Vectrex Monitor Modification

Discussion of modular and standalone video generating/processing techniques and associated hardware.

Moderators: lisa, luketeaford, Kent, Joe., daverj

Post Reply
User avatar
Polykrom
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:09 am

Post by Polykrom » Sun May 22, 2016 2:49 pm

Hi all, just digging this thread up again with some more noob questions. From previous discussions I've gathered that the Vectrex is too slow for actual rescanning, and that it's only suitable for pattern generation (for which it looks absolutely amazing) – but videos like the one from nathanxl right above here seem to suggest that it actually works for vector rescanning too. I've noticed that there is more on Youtube – some of it looks quite wobbly, but it's unclear whether that is intentional (might be, because it looks awesome), but in any case, this one from Akirasrebirth looks very stable: (And it's 4K :eyes: )

So is the Vectrex actually more suitable for this than earlier discussions would indicate? Does this require deeper modification, i.e. bypassing more of its original circuitry?

User avatar
crixmadine
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:17 am

Post by crixmadine » Mon May 23, 2016 10:01 am

@Polykrom - the vectrex does not have the bandwidth to handle full-on vector rescanning. when you apply the H ramp the image will curl over itself. This is because the 15KHz ramp is being attenuated by the frequency range of the display itself.

@nathanxl can correct me if I'm wrong, but the vector rescanning images you see of his were probably captured from one side of the curled image and only covered a smaller portion of the vectrex screen.

So in essence you can sort of make vector rescanning work for the vectrex but it's very limited for that application. It is better suited for lower frequency oscillographics.

-cm

User avatar
nathanxl
Pickup Truck Full of Forty Minutes
Posts: 509
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:37 am

Post by nathanxl » Thu May 26, 2016 9:25 am

Crixmadine is correct.
The image is about 1/8 the size of the screen.
Its fun to do but probably not as satisfying to see as rescanning a regular vector scope.
No special mods done.
Flickering in my vids mostly comes from my live camera feed.
I think having a solid (prerecorded and of suitable contrast) video signal the flickering can be eliminated.
https://nathanjohnthompson.wordpress.com
"The risk of reverse engineering is that we come to imagine that the only things worth knowing about products are the technical details hidden behind the curtain. I argue that the cultural lives and imaginations of the people behind the curtain are as important, if not more, for understanding how these systems come to exist and function as they do."

Ya-Neck
Common Wiggler
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:52 am
Location: Switzerland

Post by Ya-Neck » Sun May 29, 2016 4:38 pm

Hey guys! a little Jam I made earlier this evening with my modular. Everything is recorded live. 3 patches going on at the same time. One for the sound. One for the moded Vectrex and one for the XY Geometry synth controlling Processing/Resolume.
Comments appreciated!
[video][/video]

User avatar
cskonopka
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 363
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 6:56 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by cskonopka » Tue May 31, 2016 8:09 pm

nathanxl wrote:Great work Sync... Youre pulling some great functionality out of your setup.
Inspired.
Heres my setup ATM:
Image
If you want your own Vectrex Box like this Ive released the design files.
You can download it here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1206348
What did you use to hold up the camera? Working on a relative concept and saw this, seems rather sturdy. Any info would be helpful. :hihi:
"The edge is where we live, all of us, all the time. People trying to convince themselves otherwise is just an exercise in self-deception."

/[draining of the brain via IV on instagram : cskonopka]\

User avatar
mr_coops
Common Wiggler
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:08 am
Location: UK

Post by mr_coops » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:08 am

looks a little like this
Audix D-Clamp flexible gooseneck
or
gooseneck mount
mini tripod
But I reckon you could probably hack an old lamp, maybe look on ebay for broken gorilla pods perhaps?
Depending on your camera maybe a mini tripod


Just my tuppence :hmm:

User avatar
akirasrebirth
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:18 am
Location: Italy

Post by akirasrebirth » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:56 pm

some rescanning videos ... enjoy! :)

[video][/video]

[video][/video]

User avatar
fivepawnopaw
Common Wiggler
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 1:41 am
Location: Portland
Contact:

Post by fivepawnopaw » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:48 pm

