12 May 11
Yeah, but there are inline (cable mounted) sockets available like this one: http://www.reichelt.de/Hohlstecker/HK-21/index.html?;ACTION=3;LA=2;ARTICLE=35259;GROUPID=3258
which makes it a little neater. Or if you intend putting the Modulator in a box later, then the socket could be a panel mounted version on the modulators case. Like this one: http://www.reichelt.de/Hohlstecker/HEBLM-21/index.html?;ACTION=3;LA=2;ARTICLE=35268;GROUPID=3258

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 00:09, 13 May 11
Or if you intend putting the Modulator in a box later, then the socket could be a panel mounted version on the modulators case. Like this one: http://www.reichelt.de/Hohlstecker/HEBLM-21/index.html?;ACTION=3;LA=2;ARTICLE=35268;GROUPID=3258 (http://www.reichelt.de/Hohlstecker/HEBLM-21/index.html?;ACTION=3;LA=2;ARTICLE=35268;GROUPID=3258)

That is the idea.  :) I'll be searching for such a socket.

BTW, maximum continuous current 0,3A at 30V (= 9W) ... that'll be 1.8A at 5V? Just about enough. ;)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MiguelSky on 04:17, 13 May 11
Ok, I just tried the mine in a 32" LCD Philips TV working fine :) But the actual use of CPC is in a LG MonitorTV that has not S-Video connector. Tomorrow I'll seek that adapter MaV said, I will tell you the results...
 
 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 09:50, 13 May 11
BTW, maximum continuous current 0,3A at 30V (= 9W) ... that'll be 1.8A at 5V? Just about enough. ;)

Yeah, I wouldn't worry about that connector getting hot. Unless you intend supplying the entire TV through it too :)

Btw, I went one step further on mine, I put a 4 pin molex connector on the box (ATX power supply input) and put 2x 5V (Standard and Plus CPC) and a 12V socket for the 6128. That way it can be used on every type of CPC :)

Why do so many people have LG? Their port support is one of the worst.

@Miguelsky: How was the picture on the philips? Happy with the quality?

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 16:53, 13 May 11

Why do so many people have LG? Their port support is one of the worst.


...because they make decent devices at decent prices? :D I've got a high-end Sony, don't get me started about its ports!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Johnny Olsen on 22:20, 13 May 11


Btw, I went one step further on mine, I put a 4 pin molex connector on the box (ATX power supply input) and put 2x 5V (Standard and Plus CPC) and a 12V socket for the 6128. That way it can be used on every type of CPC :)



Picture please
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MiguelSky on 04:47, 14 May 11
@Miguelsky: How was the picture on the philips? Happy with the quality?
The Philips shows the CPC great, practically same than RGB :) .
I bought the S-Video to SCART adapter today for the LG MonitorTV. In the first SCART socket it is B/W, in the second is colored but not good quality, worse than RGB with 5V+resistor option I use now. I wanted to change to S-Video to get quality similar to that Philips give, as LG shows a very little blur as you can see in photos at cpcmania.com (TV SCART) , I have the same model of monitor, LG M228WD ;).
Now I will try to find an S-Video to composite adapter to try too.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 10:19, 14 May 11
Now I will try to find an S-Video to composite adapter to try too.

The quality won't improve. It will be practically the same that you have now with the S-Video to Scart adapter. :(
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 10:25, 14 May 11
All right! Everybody call me stupid! My wife reminded me that we have an LCD in the basement, and I checked and it has an S-Video socket.  ::)

The picture is nice, crisp and it even shows the interlaced picture of the Batman Forever demo which the LGs with the scart cable (and composite mode) can't.

Unfortunately the TV flickers sometimes (slight movement of the picture to the left or right). It's a Hisense LCD1933EU.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 14:15, 14 May 11
@Miguelsky: An S-Video to composite will give you the same blurred picture. It definitely won't be as sharp as S-Video.

