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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:30 am 



Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 265
BuckoA51 wrote:
Gamecube, Wii, Xbox, PSP.

I always forget the gamecube as it was never used in europe xD


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:37 pm 



Joined: 04 Sep 2010
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Location: Denmark
Well, not that it matters, but add me as the third guy who would be all over a JP21 version of this.

Damn you Micomsoft for discontinuing the SELECTY21. What is wrong with that company, do they not like money? Have they seen what those things go for on auctions sites?


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:09 pm 



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 469
Location: Sydney, Australia
This looks smart.

superg wrote:
Compatibility:
All your SCART cables should be correctly wired. Pin 16 should be wired for automatic detection, pin 8 is used for power. If your pin 8 isn't wired and you're too lazy to solder it - you'll need to use external power supply. You may get power problems if you are using official SCART cables because often they are limiting pin 8 current using bigger resistors - in this case you'll also need to use external power supply.


Pin 8 is a switching signal, not a power supply. The SCART standard says the load on this line is 10k. Almost every official console SCART cable will supply 12V to this pin with some kind DC-DC converter (either charge pump or boost converter). When only 5V is connected to this pin the TV may not switch or it may force the TV into widescreen mode. To avoid this some people will cut the wire to pin 8. Others connect this pin to the input of the voltage regulator to get the 12V so the TV will switch properly. If you use this pin as power you can expect anything from 5 to 13V (unregulated), noise from an dc-dc converter gone into current limiting, or the pin disconnected entirely.

For the best compatibility I recommend you ignore pin 8 entirely and rely on external power.

Some other suggestions:

-For production volumes you can buy connectors directly from the connector factory. The prices are much lower than distributors and they can make them in any colour you like.
-Was it intentional to leave the solder mask off the vias? It would look much better with them covered (to make them almost disappear entirely use tiny 0.3mm holes).
-The PCB is long and may bend slightly if force is applied to the centre connector. Underneath there are SMT glass diodes mounted under the board between each SCART connector. If there is significant flex in the board you should rotate these diodes 90 degrees so the flex does not cause them to crack (long term failure).
-It's a good idea to have both the mini-DIN8 and SCART connectors for output. Making special cables is no fun.


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:38 pm 


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viletim wrote:
This looks smart.
Pin 8 is a switching signal, not a power supply. The SCART standard says the load on this line is 10k. Almost every official console SCART cable will supply 12V to this pin with some kind DC-DC converter (either charge pump or boost converter). When only 5V is connected to this pin the TV may not switch or it may force the TV into widescreen mode. To avoid this some people will cut the wire to pin 8. Others connect this pin to the input of the voltage regulator to get the 12V so the TV will switch properly. If you use this pin as power you can expect anything from 5 to 13V (unregulated), noise from an dc-dc converter gone into current limiting, or the pin disconnected entirely.

For the best compatibility I recommend you ignore pin 8 entirely and rely on external power.

Yeah, I know this. According to standard I shouldn't drain power from pin 8 but it's very convenient not to have external power supply and there aren't a lot of official cables now. Next version will have integrated DC jack on PCB (now it's floating cable which goes to board through SCART connector, not very handy but at least some compatibility). Another nice use-case with power over pin 8 is daisy chaining with only one external power supply. So simply it supports external power only on first switch link in daisy chain, and not relying on pin 8 or power from pin 8 from unofficial cables and IMO it's best compromise, user will decide what's best for him.

Also I would like to mention, that switch is almost transparent in terms of power consumption. If not lm1881 (which consumes up to 10mA), it consumes around 1mA. But I agree that having lm1881 on board is a good idea.

viletim wrote:
-For production volumes you can buy connectors directly from the connector factory. The prices are much lower than distributors and they can make them in any colour you like.

It's definitely nice suggestion, however I still need to figure out a demand for such a switch. I have no idea how many units I will be able to sell at all, and it's a bit risky to invest bigger amount of money for SCART sockets without knowing whether I will sell them all.

viletim wrote:
-Was it intentional to leave the solder mask off the vias? It would look much better with them covered (to make them almost disappear entirely use tiny 0.3mm holes).

No, it wasn't intentional, that's how smart-prototyping.com did them first time. I would like them to be covered as well.

viletim wrote:
-The PCB is long and may bend slightly if force is applied to the centre connector. Underneath there are SMT glass diodes mounted under the board between each SCART connector. If there is significant flex in the board you should rotate these diodes 90 degrees so the flex does not cause them to crack (long term failure).

On every screw I am using nylon spacer (http://www.pololu.com/product/1982), it may not be clearly visible on photo because of nuts but such construction is sturdy enough I think. (there are 16 such spacers between PCB and bottom panel)

viletim wrote:
-It's a good idea to have both the mini-DIN8 and SCART connectors for output. Making special cables is no fun.

