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mysticpixels
03-22-2008, 02:05 AM
:help:

I have been looking for a good quality but reasonable priced way to connect my Amiga 2000 to a tv since all my 1080s died recently. Toastscan and Prevue adapters for multi-sync monitors seem to exspensive and too few available.

I wonder if thisAVerMedia AVerKey iMicro VGA Interface PC/Mac to TV Converter will this work along with the vga adapter from AmgaKit? Does anybody know if it will still allow the Video Toaster to sync up it's signal to the RGB output.

Thanks

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814100010

sigmason
03-22-2008, 02:51 AM
LOL, stop reading my mind :D

So I just got an Amiga 4000 from someone.
Used it for less then 1 hour when the 1084S-D1 literally went up in smoke on me.

So now I too am off in the search of the 'flicker fixer' and 'scan doubler'.
I am probably willing to spend the money however.
(Then again I'm also capable of repairing the monitor I have, if I can get the parts, I can get the service manual.)

If you just want to use the WorkBench again you could go over to www.softwarehut.com and get the adapter to plug a HD15 monitor into the Amiga's output. Only problem is that the Toaster, Toaster Flyer and most games will drop from any remotely compatible mode into NTSC/PAL again.

Our commerical options as I see it are:
Toastscan (apparently will be back on sale in late April 2008)
SyncStrainer (does not appear to the flicker fixer and doesn't like the flyer from what I've heard...)
CM-345S (around $200, but at least it's RGB in not NTSC/PAL)
(Beware, the above product comes in 2 versions.)
A video scaler with a SCART RGB input (you thought above was expensive?)
LCD TV with progressive scan doubler (some seem to work, but again NTSC/PAL only unless this is one expensive TV with SCART or RGB.)

The problem I see with the AverMedia box is that if you feed it the NTSC/PAL signal with an adapter (assuming you need the adapter) instead of RGB you'll loose output quality and from what I hear you'll loose it fast. Perhaps that's not a concern to you so much as being able to use it at all.

[WARNING GEEK SPEAK]
I'm wondering why so few people didn't get the DB23 and divide up the SCART output of the Amiga into it's parts. By doing this, you could at least rig a switch to get the VGA signal into a multisync monitor (and disconnect it if the video slips out of range) or the NTSC/PAL signal into a separate component input on a TV (and again disconnect it when the signals out of range.) Then again, I wonder why someone couldn't rig a controller to count the frequency of the sync and do the switch itself as some older/garbage monitors might not like the half sync and it could damage them. (Actually you could just use the syncs to clock up a counter and gate it with a timer and do the same thing I bet.)

I guess people just wanted a solution that's all in one. Seems like a waste though. With today's cheap TV 'monitors' having comb filters and everything else in them, I would think they would be superior for the NTSC/PAL output (though useless with 'hi-res' output.) So I would think (though I could be wrong) while having 2 monitors would be a space waster you'd get performance enhancements for the video of everything and not just rig the NTSC/PAL into something that's still not quite the right frequency by doubling it just so the monitor can display it with no optimization.
[/GEEK SPEAK]

Oh well, if I can be of service let me know.
In the meantime back to packing this Amiga back up.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-22-2008, 03:12 AM
http://www.connectworld.net/cgi-bin/hello-cables/scan/sf=code1/se=legacy/sf=code/se=legacy-amiga

Whats in that cable (WARNING, it's not just wires.)
http://www.epanorama.net/documents/vga2rgb/vgamonitor.html

Sorry, I just realized it will probably be hard to find the HDB15 adapter at SoftwareHut's site.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-22-2008, 05:26 AM
http://www.jrok.com/hardware/RGB.html

You may need this to get S-Video or NTSC out of your Amiga.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-22-2008, 11:43 AM
http://www.kworld.com.tw/product_overview.aspx?P_ID=227

These don't seem to be available yet, but the older 1680ex didn't do scaling on the VGA input unless you were doing PIP.

I wonder if this one can scale the VGA input and line double it....

Sigmason

sigmason
03-22-2008, 12:09 PM
Bingo!

http://cgi.ebay.com/RGB-CGA-to-VGA-480i-Componet-to-VGA-Converter-Scaler_W0QQitemZ250226589867QQcmdZViewItem?hash=it em250226589867

This specifically can take the 15kHz output and make it compatible with an monitor.

Now if you put this on the Amiga (you'll need an adapter (see earlier) to get the DB23 to RGB, but you can make that pretty easy) you should be able to use it with any monitor.

The adapter should buffer the RGBHV from the Amiga, dummy the enable line to get the RGB and not composite SCART (that DB23-HDB15 does that), and then terminate in a connector compatible with the box listed above.

If I can't get my hands on a ToastScan, then I'll do this for sure.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-22-2008, 12:15 PM
Also here's one cheap (proper search term is apparently RGB CGA) that goes to S-Video/composite (NTSC/PAL).

With a different end for the same cable you ought to be able to use it to from the Amiga's RGB to S-Video/Composite/VGA using these 2 boxes.

The only thing I can think of better then that would be the internal scan doublers if you can find one. I've never actually seen on in operation, so I'll take other people's word for how much better that could be (also, be aware that I'll bet that such an internal trick would not work with a Video Toaster/Flyer as it depends on NTSC timing and if you mess with the timing on the mainboard I'll bet the boards won't like it.)

Sigmason

sigmason
03-22-2008, 02:59 PM
Just be warned with that RGB CGA convertor you need to seperate the RGB sync first.