Here's a picture of my external version. I was sure I'd posted this before, but I can't find it any more?
The power comes from an ATX PC PSU. The Brown Monitor plug is for the Plus, the grey one for Classic CPC. There are two 5V outputs, one for Plus, one for Classic. The socket on the left hand side (beside the grey cable) is 12V for the Classic 6128 and the socket at the front is the stereo sound output from the Plus. The S-Video output is beside the ATX cable, so it can't be seen in this picture. There's only one Modulator inside with everything connected in parallel. So one unit fits every type of CPC :)

Bryce.


Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 02:58, 18 May 11
Alright! After a fumble-fest extraordinaire I finally managed to finish my S-Video modulator box.

Following Bryce's advice, I included the 5v external source in the box to be able to power the modulator as well as the CPC (seen in picture 1 in action). On the lower edge of picture one (and seen from the side of picture 3) you can see a socket for the CPC's monitor. This way I can watch both the GT65's output and the S-Video output at the same time.

The other side of the box contains the 12v line, for the CPCs that have no HxC-Floppy emu. This part is a bit of a kludge as it's place would have been on the other side right beside the 5v socket and plug, with the S-Video board being at the place of the 12v sockets. But I don't plan to use the 12v sockets often.

The 12v cable will be plugged into the GT65 while the socket at the side is for external power units which usually have the 12v positive pole within and minus at the outside, which is opposite to the CPCs 12v source.

I still have to fasten the monitor socket with two screws and glue the cables to the box. Works fine.

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 09:15, 18 May 11
This is a really great job! You should consider making and selling some :)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:14, 18 May 11
Very nicely done. Expect many E-Mails now asking you to build one for them :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Shredder11 on 17:32, 18 May 11
Damn that does look good!  However I shall stick with my plan to install inside my Amstrad MP-1 TV modulator case;  a bulky and less attractive version of the MaV case! :D
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 18:20, 18 May 11
My 2nd modulator arrived today!
Thankyou much Bryce for your great work!
Will put it into my MP2 so it will have 2 monitor plugs and 3 different output signals: regular mp2 video signal, composite and S-video...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 20:50, 18 May 11
That's just showing off :D (and overkill)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Shredder11 on 21:51, 18 May 11
My 2nd modulator arrived today!
Thankyou much Bryce for your great work!
Will put it into my MP2 so it will have 2 monitor plugs and 3 different output signals: regular mp2 video signal, composite and S-video...


Photos and info would be great if you could, as I might emulate yours too!  8)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 12:06, 19 May 11
This is a really great job! You should consider making and selling some :)

I suppose I could make a couple (3-4 at most). That took quite some time, and now that I have a functional colour CPC, I'd like to concentrate my efforts on programming the CPC again.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Axelay on 11:36, 20 May 11
Mine has arrived now too, thanks Bryce!  :) 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Executioner on 04:14, 22 May 11
It would be interesting if you could extend the sync signal by 1 microsecond (always) to see if that fixes the problems with Ghost & Goblins etc.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Ynot.zer0 on 13:35, 22 May 11

Okay, so it is finally time for me to hookup my S-Video Modulator.
I purchased a multi-adaptor VGA/  S-Video box from eBay.  I had a CPC video connector previously removed from an old monitor (worked okay when connected to a PSOne 5" screen)
I was looking at this diagram:
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/8/84/S-VHS_External_Classic.PNG (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/imgs/8/84/S-VHS_External_Classic.PNG)
I thought I'd make a bit of a guess on what colour cable the 'Sync' actually was.  Turns out I'm not being very successful.
I have
Blue -> Blue
Green -> Green
Red - > Red


Now I have White, Black and Brown cables left. I've tried various combinations of guess work and nothing seems to work.


Can, maybe Bryce? tell a non-electrical engineer person, what colours map to those pins in the diagram?


btw - I'm powering the S-Video Modulator with a 4xAA battery pack (is that okay?).
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 17:16, 22 May 11
Hi ynot.zero,
        I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The grey wire in the linked diagram is Sync (ie: the one that says Sync beside it). Or are you referring to the original cable that was connected to the CPCs Monitor? If so, I'm not sure what colours were used. Either way, if you only have the GND connected to the batteries and not to the CPC GND also, then none of them will work because the signals will be floating.

