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Hey /diy/. I've got an old arcade cabinet with a CRT monitor

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Thread replies: 29
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File: arcade.jpg (142KB, 780x674px) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
arcade.jpg
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Hey /diy/. I've got an old arcade cabinet with a CRT monitor that I've hooked up to a computer to play emulated games on. The problem is, the display doesn't actually... work. It's really static-y and unreadable, even though there's clearly sound and the controls make changes.

What can I do to troubleshoot this? I read somewhere that degaussing might fix it, but I've never worked with a monitor like this before. I could easily just switch to an LCD screen but I don't want to give up on this yet.
>>
Go ask CRT on /vr

You probably have the sync ranges all jacked up. You didn't give enough information for me to think you hadn't. It sounds like you just plugged it in and expected it to work, your video card MIGHT be able to make RGB in a range that tube can use. It might not have a plug for RGB though, and you might not have the sync broken out in a way the arcade wants...

And this is just assuming it works and nothing is fried, which might not be true.
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>>907603

It's not actually my project, I just took the job because nobody else in the group gives a shit about this thing. I know about as much as you do, but I can go find out things given instruction.

Thanks for dealing with my shit. I'm not really being very helpful.
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>>907605
Tell them exactly what game it's from, but because they can be swapped out for other monitors depending on who repaired it, it'd be better to open the cabinet up and try to find an actual model on the tube, and on the controller board. You'll probably have to google basic arcade machine repair, and don't touch anything on the tube, or powersupply, it can kill you. Try keeping one hand behind your back.
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>>907610
I'm not joking, CRTs have thousands of volts at a couple milliamps available and it will absolutely 100% kill you if you're not lucky, or know what you're doing. Be careful and look stuff up before you poke around too much.
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>>907610

There's a VGA cable I can straight up plug into an LCD monitor to troubleshoot. I've done it before.

The previous people who worked on it got a fuckton done, it's just the display that's wacky.
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>>907611

Thank you kindly. :)
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>>907585
First off, give us some specifics. What type of connection does the monitor receive from the cabinets, what model monitor do you have, does it look like the wiring harness has been hacked up by the previous operator, take pictures of things that look suspicious or you're not certain about.

What kind of signal are you attempting to output to your monitor? If it's not capable of syncing up to 31KHz (most Arcade monitors only go to 15KHz, some to 24, rarely 31 like the Nanao Trisyncs).

Give us some details and we might be able to assist. Also, if you have the model of that monitor, you can probably find a service manual for troubleshooting online if there's a problem that's not on your video signal generation of things.

>>907611
Also this. Exercise caution around the tube while it's live as it does contain high voltages (around the 10-11KiloVolt range) as well as the power supply which has AC Mains voltages (not as bad but still don't want to cause a dead short through your body).

Specifically, avoid the flyback ("suction cup" attached to the tube) and anywhere on the monitor chassis that appears to be near the high voltage transformer)
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Meant

>If it's not capable of syncing up to 31KHz (most Arcade monitors only go to 15KHz, some to 24, rarely 31 like the Nanao Trisyncs).
>That would explain why your monitor is not displaying a proper image.

I don't know if that's a JAMMA cabinet in your picture but do you have any kind of Arcade PCB (Ideally a 15KHz RGB+Sync output JAMMA PCB) that you can place inside the cabinet to test the video connector from the wiring harness is working properly?
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>>907614

Thank you kindly for typing this out.

I don't have the cabinet with me, but I'll go and do some reconnaissance tomorrow. Check back soon! :)

Is there any way to discharge the monitor? If it does end up that the thing is borked and needs to be taken out, I want to handle it with the utmost caution.
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>>907618
Yes. The safest way is to discharge the HV Anode/Flyback cup to ground.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV9Td8vAb0Y

Is the video I used to prepare myself to discharge an NEC XM2950 during disassembly (tube and a chassis component somewhere was bad so I had to salvage the chassis boards).

You can either do with a long INSULATED flatblade screwdriver + alligator clip connected between blade and ground or you can get a High Voltage probe to connect to a non-auto ranging multimeter like I did (basically the same deal with an inline Megaohm resistor to discharge the voltage slowly instead of causing an arc. Also lets any residual voltages left to be read until fully discharged).

I suspect it's simply an issue of the monitor not accepting 31KHz VGA video which is out of its proper syncing range. I don't know about video connector standards for Arcade monitors (if there were any) but they do use separate Horizontal and Vertical sync if my memory serves correct. VGA already does that so it's the horizontal syncing frequency output from your video card's VGA output that's most likely causing it to spaz out.

I'm no expert on PC resolutions on CRTs so take that with a grain of salt. There are differences if you're trying to output 640x480 as opposed to 240P/480i, and so forth.
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>>907638
>>907630

From what I've heard from previous people, I think the monitor was working at some point, years ago. Which leads me to believe that the not working part is a recent thing.

The way the PC is connected to the monitor is, I think, through VGA, so it's probably not a typical arcade CRT.

