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Thread: Help with a Commodore monitor and Amiga CD32

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) PDorr3's Avatar
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    Default Help with a Commodore monitor and Amiga CD32

    First I would like to thank Ze_ro for the wealth of information he provided in past threads I searched on the Amiga CD32, however I still have a few burning questions which were not quite answered for me dealing with the monitors.

    I am getting my first Amiga hardware, that being the CD32 very soon. I am from the US so I understand some issues I will be running into, I have already ordered an Amiga Mouse for switching from NTSC to PAL (atleast the Hz) for playing PAL games on an NTSC console.

    I read that by buying a Commodore 1084 monitor it will fix any and all problems that I might have with color issues and images being cut off on the bottom when using a standard US NTSC Television. I have been thinking of buying this monitor and was wondering if this will be what I want for an NTSC Amiga CD32:



    I read that using S-Video is the best way to go for NTSC to avoid all problems (or can I use composite just fine?) However I cannot clearly make out an S-Video port on this monitor (see pictures below). Also, is there going to be some kind of input for computer speakers so I can get better sound quality?

    Also note these two pictures, one shows it has 50/60Hz and the other just says 60hz, will this be a problem or will it automaticaly detect both 50 and 60hz?:




    Thank you for any help I can get on this monitor I realy appreciate it!

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    Pear (Level 6) robotriot's Avatar
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    I think you should be fine with a Commodore monitor. The 50/60Hz on the back has to do with the power grid I believe, not with the refresh rate. I have an older 1081 monitor and it accepts both NTSC and PAL signals. It's possible that the 1084 doesn't have s-video. The best option is usually SCART/RGB, but it seems the US-1084 doesn't have a SCART plug. Maybe there's a different plug for RGB though. About the speakers: since the CD32 has cinch connectors, you can hook up any speakers you like to it, you may just need to get proper adaptors.
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    Peach (Level 3)
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    I went the route of buying a US Amiga CD32 and a mouse to do the same thing you are. I found many PAL games still wouldn't play on my CD32 even after I changed modes unless I hooked it up to an RGB monitor which required opening the unit up and doing some custom rewiring. Switching modes nearly every time I fire the thing up is a pain, I'm considering buying a British unit and just using that instead.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) PDorr3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue lander View Post
    I went the route of buying a US Amiga CD32 and a mouse to do the same thing you are. I found many PAL games still wouldn't play on my CD32 even after I changed modes unless I hooked it up to an RGB monitor which required opening the unit up and doing some custom rewiring. Switching modes nearly every time I fire the thing up is a pain, I'm considering buying a British unit and just using that instead.
    Were you using a US television or a PAL monitor like the commodore one shown above? From what I read the options for people in the US is either one of these monitors or a TV that supports PAL, probably RGB like you said too but I do not want to mod my system as I am not comfortable enough with that.

    As long as I am able to get the games display properly using this monitor even by using composite cables and an amiga mouse to switch modes I will be fine with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDorr3 View Post
    I read that by buying a Commodore 1084 monitor it will fix any and all problems that I might have with color issues and images being cut off on the bottom when using a standard US NTSC Television.
    Before we get too far with this... is your CD32 an NTSC model or a PAL model? I hope it's NTSC, because if it's a PAL system, you won't get any colour through S-Video or Composite connections. Your only option would be to do an RGB mod.

    If you're using an NTSC CD32 and an NTSC 1084, then you're golden.

    I read that using S-Video is the best way to go for NTSC to avoid all problems (or can I use composite just fine?)
    It doesn't matter which one you use. Some sources will tell you that S-Video solves the colour issues, but trust me: It won't. If you hook up a PAL CD32 to an NTSC monitor in S-Video, you won't get colour, no matter what you do.

    RGB however DOES fix the problems, since it skips the colour encoding process altogether.

