How to Capture TGM PCB Video

Thread in 'Hardware' started by Soulvirtue, 16 Mar 2015.

  1. The fact that they're drawn with arcs and a straight line rather than two parallel straight lines means that they're polarised capacitors (with the positive lead on the right hand side as they're drawn there, though I'm not sure if that's actually drawn correctly), which means they'd typically be electrolytic, not ceramic. That said, I really doubt it'd make any difference to the circuit if you used ceramic ones instead (though my electrical engineering is a tad rusty these days)

    Soulvirtue, make sure that the capacitors are rated to the voltage of the line - the ones you're getting will be fine if the audio signal is max 5V, if it's higher then there's a chance they'll blow (I have no clue what voltage you need). And the VGA thingy that Burburee is using is a VGA board with terminal blocks, though if you're happy to solder onto the back of pins then any standard VGA connector (otherwise known as DE-15) will do as long as it's the right gender.
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2015
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  2. I Am Not An Electrician, but those kind of circuits tend to use electrolytic caps.
  3. I havnt done a scientific double-blinded experiment but the Vanilla works well for me. Saying that, if a cat takes a sh1t during recording it will cancel out the candles and add 10 frames of lagg, minimum, and possible stinging of the eyes.
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  4. you want an RCA jack for the audio

    I feel like if my PC has a free pci express slot I'll be going the same route, although I'm fortunate enough to have almost everything I need, literally laying around my house. minus the PEXHDCAP.

    I still need to decide on the actual monitor I'll be using, I'm still debating using an LCD for convenience over the obvious benefits of CRT
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  5. You want a plug for the PEXHDCAP end of the sound cable too, though. I guess it has to go into the mini-DIN thingy?
    edit: The mini-DIN does capture sound, but obviously you can just use the computer's own line-in >__< Some times you forget the simple solutions, and also I'm used to extremely laggy capture devices.
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2015
  6. So, I would require an auxiliary cable that travels from my computer to this... convertimiboard.
    Also, perhaps a six foot VGA is in order.

    Is phono jack the huuuuuge jacks you put in guitar amplifiers and shit?

    HOLD UP.

    ^ ^ ^ That's DVI right?

    So I'd need a VGA to DVI-A adapter. Correct?
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2015
  7. it says DVI to VGA adapter included
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  8. Can anyone tell me what kind of capacitors I should be buying?
  9. and the audio jack you want should match the cable you want to use, in theory you can get a mini jack the 1/8inch jack you see for headphones, and plug that into the line in of the computer.

    but the a phono jack you are talking about is the big old 1/4 inch jumbo guy, I would say that's not what you want. you either want


    or minijack


    minijack is harder to solder
  10. I can't tell if the ones you bought were electrolytic (though as I said I doubt it matters) because you removed the link. Though I did do some googling and 6V should be more than enough for a standard audio line without them blowing at some point.

    tl;dr the ones you have are probably fine
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  11. Okay. Let's get started!
  12. Just ordered a PEXHDCAP that I'm gonna play around with. Don't know if any of my oldish stationary computers are even able to use it at the moment, but I guess I could always sell it at some point. Eventually I'll also want a VisionRGB card similar to the ones Muf brought for us to use at TEC. I completely fell in love with the simplicity of them, combined with the extremely high customizability.

    Anyone using a sync strike with these cards, and could it be necessary for certain consoles?
  13. I've used a sync strike for my snes with the pex. It's alright but I ended up buying a xrgb mini framemeister from solarisjapan to upscale to 720p and the image got a whole lot sharper. (but I could not get the colors to look quite right with it) I have some images at home comparing crt vs sync strike vs framemeister that I could post when I get home from work.

    Also if anyone is not comfortable with soldering wires to your jamma harness there is this:

    You just plug that adapter into the game, and plug your vanilla harness into the adapter and run the wires to your vga connector by soldering or using a breadboard like I did. It's very convenient and you can keep your jamma harness unmodified.
  14. If you have an arcade cab, you should be familiar with soldering wires to your harness :) It's not as hard as it may look.
  15. Alright, so here are the pictures I was talking about. Taken from my NTSC SnesMini from The Legend of Zelda: Parallel Worlds. (great romhack btw) where I found a room with special floor tiles that are mixed green and blueish and a great reference point.

