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5-11under

Component Video mod for ColecoVision

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Hi there,

I'm almost ready to order some PCBs for a Component (YPbPr) video modification kit for the ColecoVision. Included will be:

Three RCA jacks (Green, Blue, Red) for Y, Pb, and Pr
Two RCA jacks (White, Red) for audio (same signal on both)
One RCA jack (Yellow) for Atari2600 Expansion module composite output
Mounting brackets for back of ColecoVision
Wires (7) to connect to the ColecoVision board
Five potentiometers to control the color
PCB with solder mask
Instructions in some form or other
Drilling instructions and/or template

The potentiometers are part of the mod PCB. These can be controlled from the back of the case, if you've drilled the associated holes. I'm not sure if all the potentiometers are required or not, but they're provided, in case of differences in the ColecoVision output and the television input.

This is a kit. You (or someone you know) will need to open the case, make holes in the back, modify the metal shielding around the ColecoVision PCB, connect some wires to the ColecoVision PCB, bolt the mod PCB to the back of the case, and close the case up again. The PCB will be fully assembled, by me, of course.

The PCB layout is nearly completed. Following that, I'll likely build one more prototype, based on the layout, to minimize risk (although it depends on how many are interested).

Pictures of the PCB and screen output to follow at some point.

The price will be $45 US via PayPal, including mailing to US and Canadian addresses. This is just an interest check at the moment. I'll set up a purchase thread when I'm ready for that stage. Reply (or PM) if you're interested in purchasing one (or more). Reply if you have any questions.

Thanks,
5-11under

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I recently tried myself to design and build a component video mod but it failed miserably and is now collecting dust :sad: 5-11under, I am delighted that you are much closer than I ever got and would certainly be interested in purchasing two to three kits from you.

Is this an NTSC only mod?

Can you post some example screen shots?

One of my issues was around game screens with large areas of a single colour (Magical Tree and Turbo's winter scene being examples) - one of my LCD TVs would always start to tear and jerk along the top third of the screen. I had assumed this was down to the output being overdriven and had intended adding more potentiometers to my design but, as stated above, I just never got round to it. Have you seen this issue?

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[quote name='Ikrananka' date='Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:30 PM' timestamp='1258493456' post='1880619']
I recently tried myself to design and build a component video mod but it failed miserably and is now collecting dust :sad: 5-11under, I am delighted that you are much closer than I ever got and would certainly be interested in purchasing two to three kits from you.

Is this an NTSC only mod?

Can you post some example screen shots?

One of my issues was around game screens with large areas of a single colour (Magical Tree and Turbo's winter scene being examples) - one of my LCD TVs would always start to tear and jerk along the top third of the screen. I had assumed this was down to the output being overdriven and had intended adding more potentiometers to my design but, as stated above, I just never got round to it. Have you seen this issue?
[/quote]

Hi Ikrananka,

I only have NTSC consoles. I'm running directly off of the TMS9928A's pins 35, 36, and 38. I'm guessing this would work just as well from a TMS9929A.

I'll post some pictures sometime, for sure.

No, I haven't seen the screen "tearing". One one TV, I have seen some "subpixels" (as I'll call them) flipping near the top of the screen. Not enough to make me go back to RF or composite.

Thanks,
5-11under

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Hi there,

I tried uploading some pictures, as described below, but I guess jpg files are not allowed. For now, see the attached zip files containing the pictures...

The first picture is a mock-up (emphasis on mock) of the PCB. The final version will have more RCA connectors and potentiometers, and look much better. It gives the idea, though, showing position of the RCA connectors, potentiometers, and mounting hardware.

The next pictures are of my TV, showing video results of the prototype. It looks like I need to add more smoothing, to get rid of the vertical lines that show up, when the colours should be solid. Once the proper boards come in, I'll work on that detail. Ignore the horizontal lines on the test pattern - there's an issue with the program that I haven't bothered fixing. These photos are not retouched at all.

Thanks,
5-11under

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Pictures resized:

The mock-up, vaguely showing the layout of the board (lots of stuff missing, but hopefully gets the idea across):
[img]http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/9047/1004404.png[/img]

Video images, resized and converted to PNG for easier viewing:
[img]http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/2392/1004409.png[/img]

[img]http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/5571/1004411.png[/img]

[img]http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/3255/1004407.png[/img]

Download the zip files if you need to see the full-size images.