Regarding your 4xAA Batteries: Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Nooooooooo!!!!!!! The absolute max voltage for the AD724 is 5.25V and you're feeding it with 6V !!! The Modulator will probably die quite soon.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Ynot.zer0 on 19:47, 22 May 11
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The grey wire in the linked diagram is Sync (ie: the one that says Sync beside it). Or are you referring to the original cable that was connected to the CPCs Monitor? If so, I'm not sure what colours were used.
Yes, the grey/white wire in the linked diagram is sync, what I wanted to know was what colour wire was it coming from the CPC connector.  I'd cut the cable about 10cm from the CPC, so I do not know what cable goes to what pin, I can only guess from colours.  Okay, if you do not know I'll apply trial and error.


Either way, if you only have the GND connected to the batteries and not to the CPC GND also, then none of them will work because the signals will be floating.
I have it setup so that GND is connected to both (just working out what cable from the CPC Connector is actually GND....)


Regarding your 4xAA Batteries: Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Nooooooooo!!!!!!! The absolute max voltage for the AD724 is 5.25V and you're feeding it with 6V !!! The Modulator will probably die quite soon.
oops.  well, it wasn't for long, maybe 20 seconds at most... about 20 times  :angel:  okay, I've now attached a variable power connector from the mains and set it to 4.5v


Well, I still get nothing (maybe a little LED on the modulator could be fitted to v2.0 just to let me know it is has power?) but I'm suspecting my adaptor (s-video to vga) is at fault as that also has no led letting me know it is working either.


hmmm.... okay, I'm going to revert back to my PSOne 5" LCD screen configuration to clarify what the black, brown & white cables actually were (should have looked that up before I dismantled it, I suppose  ::)  ).


I just remembered, I do have this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250675162632&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_3605wt_1154 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250675162632&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_3605wt_1154)
ordered and "in the post", so maybe I'll have better luck with that?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 20:01, 22 May 11
If the power supply is really only supplying 4.5V that will be to little. The AD724 needs between 4.75V and 5.25V (ie: ideally 5V). Why don't you use the 5V that supplies the CPC, that would seem the easiest and most logical choice.

The ebay device you've ordered does exactly what the Modulator does, so if you use that, you don't need my Modulator at all (very nice device though, and cheap!).

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Ynot.zer0 on 21:15, 22 May 11
If the power supply is really only supplying 4.5V that will be to little. The AD724 needs between 4.75V and 5.25V (ie: ideally 5V). Why don't you use the 5V that supplies the CPC, that would seem the easiest and most logical choice.
My track record today is not good.  My laptop LCD screen died this morning...  :'(
I couldn't get the Modulator to work  :'(
I just reconnected the PSOne LCD, it showed me a lovely CPC screen for about 10 seconds.. then it died  :'(


I think it's a sign... I'm leaving everything alone for the rest of the day!


The ebay device you've ordered does exactly what the Modulator does, so if you use that, you don't need my Modulator at all (very nice device though, and cheap!).
Yeah... but it's about 4000 times bigger than your lovely device!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 21:35, 22 May 11
Was the lovely 10 second picture produced using my Modulator (and with what voltage source), or a different setup? Do you know what died?

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 15:21, 24 May 11
Here's my overhauled MP2...
It also has a composite jack. But thats not from the new modulator.
It's a MP2 modification.

The new modulator works fine, as you can suggest ;)

Thanks again, Bryce, for your great work!

BTW.: I used much hot glue :D But it's very stable now.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 15:27, 24 May 11
Stable?? That's bullet-proof. :D

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 15:38, 24 May 11
Stable?? That's bullet-proof. :D

Or so....
Well the aspect looks like dinosaur-sperm, but the result is ok.
And the result was important for me ;)
And from the outside it looks quite well...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: robcfg on 17:29, 24 May 11
Wery well done, Markus!


