Aquarius

RGB video adapter

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Abstract:

The Aquarius RGB Adapter Board will be an after-market upgrade to the stock Aquarius that replaces the original RF modulator with a DIY solution using through hole parts and an inexpensive PCB. It will usually require a separate scan converter to work on common RGB monitors (VGA, HDMI, SCART, etc.), but CAN work on some older multi-scan CRTs (arcade monitors) without modification.

Background

After I completed the Aquarius Composite Video Adapter, I decided the next step was to try to improve the output from the Aquarius to display on monitors that separated the RGB signals for higher quality signal. I began reviewing older posts from Bruce Abbott on the AtariAge.com forums, and found that he had developed a working model in 2014. It had a few problems, namely that characters with full-height pixels in them would render with a faint vertical bar on their left side. He resolved this issue later in about 2017 by adding a 74LS165 shift register on the INPUT side... dubbed the V4+ it included both RGB and composite out through a custom DIN connector. I'd like to pick up where Bruce left off and deliver a DIY board that users can built themselves for higher quality RGB output.

Status (13 JAN 2020)

The Aquarius RGB Adapter Board is currently in development. I have started working through Bruce's schematics for V4+ to create a prototype board that will use SMD (surface mount) components. The goal is to include BOTH RGB and Composite (as well as audio). While I'd like to make a through-hole solution that anyone can build themselves, due to the limited size available inside the Aquarius, it's not practical to take that path.

I have already reduced the Composite Video Adapter components to SMD form-factor, so now I have to finish my prototype board and acquire the necessary components. Bruce Abbott reworked the logic chips into an "FPGA" (not really) solution (V5), but for now, that's beyond my capability.

Build Instructions

Let's not get ahead of ourselves...