Guys like JROK sell a module using the LM1881 to get the composite sync into RGBHV.

Sigmason

Also, have you considered the Commodore A520?

sigmason
03-22-2008, 03:20 PM
You might be able to scratch the last post (can't seem to find a way to delete it.)

I looked at it again and it does support RGBH+V which is 'combined sync' so I guess it may support composite sync.

Sigmason

mysticpixels
03-22-2008, 10:09 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the great information and links. I actually have a 17" NEC multi-sync which I never bought an Amiga adapter for. I will though since they make one specificilly for it and with the cheap prices, at the link you gave. Even if I can't use it with the Toaster, I could switch back and forth until they start producing more Toastscans.

Are you sure about the April 2008 date? I didn't see it on the SoftHut site. Did they tell you that?

The Amiga to Magnovox (S-video) cable looks like a good option. I assume it will work with any TV that has aa S-video connector and not just Magnovox tv's. But even with that, are you saying that I would still need another piece of equipment to allow the Toaster to sync with the Amiga/S-Video cable?

I would think would since it is still 15hz. Now I am more confused than ever:confused:

sigmason
03-22-2008, 11:25 PM
(LOL, read this slowly, it's clear like mud.)

If I recall you are referring to the cable that converts "Amiga to S-Video".
I suspect that's not exactly what you think it is, however, you'll have to inquire with those selling it to find out.

Let's look at how that cable 'could' work:

If you convert the Amiga's output to S-Video, assuming you do so by converting the RGBH+V out at the DB23 (which is basically RGB with a composite sync) (See side note #1 below for trivia), you'll probably still end up with flicker on a tube TV (perhaps not with an LCD TV) when you are working with the Toaster as it simply needs the flicker fixer to stop that. In WorkBench you'll probably end up with distortion or over frequency if you don't lower the drivers from the HiRes as some of the HiRes modes can put out 30kHz+ (that's how the DB23 to DB15 can work in Workbench, but not with the Toaster; the Toaster goes back to 15kHz which is too low for an SVGA monitor, the HiRes modes can be 30kHz+ which is inversely too high for the TV.) So you have a trade off, if you use the TV with the S-Video you are going to loose some of the HiRes options for WorkBench. Though you could do worse and use the TV with a composite output or even worse with a RF modulated output. (This goes back to why I sometimes wonder why not just make a switch that puts the 15kHz signals to a TV and the 30kHz+ signals to a monitor. This way you use the displays for their strengths instead of trying to make them do both and possibly causing numerous avenues for distortion.)

If you get the S-Video by messing with the main board then it's hard to say how compatible it will be with the Toaster or what quality of output you'll get. This said, it's unlikely that cable can do this.

If you get the S-Video by hacking an A520 (Commodore's RF modulator and color composite output), it'll generally work fine, but as I recall it still flickers on tube displays in the Video Toaster. (The A520 is basically converting the RGBH+V of the DB23 into composite and then putting a copy of the output into the modulator. I don't think it has any kind of frame memory to loose the flicker which can still give you trouble on a tube display.) Hacking the A520 is a little better then converting the composite or RF to S-video after you already loose quality, but it's still not the greatest solution.

If you get the S-Video by converting the composite out of the Amiga 2000 I think the composite out on those models (which there is none on the Amiga 4000) was monochrome. Notice this cable does NOT say it's for the DB23, so there's a good chance it's a hack that only ends up with monochrome S-Video.

I have pictures of the inside of a ToastScan and basically what's in there is a A/D - Mach210 programmable gate array - D/A and memory. It's taking the RGBH+V from the DB23 and basically making a frame memory (like an infinite window TBC) and then deinterlacing the data on the way out to produce a deinterlaced, frequency corrected output. This would eliminate flicker and would get the display to be the proper horizontal frequency. However, it is still short of a scaler in that I doubt it has the computational power to adjust the signal for displays of different aspect ratios. In that regard, the CM-345S I linked earlier can likely do that using it's additional scaling function (which by the way also adds distortion, but hey, you can't have everything.) In addition I would suspect (and may have to verify) that the RGB CGA converter I linked can do the same (for half the price apparently, but with less input options.)

Sigmason

I've got about 150+ links in my bookmarks for this research and it's late here. I believe I found (and I could be wrong) the actual builder for the ToastScan and it said coming in April 2008. Of course, if this is anything like most deadlines that could be April 20,080.

Side Note #1:
There's a jumper to do RGB with 'sync on green' on the Amiga 4000 mainboard which I am also not sure the Video Toaster can do (but the likelyhood is high that it works), or whether it will reduce the quality as I suspect it will because of even less isolation of the syncs from other sources of interference. I've noted this because it's just another twist.

sigmason
03-22-2008, 11:28 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the great information and links. I actually have a 17" NEC multi-sync which I never bought an Amiga adapter for. I will though since they make one specificilly for it and with the cheap prices, at the link you gave. Even if I can't use it with the Toaster, I could switch back and forth


You may have an excellent solution in that NEC monitor as some of the NEC 3D monitors can actually handle the 15kHz horizontal. In that regard the cable may be all you need so long as the NEC monitor doesn't break like the 1084.

Notice that it's only certain models of the NEC monitors that can do this. This does not mean it works with all the NEC monitors.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-22-2008, 11:38 PM
Regarding the NEC monitor, there is one problem you may still have.