Little late in the game on this post, but I didn't realize there was a Vector style console/monitor out there in this size. I always loved playing the arcades with Vector Vision... just stare at the light... I'm going to look into finding one of these now. This will be nicer than the 4x4" screen I use on my oscilloscope). thanks! :hail:

User avatar
sync24
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:44 pm
Location: Brighton

Post by sync24 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:55 pm

still messing about with this :)
[video][/video]

User avatar
sync24
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:44 pm
Location: Brighton

Post by sync24 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:28 pm

Here's a video I made of my performance in Manchester at the weekend at Texture as part of this years Sines & Squares festival:
[video][/video]

User avatar
vonkhades
Common Wiggler
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:42 pm
Location: Madrid, Hispania

Post by vonkhades » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:43 pm

wednesdayayay wrote:I would also love to know about the scaling required for voltages going into the vectrex
So I took my power supply and my modded vectrex and it seems that it works with ±9V on the horizontal input and ±11V on the vertical input.

This means that near 0V (on both X and Y) its the center, and volltage polarity is inverted (according a standard cartesian plane) so Northeast is x= -9V y= -11v and Southwest is x = 9V and y = 11V.

I want to use a cadet scaler

https://www.lzxindustries.net/products/cadet-v-scaler/

with the specific upvoltage scalling configuration "V1.0 - Alternate B (1V to +/-5V) - Bill of Materials (CSV)" so it converts 1V signals from my Visionary System to ±5V... is that enough?

its possible to put other resistor values to make the scaler 1V to ±10V so it works with the whole screen?

Please let me know what setups/scales are you using! Im also thinking in getting a fonitronik Cascade.

RGB
Common Wiggler
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by RGB » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:45 pm

OK. So I am a little late to the game on the Vectrex re-scanning, but, none the less ... I have done the mod and got it working. WooHoo! :sb: :party: :clap:

A couple of questions. One being, I have seen a few people running external video through the Vectrex. I was not able to figure this out.. could someone explain what I would need to run through the X,Y, Z to make this happen (I have a Cortex and a Shapechanger.... Navigator on pre-order)?

Also, is there any consensus on how far you can safely push the brightness on this thing? I have been trying to keep it as dim as possible by regulating it through an offset on Maths, but, obviously it looks pretty nice with the brightness up... just don't want to ruin the monitor.

Thanks in advance for any insight!

User avatar
vonkhades
Common Wiggler
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:42 pm
Location: Madrid, Hispania

Post by vonkhades » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:59 am

RGB wrote: A couple of questions. One being, I have seen a few people running external video through the Vectrex. I was not able to figure this out.. could someone explain what I would need to run through the X,Y, Z to make this happen (I have a Cortex and a Shapechanger.... Navigator on pre-order)?
So this diagram I think explains is very well, it has been posted in another thread.

Image

to achieve what you want, you only need a Video Input to extract luma from your video source, an H & V ramps generator and thats it, so you can achieve this with only the Visual Cortex, or if you are going with Cadets you will need Ramps, Sync Gen and Input.

The connections are simple you should connect the horizontal ramp to the X, the vertical ramp to Y and the luma output (of the VC or the VideoInput) to the Z.

With that you get a video that is actually not super interesting, you might want to try to modulate X and Y to do rotations, or plug the Luma to Z and X... Here is another diagram was posted to understand what effects/rotations you get depending on what modulations you apply to X, Y and Z.


Image

RGB
Common Wiggler
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:24 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by RGB » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:22 pm

Thanks so much for the guidance!
For some reason I was stuck on the Z controlling the brightness and was not thinking to use the Z for Luma. Thanks again!!

JPatts
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:49 pm
Location: Portland

Vectrex Mod

Post by JPatts » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:15 pm

I loved the videos on this thread so much I purchased an old Vectrex console on Ebay just the other day. I'm hoping I can do this mod next weekend. Just to be 100% sure I'm doing everything correctly the mod doc from Sync24 links to this site: https://www.musikding.de/PCB-Connectors

from this site i will need to buy a 4pin connector and a 2 pin connector? It looks like they already have the Molex Headers?

The Thonk link in the guide leads a to 404 page not found but are these the jacks I need?
https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/3-5mm-jacks/

Thanks for the help!

