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ColecoVision/ADAM HDMI, COMPONENT VIDEO, S-Video, and using PC controllers


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#26 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 12:23 PM

I mostly copy and paste from Word and well try and improve on the font size. If you have questions about any history or facts being wrong then please bring what appears to be in error to my attention. Some people surfing the web might like some brief history.


Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Oct 6, 2017 12:25 PM.


#27 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 12:33 PM

Here is some interesting information regarding the HDMI F18a upgrade on the ColecoVision that some people might find useful.  ColecoVision Upgrades and Sales website link

 

Quotes from email communication from ColecoVision Upgrades and Sales

 

“The HDMI mod is just a F18a with an off the shelf scalar built into the system. I haven't looked to see if it would fit in an ADAM, but you could probably just install the F18a into the ADAM and use an external scalar if not.”

 

“The expansion module 3 does work with the F18a and outputs to either VGA or HDMI depending on which mod the colecovision has.”

 

“The Expansion module 1 requires the external video port on the expansion module that gets muxed with the video output from the VDP. Since the VDP is removed with the F18a and the VGA is coming straight off the F18a, there is no way to get the video from the EM1 to the F18a VGA. Now if you use a VGA mod, you can still use the RF box for the EM1. When I install the HDMI mod, I have to remove the RF box, so the composite mod is necessary for the EM1.”

 

“The F18a removes the ability to paly coleco games for RF,composite or S-Video, since the VDP is removed. So you would have to either do one or the other.”

 

“I haven't thought about making the HDMI a kit as it requires a lot of modification to the case to make the components fit.”

 

 

I also really like this factory new ColecoVision board with HDMI output that might be released soon.

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/265958-collectorvision-game-system/


Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Oct 6, 2017 12:47 PM.


#28 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 1:52 PM

Reserved for information about the S-Video kit and the coming soon new component video and RGB kit for the ColecoVision. I will edit this post later with details.



#29 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 3:11 PM

Reserved for information about the S-Video kit and the coming soon new component video and RGB kit for the ColecoVision. I will edit this post later with details.

That's right one only has a maximum of one hour to edit a post.



#30 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 3:14 PM

Information about the S-Video conversion for the ColecoVision (plus a possible future component video and RGB kit)

 

The advantage of the 4-pin S-Video jack modification on the ColecoVision is that the Y Luminance (brightness) and C Chrominance (Color) information in the video signal is kept separate to offer a better picture quality over composite video. A display that offers an S-Video input will bypass the TV’s comb filter. With the lower quality composite video the Y/C information is combined on one 75-ohm RCA cable and requires the display to use its comb filer to separate the Y/C information. The EBAY dealer that is offering the S-Video upgrade is using a lm318 to provide true native Y/C separation from the ColecoVision video chip. In theory the Expansion Module #1 Atari 2600 adapter should work with S-Video, but that has not been verified yet.

 

The EBAY dealer is planning on in the future coming out with a new component video modification for the ColecoVision and also a RGB modification. There overall goal is to have a kit in the future that puts out everything (possible Component video, RGB, and S-Video in one kit). Its unknown if these kits will work with the standalone ADAM since they were designed for the ColecoVision (Worse case scenario standalone ADAM owners might want to purchase a ColecoVision and the Expansion Module #3 ADAM computer if the standalone ADAM is not upgradable).  Currently the EBAY company offers a combination RGB and S-video upgrade kit for the SNES system for only $15.  Therefore soon ColecoVision owners will most likely have a wide selection of video upgrade options to choose from several different companies (Various companies and indivudals will be offering HDMI, VGA, RGB, Component video, S-Video, and composite video for the ColecoVision).   

 

The following are select word for word quotes from the EBAY dealer

 

The lines are physically separated from each other for s video. For composite it's left together. Both instances using a lm318 to get the signal in line.”

 

“I'm currently working on how to convert the wonky component signal on the coleco to real component and then to rgb. I have a component to rgb schematic but the design won't work without doing tons of math to fix the other part.”

 

“If you have a CRT with component jacks you can just pass the lines right out of the TMS chip. Or buffer with a THS7314 that was you can set 75ohm impedance.”

 

“I have no idea about the Adam. I'm all over the place lately. Next to be tested is a 3DO rgb kit and two newer revions of the snes mini and n64 kits but with 7374 instead of the 7314/6. Which will let me set proper 75 ohm c sync and ttl sync.”

 

“Those will be here in a few days. Then I'm going to really hammer the coleco and come up with an open source solution to proper component and rgb. There is an old schematic for the sc-3000 that outlines basically what is needed to do a kit like that.”

 

“The overall goal here would be to have a kit that puts out everything”


Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Oct 6, 2017 3:23 PM.