I've added circuitry to the PCB layout to smooth the solid colours better (not shown yet).

The colours look pretty close to what I see on my TV (although the monitor you're looking at now is another variable). The colours could use some adjustment to saturate the yellows and other colours a bit. This is fully adjustable by the user. :)

Sorry if I'm spelling "colours" wrong ;)

Thanks,
5-11under

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Thanks for the interest so far!

I've shortened the wires between the ColecoVision and the prototype video mod, and have a somewhat cleaner picture. Here's a un-edited screen image:

[img]http://img186.imageshack.us/img186/4192/1004419.png[/img]

Now I need extension cables for the controllers. :)

Thanks,
5-11under

Edit: picture taken at 1/45 second exposure this time, rather than automatic.
Murph74, I'll think about offering installations, but it's a pain with shipping charges both ways. Edited by 5-11under

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I've done some tweaks to the PCB layout, to make it look as clean as possible. I've got some verification to do, after which I'll be ordering the boards. Delivery should be 1-2 weeks, so hopefully by the first week or two of December, I'll have the first proper one built. At this point, I'm hoping to mail out all the reserved ones by December 18 (2009). Payment won't be required until the boards are populated and tested.

I'll be buying at least a few extra boards, but if you make a reservation in this thread (or by PM if you prefer) by this Wednesday (Nov. 25), I'll make sure your reservation is fulfilled.

As an added incentive, anyone who reserves by Wednesday (or anytime before I order the boards - I'll post here when the deadline has passed) will get one free test cartridge, minus the casing (easily installed into an old Donkey Kong cartridge, for instance :) ). This will make it easier to perform any tweaking to the colours, if required. I'll think of an added incentive for anyone ordering two or more (like maybe a cartridge casing).

Thanks,
5-11under

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By the way, I've only been advertising these on AA so far...

Are there other places I should advertise?

What other consoles use the TMS9928A or TMS9929A, as opposed to the TMS9918A?

Thanks,
5-11under

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Looking very good - quite excited about this project.

Other websites I'd suggest advertising on are:

[url="http://www.ccjvq.com/"]http://www.ccjvq.com/[/url]

[url="http://www.digitpress.com/"]http://www.digitpress.com/[/url]

I'm sure there are others but those two spring to mind just now.

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It would be fantastic if you could add s-video to this. I am sure that would be tricky, but I thought I would throw that out there. Anyway, awesome job. I wish more classic consoles would get the component treatment. Count me in for a preorder. Thanks.

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[quote]
As an added incentive, anyone who reserves by Wednesday (or anytime before I order the boards - I'll post here when the deadline has passed) will get one free test cartridge, minus the casing ...
[/quote]


I want to reserve one now :)

Thanks!

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Sounds interesting, but I'm in Pal land.

Are you willing to ship to Europe?

Reading one of you previous post, it should work in a Pal Coleco, at least in theory, right? :?:

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[quote name='5-11under' date='Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:12 PM' timestamp='1259010727' post='1884023']
As an added incentive, anyone who reserves by Wednesday (or anytime before I order the boards - I'll post here when the deadline has passed) will get one free test cartridge, minus the casing (easily installed into an old Donkey Kong cartridge, for instance :) ). This will make it easier to perform any tweaking to the colours, if required. I'll think of an added incentive for anyone ordering two or more (like maybe a cartridge casing).
[/quote]
Okay - I'll reserve TWO please.

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[quote name='cubelindo' date='Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:53 PM' timestamp='1259016832' post='1884094']
Sounds interesting, but I'm in Pal land.

Are you willing to ship to Europe?

Reading one of you previous post, it should work in a Pal Coleco, at least in theory, right? :?:
[/quote]

Yes, it should work with PAL, as far as I can tell. Your ColecoVision can be the guinea pig. I'll give you a good deal if you get the mod done fairly quickly, and report the results. Any other PAL users who want to reserve one can do so, and we'll do the payment and shipping after cubelindo has reported back.