Even if the older NEC monitor can handle 15kHz and 30kHz+ it might still flicker in the Video Toaster screen because it's still only using a tube. LCDs don't have retrace issues like tubes, which is good in this case, bad in others.

So in that regard, you may still have flicker issues, but you had them with the 1084 anyway.

The only way I can think to fix the flicker in that case is again something like the ToastScan.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-23-2008, 12:23 AM
One thing I should also really point out, that little RGB CGA box on E-Bay doesn't mention whether it can handle 30kHz+ in either.

So in that regard I guess any WorkBench more that goes for 30+kHz won't work.

It's possible it may not be an issue, but I suspect to really know I'd have to try.
(I think I'll E-mail the seller.)

Sigmason

sigmason
03-23-2008, 01:29 AM
Turns out that box on E-bay is a CM397. As in the CYP's design. As in the CYP that makes the CM345S.

It's exactly what I figured, the RGB portion only. So it's cheaper.

The one down side is that the cables for the DB23 are not the SCART to RGB cables like those on E-Bay so you have to hack your own.

The other down side is that the CM345S has a VGA pass though button. If you did go into the 30kHz+ mode you could rig an adaptor to that to press the button and 'bypass' the 15kHz input.

On that note, one could integrate either of these boxes into a circuit that could automatically accommodate the 30kHz+ modes if someone really wanted them by doing like I said earlier and 'counting' the separate horizontal sync and detecting the higher frequency then either flipping a relay, an analog mux or closing the CM345S's switch contact to 'bypass' the doubler input (the reverse is also of course possible.)

If you don't use the 30kHz+ modes I bet either of these boxes will do. You can save about $100 if you just use this one apparently.

Also this unit does have 24 bit color, which some scan doublers do not.

The only thing I'm still not sure about is how it will react to the Toaster, I did find mention that it works fine with the HiRes interlaced modes.

Sigmason

mysticpixels
03-23-2008, 07:37 AM
At this point I can deal with the flicker for awhile until a the other option is resolved. I have never used the Toaster as I got it after my momitors died. So I am just wanting to get my Amiga back and use the Toaster.

I would like to see if that NEC monitor supports 15khz, I leaning towards 30khz though from waht I think I read online. It is the VX17+ model. I'll take another look. I'll get both cables and try them out. The converter on ebay definatley looks worth while. I'll give that a try later when I have extra $.

If I understand correctly, you connect the the Amiga RGB 23pin port to a standard Amiga 23 pin to 9pin cable, then into the converter.

I am still not clear how you would intergrate the 30khz doubling device to the converter. Still I would imagine it would work with the Toaster if the input is limited to 15khz.:D

mysticpixels
03-23-2008, 08:08 AM
I looked up the NEC VX17+, and it appears to only sync down to 31khz.

Since the converter supports "all CGA 15Khz or 480i component video for inputs and conversion from 15k CGA RGB to 31Khz standard VGA signals. I wonder if the Toaster would sync properly since the input is at 15khz."

"On that note, one could integrate either of these boxes into a circuit that could automatically accommodate the 30kHz+ modes if someone really wanted them by doing like I said earlier and 'counting' the separate horizontal sync and detecting the higher frequency then either flipping a relay, an analog mux or closing the CM345S's switch contact to 'bypass' the doubler input (the reverse is also of course possible.)

If you don't use the 30kHz+ modes I bet either of these boxes will do. You can save about $100 if you just use this one apparently..."

But seems to convert up to 31khz anyway without having to run in Double NTSC mode, if I am reading the specs right.

sigmason
03-23-2008, 08:13 AM
Be VERY careful. I'm not sure you can use a standard original Amiga cable to connect that box from E-Bay. You could damage something if it is connected in the wrong way. At this point I would not risk something like that. At this point, I would make the cable from the available pinouts. Then, later, someone could figure out if the original Amiga cables actually work.

That said, even the next model up Nec monitor (4D) does not work. So far as I am aware it was only the (now rare) 2D and 3D. Would be interested to know if it works though.

The Toaster will only ever use 15kHz horizontal. It's WorkBench that's generally the problem. WorkBench has the drivers to push up the horizontal to 30kHz+. I am not aware of any other program at this point that can do that with the standard on-board video system. That said, a third party graphics adapter in a Zorro slot or an ISA or PCI backplane opens up a new problem (see next paragraph).

If you use a third party Zorro/ISA/PCI graphics adapter (a whole different can of worms) like the CyberVision 64/3D, then obviously they are *usually* already designed to put out the 30kHz+ horizontal sync as the are meant to connect to a standard SVGA monitor. Now the thing is, those third party video cards require drivers, and I'm pretty sure they therefore won't be able to output from games or the Toaster as those were meant to only use the 15kHz+ outputs, so if you have such a video card and start running something like the Toaster expect the output to go to the on-board video card whether you like it or not. You would not want to put this E-Bay converter box on the output of a third party 30kHz+ video card. It would not work correctly as it wants something around 15kHz in.

Now this said, you can use the VGA passthru on the CM345S to 'bypass' the converter if you make your own cable. There's a button on the box to switch between the 2 inputs. Therefore, you can make a cable that plugs into the VGA pass thru and the RGBH+V input so you can press the button when the 30kHz+ goes over the frequency limit of the RGBH+V input. Again, ONLY the CM345S has the option as the CM397 (from E-Bay) lacks the VGA pass thru function (thats part of the reason it's $100 cheaper.)