Now you have an MP2+ modulator!  :D
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 15:39, 03 June 11
Well, my modulator inside the mp2 makes some trouble.
I get stripes on the left screen side and also the screen flickers sometimes.
Any idea how to avoid that?

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 16:10, 03 June 11
Hmmm, that's a power-supply problem, Pentagon had a similar problem so I made a special version for him. I can do the same for yours, but you'd have to send it back for the change :S

Usually switching it off and back on again should solve the problem in your case.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Ynot.zer0 on 22:15, 03 June 11
Usually switching it off and back on again should solve the problem in your case.


 8)
IT Crowd - Have You Tried Turning It Off And On Again? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn2FB1P_Mn8#ws)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:33, 09 June 11
And I can even do it with his accent too :D

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: fgbrain on 14:52, 26 June 11
@MaV,

Will you build one for me? I can pay through paypal..

What about a proper power supply for my old 6128? With dual voltage needed for the drive as well..
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: MaV on 05:48, 27 June 11
@MaV,

Will you build one for me? I can pay through paypal..

What about a proper power supply for my old 6128? With dual voltage needed for the drive as well..

Sure I can. I'll send you a PM.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: OCT on 03:28, 29 June 11
Well, my modulator inside the mp2 makes some trouble.
I get stripes on the left screen side and also the screen flickers sometimes.
Any idea how to avoid that?
After quite some time out of town, I finally had the chance to try mine today as well.

Not only am I seeing the same kind of distortion at the left edge http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2109.0;attach=1781 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2109.0;attach=1781) but additionally the picture I get is just black&white (or shades of grey for that matter).
However, I have got to say that currently my screens are not TV sets (will try with one ASAP) but a PC monitor connected through a "Supera Color LCD TV Box" (I have yet to try a "PremiumBlue V2V" = Pollin.de item 721190) and a projector featuring S-Video input, and the system is a French CPC6128plus with a British cartridge. So this is not to say that anything might be wrong with Bryce's product!

The modulator is installed internally according to http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/File:S-VHS_Internal_Plus.PNG (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/File:S-VHS_Internal_Plus.PNG) - "Devilmarkus style" (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?topic=2109.msg23079#msg23079 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?topic=2109.msg23079#msg23079) and subsequent) but with a small indentation to the inner side of bottom housing so as not to have the entire width of the PCB protrude from the case, and using a shielded 6-pin cable soldered to the modulator's top pin field (and with the shield connected only at the floppy drive side).
If there was a wiring error, my understanding is that I should not be getting any picture at all.
I also found the CPC's circuitry cannot drive both the modulator and a monitor (RGB output) at the same time - contrary to the experiences in http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?topic=2109.msg23136#msg23136 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?topic=2109.msg23136#msg23136) through http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?topic=2109.msg23171#msg23171 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?topic=2109.msg23171#msg23171) the S-Video output will be heavily distorted at least as soon a cable several meters long is plugged to the 8-pin monitor socket.

Just wondering whether the monochrome grayscale picture might be due to the fact that this appears to be an originally French Plus, probably not one with the keyboard relabelled from a model made for other markets. Did the French version have anything wired for a different video timing (in comparison to UK/German models) due to the SECAM system (still dominant there in 1990), and how may that be changed?
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 10:16, 29 June 11
Hi OCT,
      the black and white picture is when the TV/Monitor thinks it's getting a composite signal instead of S-Video, so you need to change modes in the TV or use a TV that automatically detects the S-Video.

The distortion problem really is an issue with the modulator. I've been investigating this some more in detail, because there are now three devices that show this problem. The issue seems to be with power supplies that rise too slowly. ie: if the power supply takes too long to go from 0V to 5V when it's turned on, then the AD724 seems to start up wrong. The easiest solution I found to solve this was to add a switch to the modulator, so that you can turn on the power supply first and then turn on the modulator. This worked on almost all simulations, but if it doesn't help, then you need to send me the modulator and I will make some changes to it. It seems to be a problem with the second batch of AD724s that I got. The first ones all worked perfectly, but I suspect that the second batch were cheap copies. That's the risk of buying ICs from questionable sources.

