Archive for June, 2019

RGB modding a JVC TM-A170G

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

A friend of mine got a JVC TM-A170G which is a nice 17″ pro monitor with 750TVL. Unfortunately the monitor “only” has composite and S-Video inputs, so we talked about RGB modding it, which I took on as a task 🙂 Opening it up, it is apparent that is very close to being identical to the TM-H1750CG and its siblings.

The mainboard of the TM-A170G. Note that the capacitor with the hot-melt was apparently factory added, not by me.

The IC of interest is IC501, the big 56 pin IC almost at the middle, a then little to the left in the above picture. This is the jungle IC, the JVC common TA1276AN, and as always there are pin numbers marked on the boards, so it’s rather easy to find the pins we need to deal with. We need to get YS2 (pin 32) switchable to 5V, however it is pulled to GND by R554 (it sits to the right of the leg, along with C551-C553), a 0 Ohm resistor (which forces internal RGB mode, meaning deduced from composite, S-Video or YUV). So replacing this with a 10K Ohm or alike resistor makes a proper pulldown so composite is still available. The capacitors C551-C553 also needs to be removed as they are connected to the RGB pins (R/35, G/34, B/33) and would otherwise filter the video signals to GND.

The resistor and capacitors
All removed
10K resistor added at R554s place

Now we need to attach cables to the appropriate pads (or directly to the pins). For RGB switching, the rightmost pad of R510 (which is not mounted) is a good place to solder a wire to. The three empty pads right next to the pins are good for the RGB lines.

RGB lines and blanking connected to the pads.
GND was also attached to whatever suitable point

These lines cannot be directly attached to the input connectors. They need to be attenuated, DC biased and terminated properly. Here comes the same drawing as I’ve used in most of my other posts.

RGB line circuit. The R1 and R2 values can differ depending on the need. I usually go with 75R for R2, and something like 10R or 15R for R1…

I attach the RGB select/blanking pin to SCARTs blanking pin, which is 3-5V for RGB sources (pin just has to be more than 0.75V to select RGB). If SCART is not used, one could attach a switch somewhere to select it, use the voltage from the switch that selects inputs or something else.

We need to have sync getting in also. Most guides say that this should be inserted (as CSYNC) to pin 15, which is also possible, but I prefer to use one of the BNC input pins so it is properly routed (and saves some components, as we then don’t need the circuit from above on the sync line also).

Sync added to input As pin.

This monitor also has audio. This is injected (as mono) to input A pin. I forgot to take a picture of this, but with a multimeter, it’s easy to find the pin (it’s a bit further south of this pin, and somewhat covered by the case, but not unreachable in any way. Mono should be mixed properly from stereo if needed, this can be done with a circuit like this (if from SCART, otherwise insert left and right channels instead).

All the wiring in its glory. I use hot glue for “strain relief”.

Now all the circuits can be dangling components, small boards or whatever, and you might notice no components are on the picture above. I’ve started to use a small board that breaks out SCART to the appropriate signals, AND carry the circuits for the signal attenuation (or passthrough for sync) and for stereo-to-mono. At the same time it has RCA out for audio passthrough, and a switch to select the audio coming to the monitor or to the RCAs. You can find the board here on OSHPark.

The SCART breakout

At the same time I designed a 3D printable bracket for the board which can be attaced the the monitors top ventilation without drilling. You can find the STL file and original FreeCAD files here.

The board in the bracket (purple print is not mandatory)
Bracket attached.
The back

And voila, RGB modded TM-A170G. Here are some pictures (taken with phone, so real life is *much* better):

Scanlines ahoy!

RGB Modding a JVC TM-1011G

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Having worked with the DT-V100CG, I stumbled upon this JVC TM-1011G that looked at lot like it, but without the option for the add-on card, thus only two composite inputs. Instead of the add-on, it had a 12V DC option installed, but also integrated audio, which I thought was cool, given I had to add this to the DT-V100CG. Now I thought the RGB mod would be similar to the DT-V100CG, and hey! It was. The board is somewhat different, but still sports the same TA1276AN jungle IC. So with the experiences from the DT-V100CG I started to RGB mod this.

The TM-1011G is a cool little 10″ (9″ viewable) pro monitor

First of all, I didn’t want to lose composite availability, so we need to get a pulldown resistor in between pin 32 (YS2) and GND. On both this and the DT-V100CG pin 32 is connected straight to GND, so this needs to be lifted. Unfortunately it’s connected to a bigass GND plane, so it takes some heat and patience to get up. When it is up, I inserted a 10 KOhm resistor in the original hole and tied it to the pin. Now when 5V is inserted to the pin, it changes to RGB, and when 5V is off, it’s composite.