What I was saying before was that you could make a board (and I figured out how it could be done last night using a cheap microcontroller and a sync separator chip) that buffers and splits the composite sync of the SCART style RGBH+V output of the Amiga between one of these converter box's inputs for RGBH+V and some circuits. The first circuit would be a sync separator that would break the composite sync to horizontal sync and vertical sync. The second circuit would then take the horizontal sync and put it into the counter section of a cheap microcontroller (PIC/Atmel) possibly with a prescaler function. This counter would enable you to basically determine the frequency of the horizontal sync in software. Therefore you could then use an output of the microcontroller to trigger a switch (either analog CMOS or something like a 4 pole double throw relay) that automatically connects the right wires to the right places for the matching horizontal frequency. In the case of the CM345S you could probably hack the box and use their switch. In the case of the CM397 from E-Bay you'd have to make your own switch. Either way, unless you have the skills and tools I do, this is no small project for the beginner. So you might just want to hold out for a ToastScan or until you can afford the CM345S if you don't mind pressing the button.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-23-2008, 08:24 AM
LOL, well I WAS the high bidder on a ToastScan on E-Bay.

Now, E-Bay has mysteriously canceled the auction with just a cryptic E-mail.
Hmmmmm. Not impressed, not impressed at all. Usually sellers that sell something outside of E-Bay just cancel the auction, E-Bay usually doesn't do it for them.

Therefore I guess I'll be doing this the hard way won't I.
You might want to wait to hear how this works out for me.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-23-2008, 08:54 AM
I looked up the NEC VX17+, and it appears to only sync down to 31khz.

Since the converter supports "all CGA 15Khz or 480i component video for inputs and conversion from 15k CGA RGB to 31Khz standard VGA signals. I wonder if the Toaster would sync properly since the input is at 15khz."

"On that note, one could integrate either of these boxes into a circuit that could automatically accommodate the 30kHz+ modes if someone really wanted them by doing like I said earlier and 'counting' the separate horizontal sync and detecting the higher frequency then either flipping a relay, an analog mux or closing the CM345S's switch contact to 'bypass' the doubler input (the reverse is also of course possible.)

If you don't use the 30kHz+ modes I bet either of these boxes will do. You can save about $100 if you just use this one apparently..."

But seems to convert up to 31khz anyway without having to run in Double NTSC mode, if I am reading the specs right.

Seems your second post slipped by me.

I guess we'll find out soon enough. I will point out other people have used the CM345S with the Amiga and it wouldn't take the 30kHz+ in on the RGBH+V input (only on the VGA pass thru.)

The box should work with the Toaster, but again, I'll find out.

Sigmason

People have also used the CM345S with a Voodoo PCI card in a seperate backplane for WorkBench and the standard DB23 output to the CM345S for games (I don't think the Toaster works in Amiga with PCI bridges added). In that regard, the separate card enabled them to just use standard cables as they didn't need replicate the DB23 for to use it for both functions, just put the SVGA cable from the PCI card to the CM345S VGA pass thru and the DB23 to the RGBH+V.

sigmason
03-23-2008, 09:00 AM
I'm REALLY short on time right now to be building anything commercial.

However, if this box works with the Toaster and if I like what I get perhaps I'll try to make this other thing I've discussed here (the automatic switch.)

That's in the future however. I've got WAY too much on my plate right now.

Sigmason

mysticpixels
03-23-2008, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the warning about the amiga cable to the CM397 converter. I had wondered about that. But it seemed to match since the CM397 was designed for older game boxes. Oh well.

I decided at this point to keep the system strictly as a Toaster system and not worry about getting it to do everything. I would like to getthe Toastscan or CM345S down the road. That said
I hope the Amiga to Magnovox cable will work with the Toaster on a Tv.:)

CreatvGnius
03-23-2008, 10:21 PM
LOL, well I WAS the high bidder on a ToastScan on E-Bay.

Now, E-Bay has mysteriously canceled the auction with just a cryptic E-mail.
Hmmmmm. Not impressed, not impressed at all. Usually sellers that sell something outside of E-Bay just cancel the auction, E-Bay usually doesn't do it for them.

Therefore I guess I'll be doing this the hard way won't I.
You might want to wait to hear how this works out for me.

Sigmason
What amount was the bid for that elusive ToastScan™, before it was cancelled, pray tell?
-PeterG

mysticpixels
03-23-2008, 11:08 PM
I too much on my plate too for hacking cables and boxes, but it would be fun. I look forward to your results if you go with the CMT345S SCART RGB TO XGA SCALER / CONVERTER. Do you have a VT in your A4000 too?

sigmason
03-24-2008, 09:35 AM
I'm not the kind of guy that bids and tells the most I'd pay.
The item was over $100.00 when I last bid.

Why do you plan on selling yours?

Sigmason

sigmason
03-24-2008, 09:37 AM
Yes, I have the Flyer 4.2 with 2 DPS TBC and the DPS VScope.

(LOL, I have another 1084 monitor on the shelf at home attached to a Commodore 128 and when I turned it on I realized it has no vertical. Nothing wrong with these monitors getting old....nothing at all....)

Sigmason

sigmason
03-24-2008, 12:00 PM
In an interesting twist, the person on E-Bay sent me some E-mail today and says he's not selling the same product.

I find that interesting because the product looks the same and seems to have identical specs. Therefore, I have this feeling that he doesn't realize they are selling the same product.

Sigmason

CreatvGnius
03-24-2008, 02:53 PM
...
The [ToastScan] item was over $100.00 when I last bid.