Bryce.
Title: Distortion
Post by: OCT on 21:03, 29 June 11
      the black and white picture is when the TV/Monitor thinks it's getting a composite signal instead of S-Video, so you need to change modes in the TV or use a TV that automatically detects the S-Video.
None of the (admittedly few) devices I have here will let me do this (the point of using the modulator in the first place was that I just don't have the place for a CRT):
Both have dedicated Cinch (Composite Video, or FBAS as the German acronym goes) and separate S-Video (Y/C) connectors, the latter of which hence aren't switchable to (or from) Composite Video at all.
I did get some (blueish, albeit still wrong, as in cyan-on-blue, and bleeding) color the moment I set the projector's S-Video mode to SECAM, hence my question whether the French Plus had any obscure difference in video timings.

So either the horizontal left-edge "jitter" makes the S-Video inputs get the C wrong somehow (it would be dependent on the video standard IIRC), or there's just the luminance part properly coming out somehow (on which sync is, as for component YPbPr, right?). No scope around to tell you more I'm afraid.

The moment I get my hands on an S- to Composite Video adapter plug, I'll see whether color might be detected in Y&C rolled into one.

Quote
The distortion problem really is an issue with the modulator. I've been investigating this some more in detail, because there are now three devices that show this problem. The issue seems to be with power supplies that rise too slowly. ie: if the power supply takes too long to go from 0V to 5V when it's turned on, then the AD724 seems to start up wrong. The easiest solution I found to solve this was to add a switch to the modulator, so that you can turn on the power supply first and then turn on the modulator. This worked on almost all simulations, but if it doesn't help, then you need to send me the modulator and I will make some changes to it. It seems to be a problem with the second batch of AD724s that I got. The first ones all worked perfectly, but I suspect that the second batch were cheap copies. That's the risk of buying ICs from questionable sources.
Wait a minute, wasn't the second batch the more expensive one? ;) "Moonshine chipmaking", :) what has organized (cyber)crime come to these days... <sigh> ;)

But seriously, the way you've suggested in http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/File:S-VHS_Internal_Plus.PNG (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/File:S-VHS_Internal_Plus.PNG) the modulator seems to be "always on" (probably got move the red wire to the pin labelled 2 on the right?) and not even (low voltage) power-cycled along with the CPC('s cartridge bay switch - the modulator's +5V would have to be on the far end of the yellow connector for this I guess). And this way at least, I couldn't get an undistorted, full-color picture any of the times I (as an "IT Kraut";)) inevitably already tried "turning it off and on again" (no matter which of the plugs was pulled, mains or otherwise).
Sounds like I'll have to unsolder the modulator to let it wing its way back to you, unless you can let us know what component(s) to change (if that can be done at all without high-end equipment).
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 22:36, 29 June 11
I sent you a PM. This issue needs to be solved.

Bryce.
Title: Re^2: Distortion
Post by: OCT on 00:31, 30 June 11
I sent you a PM. This issue needs to be solved.
Thanks. I just wanted to try and make sure it's not anything related to my setup around here, such as the S-Video cable, some kind of noise or ripple from the power supply interfering with the chroma quadrature modulation, or simply a French CPC oddity.

I'll attach a video as soon as I've figured out how to make VLC save it as a .mpg usable in Windows Media Player and below the 2 MB size limit...
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: rave_dj on 19:13, 12 July 11
Hi. I´m rave_dj and I rarely post anything, but I love to read all post because so many times I can learn (or remember) something. My first amstrad was a CPC464 back in 1986. In 1988 I could get a CPC 6128; and from 1990 to present I work mainly with PCs.
I´ve also read various retro hardware spanish forums (amstradcpc, zonadepruebas, amstrad.es...) and some blogs.