#31 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:51 PM

Information on how to improve the picture and sound quality on ones ColecoVision and ADAM system

 

This information might be common knowledge for those that have owned their ColecoVision or ADAM for decades. However, this brief post contains some useful information on what needs to be done to improve the picture and sound quality on a ColecoVision and ADAM system. After years of using a ColecoVision/ADAM emulation program on a desktop PC with a HDMI output. I finally got around to digging my old 1982 ColecoVision and 1983 ADAM computer out of storage. To my surprise both systems after around 35 years work perfectly fine.

 

How to improve the existing RF channel 3 and 4 output on the ColecoVision and ADAM computer

 

The original RCA to RCA cable with TV switch box that came with both the ColecoVision and standalone ADAM computer is poor quality. The cable is not shielded and the cable is too long (Some video RF interference and scratchy audio can occur). Many people have complained over the years about the poor quality of the RF channel 3 and channel 4 output. However, there is a solution to improve the picture and sound quality over RF channel 3 and 4.  The solution is to stop using the original TV switch box and original Coleco long unshielded cable and to switch to a very short shielded cable. The shorter the cable the better the picture quality will be in the analog world. Almost 100% of all modern TV’s since the 90’s use a standard 75 ohm F antenna connector. A F-type Coax Plug to RCA female jack adapter and a high quality 3 foot shielded RG-6U cable with two RCA male connectors on the end  will greatly improve the RF modulators channel 3 and 4 output quality. One can use longer cable lengths like 6 or 12 feet if needed, however again the shorter the cable the better the picture and sound quality. My original ColecoVision with its RF channel 3 and 4 output looks and sounds much better with the solution mentioned above. However, the composite video output on the standalone ADAM looks much better then RF channel 3 and 4.

 

Using the native composite video and audio output on the standalone ADAM computer

 

The ColecoVision which was released in August of 1982 only came with a RF channel 3 and 4 output and with no composite video outputs. This was the norm for all or most videogame systems in 1982 since composite video jacks on TV sets were rare. Around October of 1983, both the Expansion module #3 ADAM computer and the standalone ADAM computer was released (The Expansion module #3 ADAM computer became available a few months before the standalone ADAM computer was released at Montgomery Wards). Since the ColecoVision only has a RF channel 3 and 4 output, that also means the Expansion module #3 ADAM also only offers RF channel 3 and 4 output. Around the 1983 or 1984 time period there was at least one third party company that started offering a composite video with audio upgrade kit for the ColecoVision (Might have been between $30-$50 if one installed it themselves using their own soldering skills). I use to have a ColecoVision in the 80’s with this composite video modification that matched the picture quality of the standalone ADAM computer (However, I sold that ColecoVision to someone in the late 80’s). The standalone ADAM computer has RF channel 3 and 4 output, and two composite video outputs. The one composite video output uses a standard RCA video cable that is easy to find and purchase. However to get both composite video with audio on the standalone ADAM computer Coleco decided to use a 7 pin DIN connector which required a special Coleco composite video and audio cable. Back in 1983-1985 this cable was rare and consumers were just starting to buy television sets with composite video inputs. Shortly after 1985 many third party companies started making a Coleco ADAM compatible video and audio DIN cable. It would have been better if Coleco would have just placed a standard audio RCA jack on the back of the ADAM instead of going with the 7 pin DIN plug design (I believe that only 4 pins are used on the 7 pin din connector). Coleco already had a RCA video output on the back of the ADAM, and it would have been really easy to place a RCA audio jack on the back instead of the DIN jack. The RF channel 3 and 4 output, composite video RCA output, and composite video with audio over a DIN cable can be used at the exact same time (Its nice that all 3 outputs are active at the exact same time). I do remember going to a Library in the 80’s where the local ADAM computer groups met every month. At that Library they had two 27 inch NEC TV/monitors with composite video input jacks. When setting up the standalone ADAM computer for the monthly ADAM group I would wire both TV’s for composite video output since the standalone ADAM has two separate composite video outputs (Then audio would go to one of the monitors audio inputs and with the monitors audio output jack the speakers in the second monitor in the room would receive the audio signal also). There are ADAM dealers like ADAM House and others that make a special DIN composite video cable with audio. However if one is having a hard time finding these special Coleco ADAM Video/Audio cables, then there are websites that show people how to make this unique cable. For the RCA composite video output with no audio a high quality 3 foot shielded RG-6U cable with two RCA male connectors on the end  will offer the best picture quality (6 and 12 feet will also work but in the analog world the longer the cable, the potential for a lower quality picture becomes a reality, so one should keep the cable length as short as possible).

