PC VGA to Sony PVM-2030 ( RGB )

9/1/2012

I try to use Sony PVM-2030 RGB Monitors whenever I use devices which output RGB signals. This usually means creating some custom cable to connect the device to the male DB25 connector on the back PVM-2030 which breaks out the RGB + Sync lines. These pro broadcast monitors expect 15.75khz NTSC signals so for game consoles and Jamma boards this isn’t too much of a problem. For VGA signals from a PC you need a few things in place to make this work.

I have a Radeon X1550 PCI-E video card which can output 15KHZ sync if the proper driver is used. People (purists?) often do this to play emulators on arcade monitors. VGA does not output composite sync and that method of sync is required to drive a PVM-2030. VGA does however output hsync and vsync. These two lines can either be tied together passively or actively processed through some logic gates to provide the composite sync required. Here are two screen shots of my HP 16500 Oscilloscope displaying the waveforms generated from both methods of sync generation.

Passive Method

Active Method

The waveforms show a large difference it the sync pulse driving the monitor however there’s not too much of a difference in the actual output on screen. I didn’t expect that. My scope had a very hard time just triggering on the passive cable however it keeps a stable image on the monitor.

I’m considering etching some more of these boards, likely the passive board as it seems the extra active logic is not worth the effort. If anyone is interested in purchasing a custom VGA to PVM-2030 cable, drop me a line at mike @ epromfoundry dot com .

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