Why do you plan on selling yours?

Sigmason

Selling it's crossed our minds; We've never, ever used it -- forget how much we paid for it.

-PeterG

sigmason
03-24-2008, 03:39 PM
Well the item would sell for $159.95 from Software Hut, they just don't have anymore.

If I had to bet why, I'd suspect it would have to do with the lack of the output D/A as they seem to have used the same chip as the Amiga did (IE they can't get that chip and they didn't consider that in the long run.)

If you want to sell it, please let me know, as I said I would be willing to pay above $150 for it, and that's more then you apparently got for holding on to something you are not using and that I could use.

I've been offered a working 1084 by someone local if I trade them a standard TV style monitor with adequate inputs (now remember I've got one that went up in smoke and one that has no vertical I still have to fix) and I'm just about tempted to go get one from a friend that's almost new to trade with him.

That said, I got an NTSC (there is a PAL version) A520 modulator on the way just because it was really cheap.

Honestly. I think I'll collect some of these options so I can compare the quality of output and then try my hand at coming up with a complete option if you can't get the ToastScan (or perhaps something that works even better then the ToastScan.)

So let me know.
Sigmason

mysticpixels
03-24-2008, 11:46 PM
Yes I plan on getting an A520 too, although I heard the output isn't that great. It is probably exceptable for video.

mysticpixels
03-25-2008, 09:12 AM
I wrote to Softhut and this is the reply I got today

"Bad news, the new design initially is going be internal for A1200 desktop and towers.
If it goes well he is going to try and make another version but they are all made in Europe":cry:

I emailed them back for a tentative date on the A1200 version

sigmason
03-25-2008, 09:58 AM
That's a really odd response. I don't think there's a difference in the DB23 on the Amiga 1200 and the rest of them that have that connector. I wonder why they think it's only for that model?

Sigmason

sigmason
03-25-2008, 03:47 PM
From E-Bay:

I've ordered the RGB CGA to RGB VGA box and it's on it's way.
(If someone else wants one, he has 100 more labeled: RGB to VGA.)
Along with the RGB CGA to composite and S-Video converter.
(If someone else wants one, he has 23 more.)
I've got an NTSC A520 on the way.
(Sorry, it's dumpster diving time, I got the only one.)

I've gotten National to send me some sample sync separators, LMH1980.
I already have the stuff to determine the frequency of the signal.
While I have some excellent 4 pole latching relays laying about, I think I'll look at CMOS video switches and see if I can find a cost effective low power option.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-25-2008, 03:49 PM
Selling it's crossed our minds; We've never, ever used it -- forget how much we paid for it.

-PeterG

Can you confirm something for me? Can you put a 31kHz output from the Amiga into the Toastscan?

I notice lots of discussion of scandoubling and flicker fixing but nothing on the Toastscan and no one seems to mention what if you Amiga is already putting out 31kHz.

Frankly, if that thing won't do that, it's not a complete solution.

Sigmason

Yum, bread-board.

tonyvdb
03-26-2008, 09:00 AM
Can you put a 31kHz output from the Amiga into the Toastscan?
I notice lots of discussion of scandoubling and flicker fixing but nothing on the Toastscan and no one seems to mention what if you Amiga is already putting out 31kHz.

If your Amiga is already outputting 31khz (only the A3000T and some 4000towers had this direct ability) then why do you need a Toastscan as almost all PC monitors will support that.
The Toastscan was designed soly to double the scan rate from 15khz to 31 and to still be compatible with the Toaster as it requires a signal that is normally generated by an Amiga monitor.
If your using the "double NTSC monitor driver" in the Amiga's system folder the Toaster will not boot as this causes a failure.

sigmason
03-26-2008, 09:43 AM
If your Amiga is already outputting 31khz (only the A3000T and some 4000towers had this direct ability) then why do you need a Toastscan as almost all PC monitors will support that.
The Toastscan was designed soly to double the scan rate from 15khz to 31 and to still be compatible with the Toaster as it requires a signal that is normally generated by an Amiga monitor.
If your using the "double NTSC monitor driver" in the Amiga's system folder the Toaster will not boot as this causes a failure.

http://www.amigahistory.co.uk/monitor.html

I'm confused by your statement, specifically:

"The Toastscan was designed soly to double the scan rate from 15khz to 31 and to still be compatible with the Toaster as it requires a signal that is normally generated by an Amiga monitor."

I think you mean, the Toastscan is designed for the signal normally provided by the Amiga for the Commodore monitor. There are to my knowledge no outputs from the Commodore monitors that go back into the Amiga during normal operation (unless you mean the ground and that's not really an output as much as a reference.)

That said, I'm almost positive (it's been a while) I had a friend using the Video Toaster in an Amiga 4000 with the 31kHz scan doubled drivers in Workbench and the Toaster using it's 15kHz normal output (as at least on my Amiga and the few others I've seen, the screen goes blank at the point you start the Amiga software that switches the video output mode.) In this configuration (and no there was not video card in that Amiga) he'd loose the display on the SVGA monitor when the Toaster started and have to connect the TV/monitor to the output of the Amiga. The same was true with most games. There were some programs he had that tried to convince other programs to use the 31kHz output but they weren't very reliable and definitely didn't work with the Toaster for obvious reasons.

