Using a Sega Saturn with a weird PC monitor

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Aerosol, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    I just bought a PC monitor that has a VGA input, but also RGBHV BNC inputs. Can I use my Saturn with it without having to buy an upscaler or other doohickey? I'm handy with a soldering iron, so if I have to get dirty I will.
     
  2. Miles Prower

    Miles Prower

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    Living in PAL territory, I have no clue what RGBHV BNC inputs technically are. Assuming it's the same signal as SCART, you don't need much: either buy a full SCART cable and cut it to your needs (remove the SCART, add BNC), or buy a 10-pin mini-din and do the whole thing yourself from scratch.

    [​IMG]
    Pin 16 here is basically useless. Composite is used for sync.

    Edit: just realized you'd need two sync signals here. I have no idea how that would work, never tried.


    If you wish to use VGA instead, something like a (powered) Sync Strike does the trick.
     
  3. Shadow Hog

    Shadow Hog

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    I don't think you need to do anything so technical as cutting cables or making cables from scratch. Just get a SCART to BNC adaptor. They exist; I see people on NeoGAF who use PVMs talk about them semi-frequently.
     
  4. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    I'm in the U.S. so SCART isn't an option for me. And it turns out that the BNC connectors are just a fancy way to carry the VGA signal, meaning it won't sync slower than 30kHz. Which is just too bad. I'd need an upscaler or something like a XRGB anyway just to use it, and I'm not that much of a videophile. I'll splice together an S-Video cable one of these days and make do. Still, this monitor isn't so bad for $4.50. I dunno what the hell I'll use it for, but I'll use it for something or the other.

    If anyone's curious, it's a Samsung Syncmaster 1100p Plus.
     
  5. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft

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    BNC doesn't necessarily mean it supports 15 kHz. The manual lists 30 kHz as the minimum, but it may unintentionally support 15 - you'll need to test it.
     
  6. Shadow Hog

    Shadow Hog

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    You already have an RGB monitor. SCART is just a cable capable of delivering the RGB signal. Yeah, you'd need a SCART-to-BNC adapter regardless, largely because, AFAIK, they simply don't make BNC cables for video game consoles, but people do make SCART ones, but regardless, SCART is pretty frequently used by RGB enthusiasts, even ones operating in the US (like myself).

    Sync, on the other hand, would be an issue, because IIRC computer monitors expect a different refresh rate than television monitors do, and video game consoles don't put out the frequency the computer monitors expect. Having not had much experience in trying that (I just use an XRGB-Mini), I doubt I could help you much there.
     
  7. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    That'd only work for me if the Saturn were plugged into something that had SCART outputs though. Like you said though, ultimately my issue is sync. I'd have to find a way to pull csync from the Saturn, then split it for the horizontal and vertical sync. And hope my monitor can take the 15khz signal without a fuss.

    If it does fuss, I'll just S-video on some dinky CRT TV from a thrift store.
     
  8. Shadow Hog

    Shadow Hog

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    I still don't think you understand what I was suggesting.

    You have the Saturn at one end of this chain. You then get a SCART cable specifically for the Saturn. You plug the Saturn A/V end of that into the Saturn. You then plug the male SCART end of it into the female SCART end of a SCART-to-BNC adapter. The BNC plugs of the adapter then plug into the monitor.

    You don't need a SCART input on your TV, you just need the adapter. The only way that could be any simpler is if they made BNC cables that plugged directly into the Saturn, but as far as I'm aware, they do not; BNC was significantly less common than SCART was.

    Really, the only thing that'd possibly trip this setup up is if your monitor doesn't take the 15KHz signal - although I'd imagine that'd trip up S-Video as well?

    (Also, Saturn C-Sync is on Pin 1.)
     
  9. Miles Prower

    Miles Prower

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    Reading a bit more about BNC and RGBHV - yeah, LM1881 all the way.

    Get a RGB SCART cable for your console and a (powered) Sync Strike, if you don't want to build that yourself from parts. What you'll do is essentially Saturn -(scart)→ SyncStrike -(vga)→ monitor, and that's all there is to it, providing your monitor accepts the signal properly (testing required). You can use this setup for most, if not all, of your other systems too if you get a bunch of other SCART cables.
     
  10. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Ah I see what you mean now. Sorry about that.

    I'm probably going to try to split up the csync and wire up the BNC to the 10-pin mini-DIN first anyway, just on the off chance it works as is. If it doesn't, I'll just buy a crt tv somewhere and use S-Video on that. Or if I'm going to be spending money, I'll just look for a PVM or BVM monitor.
     
  11. TmEE

    TmEE

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    Most monitors accept Csync on the Hsync pin, you most probably need no sync separator. Most monitors however don't accept sync freqs below 31KHz.
     
  12. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Cheers for that TmEE, and to everyone else that dropped by + - you too djohe