Yeah, but with MiniDIN I still need to solder the other end myself (being it SCART or another MiniDIN). I think I will use same straight SCART for output and by default I will provide SCART->SCART cable (which is standard, I will just need to find inexpensive source of them)
And as an option I will offer SCART->MiniDIN. BTW: where can I buy MiniDIN cable assembly like the one you're using in your NESRGB kit?
(digikey has this one: http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/e ... ND/2625275, but I think it's too thick and expensive also)
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:48 pm 


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Someone just tweeted this at me:- @VGPerfection Should I be concerned that my Bandridge SCART switcher causes my Genesis LED to light up when the Famicom or SNES are on?

So it looks like you were right Superg, the Bandridge switch is basically junk. If you care about your vintage hardware you do not want to be powering it up through the AV in!
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:50 pm 


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BuckoA51 wrote:
Someone just tweeted this at me:- @VGPerfection Should I be concerned that my Bandridge SCART switcher causes my Genesis LED to light up when the Famicom or SNES are on?

So it looks like you were right Superg, the Bandridge switch is basically junk. If you care about your vintage hardware you do not want to be powering it up through the AV in!


That was me. The other reason this is screwy is that the Genesis and PS2 will only work on port 5, but the Nintendo systems will work on any port.

Anyway, please sign me up for one of these! There don't seem to be many good options for SCART switching readily available out there. All of those colors (or black) looks good to me, so I would be happy with any of them.

So if I'm using cables from retro_console_accessories and retrogamingcables.com, I shouldn't require a power supply, and I can switch without any quality degradation? If it's automatic, what happens if I have two consoles powered on at once? For example, sometimes while I'm streaming, I do a thing where I pull a random game from my collection, play it for 10 or so minutes, and jump to another. Sometimes I might leave one system on while I'm jumping to playing a game on another system. It's not a huge deal, but I'm just asking so that I would know if it might cause an issue, or potentially be unsafe for the systems to have multiple consoles on at once.

Can I get on a list that ensures that I get one in the next batch? That'd be pretty great!


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:34 pm 


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Location: US, MI
Forks wrote:
So if I'm using cables from retro_console_accessories and retrogamingcables.com, I shouldn't require a power supply, and I can switch without any quality degradation? If it's automatic, what happens if I have two consoles powered on at once? For example, sometimes while I'm streaming, I do a thing where I pull a random game from my collection, play it for 10 or so minutes, and jump to another. Sometimes I might leave one system on while I'm jumping to playing a game on another system. It's not a huge deal, but I'm just asking so that I would know if it might cause an issue, or potentially be unsafe for the systems to have multiple consoles on at once.

Can I get on a list that ensures that I get one in the next batch? That'd be pretty great!

Yes, you should be able to to use it without external power supply (that's how I'm using it and a couple of other early adopters).
No visible picture degradation (well, nobody noticed so I am confident it's fine :))
If you will turn on more than one console it will depend on socket number.
I am using SN74HC148 priority encoder (http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/sn74hc148.pdf). On 2nd page of datasheet there is function table which defines priorities. Simply, you will be able to arrange consoles to be able to override one console with another.
I'm still working on next version, unsure when I will have these in stock, will add you to the list.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:48 pm 


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superg wrote:
I'm still working on next version, unsure when I will have these in stock, will add you to the list.


Thanks! I don't regularly check this forum, except when I'm trying to research things, so can I provide an e-mail contact via PM? I'm definitely on board with buying one of these when they're next available. Any estimates on when? It looks like you've got a good bit of interest in the project.


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:28 pm 


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If anyone in the UK wants one of these next batch I will pay your shipping costs if you let me borrow it for a few days to review.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:54 pm 



Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 366
I really hate this trend of using top/bottom pieces of acrylic instead of sourcing a case from one of the many, many enclosure companies. You might as well just ship open-faced and zip tied to a nicely cut piece of cardboard.


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:15 pm 



Joined: 17 Sep 2012
Posts: 393
Forks wrote:
BuckoA51 wrote:
Someone just tweeted this at me:- @VGPerfection Should I be concerned that my Bandridge SCART switcher causes my Genesis LED to light up when the Famicom or SNES are on?

So it looks like you were right Superg, the Bandridge switch is basically junk. If you care about your vintage hardware you do not want to be powering it up through the AV in!


That was me. The other reason this is screwy is that the Genesis and PS2 will only work on port 5, but the Nintendo systems will work on any port.

Anyway, please sign me up for one of these! There don't seem to be many good options for SCART switching readily available out there. All of those colors (or black) looks good to me, so I would be happy with any of them.