 

Some additional tips when using the twp separate composite video outputs on the standalone ADAM computer

 

I noticed a nice improvement in both picture and audio quality on the standalone ADAM computer when using the special ADAM DIN composite video with audio cable when compared to the RF channel 3 and 4 output. However, for some reason I got an improved composite video quality on the dedicated ADAM composite monitor video output jack when compared to the Aux Video DIN jack. I tried around six different ADAM House brand video and audio DIN cables and with all six cables I got a very small faint horizontal scrolling video noise line that was not present on the ADAM’s dedicated RCA composite video output jack. I tried more than one standalone ADAM computer and was able to duplicate the results. In the future, I might purchase another brand of Audio/Video DIN cable just in case the ADAM’s House cables are lower quality. However, it appears that the ADAM’s RCA composite video output when used with a high quality RG6 shielded cable, offers a better picture quality when compared to the Coleco ADAM’s DIN plug option. Therefore I currently have my standalone ADAM computer hooked up to a 27 inch 4:3 1080i HDTV using the audio from the DIN cable and I am getting the video from the better quality composite RCA output, which ends up producing the best possible video and audio from a unmodified 1983 standalone ADAM computer.

 

Verified problems using the Expansion module #1 Atari 2600 adapter on a standalone ADAM computer

 

When using the Expansion module #1 ATARI 2600 adapter on the ColecoVision and the standalone ADAM computer system, both the audio level and clarity is perfectly fine coming out of RF channel 3 and 4. However as soon as one uses the dedicated higher quality composite video with audio output located on the standalone ADAM computer, the picture quality is improved, however the audio quality is terrible for ATARI 2600 games. To hear the audio I literally needed to turn the audio on the CRT TV all the way up to maximum volume, but then the audio was distorted. The distortion was not coming from the TV, I turned the audio down on the TV a few notches so that I could barely hear the audio coming out of the speakers, but the audio was still distorted. On some lower end CRT’s with lower quality speakers the audio can hardly be heard at all. I know this is a technical problem that Coleco has on all the standalone ADAM’s when using the ATARI 2600 adapter, however I also remember someone mentioning that there was a 21st Century hardware modification that could be made to the circuit board so that the audio level and distortion issue can be completely fixed. I think it has something to do about de-soldering the DIN plug audio wire on the circuit board, and then moving and soldering the audio wire to the exact same audio path where the RF modulator receives the audio (It’s too bad Coleco never fixed this bug during the ADAM computers brief 1983-1985 production life).

 

My future plans is to improve the picture quality on the ColecoVision/ADAM using a third party hardware modification with or without a professional upgrade service

 

So far I have never experienced an actual real ColecoVision or ADAM computer with anything better than composite video (Using an emulation program with HDMI on a Windows PC does not count, but that is the type of picture quality I would like to achieve one day from an actual Coleco system). At the time of this post, the only two upgrade kits available for the ColecoVision is composite video and a S-Video upgrade option. S-Video is an improvement over composite video and I do have an old 27 inch 1080i CRT from around the year 2005 with two S-Video inputs. However, that TV also has two 1080i component video inputs (plus many old CRT SDTV’s from the early 21st Century have 480i component video inputs). Therefore, on that TV, getting the ColecoVision upgraded to component video would be an improvement over the S-Video upgrade option. However, the problem is the component video kit is now out of production and the same company that offers the S-Video upgrade is planning on sometime coming out with a component video option for the ColecoVision. I also have an old CRT computer monitor that accepts RGB input, however the RGB video option does not exist yet on the ColecoVision. The same company that makes the S-Video upgrade kit might in the future also start offering a RGB video upgrade kit (And possible one kit that puts out everything like RGB, Component Video, and S-Video). The best quality upgrade option is the F18A video board that allows the ColecoVision and standalone ADAM to have a high quality VGA and HDMI output. However, the problem is the F18A video board is out of stock and people are waiting for another batch to be made. I like the following website where one can get their ColecoVision modified for HDMI and with composite video for ATARI 2600 games.  Therefore, one day if the F18a video board sees another run, I might seriously spend $270 to get my ColecoVision modified for both HDMI and composite video for the ATARI 2600 games (S-Video if it’s offered). They might also offer an ADAM computer HDMI upgrade option one day.

 

So the reality is as of October 11th 2017, the HDMI video conversion, VGA video conversion, RGB video conversion, and component video conversion is not a reality for the ColecoVision/ADAM for various reasons (out of stock, out of production, or a future upgrade kit that is released in the future). Now I could spend $55 for the S-Video conversion for the ColecoVision, however I am patient and would rather wait for the HDMI conversion option to become a reality.


Edited by HDTV1080P, Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:10 PM.