The resistor added to the lifted pin
“Blanking” wire added to the pin

RGB lines are connected to the RGB pins (35/RED, 34/GREEN, 33/BLUE), through the “normal” circuitry consisting of an attenuating resistor and then a 75 Ohm termination, along with a 100nF capacitor for DC bias (the RGB pins have a DC offset). Some (correctly) mention the ensuring that the attenuation resistor and the termination resistor should amount to 75 Ohm, instead of adding an attenuation resistor to 75 Ohm. Sync is injected at one of the composite BNC pins, so it is routed appropriately into the jungle. Since this monitor also has (mono)audio this is injected directly at the RCA pin for the same channel as the video (I chose input A for both).

One of the common found RGB attenuation circuits. R1 can be changed to 24 Ohm, and R2 to 51 Ohm for “proper” 75 Ohm termination

Since I’ve modded a few sets, always use SCART, instead of always hacking some wires directly on to the “naked” SCART socket, I made a small PCB to attach to. This is because the circuit mentioned above is needed, and because I also always add some RCAs and a switch to route to audio out from SCART, instead of into the often rather mediocre, at best, speakers inside these monitors, and found it easier to gather all this on a single PCB. The board has space for resistors, capacitors, the SCART, stereo-to-mono mixing circuit, and the audio switch. It then has a row of through holes to add the wires to going into the monitor. The board can be found on OSHPark here.

The RGB SCART breakout

Now, just as with the DT-V100CG, the monitors’ software kills RGB video by completely darkening RGB registers and so on. To fix this, the I2C communication from the monitors microcontroller to the TA1276AN must be intercepted and “tampered”. I do this with an Arduino board, which in this case ended up being an Arduino Mini Pro (5V version!). Now the deal is to isolate the TA1276ANs from the monitors I2C bus, and add in the Arduino listening on the same address as the TA1276AN, instead, thus getting the Arduino to act as the TA1276AN at least to the monitor MCU. The software library SoftI2CMaster then creates a new I2C bus, which then is routed to the TA1276AN. When the Arduino gets read and write requests, it forwards those to the TA1276AN, except for the ones that kills RGB. Also it will send contrast and brightness settings to appropriate RGB registers so this can be controlled from the panels buttons.

To isolate the TA1276AN, two resistors must be removed, R6612 and R6613. They are small SMD resistors next to the TA1276AN.

The resistors R6612 and R6613 are in the top left corner.
Here they’re removed. R6613 connects SCL line and R6612 connects SDA.

The “native” hardware I2C bus (also called TWI for Two Wire Interface) on the Arduino Pro (and Nano 3.0) are on pins A4 (SDA) and A5 (SCL). We need to connect these two pins to the system, either on the pads we removed the resistors from, on the ones away from the jungle, or on any of the other ICs also connected to the same bus. I chose the latter, and connected to IC6101. Pin 9 is SDA and Pin 10 is SCL. I then create the new I2C bus on D4 (SDA) and D5 (SCL), and connect them to the TA1276AN pin 27 (SDA) and pin 28 (SCL). On the Arduino I connect two pull-up resistors of 2.7K Ohm to VCC for pullups, one on D4 and one on D5.

The I2C circuit

The Arduino is then glued to the PCB with hotglue. Powering the Arduino is done with by taking 12V from the PCB and connecting that to the “raw” pin. The 12V is taken from the “T” connector pin 7. If I used a 5V from another source as direct VCC, it seemed it didn’t boot fast enough, and the monitor shuts off due to not being able to communicate to what it thinks is the TA1276AN. GND is of course also connected. I simply chose the nearest easily accessible point. The software for the Arduino can be found here.

The finished install. The large cap on the TA1276AN and the other hot glued components were not installed by me, but the factory. The big capacitor on the jungle needs to be lifted to solder to the RGB pins. Alternatively the pads on the other side could also have been used.

All the wires are then connected to the SCART breakout board, for which I still need to find a place for, most likely some small 3D printed bracket thing…

Current connection to the SCART board.

With all connected, presto! RGB on this nice little monitor 🙂

Click for larger picture to make this look less crappy… Still taken with phone, it sucks…

Update

So I finished the bracket for the SCART breakout and besides the small mess with the print in one corner, I think it turned out pretty good. Find the 3D model here.