Further, didn't graphics cards like the CyberVision 64/3D have a 'scan doubler'/'flicker fixer' option that could be added to them to take the output from the 15kHz Video Toaster coming from the output of the Amiga and put it on the same monitor you were using with the graphics card? I'm positive I've seen this before. In this manner you could still have the drivers running in WorkBench for the graphics card, or in Picasso96 or something like that and still use the Toaster because of that attachment without manually changing the monitor off the built in standard DB23.

So this leaves me again back to the question. If you ran the ToastScan with the VGAOnly, DblNTSC or DblPAL drivers installed would it pass through the higher horizontal sync or would it fail until you started something with the lower 15kHz horizontal frequency or turned the system off?

Sigmason

sigmason
03-26-2008, 09:56 AM
Amiga Video Toaster / Flyer FAQs
Amiga Video Toaster
All Versions
System Crashes And Video Mode Resets

Product: Video Toaster

Platforms: 2000* 3000 3000T 4000 4000T

Problem: When the Toaster software is run, the system crashes and reboots, and comes up in a 640 x 200 screen mode. If you run the Toaster then, it loads and runs without a problem.

This happens if the system was not in an NTSC-compatible mode when the software was first run. The Toaster attempts to take control of the graphics hardware and drive the video timing, which works properly if the system is already in an NTSC mode. If the system is in a non-NTSC mode, however, such as DBLNTSC or Productivity modes, then when the Toaster forces the graphics timing to NTSC mode, the system crashes and comes back up in the NTSC mode.

Always set the system to an NTSC screen mode before attempting to run the Toaster software.

*This problem occurs when using an Amiga 2000 system only if the system has an ECS Denise Chip. The original Denise chip was not capable of non-NTSC modes.



I remembered my friend mentioning something about this to me once.
So I started looking and found this.

So yes, if you use DblNTSC, DblPAL with/without VGAOnly (I think VGAOnly needs DblNTSC and DblPAL) you'll need to switch back to a NTSC mode before starting the Toaster or it will reboot and kick you back to a NTSC mode.

He had a lot of little things he had 'scripted' and I suspect at the time this was one of them.

I would still like to know if the ToastScan can handle the 31kHz horizontal sync however.

Sigmason

mysticpixels
03-27-2008, 06:25 AM
I got a reply from Softhut and I was told the A1200 version would be about 4 to 5 weeks.
That is interesting question as to whether the Toastscan will except Amiga native 31khz, probably not. Even if it did it wouldn't allow the Toaster to sync to the Amiga's 15khz output timing.
All of this brings me back to my question, will either the RGB CGA to VGA Scaler Converter being sold on Ebay or the CM345S SCART RGB TO XGA SCALER / CONVERTER work with the Toaster? It seems they would since they are designed to except 15khz input. I guess will have to brave it.

mysticpixels
03-27-2008, 06:33 AM
You have me wondering if the Amiga to vga adaptor/cable would work in this configuration, even if the signal isn't the issue.

If the RGB converter box you are geting works with the Amiga to VGA cable you found at Direct Cables,then we found a solution that is about $50 cheaper than a Toastscan.:D I hope so, let me us know.

sigmason
03-27-2008, 09:40 AM
You have me wondering if the Amiga to vga adaptor/cable would work in this configuration, even if the signal isn't the issue.

If the RGB converter box you are geting works with the Amiga to VGA cable you found at Direct Cables,then we found a solution that is about $50 cheaper than a Toastscan.:D I hope so, let me us know.

My A520 is here. I will use that today or tomorrow to verify that the RGB port on my Amiga 4000 is still good after the monitor meltdown (I don't believe it will be bad, but it's worth the test.)

I've ordered some DB23s for my cable and I have some DB9s and HDB15 for my cable and I have some RGBHV wire somewhere that should allow me to make a very nice cable. So when my RGB CGA - SVGA and RGB - composite/s-video boards get here I should be able to test them as well.

I will know soon enough if this will work with the Toaster. I have no reason currently to suspect it won't (so long as the video is not 30kHz+ in Workbench before starting the Toaster, and frankly, at that point it's a simple matter to switch back prior to starting the Toaster.)

Sigmason

sigmason
03-27-2008, 11:59 AM
I just tested my Amiga 4000 with the A520 and used the composite output to drive a Lilliput EBY701 7" LCD composite/800x480 touchscreen monitor.

I didn't bother with the touchscreen function, but I can confirm the A520 NTSC output derived from the DB23 RGBH+V works fine on my Amiga. Due to the LCD the Toaster screens barely (if at all flickered) and the only flicker I saw was in the base grid in Lightwave 3D (not that big a deal.)

I did not try the DblNTSC drivers, but I expect they would fail with this configuration based on the A520 module's design. For now, I'm happy to confirm that my Amiga didn't go up in smoke like the Commodore 1084S monitor that it was attached to.

I would say the video as compared to the 1084S was slightly better quality. The lack of flicker I'm sure is a contributing factor in that. I did not note any significant distortion even though the aspect ratio of that monitor is 15:9 (that's not a typo.)

I've got to move my hardware to make room for other work so for now it's boxed up. Hopefully by the time I get the rest of the parts I'll find a new table for it.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-28-2008, 01:25 PM
After more research I found out some more interesting bits.

The reason the 1084S-D monitor I have works with the Toaster is because it DOES NOT use HSYNC and VSYNC from the Amiga's DB23, instead it used the CSYNC. If you do (like you would with the stock Amiga 4000 DB23-HDB15), you'd loose the display even if it could display 15kHz because the Toaster puts the Amiga's output into 'genlock mode' which in turn only puts out about 7.8kHz.