#32 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:40 PM

Important audio tip for the ADAM computer and mono videogame systems that are hooked up to stereo TV/monitors

 

On most stereo TV/Monitors if one connects the mono RCA audio output from the ADAM computer or any videogame system with a mono RCA output, to a stereo TV/Monitor. Then 99.9% of the time, that mono RCA output should be connected to the left audio input on the stereo TV/Monitor, A/V receiver, or A/V switch box. Most stereo TV/Monitors have software that will internally split the mono audio signal out of both the left and right speakers if the mono signal comes into the left audio jack (The TV/Monitor detects nothing plugged into the right audio jack and activates the internal mono splitter). However, on a few rare older stereo TV/Monitors, one may need to purchase a RCA audio Y adapter to hear the mono sound coming from both speakers, since the TV/Monitors internal software was not designed to split the mono source into two mono channels.   


Edited by HDTV1080P, Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:12 PM.


#33 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:49 PM

Hmm. Interesting stuff. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

 

Since the F18A bypasses the RF stage of the ColecoVision, would it not be possible to route the 2600 expansion module composite line straight back, possibly through a simple transistor-based amplifier, to the RCA jack on the back of the CV, turning it into a composite jack? At least that way one could switch over monitor inputs and still use the module. One could either gut the RF module to change it to composite, or (possible pointlessly) sneak the composite line into the traces where the old CV video met the RF stage so that the RF output would still work.


Edited by towmater, Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:50 PM.


#34 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:11 PM

  The answer to your question is found in post number 27. When the F18a is used the original VDP is removed, and some of the ColecoVision upgrade services offer a option where the VGA modification is for ColecoVision/ADAM software and the RF output is modified to use only with Expansion module #1 the Atari 2600 adapter. However on the ColecoVision HDMI upgrade the RF box has to be removed to make room for the video upscaler, so the better quality composite modification only works with the Expansion module #1 (Maybe even the S-Video modification might work for the ATARI 2600 but that would need to be verified).

 

I understand what you are saying, instead of placing an external video port on the expansion module #1 that is later muxed with the VDP, somehow internally do the traces. I do not have the answer to this question. You would need to email the company online that does both the HDMI and VGA conversions (They are good at answering detailed questions, however like everyone else they are out of stock on the F18a board).

 

I wish there was someway for the ColecoVision or ADAM to emulate a Expansion module #1 in software so that the HDMI output would work with 2600 games. How about changing the Atari 2600 module chipset so that it works with the F18a?     


Edited by HDTV1080P, Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:15 PM.


#35 SiLic0ne t0aD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:15 AM

Guys, please do Not send anything to Crayola the Crayon King on eBay to be modded! Coincidentally, I just saw a couple videos earlier today by both RetroRGB and Voultar that revealed this guy's shoddy mod work and business practices.. Sending anything to this person is terrible idea, but thats on you if you want to take the chance. See for yourself here in these two videos.





I wouldn't waste your time with Composite or Svideo anyways, just be patient for the next batch of F18a's by Matthew and order one when this next batch comes in. If displaying VGA is a problem, just get a VGA to HDMI converter and be done with it.. You'll be future-proofed and better off in the long run. I'm sure Yurkie and other respected modders here on AA would be happy to install the F18a for you if it's not something you feel comfortable doing yourself. Good luck. ;)

#36 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:18 AM

Hmm. Interesting stuff. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
 
Since the F18A bypasses the RF stage of the ColecoVision, would it not be possible to route the 2600 expansion module composite line straight back, possibly through a simple transistor-based amplifier, to the RCA jack on the back of the CV, turning it into a composite jack? At least that way one could switch over monitor inputs and still use the module. One could either gut the RF module to change it to composite, or (possible pointlessly) sneak the composite line into the traces where the old CV video met the RF stage so that the RF output would still work.

My understanding is the f18a upgrade doesn't touch the existing expansion port audio/video and rf modulator. Some people optionally remove the rf modulator to make room for an internal vga-hdmi converter. You could just use an external vga-hdmi converter. If you don't like rf, you could also do an AV modification on the expansion port beside the f18a upgrade.

#37 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:17 AM

I recently completed installing an ElectronicSentimentalities S-video mod in an Exp. Mod. #1, but am not entirely happy with the quality of the image.  Nothing wrong with the mod board, it's just that I would like better than S-video can provide.  So, my next plan is try and install one of Tim Worthington's RGB kits and use an OSSC to give me HDMI output.  I have an LCD monitor with both VGA and HDMI inputs.  So, this way I can use my F18A modded CV to output VGA for playing ColecoVision games and the RGB modded Exp. Mod. #1 and OSSC combo to output HDMI to play Atari 2600 games.

 

Overkill maybe, expensive yes, but I get a lot of fun from trying out these things and if I can get it all to work then I'll have even more fun playing the games.



#38 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:08 AM

I wouldn't waste your time with Composite or Svideo anyways, just be patient for the next batch of F18a's by Matthew and order one when this next batch comes in.


Just to add to this -- Matt usually does a run based on the size of his pending list, so if you want one, don't just wait, also drop Matt a note that you want to waitlist for one.




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