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Fun with colour on my SE/30

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I noticed that the 8.4" screen chosen was one with an LVDS interface. The same company that makes that screen(Looks like Tianma may have purchased NEC's industrial TFT division?) has the same panels with a TTL interface, which is the more traditional RGB+HVC parallel interface. Those "everything-in-one" controller boards usually have both outputs present, but I'l like to make a more dedicated controller board that doesn't have a ton of unused connectors or need the OSD menu + buttons to work properly.

 

Actually, I believe for the Color Classic, I can create a whole new analog board + TFT display swap kit. The new analog board would have the TFT driver and backlight, the digital power supplies for the logic board, should be able to handle the "soft" brightness and contrast controls, and maybe even be able to do stereo audio(at least with a LC/Perf 5xx series logic board installed). I was all about 10.4" displays, except those require hacking the bezel and the end result would just not "feel" like a CC anymore. I did some measurements, and the actual viewable image size of the CC's Trinitron is actually very close to the 8.4" actual of the Tianma/NEC panel. Of course some bezel or filler would still be required. I really like the idea of the molded resin which may even be easier with the cylindrical Trinny than with the Spherical CRT of the SE/30.

 

The only other sticking point is the AC inlet. In order to not make something that less careful people might by chance electrocute themselves with, I'd probably have to convert the power input to a brick or wall-wart; Yuk! Still, there are some very capable slim and compact 12-18V AC/DC wall supplies which could do the job since a lot of the power used by these machines is in the CRT monitor. Also, the total unit weight would be cut by about a third(estimated).

 

I already ordered a parallel interface version of the 8.4" panel and plan to make a prototype "VGA Monitor" to prove it can work. Any interest out there in me turning this into a replacement CC analog board? I had actually had an idea to make a new rear housing for the CC to repackage it into a slim, flat panel machine, but for now I'll start with the monitor.

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12 hours ago, macdoogie said:

Any chance you could make a similar resin surface for the Color Classic's tube?

I have a Colour Classic so yeah it would be possible for me to make a cast of the CRT. But I'm curious why you'd want to replace the Trinitron screen with a TFT? It will undoubtedly not look as good.

 

The LCD I sourced for my SE/30 project was pretty good, but still nowhere near as good as the output on my Colour Classic CRT. Hypothetically if an OLED panel could be sourced, then that would be a worthwhile upgrade, but I don't think anything like that exists.

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1 hour ago, ants said:

I have a Colour Classic so yeah it would be possible for me to make a cast of the CRT. But I'm curious why you'd want to replace the Trinitron screen with a TFT? It will undoubtedly not look as good.

 

The LCD I sourced for my SE/30 project was pretty good, but still nowhere near as good as the output on my Colour Classic CRT. Hypothetically if an OLED panel could be sourced, then that would be a worthwhile upgrade, but I don't think anything like that exists.

These newer industrial replacement displays actually use modern TFT technology like IPS, A-Si, and have LED backlights, so you can get ones that look pretty good. The Trinitron would win on contrast ratio, but at 640x480, the TFT would be sharper than a VGA modded Color Classic. Even at 512x384 the color classic can get fuzzy requiring a tradeoff between focus at the center of the screen or at the edges. Also, I'm still thinking about a replacement rear case to convert the CC into a slim, flat panel version with the MLB mounted vertically and the I/O ports facing down. The SCSI HDD would be replaced with an SSD and the floppy slot would probably accept SC cards with floppy emulation(Multiple floppy images on a card). Just a bunch of crazy ideas, but starting with a CRT replacement may prove useful. These CRTs aren't going to last forever.

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It's funny that you're talking about Color Classic tubes...

 

rLokANu.jpg

 

yYmkEyd.jpg

 

My colour SVGA CRT arrived today, and it turns out it uses the exact same Trinitron tube as the Color Classics do. I'm not sure that it's going to mount properly in the SE/30 front panel without me cutting away some plastic, so I may end up putting the whole thing in my poor-condition regular SE case and painting it or something. I have to cut a hole in the back for the tube's neck anyway.

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11 hours ago, DeChief said:

It's funny that you're talking about Color Classic tubes...

 

rLokANu.jpg

 

yYmkEyd.jpg

 

My colour SVGA CRT arrived today, and it turns out it uses the exact same Trinitron tube as the Color Classics do. I'm not sure that it's going to mount properly in the SE/30 front panel without me cutting away some plastic, so I may end up putting the whole thing in my poor-condition regular SE case and painting it or something. I have to cut a hole in the back for the tube's neck anyway.

Are you sure that's an SVGA monitor? From the finder screen displayed above it looks like it's running 640x480 and not 800x600. When I modded a color classic to run at 800x600, it seemed clear that the dot pitch(stripe pitch actually on a Trinitron) wasn't quite fine enough to handle the 8x6 resolution. From my understanding the 9"(some call it 10"?) CRT was the same as Sony's famous studio monitors which were for older SDTV 480i resolutions(Actually 525 lines, but not all are visible).

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On 12/19/2019 at 5:37 AM, macdoogie said:

Are you sure that's an SVGA monitor? From the finder screen displayed above it looks like it's running 640x480 and not 800x600. When I modded a color classic to run at 800x600, it seemed clear that the dot pitch(stripe pitch actually on a Trinitron) wasn't quite fine enough to handle the 8x6 resolution. From my understanding the 9"(some call it 10"?) CRT was the same as Sony's famous studio monitors which were for older SDTV 480i resolutions(Actually 525 lines, but not all are visible).

It's running in 640 x 480 because that's what I set the ColorServer card and VGA adapter to. The monitor was advertised as SVGA but I haven't tested it with 800 x 600 yet, mainly because it has severe convergence issues and I was unable to adequately adjust the color rings after trying for 2 hours last night.

 

I'm going to give it another shot later tonight, convergence adjustment is a real pain... I've only done it once before with my Commodore 1901 after re-capping it and it took me about 3 hours to dial it in - and I'm no perfectionist!

Edited by DeChief

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I swapped the monitor's tube into a Color Classic and the convergence was perfect, so I disassembled it further and discovered half of the caps on the board are leaking. Replacements are on the way, in the meantime I'm going to see how I can mount the tube in an SE case.

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