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 Post subject: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:48 am 


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Joined: 19 Oct 2013
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Not long after I dived into the world of RGB I quickly found out that SCART sucks (no offense if you happen to love SCART ;)). Here are my main issues:

1.) SCART switchboxes - Finding a SCART switchbox that doesn't have some sort of crosstalk interference, audio issues, or has very many ports is hard to find. Even ones I've heard supposedly don't have those issues seem to be models that are no longer in production. The first set of SCART switchboxes I got apparently were not fully switched because some systems interfered with the video signals on other systems when they weren't selected or even on (though unplugging them 'fixed' it). The 2nd set of switchboxes I got did not have the video interference issues, but 1 port would lose connections for blue and audio buzzed more than it did without the switch.

2.) SCART cables can be dodgy - I've bought various RGB SCART cables for different systems with varying results. Some were great, some didn't even work initially because of minimal ground pins being connected, and some had audio buzzing due to absolutely no shielding at all in the cable. Having to correct cables I'm buying defeats the point of buying them instead of making them myself (other than maybe to get a proprietary AV connector the system uses that is hard to find.)

3.) SCART ports can be dodgy - It seems that female SCART connectors can also vary in quality. Some are fine with a nice firm grip, some are ok with a decent grip, and others are extrodinarily loose to where if a connected SCART cable gets slightly bumped (or sometimes moves under its own weight) then you lose some or all of the AV signals.


For a while I'd wished I could banish SCART and uses regular RCA connectors and cables to route RGB and sync. Well I finally buckled down, came up with a game plan, and did it.

I uploaded an album of my work here: http://imgur.com/a/ckKRl
Now for more details (some of which are already in the album details).

I made a custom adapter for each console that would be using RGB. I took project boxes and had a cable going out of one end into the AV port of the console (this was usually harvested from a SCART cable I had), and the other end would have component, composite, and audio RCA jacks to route RGB, sync, and audio. From there I could route RGB, sync, and audio signals through standard component switchboxes (as long as they also had composite jacks for sync). I also made an adapter to feed the RGB over RCA into the VGA style DB-15 input connector on the back of my XRGB-3. I also removed the SCART port on my RGB-to-Component converter and replaced it with the RCA jacks.

For my particular setup I also needed another switchbox to route the video between my XRGB-3 (to HDTV) and the RGB-to-Component converter (to CRT). Turns out you can use a component switchbox in reverse just fine (use the 1 output as a single input for the video in from the other switchboxes, and the inputs as outputs to go to the display/device I want them to go to).


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:10 am 


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I absolutely LOVE my Pelican System Selector Pro. Did you buy them when they were out? I had to convince a guy on Craigslist to ship it to me and it's not in amazing shape (input 1 doesn't work, missing some of the input label clips, so it's just 3 exposed LEDs), but I remember it being the only one I could find at the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:04 am 


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bobrocks95 wrote:
I absolutely LOVE my Pelican System Selector Pro. Did you buy them when they were out? I had to convince a guy on Craigslist to ship it to me and it's not in amazing shape (input 1 doesn't work, missing some of the input label clips, so it's just 3 exposed LEDs), but I remember it being the only one I could find at the time.


I bought them used after the fact, but none of the label areas were blank. I got the 1st one probably 4 years ago, then in preparation for this project I bough the 2nd one a handful of months ago. Turns out some of the inputs on the 2nd one didn't work. I opened it up and it appeared some ports had been rammed hard because the solder and pad were ripped from the PCB. I had to scrape some of the green mask off to get a new area to solder them back to. I got them both off ebay, but I had to somewhat scour for the 2nd one, especially to get another matching black one.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:48 am 



Joined: 11 Dec 2014
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Would you mind making a guide or some additional information on how you did some of this?

For example, the project boxes converting the Scart to RCA/wSync (and the RGB to YUV converter too).

Not a fan of scart either.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:51 pm 


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Sounds easy enough to fix, I think I'll take a look at mine as well and see what happened. That's why you always gently twist your RCA cables while you plug and unplug them.

