Double Life

I came by this old Playstation advert a few days ago and brought back old memories. Back from the day when adverts were good. Not many people I speak to remembered it, but then I accidentally came by it when link hopping on YouTube. Seems these days, alot of websites allow you to link hop.

Just a couple of days ago, when link hopping on MetaCafe, I learned how to freeze beer inside a bottle by tapping it with another bottle, and how to turn an egg green using red cabbage.

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Playstation 2 – Video Adaptor

Playstation AdaptorRecently I bought a Playstation 2 development kit (the cheaper Linux version) for use at university. However, although it works correctly on a television, when I tried to use it on my TFT monitor, everything was green.

After a bit of research, I found out that the problem is known as Sync-on-Green – additional information is transmitted down the green channel for synchronization.

I did some googling and found an integrated circuit designed for separating the synchronization information, a DIP IC called EL1881. The only place I could find them though was on the American eBay, so I decided to buy a few incase I blew any of them up or damage them with static.

Playstation 2 VGA to VGA Adapter SchematicWhen it arrived, the datasheet already contained information on how to hook it up, and managed to create an adapter that took in the VGA from the PS2 and output it through another VGA socket. Between the sockets, the chip would be used to extract the synchronization information and output it through pin 13 and 14 on the output VGA.

I’ve put a diagram of the circuit for those interested in making their own. Most of the connection do not need to be soldered between plugs, and there are two new connections to be added for the output for the sync information.

You may have noticed I had added a 0.1uF capacitor over a 620k resister on PIN 6 of the chip (Reset), this a chroma filter. I didn’t have a 510pF at hand, but the 0.1uF seems to work just fine. See the datasheet for more info.

The hardest part of all this was soldering the wires to the VGA adapter – its hard to solder in a confined environment, most of the time I melted the back of the socket.

I think the end result looks very clean though, if only it didn’t require an external 5V power supply to the chip. In the end I modified the additional wires to instead use the USB ports on the Playstation 2.

However I believe on the PS2 output (that other side of the PS2 to VGA cable), there is power on PIN 10, however I did not have any spare ones to play with, and it is not forwarded along the cable unfortunately.