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C128 VGA adapter released at CommVEx v11 2015


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John Carlsen's C128 80-column Video Digital-to-Analog Converter was released at CommVEx v11 2015 last weekend. Along with Jason Wright who released his CGA-to-RGB adapter, John's device was shown to the crowd and to the videocamera. Expect their videotaped talk to be posted soon! John's C128 VGA adapter was sold at a CommVEx price of $40 US, discounted from its on-line price of $50. It works in conjunction with the Gonbes GBS-8220 video converter which is not included in the price but is available from eBay with prices as low as $18.59 currently.


John's C128 VGA adapter webpage has been updated with the latest photos -




Contact John at the e-mail link there.


Leaving Las Vegas today,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group


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John Carlsen's C128 80-column Video Digital-to-Analog Converter was released at CommVEx v11 2015 last weekend. Along with Jason Wright who released his CGA-to-RGB adapter, John's device was shown to the crowd and to the videocamera. Expect their videotaped talk to be posted soon! John's C128 VGA adapter was sold at a CommVEx price of $40 US, discounted from its on-line price of $50. It works in conjunction with the Gonbes GBS-8220 video converter which is not included in the price but is available from eBay with prices as low as $18.59 currently.
John's C128 VGA adapter webpage has been updated with the latest photos -
Contact John at the e-mail link there.
Leaving Las Vegas today,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group

 

When will these adapters be available on line. I''ve been following the development on another forum, and am very interested in at least one of these boards.

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Hot damn! I was just lamenting about this at Amiga 30: I got my 128D set back up but have gotten rid of all of my monitors, so now I have no interface to 80 column mode.

well that stinks. This is an important device for 128 users. I knew I could not make the meeting, so I have been waiting to find out about availibility and price since then.

I have a 1080 Amiga monitor on the C-128 right now, but I also have several VGA compatible monitors. I hope to find out details soon.

Edited by motrucker
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This is not the same guy as listed above, but you still might be able to buy some from this guy: http://he-insanity.blogspot.com/2014/03/commodore-128-cga-video-dac-board.html

 

You'll still need a GBS-8220 with a power supply and will also need a connector for the 8220.

 

I wouldn't mind picking up a few from the guy RobertB posted about though because connection is far simpler since you don't need to buy and worry about connectors.

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This is not the same guy as listed above, but you still might be able to buy some from this guy: http://he-insanity.blogspot.com/2014/03/commodore-128-cga-video-dac-board.html

 

You'll still need a GBS-8220 with a power supply and will also need a connector for the 8220.

 

I wouldn't mind picking up a few from the guy RobertB posted about though because connection is far simpler since you don't need to buy and worry about connectors.

Considering the price of the unit you posted, and having to get extra parts, I'll just wait. Thanks for the idea.

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Considering the price of the unit you posted, and having to get extra parts, I'll just wait. Thanks for the idea.

 

Well, it's not that much difference in price really. The "Commodore 128/ CGA Video DAC Board" is $47 + shipping and then a couple plastic pieces from DigiKey. The other listed by RobertB will be $50 + shipping and you don't need the DigiKey part.

 

In both cases you still need a Gonbes GBS-8220 with a power supply.

 

The GBS-8220 comes with the wires that you connect to these devices.

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Well, it's not that much difference in price really. The "Commodore 128/ CGA Video DAC Board" is $47 + shipping and then a couple plastic pieces from DigiKey. The other listed by RobertB will be $50 + shipping and you don't need the DigiKey part.

 

In both cases you still need a Gonbes GBS-8220 with a power supply.

 

The GBS-8220 comes with the wires that you connect to these devices.

I already have this ordered: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ARCADE-GAME-CONVERTER-CGA-RGB-YUV-EGA-to-VGA-GBS-8220-Promotion-/250899701935?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item3a6ac9a0af

and thanks to all of my other projects, I have loads of small PSUs. So I'm ready.

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Title of this post is a bit misleading, this adapter has been around for several years, only does the 80 column output and needs additional hardware as noted above. I am not saying its not an intersting device(I have one from a very early batch) but the form factor along with the required converter makes fro a hell of a mess on your desk.

Edited by dragos
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dragos wrote:

 

> Title of this post is a bit misleading, this adapter has been around for several years...

 

If you are referring to the original, out-of-production, Commodore 128 Video DAC from Richard Goedeken of Fascination Software, then yes, it first came out in late 2008-early 2009. Then in 2014, Alex J. made his own run of the board, essentially duplicating Richard's design. Alex's board is now out-of-production, too.

Now John Carlsen has taken Richard's design and has improved on it, John's device producing more accurate colors in 80-column mode. (Actually, the history of John's C128 VGA adapter goes all the way back to 2012... but that's another story.)

Richard and John had been in consultation with each other, and at the July SCCAN meeting they finally got to meet, just a week before CommVEx. John had brought his C128 VGA adapter to show the members. Richard had a big smile on his face as he looked over the new C128 VGA adapter's design, and he and John talked excitedly about how it has developed.

 

Now that's progress,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network

http://www.sccaners.org

Edited by RobertB
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Thanks for the update RobertB. I'm not a fan of exposed boards and wires all over the place (and already have 2 of the other Video DAC model), but I'll probably pick up 2 of these.

 

I like to have options if I need them and would like to support people who make these types of things possible!

 

Nice touch that he's offering a power supply to use with the Gonbes as well if you need one.