And with the introducing finished, I´m interested in one of these modulators, but with composite output. I know, I know... I arrived late. But If the solder industry starts again, I´d love get one of these but with composite.

I have a 464, 472, 664, 6128, 464+ and 6128+ besides 2 monitors: GT65 and CTM644 (haven´t any for the pluses), but It will be great to use them in a bigger screen.

Surely you have noticed my awful english, sorry  :-[



Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 22:03, 12 July 11
Hi Rave_dj,
      just sent you a PM....

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: arnoldemu on 11:14, 13 July 11
Hi. I´m rave_dj ...
Welcome to cpc wiki forums!

Your English is fine. I understood you well!

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: al on 11:46, 14 July 11
i really really really want a composite adaptor for my 6128! s-video and scart are very rare in australia!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 12:14, 14 July 11
Hi al,
     the AD724 Modulator gives a very good S-Video picture, but a mediocre (typically crap) composite picture. There are several alternative ways to get a composite signal, the easiest being to convert an MP1/2 to composite output (if you have one of these).
More info here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/LCD_And_Plasma_TV_Solution (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/LCD_And_Plasma_TV_Solution)
If you don't have an MP1/2, there are further (less simple) solutions available. Register an account and send me a PM, then I can give you more details of all the conection methods.

Bryce.   
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: RockRiver on 19:01, 17 November 12
Hi!! Bryce and all...
Sorry if this is a little off topic.
That I want is the "vice versa" S-Video to RGB. Maybe I must write a new post about it.


My intention is to connect a commodore [ups!!, one of the eternal rivals] C64c (s-video able) to an Amstrad/Schneider CTM-644 monitor.
[But, mates, this is a CPC forum and CTM 644 is a CPC monitor  :P ]
In all Net I didn`t find anything about s-video to RGB.


Is impossible to make that or only crazy? 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: TotO on 22:11, 17 November 12
Better to plug it on a CRT TV with S-Video IN.
Better display, better picture, and cheaper solution.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: TFM on 02:48, 18 November 12
Of course. And no waste of Amstrad hardware ;)
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 16:44, 18 November 12
Converting RGB+Sync to S-Video is simple, there are many ICs that do everything for you. Converting S-Video back to RGB is a completely different story and very complicated. There are devices that will do it for you, but you'll probably pay alot for them. Unfortunately none of the VIC II graphic chips output RGB anywhere, the picture is already converted to Colour / Luminance signals internally, so there's nowhere on the C64 PCB to acquire the RGB and sync signals you need.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: RockRiver on 11:40, 19 November 12
I found that:

Composite S-Video to Video RGB Sync On Green Converter (http://www.ambery.com/costorgrgbco.html)

Yes, expensive... and I would see inside of it (which ICs...)


And another questions:
Could I transform easy or connect RGsB to normal CTM-644 RGB and syncro?
I could solder Gs to Green and to Syncro pins of CTM connector and would work?  ::) 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 12:09, 19 November 12
Unfortunately not. The output of this device is Component Video, not RGBS. This couldn't be connected to a CTM-644. As far as the ICs inside are concerned. There are no dedicated S-Video to RGB converter ICs, so I suspect there's an FPGA and a mixture of analogue ICs inside.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: RockRiver on 17:29, 19 November 12

Thanks for answer, Bryce, but sorry, I think you are wrong... this device has RGsB out option too. It's a RGB option but with Sync + Green on same wire (a Sony invention ? ). My question is now about how to separate this Green & Sync junction.
Maybe CTM-644 is strong and I would connect Green+Sync from RGsB to Green and Sync pins on CTM, to both. Interference then on green?
Or maybe use a Sync separator ic as LM1881N 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 17:40, 19 November 12
That's exactly what I said in different words :) The Sync is on the Green signal, so you can't connect it to a CTM644. You would need to seperate the Sync and this is also not an easy task. You would need a further (possibly expensive) device to do this. You could possibly do it by building one yourself using the LM1881, but the LM1881 is expecting a complete Composite video signal, so I have no idea how it would react when it just gets Green-Sync. It also only outputs the V-Sync signal, whereas the CTM needs a CSync signal (H+V Sync Combined).