User avatar
wednesdayayay
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:17 am

Post by wednesdayayay » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:30 pm

I would love to know as well I'm thinking vectrex and the new LZX vidiot will be a great companion
sh is the sound of data
bobo is the gesture

PB

JPatts
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:49 pm
Location: Portland

Vectrex Conversion

Post by JPatts » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:37 pm

I received my Vectrex and tried this conversion today. I was testing voltage with my multimeter and it was saying there wasn't any voltage. I still discharged the unit just to make sure and I heard no popping noises or any signs that it discharged. Still measuring voltage with my multimeter I continued and all I received on the screen is a very faint line that only goes up and down when modulated from an STO, 4ms QPLFO, Maths, and a Z3000.

Not too sure what I did wrong...I felt like I followed the mod doc closely. I'm going to try re-soldering the wire/3.5mm jacks.


Image
ImageImage

User avatar
DSC
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2177
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:54 pm
Location: Denver
Contact:

Post by DSC » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:10 am

Asking the obvious, but only because you have not stated it.
Did it work before? Were you able to play a game and hear music?

User avatar
FetidEye
demonic space drone
Posts: 2087
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:00 pm
Location: Red Zone
Contact:

Post by FetidEye » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:15 am

what a dirty insides :help:

User avatar
sync24
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:44 pm
Location: Brighton

Post by sync24 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:46 am

yeah, check your jack sockets are connected correctly.
Also, you might need to boost or offset the signals with your Maths, pay attention to what does what and you should soon be able to work it out.
oh and yeah - if it worked correctly in the first place, so you play the game, then it's probably just down to your connections.

It did take me a while of feeling around in the dark, as it were, to get the right combo of modules to get an image - like I state in the document, a CVTools or CASCADE really helps to push the signals around sufficiently to get something you are happy with.

As far as discharging the CRT is concerned, in all the ones I've modified the spark is very low, so I wouldn't worry about a low voltage here.

as far as the molex headers are concerned, if you get that sorted, cool.
and the mini jack sockets, either of the PJ ones will do, they have holes for you to thread your wire through and it's worth just covering the solder joints with electricians tape or something for piece of mind.

if you want to mail me at the address in the pdf feel free.

hope this helps!

JPatts
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:49 pm
Location: Portland

Vectrex

Post by JPatts » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:15 pm

Thanks to Sync24 for pointing me in the right direction I successfully modded my unit. I decided to leave the unit on its side so I drilled some holes on the top and added another washer. I'm already getting some crazy shapes and fun sequences! I'm definitely looking forward to more mixers/VCA's and hopefully a Fonotronik Cascade soon. A lot of your pictures look spectacular in resolution I snapped these with my Iphone, I couldn't seem to get rid of the glare. What are some ways I could get geometric shapes rather than points and lines? Are there any LZX modules that could would help with a Vectrex console in anyway?

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
sync24
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:44 pm
Location: Brighton

Post by sync24 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:15 pm

Great!!

I use my iPhone more than anything to snap pics of the Vectrex screen...
often getting a good pic is about re-setting the white balance tapping the screen.
Otherwise a digital SLR with whatever the right shutter speed works will do the trick.
I have also found particular modulation speeds give better results - so not too slow, but obviously not too fast either...!
experiment and share :)

talking of sharing, I haven't posted this yet:
[video][/video]

User avatar
krisamadhi
Common Wiggler
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:12 am
Location: asheville, nc
Contact:

Post by krisamadhi » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:09 pm

Ordered me a Vectrex HP-3000 !!!
Gonna get it set up asap!
Weeeeeeee!
---
Kri Samadhi
Releases
http://www.krisamadhi.com

User avatar
sync24
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:44 pm
Location: Brighton

Post by sync24 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:46 am

krisamadhi wrote:Ordered me a Vectrex HP-3000 !!!
Gonna get it set up asap!
Weeeeeeee!
Another one in the gang!

User avatar
Europa313
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:43 pm

Post by Europa313 » Sun May 20, 2018 5:20 am

Huhu, thanks sync24 for your improved/details guide.

I just modded mine, crt tubes are frightening :)

Post Reply

Return to “Video Synthesis”