If you give me some questions to ask, I can track down people who have worked on it in the past!
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repairing this seems like a lot of work. i'd go instead for a 30-minute solution: pop in a new video card with composite video out. replace the monitor with an old TV. this gives you the genuine arcade look, but you can replace it with a proper LCD or CTR monitor for a modern look with better graphics.
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>>907650

Thanks for the reply. Right now, it would be a very easy and quick fix to replace the monitor entirely, but before doing that, I wanted to play around with the CRT.

I'm honestly more doing this as something to put on my resume, rather than the easiest way to get this working. I have maybe 2 weeks on my hands with the explicit goal of doing a project(s) of some sort. I need to apply for co-op jobs in my degree and stuff like this is extremely valuable.
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>>907612
Another possibility:

If this thing was working once, it might have been through an older computer/video card than is currently in there.
Maybe someone upgaded it with good intentions, and didn't realize they were getting rid of either a driver with settings tuned for the monitor, or they straight up got rid of a card that had s-video out for a modern one that surely is better in every way... except it doesn't have an output for this monitor
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>>907659

I can confirm that video cards had been changed at some point in the past year or so.
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>>907659
>>907663

If it is an arcade monitor, it could very well have vga hookups in addition to cga. Still though, if the video card was swapped that could be why it wasn't working, especially if it was one of these: https://www.ultimarc.com/avgainf.html .
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>>907585
Get something like pic related, attach it to the original game's board. It should atuodetect it, and pass it out as VGA. Attach to a modern monitor. Good way of seeing if it's working or not, and a very useful tool to have around if you play with old arcade and computer equipment.

http://www.amazon.com/Arcade-Video-Converter-Board-Output/dp/B005G8KSP8

Also, don't buy it from amazon unless you need prime shipping to have it this week. You can get these for $20 and well under from other vendors.
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>>907722
Pedantic point, but arcade RGB is not CGA: CGA is its own standard. The sync is much the same as you'd see in an arcade, but instead of using analogue signals on R, G and B, it uses digital TTL at 3-5v, and a separate "I" line that makes whichever colour the three-bit RGB signal describes brighter. CGA monitors that do digital switching exist; I'm guessing it made the design simpler and therefore cheaper.

The closest thing to arcade RGB is SCART: it's the same but at a slghtly lower signalling voltage. You can connect a JAMMA board to a SCART TV using only a SCART lead and some resistors.
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>>908262
>CGA /RGB
- not arguing your point, but, OPs is unlikely to b either - if its a standard 15-pin VGA connector? - usually be standard VGA, most of the funky stuff is usually 9-pin, no?

And, if its a standard VGA (pics/model# be good..), split the problem. Connect board to another monitor, preferably one which flashes up what exactly resolutin its outputting, see if board works. Try monitor on known good source, start at 640x480 - 60Hz. etc.

Check also output voltage from PSU to display, if possible.
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>>908314
Lots of different signals and systems were passed over 'standard' vga though.

I used to have a VGA cable with a 5-way BNC pigtail. One each for R G B, and two separate lines for different types of sync. I don't know if the cable had some active components or not. I used it for attaching old CRT workstation monitors to my linux box. Between the cable and a 2d matrox card, I was able to use every monitor I came across. I didn't end up with more than one of any model, but each one I did have used a different collection of the BNC pigtails, and different sync.
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>>908371
5-BNC is just VGA broken out to coaxial cables (which, in fact, you'll find inside any VGA cable that costs more than $1).

The reason it's done is for long cable runs, and for running to multiple monitors. High-quality VGA monitors will have a switch that lets you disable their internal termination, so you can whack on T-pieces and run the same signal down a chain.

Matrox cards do, indeed, kick ass though: they'll output just about anything, and someone hacked on to output DVB!
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>>908371
Also, there's a whole bunch of standardisation. The only reason you can use passives and combine the sync and connect VGA to a component TV is that the sync signals for all the (VGA, SCART, JAMMA, Composite Video, YPbPr) standards are fundamentally the same, just transported slightly differently.

If component had decided "nope, fuck it, let's use a 50v square wave", none of this would work.
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Hey there. OP here.

I figured out the issue. The graphics card purchased specifically for this project by my predecessors is an ArcadeVGA 5000. It's a modded HD5450 so when they installed it, they let Windows automatically install the drivers for the unmodded card, rather than manually installing the correct drivers.

Everything is now mostly functional!
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>>908770
neat
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File: MameContolPanel.jpg (114KB, 400x300px) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
MameContolPanel.jpg
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>>908770
>home made mame control panels

Why is it so hard to make a normal control panel?
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>>908797

Don't ask me. I didn't have any hand in making this.
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>>908770
So did you buy this cheap or are you just working on it for someone?
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>>908800

It's a bit of a project for my university's engineering society, except nobody in the past 2 years has had the time to work on it. No one really gives a shit but I had some time to work on it.

It just stays in the engineering building.
Thread posts: 29
Thread images: 4


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