So if I'm using cables from retro_console_accessories and retrogamingcables.com, I shouldn't require a power supply, and I can switch without any quality degradation? If it's automatic, what happens if I have two consoles powered on at once? For example, sometimes while I'm streaming, I do a thing where I pull a random game from my collection, play it for 10 or so minutes, and jump to another. Sometimes I might leave one system on while I'm jumping to playing a game on another system. It's not a huge deal, but I'm just asking so that I would know if it might cause an issue, or potentially be unsafe for the systems to have multiple consoles on at once.

Can I get on a list that ensures that I get one in the next batch? That'd be pretty great!
BuckoA51 wrote:
Someone just tweeted this at me:- @VGPerfection Should I be concerned that my Bandridge SCART switcher causes my Genesis LED to light up when the Famicom or SNES are on?

So it looks like you were right Superg, the Bandridge switch is basically junk. If you care about your vintage hardware you do not want to be powering it up through the AV in!


It's an issue that happens on the 5th port. The trace for it needs to be cut.

Info here: viewtopic.php?p=994705#p994705


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:23 pm 


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Forks wrote:
Thanks! I don't regularly check this forum, except when I'm trying to research things, so can I provide an e-mail contact via PM? I'm definitely on board with buying one of these when they're next available. Any estimates on when? It looks like you've got a good bit of interest in the project.

Yes, you can provide your email if you want.

Zapf wrote:
I really hate this trend of using top/bottom pieces of acrylic instead of sourcing a case from one of the many, many enclosure companies. You might as well just ship open-faced and zip tied to a nicely cut piece of cardboard.

And I really hate when somebody doesn't really understand reasons behind this. I am not a CAD engineer and I'd better spend my time for something I'm proficient with. And to hire somebody to do nice CAD design it costs a lot. Also to get inexpensive production price of molded plastic case I have to invest too much money. If somebody wants to fund the case - you're more than welcome.

Zapf wrote:
You might as well just ship open-faced and zip tied to a nicely cut piece of cardboard.

This will count as custom order. +$50 and I will do cardboard edition just for you.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:53 pm 


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Quote:
It's an issue that happens on the 5th port. The trace for it needs to be cut.


That applies to the manual AND the automatic version?

Quote:
I really hate this trend of using top/bottom pieces of acrylic instead of sourcing a case from one of the many, many enclosure companies. You might as well just ship open-faced and zip tied to a nicely cut piece of cardboard.


Lol whatever percy pedant, we should get a special enclosure for you perhaps :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:56 pm 



Joined: 17 Sep 2012
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BuckoA51 wrote:
Quote:
It's an issue that happens on the 5th port. The trace for it needs to be cut.


That applies to the manual AND the automatic version?


I can't confirm that because I had the manual switch, but stands to reason it could be the same problem technically.


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:57 pm 


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Ok thanks.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:26 pm 



Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 366
superg wrote:

Zapf wrote:
I really hate this trend of using top/bottom pieces of acrylic instead of sourcing a case from one of the many, many enclosure companies. You might as well just ship open-faced and zip tied to a nicely cut piece of cardboard.

And I really hate when somebody doesn't really understand reasons behind this. I am not a CAD engineer and I'd better spend my time for something I'm proficient with. And to hire somebody to do nice CAD design it costs a lot. Also to get inexpensive production price of molded plastic case I have to invest too much money. If somebody wants to fund the case - you're more than welcome.


Another option would be to research readily available enclosures beforehand, and then design your pcb to fit that. This does not require CAD skills, however, it does require (you can print this post out and check off at your own leisure):

☐ Beginner to Intermediate Google Skills
☐ Knowledge of units of length, both in imperial and metric forms (conversion between the two a plus!)
☐ Forethought


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:07 pm 


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Zapf wrote:
Another option would be to research readily available enclosures beforehand, and then design your pcb to fit that. This does not require CAD skills, however, it does require (you can print this post out and check off at your own leisure):

☐ Beginner to Intermediate Google Skills
☐ Knowledge of units of length, both in imperial and metric forms (conversion between the two a plus!)
☐ Forethought

Did you just tried to insult me? :)
1. Designing PCB based on available case is a big compromise and it would affect switch quality in every possible way, I wanted to do an excellent switch and not just a switch which fits somewhere
2. While I've found some basic enclosures, there had to be done too much modifications to it before it could be fit
3. I explored few molded plastic options and these are really industrial and very expensive
4. Anyway I think switch should be hidden somewhere because I think with all cables in place it will not look good in any case
5. I like how transparent acrylic panel look in contrast with other colors and PCB components

Look, I am opened to constructive comments and critics, and yours "I really hate this trend of using top/bottom pieces of acrylic" doesn't contribute really.
I invested quite some time into this development and I have explored some number of options.
And those silly jokes of yours about google skills just doesn't show you in a good light.
If you would post something like "try <here>, this company can do <this> case for approximately <this> amount of money" etc, I would really appreciate it. If you would post "hey, I will design nice case for you" or "I know a user here who will do case for you" - it's also valuable. As of now, you waste my time (and yours). If you have more to say, write me a PM, I don't want this thread to be polluted with useless posts.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:50 am 



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superg wrote:
I'm still working on next version, unsure when I will have these in stock, will add you to the list.