I'm a bit scared of sending to Spain, but I'll give it another shot; I think your postman has someone's copy of Squares! and JetPack. :)

Thanks,
5-11under

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[quote name='5-11under' date='Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:11 PM' timestamp='1259021480' post='1884135']
[quote name='cubelindo' date='Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:53 PM' timestamp='1259016832' post='1884094']
Sounds interesting, but I'm in Pal land.

Are you willing to ship to Europe?

Reading one of you previous post, it should work in a Pal Coleco, at least in theory, right? :?:
[/quote]

Yes, it should work with PAL, as far as I can tell. Your ColecoVision can be the guinea pig. I'll give you a good deal if you get the mod done fairly quickly, and report the results. Any other PAL users who want to reserve one can do so, and we'll do the payment and shipping after cubelindo has reported back.

I'm a bit scared of sending to Spain, but I'll give it another shot; I think your postman has someone's copy of Squares! and JetPack. :)

Thanks,
5-11under
[/quote]
Well if it does work with PAL units then I'd add another to my order for a total of THREE (I'd probably buy two to start with and add another later if I find it works okay on one of my PAL units). As well as my two NTSC units I have two PAL units that are packed away - my LCD TVs accept both NTSC and PAL inputs so the mod might work on all of my consoles which would be great :D Although I'd probably leave one of my PAL consoles unmodded for sentimental reasons - this being the one that I bought as a kid back in 1983.

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I would like to reserve a board, for use on a PAL Coleco. Promise that I will do the mod real quick and post the results:D

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How difficult is the installation going to be for this mod? Are the 7 solder points on large, easy to reach pads/pins? How much disassembly is required to reach the connection points?

Not looking for detailed pictures/descriptions, just a general idea so I can decide whether I'd be able to install this myself. Thanks!

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[quote name='boog' date='Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:17 PM' timestamp='1259079434' post='1884491']
How difficult is the installation going to be for this mod? Are the 7 solder points on large, easy to reach pads/pins? How much disassembly is required to reach the connection points?

Not looking for detailed pictures/descriptions, just a general idea so I can decide whether I'd be able to install this myself. Thanks!
[/quote]

Hi boog,

Here's the basic steps:

[list=1]
[*]Take the ColecoVision apart - 8(?) screws on the bottom, then "weasel" it apart - don't remove the front panel!
[*]Remove the shielding - two more screws, and likely either removing or desoldering some wire braid from the shielding.
[*]Removal of one inductor and two wire jumpers (and ideally desoldering the appropriate holes).
[*]Connecting 7 wires to the ColecoVision board: three at the video points opened up in the previous step, one for audio after temporarily popping open the lid of the RF modulator (most likely location), and three others for EM #1 (Atari2600) video, 5V and ground (best locations still to be determined).
[*]Drilling of the back panel of the ColecoVision case, to handle two mounting brackets, six RCA jacks, and if you like, 5 small holes for the trimmer potentiometers (also may require some clipping of some inner plastic that may be in the way) - some sort of template will be provided.
[*]Adjustments to the shielding - I still need to check this, but it will involve either cutting with tin snips or my preferred method of hacking with cutters and pliers, followed by covering up the edges with electrical tape.
[*]Installing the mod to the back of the case with the bolts provided.
[*]Putting everything back together.
[/list]
I think that's it. As you can see, there's still some details I need to figure out.

I'll document the installation of the first proper unit, with pictures and descriptions of the process and end result, which will become the installation instructions.

Thanks,
5-11under

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Is there any possibility of getting S-Video/composite output for Colecovision games on the board as well, for situations where a component ready device is not available?

I'm contemplating reserving one, I'm just not sure I want to commit to buying this yet.

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[quote name='Vectorman0' date='Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:41 PM' timestamp='1259088094' post='1884579']
Is there any possibility of getting S-Video/composite output for Colecovision games on the board as well, for situations where a component ready device is not available?

I'm contemplating reserving one, I'm just not sure I want to commit to buying this yet.
[/quote]

Hi Vectorman0,

There's other circuits out there for composite and I think S-Video, which you should perhaps consider, which don't even really need a PCB. The circuit I've made takes the three outputs directly from the Video Display Processor, and transform them into a YPbPr/Component signal with as little signal degradation or processing as possible.

Thanks,
5-11under

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