The A520, also works because it used the CSYNC only, and not the HSYNC and VSYNC.

I may be wrong about this, but I suspect DblNTSC and DblPAL only double the output horizontal frequency on the HSYNC output and not the CSYNC output. So if you did sync seperate the CSYNC output with DblNTSC you wouldn't get the doubled output (I won't know this for sure until someone confirms it or I get out my oscope and check.)

If you use HSYNC and VSYNC you must buffer them because the Amiga (according to several schematics I've looked at) will not tolerate a low impedance load (draws too much current) on this non-video output and it could harm the video chip or at least shut it down due to over current. Of course, some monitors don't overly load this signal and some do. The cost of a TTL/CMOS chip is too low to make this mistake.

I also read somewhere (and I can't find the link again, though I know I bookmarked it) that the A1200 had a habit of coming up in 'genlock mode' if the buffer wasn't put on the HSYNC and VSYNC outputs of the DB23. Of course in this mode if you used the output from the HSYNC and VSYNC of the DB23 of the 15kHz Commodore monitors were going to go out of range so I guess that would make the system appear to have no video output.

There was a box called a SyncStrainer (I never had one or saw one) that was apparently handy with the Toaster and a 15kHz or 30kHz+ monitor, because while it was not a flicker fixer or a scan doubler it was (much like I was thinking about earlier) an HSYNC autoswitch of sorts. If it 'saw' 15kHZ or 30kHz+ on the HSYNC it would just pass it through. If it 'saw' anything less (like the 'genlocked modes' 7.8kHz the Toaster would cause) it would instead take it's signal from the composite sync and sync separate it to get HSYNC and VSYNC. Its basically the same idea as I had to bypass the 15kHz/30kHz+ divide but at the 7.8kHz/15kHz (or more) side. Too bad they didn't take it just a little further.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-28-2008, 01:46 PM
The other thing I swear I read somewhere had to do with /XCLKEN and making sure it wasn't floating. If /XCLKEN accidently goes to the wrong state (as in low) it would put the Amiga into genlock mode as well.

(I though I read something in relation to the A1200 and this signal.)

Sigmason

sigmason
03-28-2008, 08:47 PM
In addition to everything I've posted here's another tidbit.

There's a device called a MV1200 that looks very similar to the ToastScan but apparently doesn't work very well with the Toaster sometimes.

It specifically describes the operation of the BYPASS on the ToastScan as a mode in which the Amiga is outputting 20kHz+ so it is automatically bypassing the 'scan doubler' / 'flicker fixer' option which is basically exactly what I've described in the beginning of this thread.

Since the ToastScan also has a BYPASS LED on it, I suspect much the same thing is going on. That said, I suspect the reason the ToastScan is Toaster compatible but the MV1200 is not completely, is that I bet the ToastScan is aware of the Toaster's effect on the HSYNC and VSYNC and I bet it engages a better sync separator to further derive the horizontal and vertical sync despite the Toaster engaging the 'Genlock mode' of the Amiga. I can't make out from the picture I have of the inside of the ToastScan if it indeed has something like an LM1881 in it. Using the CSYNC should still be as compatible with the genlock functions of the Toaster as the Sync Strainer is (since that's basically what it appears the Sync Strainer is doing at least according to it's original product description.)

Now if you using a genlock other then the Toaster (which as I recall you should not do with a Toaster running as it's a conflict.) I would suspect that the Amiga's ports will likely respond in much the same way whether the genlock is inside or outside. Therefore I would think if one accommodates the Toaster's genlock mode, they likely accommodate probably most other genlocks as well.

Sigmason

sigmason
03-28-2008, 08:51 PM
Also it seems the MV1200 didn't always manage to scan double the genlocked toaster's output.

Probably had some issue detecting the mode of the video.

Sigmason

dwburman
03-30-2008, 10:08 PM
i didn't bother reading this whole thread but thought I'd relate something... hope it's not repeating what's been said.

I have an A1200 and a sync strainer. I pulled it out of storage a couple of weeks ago because I'm moving. I knew multisync monitors wouldn't sync down to the NTSC range so most computer monitors won't work with the old video modes. I have a Vizio 42-inch LCD TV with a VGA port... I wondered if it could display the Amiga's native signal since it does do NTSC. I tried it out and it actually worked. The problem is that it squishes the picture to the top half of the screen but it at least gave me a picture.

mysticpixels
03-31-2008, 12:35 AM
After more research I found out some more interesting bits.

The reason the 1084S-D monitor I have works with the Toaster is because it DOES NOT use HSYNC and VSYNC from the Amiga's DB23, instead it used the CSYNC. If you do (like you would with the stock Amiga 4000 DB23-HDB15), you'd loose the display even if it could display 15kHz because the Toaster puts the Amiga's output into 'genlock mode' which in turn only puts out about 7.8kHz.

The A520, also works because it used the CSYNC only, and not the HSYNC and VSYNC.

I may be wrong about this, but I suspect DblNTSC and DblPAL only double the output horizontal frequency on the HSYNC output and not the CSYNC output. So if you did sync seperate the CSYNC output with DblNTSC you wouldn't get the doubled output (I won't know this for sure until someone confirms it or I get out my oscope and check.)