What wiill the changes be to the next version?

Zapf wrote:
I really hate this trend of using top/bottom pieces of acrylic instead of sourcing a case from one of the many, many enclosure companies. You might as well just ship open-faced and zip tied to a nicely cut piece of cardboard.

Care to name these companies?


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:57 pm 


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EmperorZelos wrote:
What wiill the changes be to the next version?


current changes:
1. case: now every SCART hole has a slant, will look nicer
2. case & board: added some board padding now case exactly the same size as board (previously I had to increase acrylic panel a little to add more padding between first SCART input and board edge, otherwise panel could break)
3. case & board: added pair of standoff holes in the middle, panels will bend less
4. board: moved to 2.5V, put charge pump for LM1881, this way I will not solder that big electrolytic capacitor at all, should look nicer
5. board: changed cases of multiplexer IC's to TSSOP (same parameters but cheaper)
6. board: MiniDIN output removed, added 9th straight output SCART connector. I find this more elegant solution.
7. process: all surface mount components will be soldered in China (it's around $15 per device, but their component prices are better than digikey and TSSOP multiplexers are cheaper, so switch price shouldn't increase)
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:55 am 



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Is there an audio out headphone/speaker jack on these?


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:17 pm 


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Taiyaki wrote:
Is there an audio out headphone/speaker jack on these?

No, there is not. In next version it may easily be separated from output SCART, but no separate connector onboard.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:43 pm 



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Holy crap. I WANT THIS.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:05 pm 



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Can't you do a smaller one with 4 scarts?

I don't really 8 or 9 and would rather save some cash.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:18 pm 


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neorichieb1971 wrote:
Can't you do a smaller one with 4 scarts?

I don't really 8 or 9 and would rather save some cash.

No, I don't think so.
It's complete redesign of PCB and it will not be 2x cheaper. Even JP21 seems more real than this :)
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:30 pm 



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Could I have 3 Euros, 3 JP21's and one of each output?

That would be even more perfect.

Edit - You should design one of these for those that want JP21. At least they are catered for. It makes them resellable to many more people etc.
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:40 pm 



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neorichieb1971 wrote:
Could I have 3 Euros, 3 JP21's and one of each output?

That would be even more perfect.

Edit - You should design one of these for those that want JP21. At least they are catered for. It makes them resellable to many more people etc.


Is this a joke? Rewire your cables, problem solved.


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:43 pm 


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airs wrote:
neorichieb1971 wrote:
Could I have 3 Euros, 3 JP21's and one of each output?

That would be even more perfect.

Edit - You should design one of these for those that want JP21. At least they are catered for. It makes them resellable to many more people etc.


Is this a joke? Rewire your cables, problem solved.

I think he is kidding :)
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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:50 pm 



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EmperorZelos wrote:
Care to name these companies?

https://www.google.com/search?q=plastic+enclosures

Quote:
Lol whatever percy pedant, we should get a special enclosure for you perhaps :mrgreen:

If by enclosure, you mean suspend a piece of acrylic above and below me whilst I just walk away then ok.


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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:54 pm 



Joined: 02 May 2013
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Location: Seattle, WA
Zapf wrote:
EmperorZelos wrote:
Care to name these companies?

https://www.google.com/search?q=plastic+enclosures

Quote:
Lol whatever percy pedant, we should get a special enclosure for you perhaps :mrgreen:

If by enclosure, you mean suspend a piece of acrylic above and below me whilst I just walk away then ok.


Wow, haha. Yes please, just walk away.


Last edited by airs on Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: gscartsw: automatic 8:1 SCART-RGB switch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:11 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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No I was not joking. If this guy wants to corner the market he should offer variations.

So far I'm on the fence on this one. I remember early on when Viletim came up with the idea of an adapter for Jamma I suggested ideas and they were implemented to pretty much what the end specification became. I could of just rewired a few bits myself, but he came up trumps.

If you put this project in Viletims hands he will give you a product worthy for God himself.

What i'm hearing here is Superg wants what he wants and wants everyone to like it as it is. Thats up to him. But if he wants a product that everyone wants he needs to work on the basis that different people want different things. Right now he is giving a "like it or lump it" type of attitude. My wallet isn't crying yet.

edit - Its better to offer something at a higher price than not offer it at all. If you can do JP21 and Euro configs in one setup, suggest a price and see how it flows.

edit 2 - In my ITIL course I'm doing we talk a lot about UTILITY - Is the service fit for purpose? In my case the answer is a resounding NO!
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