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: RockRiver on 17:25, 10 December 12
Thanks Bryce for your answers...
I have the solution for C64 s-video on CTM644 -----> a second hand DVD recorder [s-video to RGB] Yeahhh!!!![size=78%] [/size]
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 17:27, 10 December 12
That will work, but isn't it rather large?

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Devilmarkus on 18:06, 10 December 12
That will work, but isn't it rather large?

When you remove the C64, it isn't!  :P
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Munchausen on 23:22, 18 December 12
I built this circuit on strip board and just couldn't get it to work. I was sure it was the capacitor value for the crystal but whatever I did I would just get a fuzzy black and white image.


I decided the problem might be that the strips in the strip board are providing too much latent capacitance - so I made them as short as possible, and still no luck.


At this point I gave up completely and built an RGB SCART cable, which works perfectly.


It was just after I got the SCART cable working that I realised what was going on. It was the latent capacitance in the strip board - but because the AD724 is surface mount I had mounted it on its own little daughter/breakout board, which I also made with strip board, and I forgot to cut the lines on there! Now it all works perfectly... and I guess I now have two options for connecting displays to my CPC!


So, for those that build this themselves on stripboard, beware: The traces attached to pin 3 where the oscillator connects must be as short as possible, so make sure not to have traces heading off to nowhere as is typical in strip/vero board circuits!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 13:08, 19 December 12
Yes, the 4.7pf capacitance and the crystal tracks are critical. Anything that increases the capacitance in this area will cause the AD724 to start up improperly and give a pretty shit picture. I think you are the first to have made your own though :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 15:59, 19 December 12
Well, look at his nick, for all we know this is a tall tale :D

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Munchausen on 17:29, 19 December 12
Heh, well spotted. But no, it's true!


Maybe I'll post some pictures later, though it's all a bit messy - I accidentally broke off part of the board and had to solder the tracks back together, and the surface mount 'adapter' I built is also not ideal.. I made that bit around 10 years ago when I got a couple of AD724s as samples but never ended up using them.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 17:39, 19 December 12
Oh, we've seen plenty of messy boards here :D Do show us! :)

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Munchausen on 20:15, 19 December 12
Ok, here ya go...


You can see the crack in the strip board where I broke it, and also the hole in the 'daughter board' which I drilled to reduce the length of the track going to pin 3 (I couldn't be bothered to unsolder the whole thing, cut the track and put it back again).


It's only wired for composite, but it would be very simple to add s-video. I might make another couple at some point and will probably do a much better job next time (at least I'd hope so).


The wires going off to the left are the inputs (Sync, GND, R, G, B, in that order top to bottom), and the two wires going off towards the top of the photo from the left of the board are for power. In the second photo you can see there are a few components underneath the daughter board too, which saves some space.

I'll mount it inside my CPC when I find time.

EDIT: I just noticed these pictures are rather large to view in the forum... so you should click on them and then right click and hit view image to see them properly.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 22:50, 19 December 12
For a strip board build it's very good, well built. But these type of circuits (frequency critical analogue circuits) definitely shouldn't be done on strip boards. You're just asking for trouble. Congratulations on getting it working though.

I didn't think anything of your Nickname, other than the fact that you possibly live in Munchausen? Besides, if you meant the Syndrom, you would have written it properly: Münchausen or Muenchausen.

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: TFM on 23:17, 19 December 12
... you would have written it properly: Münchausen or Muenchausen.


Nope :-*  Münchhausen ;-)
 
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieronymus_Carl_Friedrich_von_M%C3%BCnchhausen (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieronymus_Carl_Friedrich_von_M%C3%BCnchhausen)
 
 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 23:24, 19 December 12
Oops, yeah, two Hs, it was actually the Umlaut that I meant :D And actually I think the place is spelt Munshausen anyway :D because it's Letzebuergesch, isn't it?