If you use HSYNC and VSYNC you must buffer them because the Amiga (according to several schematics I've looked at) will not tolerate a low impedance load (draws too much current) on this non-video output and it could harm the video chip or at least shut it down due to over current. Of course, some monitors don't overly load this signal and some do. The cost of a TTL/CMOS chip is too low to make this mistake.

I also read somewhere (and I can't find the link again, though I know I bookmarked it) that the A1200 had a habit of coming up in 'genlock mode' if the buffer wasn't put on the HSYNC and VSYNC outputs of the DB23. Of course in this mode if you used the output from the HSYNC and VSYNC of the DB23 of the 15kHz Commodore monitors were going to go out of range so I guess that would make the system appear to have no video output.

There was a box called a SyncStrainer (I never had one or saw one) that was apparently handy with the Toaster and a 15kHz or 30kHz+ monitor, because while it was not a flicker fixer or a scan doubler it was (much like I was thinking about earlier) an HSYNC autoswitch of sorts. If it 'saw' 15kHZ or 30kHz+ on the HSYNC it would just pass it through. If it 'saw' anything less (like the 'genlocked modes' 7.8kHz the Toaster would cause) it would instead take it's signal from the composite sync and sync separate it to get HSYNC and VSYNC. Its basically the same idea as I had to bypass the 15kHz/30kHz+ divide but at the 7.8kHz/15kHz (or more) side. Too bad they didn't take it just a little further.

Sigmason

Yes I was considering trying to get one, I may still go that route. Here is what the Amiga resource has to say about it.

"allows the use of multisync monitors while the Amiga is in genlock mode
in genlock mode the horizontal and vertical sync signals are set to 7.8 kHz on the Amiga video port - these signals are not used by single scan monitors, but are required for multiscan monitors
when the Sync Strainer senses a genlock condition (as when the Video Toaster is started), it creates new H- and V-sync's from Composite sync
acts as a simple buffer for H- and V-sync when the Amiga puts out 15.7 kHz or 31.4 kHz horizontal scan rate
automatically switches between the various scan modes
a 2" ? 3" ? 1/2" module which connects to the 23 pin RGB connector
available with DB9 or HD15 VGA output connectors
works with any genlock which does not use the 23 pin RGB port
the Sync Strainer is not a scandoubler, the analog RGB signal is passed through unchanged"

It sounds like you can run the Amiga in double NTSC mode and infact you have to since it is not a scan doubler, if you want 31khz.
Can the OCS and ECS Amigas run in double NTSC?

sigmason
03-31-2008, 08:42 AM
I'm fairly sure OCS did not support DblNTSC or DblPAL.
However, ECS and AGA did support DblNTSC or DblPAL.

This might shed some light on the subject:
http://groups.google.com/group/de.comp.sys.amiga.unix/msg/15c2eab49f806893

Sigmason

CreatvGnius
03-31-2008, 01:14 PM
I wondered if it could display the Amiga's native signal since it does do NTSC. I tried it out and it actually worked. The problem is that it squishes the picture to the top half of the screen but it at least gave me a picture.
Did you then go into your Vizio flatscreen's AUTO CALIBRATE (or somesuch function) in the RGB SOURCE menu (or wherever it may be), to get the image to display correctly, within the viewing area?

Why not give this a whirl, and let us know what results, dw?
:thumbsup:
PeterG
p.s.: Afterward, you might also tweak the aspect ratio display setting via your remote control, to your liking.

dwburman
03-31-2008, 05:09 PM
If I remember to and have time I may try that. Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately my Amiga is around 2,800 miles away from my Vizio TV at the moment and that situation won't change until the end of April.


Did you then go into your Vizio flatscreen's AUTO CALIBRATE (or somesuch function) in the RGB SOURCE menu (or wherever it may be), to get the image to display correctly, within the viewing area?

Why not give this a whirl, and let us know what results, dw?
:thumbsup:
PeterG
p.s.: Afterward, you might also tweak the aspect ratio display setting via your remote control, to your liking.

sigmason
03-31-2008, 08:05 PM
My RGB CGA - RGB VGA converter arrived today.

My x-ray vision :screwy: tells me for sure this is a CM397.

It has a MST9883C-LF in it.
http://www.mstarsemi.com.tw/products/mst9883_1.htm

The frame memory appears to be a:
http://fm92.in.th:8800/W9816G6CH.pdf

Therefore unless the D-A is less then 24 bits this is a 24 bit converter.

From the pictures I've seen the ToastScan is NOT a 24 bit converter.
It's only 18 bit as the A-D is 6 bits per color of RGB.

Here's a picture of a ToastScan open at macro focus:
http://www.lemonamiga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4954

The A/D is a: TDA8707H (6 bit per channel)
http://www.datasheetcatalog.com/datasheets_pdf/T/D/A/8/TDA8707H.shtml

The D/A is a: STV 8438CV (8 bit per channel), note it's a Commodore part:
http://www.amiga-stuff.com/hardware/stv8438.html

So therefore this box should already be a step up on AGA equipped Amigas if all works as planned as they can handle 24 bit output.

Now, I've also noticed that the Indivision ToastScan/Ez-VGA/MV-1200s should not really be removed from a powered on Amiga. Apparently, they tend to smoke like that. I think this should not have that problem as it is self-powered.

I'm waiting on some more parts and then I'll let you know how it goes.

Sigmason

sigmason
04-02-2008, 11:53 PM
There is more information in this thread, which I am now involved with at the same time:

http://www.amiga.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=thread&order=ASC&topic_id=44513&forum=21

Sigmason