And awesome setup, I don't think I complimented you on that! I wouldn't mind getting rid of SCART myself, but I'm not hardware-savvy enough to do it just yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:16 am 


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cr4zymanz0r wrote:
Some are fine with a nice firm grip, some are ok with a decent grip, and others are extrodinarily loose


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:42 am 


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It was not by my hand that SCART was once again given flesh.
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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:05 am 


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What is a SCART ?!
:lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:06 am 


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A miserable pile of pins.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:10 pm 



Joined: 04 Sep 2010
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Finally, I was waiting for these sort of responses.

You steal RGB's soul and make it your slave.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:08 pm 


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Location: Where the fish lives, WV
SCART will throw it's wine glass, in anger.


Seriously though, I use well shielded cables, and component adapters. So, I don't have any of these problems. I DID, when I was buying shoddy cables (from the UK *cough*). But then I saw the light. Well, the SNES mini did cause me a lot of pain. And it does still buzz at high volumes.
And the adapters (the CSY 2100) are expensive. Especially if you get one for each system. :cry:

But interesting setup you have there. I wish I had the know-how to do these sorts of things.
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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:06 pm 


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You guys skipped around a lot :P

First response after sky-13 should have been "I was called here by RETRO GAMING ENTHUSIASTS, who wish to pay ME tribute."


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:11 pm 


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Am I the only person that has almost no issues with scart? I have a switchbox that didn't like me once, and one dodgy cable. But that's it. Since then, I've had nothing but good experiences.
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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:39 pm 


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broken harbour wrote:
Am I the only person that has almost no issues with scart? I have a switchbox that didn't like me once, and one dodgy cable. But that's it. Since then, I've had nothing but good experiences.

I haven't had much of an issue with SCART cables either. As long as you be careful what you buy and if you make your own cables (which BTW is fairly easy), you're fine really. Plus I like to just have one console hooked up at a time and having to switch out cables in the back of my PVM would be a royal PITA.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:36 am 



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 1018
Location: Toronto, Canada
What about changing Scart port to vga and using vga switcher / kvm?


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:38 am 


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broken harbour wrote:
Am I the only person that has almost no issues with scart? I have a switchbox that didn't like me once, and one dodgy cable. But that's it. Since then, I've had nothing but good experiences.


I'm sure there are lots of us that dont really have any issues with SCART, but you will only have posts from people that do.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:14 am 


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I love SCRAT, why would anyone want it dead ?
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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:43 am 


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leonk wrote:
What about changing Scart port to vga and using vga switcher / kvm?


OK. So just to drop my two cents on this topic because I feel the same way as the OP:

I personally do not like SCART. I recognize that it was a widely available thing in Europe during the era of the classic consoles that we all play. However, I consider it something that just gets in the way of setting up a multiple console game station - at least for my particular setup that is in America and framemeister-based.

I don't want to deal with SCART switches - be they daisy-chained or custom made. I don't need +5v or +12v running down my video cable. I don't want the analog audio signal going down the same cable as my video signal, and I want my sync to be composite sync-based rather than composite video-based. While some of these desires can be achieved by modifying existing SCART cables, not all of them can.

So basically I went the route of making my own cables. This gives me complete control of the quality of the cables as well as the freedom to choose what connections I would prefer to use. I went with a VGA termination (as leonk suggested) and paired it with a 16 port VGA switch (with 3.5mm audio plugs) + framemeister.

I also picked up a VGA to BNC connector for hooking up to other devices (i.e. iScan HD) and made a female SCART to VGA convertor (for temporary wiring of a console into my switch until I get around to making the appropriate cable).


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:54 am 


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mickcris wrote:
I'm sure there are lots of us that dont really have any issues with SCART, but you will only have posts from people that do.

I like SCART, the plug n' play all-in-one connector, the ease of accessing the inside of the housing in case you need to add extra circuitry. And I'm not from the UK.

As for switches, I have a Shinybow 4x2, and I love it. The cost wasn't that bad, mind you, not the price of those cheaply built VGA switches, but in that regard the Shinybow is definitely not cheaply built. It's solid and heavy, lol always the first sign of quality. :)
The video signal is solid, there is no interference with the audio, the nice LED read-out and small-form are also wonderful attributes.
I love the ability to clone my A/V to a second monitor, great for having a Tate and Yoko dual-TV set-up. Or, in my case, outputting to a XRGB-mini then to a capture device while I can still play on my CRT. Keepin' it OG yo.

