Generating Video With The PIC

[bekeband] recently came across an old industrial monitor. It’s small, monochrome, has a beautiful green phosphor, and does not accept a composite signal. Instead, there’s a weird TTL input with connectors for horizontal sync, vertical sync, and video. Intrigued, [bekeband] brought it home and started working on a project that would drive this monitor. He succeeded, and with a chip we don’t see much of on the Hackaday tips line: a 16-bit PIC.

The project uses the dsPIC30F3011, a strange little 16-bit PIC in a 40-pin package. The board for this build actually comes from an earlier build, and after connecting the horizontal sync, vertical sync, and video to this tiny board, [bekeband] started writing some code.

There are two programs written for this board. The first is a static image tester that displays a single image on the CRT. The second is one that displays a simple animation, in this case, a horse running in place. It’s not the fanciest project, but it does work, and even though [bekeband] isn’t using a high-speed ARM, he is getting a reasonably high resolution out of this chip.

Video below.

17 thoughts on “Generating Video With The PIC

        1. Grasshopper, the secret is not to avoid making mistakes, but to FIND and FIX your mistakes BEFORE you publish them! When done correctly, not only will your reputation increase, but you will also be less likely to make the same mistake a second time. Now, back to your training!

      1. I don’t get it, they said in the second paragraph he used a dsPIC30F3011 and linked to a data sheet showing that it is in fact a 16 bit pic, do you guys not even check for mistakes when calling others out on supposed mistakes?

        1. Here’s a modeline: “720×350-50” 16.257 720 729 864 882 350 351 367 369 -hsync +vsync

          For square pixels, scale down the pixel clock to 13MHz or so. All four inputs (HSYNC, VSYNC, VIDEO, DUAL) are TTL compatible.

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