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: TFM on 00:11, 20 December 12
Dunno, just remember his name Münchhausen. Well, the crippling of the German spelling can't touch persons names at least *hehe*
 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Munchausen on 02:32, 20 December 12

Thanks for the positive comments :)

And yes, I've missed the umlaut and possibly otherwise misspelled it... TBH it's more a reference to the film that I watched as a kid as anything else.. as it happens the man for whom the film is named is also the source of the name for the condition. The film was amusing and therefore I thought the name was kind of funny, and then found that the man and his tall tales also seemed quite silly. And it's quite good as an interweb name because it's fairly different but not so different that you can find all my posts by searching for it!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 11:30, 20 December 12
So you don't live in Luxembourg? :D

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: TFM on 18:13, 20 December 12
I think it's a well choosen pseudo, the slight alteration just makes it unique.
 
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Munchausen on 12:29, 21 December 12
So you don't live in Luxembourg? :D

Bryce.


Nope, guess again! :P
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 13:48, 21 December 12
Well seeing as I can check your real name and your I.P. address, it's not exactly a challenge :D

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Munchausen on 16:23, 21 December 12
But that wont tell you where I'm from, only roughly where I am, and wont necessarily get you my real name.

But I'm still going to call you a spoil sport!
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: arnoldemu on 16:51, 21 December 12
But that wont tell you where I'm from, only roughly where I am, and wont necessarily get you my real name.

But I'm still going to call you a spoil sport!
Your profile gives your country away and the region.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 13:54, 24 December 12
Actually, your Facebook page gives up quite a lot :)

(hey, I think I visited your home town on a weekend break from a business trip to Basingstoke...)

Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Munchausen on 05:50, 25 December 12
Actually my home town is, like Bryce I think, in Ireland - don't believe everything you read on the internet! This really wasn't supposed to be such a competition though... it's just a forum name. And of course you guys are admins, so you can see my email address!


Merry Christmas CPC users!


Edit: Having said that my parents have lived near Basingstoke for quite a long time now... but we are from County Kerry
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: beaker on 12:26, 25 December 12
(hey, I think I visited your home town on a weekend break from a business trip to Basingstoke...)

Oh dear, you had to suffer Basingstoke. My old offices were there in Hatch Warren, the only good thing thing was we had the Portsmouth Arms pub through the car park of the offices. I managed 6 months there before moving over to County Limerick  :laugh:
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Bryce on 15:22, 25 December 12
the only good thing thing was we had the Portsmouth Arms pub through the car park of the offices. I managed 6 months there before moving over to County Limerick  :laugh:

6 Months in a pub is a seriously impressive session! No wonder you needed a break in Limerick after that :D

Nollaig Shona Daoibh to all the Irish / semi-Irish here :)

Bryce.
Title: Re: Who's interested in having an S-Video Modulator?
Post by: Gryzor on 20:31, 25 December 12
Quote from: Munchausen
Actually my home town is, like Bryce I think, in Ireland - don't believe everything you read on the internet! This really wasn't supposed to be such a competition though... it's just a forum name. And of course you guys are admins, so you can see my email address!


Merry Christmas CPC users!


Edit: Having said that my parents have lived near Basingstoke for quite a long time now... but we are from County Kerry
Well, I also found your bio somewhere, but it doesn't matter, does it? I think I could get the info without your email address, though it helped confirm some things.

But I don't want you to feel weird. It's not like anyone's going around snooping in other people's details, it was just for the fun and the challenge of it. I only track users I suspect of causing trouble, with the rest 99% of us I'm just happy to know where they're logging in from, as a matter of curiosity :) I actually already forgot it all, to tell you the truth. So your real, insane identity is safe.

(just looking around, I happened upon a site that not only gives you the code you're living in, but also presents you with a list of other people living at the same coordinates. Spooky).