 

http://bit-c128.com/

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While I prefer a finished device (enclosed,) I would prefer in this case to have a more compact board. This would hang off and put stress on the RGBI port of my 128D.

 

Of course, one could use a 9-pin extension cable. Does this fit inside the Gonbes?

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No, not inside the GBS-8220. They are just bare boards as well. I actually have the GBS-8200. It's like the 8220, but with only 1 VGA output. The dimensions are about 4.5" x 4.5" and the wires are about 20" long (of course you could shorten them).

 

There are various distributors for Gonbes on eBay, here is a random one I found that shows the wires: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121679997460

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  • 3 weeks later...

On Wed, July 22, 2015 5:27 am, I wrote:

> John's C128 VGA adapter webpage has been updated with the latest photos - http://www.bit-c128.com . Contact John at the e-mail link there.

John's website has been updated with ordering information, including the convenience of Paypal. For those who prefer, you can order his C128 VGA adapter through Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013HI3MRE

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

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  • 2 weeks later...

With the C128's 80-column mode colors, does BASIC color value 10 display as brown or dark yellow with the adapter sold by John Carlsen? I read that the earlier adapter sold by Alex J displayed it as brown. I am interested in this if it displays as brown because that is how a CGA monitor would display it.

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  • 7 months later...

 

John Carlsen's C128 80-column Video Digital-to-Analog Converter was released at CommVEx v11 2015 last weekend.
(snip)
John's C128 VGA adapter webpage has been updated with the latest photos -

After an inquiry from a FCUG member, I looked up John's website and found it to be updated! The website address has been subtly changed to

 

http://www.bit-c-128.com/

 

He now has categorized the site into multiple pages - Home, Uses, How to Buy, Quick Start Guide, History, and Contact. Interestingly, under History, he notes that the BIT-C-128 Video DAC is now in its second production run after having strong Christmas sales.

 

He even gives CommVEx a plug,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

July 30-31 Commodore Vegas Expo v12 -

http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

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There are schematics online that account for the brown and look easy enough to implement on a small breadboard. I will gladly try implementing it on my own or pay someone else who is competent to do it. John Carlsen will never get a penny out of me, nor should he from anyone else, and it's too late for him to patent it now.

Edited by Great Hierophant
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There are schematics online that account for the brown and look easy enough to implement on a small breadboard. I will gladly try implementing it on my own or pay someone else who is competent to do it. John Carlsen will never get a penny out of me, nor should he from anyone else, and it's too late for him to patent it now.

 

Okay, I will bite. Care to elaborate on your rant, perhaps in another thread? I only ask because it is obviously eating at you enough to drop the lure into the pond, and it if is that serious then maybe we should be forewarned.

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Okay, I will bite. Care to elaborate on your rant, perhaps in another thread? I only ask because it is obviously eating at you enough to drop the lure into the pond, and it if is that serious then maybe we should be forewarned.

Fair enough, here is essentially the circuit Carlsen used : http://he-insanity.blogspot.com/2014/03/video-dac-assembly-information.html?m=1

 

More options and information can be found here : http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?50569-IBM-C128-CGA-conversation-capture-and-VGA-display-success-stories

Edited by Great Hierophant
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Great Hierophant wrote:

 

> Fair enough, here is essentially the circuit Carlsen used...

 

Some history is necessary here. The original video DAC was created by Richard42g in 2008 or so. He talked about it on the defunct www.commodore128.org forum. I bought one of those, and after hand-building 30 of those, Richard stopped production and granted permission for anyone else to continue building them. Richard42g published the schematics and the list of parts on the forum.

 

In 2011-2012, after much discussion, John Carlsen was convinced to build an improved version of Richard's design. In the meantime, Alex J (whose blog you have referenced) transferred Richard's schematic and part's list to the Erik Klein's Vintage Computer Forum (which was good, because when commodore128.org went down, all the information on Richard's design disappeared at that site). Alex J. built and sold more of Richard's video DAC without any modifications to the design. Then Alex stopped production on those copies.

 

John Carlsen analyzed the Richard's video DAC and found out that the two or three of the colors displayed were off, the intensities being wrong but most glaringly, brown was not displayed correctly. John contacted Richard and discussed the original's problems. In 2013-2014 John worked on his own prototypes of the video DAC. With the use of a 1084 monitor to measure the colors displayed, John tweaked the values of resistors on the original list of parts. He was able to get true colors. See

 

http://blog.retro-link.com/2014/01/c128-vga-adapter-latest-prototype.html

 

The two prototypes were shown at the FCUG and SCCAN meetings and at the Commodore Vegas Expo v10 2014, where the attendees, most notably hardware developer Jim Drew, made comments on the design.

 

In 2015 at the May (or was it the July) SCCAN meeting, John was able to meet Richard face-to-face and show the first production model. John was very proud of his design which used surface-mounted parts and was smaller than Richard's original. Richard had a big smile on his face and was very enthusiastic about what his original had become.

 

At the Commodore Vegas Expo v11 2015, John released his production model, building a few to sell at CommVEx. Since the show, he has ramped up production of his video DAC, selling the units through his website and on Amazon.com

 

Great Hiierophant wrote:

 

> it's too late for him to patent it now.

 

Nor does he want to patent anything. John has freely admitted that Richard's design has been the basis of the new video DAC.

 

Back from today's FCUG meeting,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network

http://www.sccaners.org

July 30-31 Commodore Vegas Expo v12 -

http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

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