Personally I'd rather not spend my project time re-wiring and soldering cables when SCART does what I need it to do, plug n' play.
Got too many side projects to bother with this kind of effort, but hey, if it works for you then good on ya'. :) 8)
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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:04 am 


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BONKERS wrote:
Would you mind making a guide or some additional information on how you did some of this?

For example, the project boxes converting the Scart to RCA/wSync (and the RGB to YUV converter too).

Not a fan of scart either.


I guess I should've taken pictures during the process. I don't know what your technical expertise is, but I can give a general run down of what I did.

1.) These are the project boxes I bought: http://www.ebay.com/itm/261646879384
Those were the cheapest I could find, and I opted for the aluminum ones so they could be easily shielded. I also needed a power drill to make holes for all of the RCA jacks. I had to ask at Home Depot for drill bits that would drill through aluminum because I'm not too knowledgeable about power tools :P. I just bought a set of drill bits to figure out at home what exact size I needed.

2.) I got the RCA jacks from console5 (http://console5.com/store/parts/av-jacks.html). There might be a cheaper source out there, but these were easy to find and they have discounts for high quantities. These just fit through the holes you drilled then you tighten the nut down to keep it in place.

3.) The other portion of the project boxes Is the cable going from the project box to the console. In most cases I harvested a SCART cable I had for each console. I'd rough out how long I needed the cable to be, cut off the SCART end of the cable, and drill a hole in the project box slightly larger than the cable to run the cable into it. You will need a multimeter or something to check continuity to make sure you have the correct wires for each signal (RGB, sync, and audio). I used this webpage http://members.optusnet.com.au/eviltim/gamescart/gamescart.htm for the pinouts on most systems. Some AV connectors for the consoles can be sourced by themselves if they're standard, but the proprietary ones such as Nintendo's AV connector on SNES, N64, etc. will more than likely have to be harvested off another cable (and if it's not already a SCART RGB cable it might not have all the pins in it that you need).

Making cables could be a whole separate topic, but I hope you know how to (particularly grounding correctly and making sure your soldering is solid and not bridging connections). With your cable in the project box you just strip the ends, solder the appropriate signal wires to each RCA jack. Also make sure you added an capacitors or resistors in that the previous link notes if applicable. Once I tested it, I'd then put some hot glue on the cord where it goes in the project box so it would be held and place and not cause tension on the wires inside.

After this, all that's really left is putting it where you physically want it, then connecting the RCA cables to it and your switchboxes.

4.) Just kidding, one more step: Interfacing. You'll need a way to connect your new RGB over RCA masterpiece to your TV/upscaler/random video device. I did two things for my setup. It needed to be connected to my XRGB-3, so I used another project box with RCA jacks for RGB and sync with a VGA cable end to connect to the DB-15 VGA style RGB input on the back (audio RCA jacks were already present on the XRGB-3). I'm also using a Sony Trinitron CRT which has component input. I had a RGB-to-Component converter that used SCART for the input. I could've made another project box RCA adapter that connected to the SCART port, but that would still have some SCARTing so screw that. I desoldered the SCART port, used some spare project soldering board, cut it to size to fit over the left over empty SCART hole, drilled holes for the RCA jacks, then solder wires to the appropriate holes in the converter where the SCART port was. If you have a PVM or BVM I think you would just need some simple BNC to RCA adapters.

Random fact that I didn't know where to put: I'm actually using composite video (sync over composite) as sync in my setup. I've heard people run into issues like this, especially with a XRGB-3 but everything works fine for me (except originally I was going to use a video duplicator amp to display to the HDTV and CRT at the same time, and the XRGB-3 had sync issues with this. However, once I changed it to just use a switch to change between them then the issue went away). Using 'real' sync (composite sync) requires mods on some systems so I'm sure you could go this route if you wanted to, but I just stuck with sync over composite since I couldn't find any impact from it.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:33 am 


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opt2not wrote:
As for switches, I have a Shinybow 4x2, and I love it.