    First, there is the picture with a camera aimed at my Trinitron CRT with obvious white balance issues, but at least you can tell the detail in the floor is present.

    Next up is the sync strike. The detail is alright, you can still tell it apart. But you also see some diagonal lines if you look at the magic meter. (likely caused by cheap RGB cable)

    Last we have the xrgb mini upscaler. Now the interference is gone, but still using the same scart cable. However here we notice some quite horrible colors and the floor just blends together and it looks like ***** for some reason this image is also very soft.. normally the framemeister is really sharp. Might have been me trying to mess around with the colors and settings when I grabbed the picture.

    Here is also an example of the sharp image the framemeister is able to produce, here with Mega Man X on SNES. It's mostly noticeable if you look at the health bar. But again the colors are really weird and the image look sort of dim.

    I think the sync strike is good, if you want an easy method of connecting your Scart RGB consoles into a capture card that accepts VGA like the PEXHDCAP. But the scart cable that I use for my SNES isn't very good, so I think you can eliminate the interference by purchasing (or making your own) properly shielded cable. I have one, but it's for my PAL Snes which blew up, so I never got a chance to try it out. I actually don't get the interference with my Mega Drive which uses a different cable though. While the framemeister produces a much sharper image, I don't really like it because the colors are way off. Though it's still what I use right now and that's just for the sharpness it gives me. I've played with every setting there is. There's just no way of fixing that mess of colors as far as I know..

    Of course, datapath cards produces the very best image possible in that it is true rgb colorspace and capture native res and all that. But it's also really expensive. But I really want to get my hands on one in the future..
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  16. I was thinking about whether the sync strike is required at all, compared to some manually hacked together cable (such as this ). I guess it depends on whether it actually needs two sync signals or something? I'm not really into this kind of stuff.
    edit: Seems sync strike is basically just lm1881 in a box

    The sync strike just seems like an expensive solution to me compared to what you need it for, so I was wondering if there's a simpler solution (the XRGB is obviously more complex, even if it's always good to have something like it :))
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2015
  17. Oh yeah you can just hack up a cable with LM1881. Though, if you have a lot of consoles you would have to make a lot of cables I guess, possibly different cables for different regions too.
  18. Why not just use the same cable for all of them?
  19. Well I was thinking different consoles use different connectors on the console end, like the nintendo MultiAV out, and MegaDrive uses a DIN-connector etc. But I was typing my last message really quickly at work so I wasn't really thinking it through.

    I guess a distribution amplifier would eliminate the need for modifying every cable, just use your normal scart between the console and amplifier, and then just use a scart-to-scart between the amp and the capture card, and modify that cable. not the one from the console. That's actually what I do myself, except I have a JP-21 to euro scart adapter with built in sync stripper (powered) that plugs into my framemeister.
  20. Finally decided to do the audio mod, so now I no longer have to torture my stream viewers by using mic audio when I play TGM.
    And since I was still doing that, I figured I'd put that and the vga mod all in a nice little box (and stop using the solderless breadboard.. that was just supposed to be temporary to check that the video thing was working..)
    But the breadboard has been my method for 6 months or so now and sometimes when I switch games and such wires come out of it.

    So it was about time to do something proper.


    Now, here's some pictures of the new thing I made.

    Front, I guess? Unless you want it to be the back..
    Drilled holes in the plastic for VGA and RCA.

    Back, I guess? Unless you want it to be the front..
    Excuse my swedish notes. 12V and -5V is needed because I also added my Negatron into the box (-5v is needed for games such as Bobble Bubble) and previously the negatron was just hanging out from the loom unsecured and unsoldered.
    +5v is not needed but I added it anyway since I had two spare wires, it's currently unused. As is the white wire.

    A big mess..

    Little bit nicer looking from this side. Just the pot left to connect at this point and the outer pins to the inner pins.

    Finally, a test before I connect up the pins and seal the box shut. The sound works!! Finally, direct audio capture..!
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