If you’re working with a CGA, EGA, or RGB gaming system this inexpensive board does a great job of converting the signal to VGA so that you can play using a modern display. But what if you have a SCART connector as an output? That’s the situation in which [EverestX] found himself so he hacked in SCART support.
The first step is to source a female SCART connector. He grabbed a coupler off of eBay and cracked it open, yielding two connectors. Now comes the wiring and you may have already noticed that there’s a lot more going on here than the color channels, sync signal, and ground. Technically that’s all you really need to make this happen, but the results will not be good. First off, the sync signal for SCART tends to be rather awful. That’s where the blue breakout board comes into play. [EverestX] used an LM1881 to grab the composite sync (yes, composite sync, not component sync) signal as a feed for the VGA converter. He also added in an audio jack for the sound that is coming through the connector.
[Alan] posted a video tour of his electronics shop, but you’ll be viewing it through the green screen of an oscilloscope. The image above is a video camera filming a scope screen which displays the image of…. an oscilloscope (insert your own Yo Dawg meme here). But first he shares the technique he uses to display composite video on an oscilloscope screen.
The first three minutes of the video after the break are devoted to the video display hack. He starts with a glimpse of the breadboard circuit which takes the composite video signal and provides the necessary X, Y, and Z input signals to the scope to perform like this. He then walks through each portion of the schematic, which is based on an LM1881 video sync separator chip. The horizontal and vertical sync signals are separated by this chip, then filtered to produce ramp voltages for each to drive X and Y. The Z-axis is fed through a simple inverter circuit; Bob’s your uncle and your oscilloscope is now a TV monitor.
Of course this is not the first time this has been done. But we loved [Alan’s] presentation, and thought the shop tour was a fun way to finish off the video.
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People always want to do more with less and the Video Experimenter Shield is no exception. Consisting of an LM1881 video sync separator, a handful of passive components, and a stylish PCB in the standard Arduino shield footprint.
The board features simple but useful controls and features, a removable jumper allows you to select a sync source, either from incoming video or the Arduino, a potentiometer to adjust the analog threshold, and there is a convenient signal breakout header.
Software is an enhanced version of the popular TV out library and allows you to start off with video graphics overlay, closed caption decoding, a simple gun game, and basic, but still effective frame capture, and computer vision. Of course, there are all sorts of other fun and amusing experiments that start to pop in mind once you check out a quick demo video after the break.
Continue reading “Video Experimenter Shield”