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MSX – VGA/HDMI Output

My Sony Hit Bit F1-XD either outputs Composite video via standard RCA plugs or 15khz RGB video via an 8-pin DIN cable. Video quality is poor (at best) via Composite on my LCD, so I purchased an RGB to SCART cable from eBay. Due to this being Australia, I also needed to convert this new SCART plug to something more useful.

The first two failures...

I can guarantee that the following two adapters just don't work. They seem to only convert standard composite video from the SCART and disregard the RGB signals. The worst part is that I able to randomly get video from them... Plugging/unplugging and powering-on/powering-off the devices had the MSX display briefly (but never correctly) on my TV and I therefore kept trying to get them going. In the end they are just not the right components.

Note: It seems that, after reading and learning of the GBS8200 below, the CSYNC from these old consoles is 4.6v which is too high for standard converter chipsets. These devices may well work correctly if you put a 680ohm resistor in-line.

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If you see anything like these on eBay, then be very careful. Most of them are knock-offs and you can't be sure that they will work with your retro device that outputs RGB.

Just quickly, here's the composite quality...

For all future references, this is what you'll have to deal with on a new TV if you're using the composite input.

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Now onto the conversion!

SDV500

This SDV500 adapter found on eBay, although looking frighteningly similar to the first one above, does work. It even mentions in the description that it'll support the 15khz RGB signal that my MSX (and Amiga 1200, now that I think of it) outputs. I asked the seller, prior to purchase, how his product differs from the first one above and he told me that he couldn't guarantee what the one above contains internally; whereas his was guaranteed to work.

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It arrived and looked slightly different to my first chinese-knock-off. I hooked it all together and crossed my fingers.

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Well ... YES!

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Extremely crispy. Acrually, there's a weird 'sparkle' to it where the pixels seem a little noisy... I'm not fussed. The output is great.

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The best part about this upscaling is the ability to read filenames in multimente.

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GBS8200

Work in progress...
This GBS8200 (also found on eBay) is really meant for arcade machines, but works perfectly for us as well. I purchased a 8-pin DIN plug from Jaycar and made my own RGB->VGA cable to connect everything up.

Ian Stedman has written up a huge post on this device, specifically mentioning how to enhance it. I'll need to mod it to support SCART. A LM1881 can be found on eBay.

I'll get back to this component when I've tested it out.

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About stevenh

Trains... trains... trains... + Electronics + Japan.
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