I suppose if you don't have many consoles, a small switch isn't really a big deal and works just fine.

Quote:
SCART does what I need it to do, plug n' play

There are a lot of variables involved when making a SCART cable, and users of this forum have taken issue with things such as which sync is used from the paired console, the quality of capacitors were applicable, what sort of shielding is inside the cable, and how well it is grounded to name a few. So while buying SCART cables has worked for you (I assume you didn't make them since you said you don't have the time to make cables), and the quality of the cables one buys can sometimes be a dice roll.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:12 am 


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CkRtech wrote:
...and paired it with a 16 port VGA switch (with 3.5mm audio plugs).


I'm actually interested to see that switch and I'm curious if it was something that wasn't some $500 professional piece of equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:14 am 


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Location: Southern California
CkRtech wrote:
opt2not wrote:
As for switches, I have a Shinybow 4x2, and I love it.

I suppose if you don't have many consoles, a small switch isn't really a big deal and works just fine.

Well I'd love a 6x2... but the opportunity to get a 4x2 presented itself, so I couldn't pass it up.
I do have more than 4 consoles that need to be connected, but this is not a fault of the SCART switch, it's a fault in my impatience and being frugal that i opted for this switch. But like I said, I still love it. It just means I have to switch inputs sometimes when I wanna connect my least played console.

CkRtech wrote:
Quote:
SCART does what I need it to do, plug n' play

There are a lot of variables involved when making a SCART cable, and users of this forum have taken issue with things such as which sync is used from the paired console, the quality of capacitors were applicable, what sort of shielding is inside the cable, and how well it is grounded to name a few. So while buying SCART cables has worked for you (I assume you didn't make them since you said you don't have the time to make cables), and the quality of the cables one buys can sometimes be a dice roll.

The same could be said about any cable. It's always a gamble when buying cables to whether you'll get a lemon. I don't know how many times I've got a bad component cable with some sort of defect...and they are supposedly more "standardized".

The OP's title is SCART doesn't belong in this world...well clearly there are people that feel differently.
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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:24 am 


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opt2not wrote:
The OP's title is SCART doesn't belong in this world...well clearly there are people that feel differently.


The same could be said of all re...liability issue laden cables
;)


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:25 pm 


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Posts: 375
Location: London, UK
I found that this maxtrix switcher is not bad. With this I finally sorted out my cabling dilemma.

Uses BNC connectors. Either cut you're cables and switch to BNC or just make adapters. BNC is far more advance imo.

It also switches audio too but only drawback is it uses custom Extron Audio connectors which costs a bomb and perhaps could do with a IR remote although there is a method to hook up you're pc to control the system.

Image

Image

Image

The whole setup cost me as much as a few decent scart switchers on the market so well worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:32 am 



Joined: 02 Apr 2014
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cr4zymanz0r, just for curiosity I'd love to see inside of one of the project boxes. This project is great and I'll probably do something similar to it one day as I too share the agony for getting SCART just right.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:31 am 


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I mostly agree with the OP. My long term plan is to build a custom docking system. This would allow each console to sit in a display self and be pulled out on a board of timber or plexi with a custom Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) conector that has lines for power analogue video, audio and digital signals. That would be my ultimate dream set-up. Also this would include CRT or Scaler/LCD output selection after the docking station, our use them in different rooms.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:54 pm 


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Quote:
it uses custom Extron Audio connectors which costs a bomb

these are available from Phoenix (for example at Mouser). Not this expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:12 am 


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narunetto wrote:
cr4zymanz0r, just for curiosity I'd love to see inside of one of the project boxes. This project is great and I'll probably do something similar to it one day as I too share the agony for getting SCART just right.


The inside of the project boxes are pretty basic. I redid my NES one tonight (the 1st cable I harvested for it didn't have any shielding). I took a couple of pics while I was doing it.

Project box with no connections yet: http://i.imgur.com/xJUnQA0.jpg
Project box after wiring has been done: http://i.imgur.com/kuHsFcX.jpg

Since NES is mono I just had to run one audio wire for that project box and then connect the 2nd audio jack to it. Most other project boxes were the same with minor exceptions. Some (such as SNES) needed 220uF capacitors on RGB (just like the SCART cables), Master System needed 75ohm resistors on RGB, etc.
I didn't mount audio RCA jacks on the Neo Geo project box since I needed to get audio from the headphone port anyway for stereo.


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 Post subject: Re: Die SCART, you don't belong in this world!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:18 am 



Joined: 11 Dec 2014
Posts: 303
cr4zymanz0r wrote:
BONKERS wrote:
Would you mind making a guide or some additional information on how you did some of this?

For example, the project boxes converting the Scart to RCA/wSync (and the RGB to YUV converter too).

Not a fan of scart either.


I guess I should've taken pictures during the process. I don't know what your technical expertise is, but I can give a general run down of what I did.

1.) These are the project boxes I bought: http://www.ebay.com/itm/261646879384
Those were the cheapest I could find, and I opted for the aluminum ones so they could be easily shielded. I also needed a power drill to make holes for all of the RCA jacks. I had to ask at Home Depot for drill bits that would drill through aluminum because I'm not too knowledgeable about power tools :P. I just bought a set of drill bits to figure out at home what exact size I needed.

2.) I got the RCA jacks from console5 (http://console5.com/store/parts/av-jacks.html). There might be a cheaper source out there, but these were easy to find and they have discounts for high quantities. These just fit through the holes you drilled then you tighten the nut down to keep it in place.

3.) The other portion of the project boxes Is the cable going from the project box to the console. In most cases I harvested a SCART cable I had for each console. I'd rough out how long I needed the cable to be, cut off the SCART end of the cable, and drill a hole in the project box slightly larger than the cable to run the cable into it. You will need a multimeter or something to check continuity to make sure you have the correct wires for each signal (RGB, sync, and audio). I used this webpage http://members.optusnet.com.au/eviltim/gamescart/gamescart.htm for the pinouts on most systems. Some AV connectors for the consoles can be sourced by themselves if they're standard, but the proprietary ones such as Nintendo's AV connector on SNES, N64, etc. will more than likely have to be harvested off another cable (and if it's not already a SCART RGB cable it might not have all the pins in it that you need).

Making cables could be a whole separate topic, but I hope you know how to (particularly grounding correctly and making sure your soldering is solid and not bridging connections). With your cable in the project box you just strip the ends, solder the appropriate signal wires to each RCA jack. Also make sure you added an capacitors or resistors in that the previous link notes if applicable. Once I tested it, I'd then put some hot glue on the cord where it goes in the project box so it would be held and place and not cause tension on the wires inside.

After this, all that's really left is putting it where you physically want it, then connecting the RCA cables to it and your switchboxes.

4.) Just kidding, one more step: Interfacing. You'll need a way to connect your new RGB over RCA masterpiece to your TV/upscaler/random video device. I did two things for my setup. It needed to be connected to my XRGB-3, so I used another project box with RCA jacks for RGB and sync with a VGA cable end to connect to the DB-15 VGA style RGB input on the back (audio RCA jacks were already present on the XRGB-3). I'm also using a Sony Trinitron CRT which has component input. I had a RGB-to-Component converter that used SCART for the input. I could've made another project box RCA adapter that connected to the SCART port, but that would still have some SCARTing so screw that. I desoldered the SCART port, used some spare project soldering board, cut it to size to fit over the left over empty SCART hole, drilled holes for the RCA jacks, then solder wires to the appropriate holes in the converter where the SCART port was. If you have a PVM or BVM I think you would just need some simple BNC to RCA adapters.

Random fact that I didn't know where to put: I'm actually using composite video (sync over composite) as sync in my setup. I've heard people run into issues like this, especially with a XRGB-3 but everything works fine for me (except originally I was going to use a video duplicator amp to display to the HDTV and CRT at the same time, and the XRGB-3 had sync issues with this. However, once I changed it to just use a switch to change between them then the issue went away). Using 'real' sync (composite sync) requires mods on some systems so I'm sure you could go this route if you wanted to, but I just stuck with sync over composite since I couldn't find any impact from it.

Thanks for this!


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