    However I cannot clearly make out an S-Video port on this monitor (see pictures below).
    S-Video didn't really exist back then. Commodore came up with a standard they called "separated video", which transmits Luma and Chroma over two RCA connectors. Luckily, this is electrically compatible with S-Video. You can occasionally find appropriate S-Video-to-Separated-Video cables on eBay, but you can very easily build one yourself if you have a little skill with a soldering iron (it's only 4 wires).

    If you look closely at the picture, you'll see there's a push button toggle that's marked "CVBS" and "LCA"... I'm not sure what it stands for, but CVBS is composite video, while LCA is separated video (Luma-Chroma-Audio?). You'll want to run the Chroma signal into the red jack and the Luma signal into the yellow jack.

    Also, is there going to be some kind of input for computer speakers so I can get better sound quality?
    Outputs you mean? The CD32 has standard RCA audio jacks on the back. Very easy to work with.

    Also note these two pictures, one shows it has 50/60Hz and the other just says 60hz, will this be a problem or will it automaticaly detect both 50 and 60hz?
    As robotriot mentioned, this probably has to do with the power source.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue lander View Post
    I went the route of buying a US Amiga CD32 and a mouse to do the same thing you are. I found many PAL games still wouldn't play on my CD32 even after I changed modes unless I hooked it up to an RGB monitor which required opening the unit up and doing some custom rewiring.
    I have about 100 CD32 games, and so far I'm only aware of 3 games that will not work on a NTSC CD32:
    • Fears - Gives an out of memory error that I suspect is caused by having used the boot menu to change video modes (maybe it leaks a tiny bit of memory or something?). If you don't change modes, you won't get the memory error, but the game will lock up later on. If you happen to have extra memory hooked up to the system, then it will work fine when you switch into PAL. Very strange.
    • Kang Fu - I actually don't have this one, but icbrkr does and he says he got an out of memory error every time he tried it, so I assume it's the same situation as Fears.
    • F17 Challenge - The funny thing here is that the game actually provides an option to play in PAL or NTSC, but no matter what setup I used, I couldn't get this game to work until I pulled out my PAL CD32. It *might* be another memory issue, but I haven't gotten around to trying it on my SX32-equipped system. It's a crappy game anyways, so no big loss.

    Which games were you having trouble running? What kind of display are you hooking it up to? 50Hz capability is pretty much mandatory, as many games will ignore your settings and use a PAL video mode regardless of what mode the system is in.

    --Zero

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    The only one I can remember off the top of my head is Superfrog. It would cut out right before or right after the intro video, I can't remember which.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) icbrkr's Avatar
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    Kangfu dies with an 'out of memory error' and rolls to credits.

    I was having the same issue with Fears - dies on intro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post

    S-Video didn't really exist back then. Commodore came up with a standard they called "separated video", which transmits Luma and Chroma over two RCA connectors. Luckily, this is electrically compatible with S-Video. You can occasionally find appropriate S-Video-to-Separated-Video cables on eBay, but you can very easily build one yourself if you have a little skill with a soldering iron (it's only 4 wires).

    --Zero
    is there anywhere that sells these besides the odd one that appears on ebay, i would love to use some of my systems on my commodore monitors in S-video

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    Man,this brings back memories,my mom bought this for me back in 1987 to use with my vic-20 because the signal we got from the tv in my room was so bad.It was sold at toys r us for 199.99 when she got it for me.I was 15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet Conscript View Post
    is there anywhere that sells these besides the odd one that appears on ebay, i would love to use some of my systems on my commodore monitors in S-video
    This place seems to have some... at least, I think that's what they are. It's a little difficult to find these cables because it's easy to confuse them with S-Video to composite cables.

    --Zero

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) PDorr3's Avatar
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    should all 1084s monitors support 50hz? I asked someone who is selling one if theirs had 50hz on the back and they said just 60hz....will this be a problem when playing the pal games? or is 50hz still still supported in the monitor/pal games still work fine under the 60hz as long as its a commodore 1084s monitor? I asked the seller if it is a ntsc monitor or pal and they never answered me on that though the seller is from the US anyway so I assume the monitor is ntsc.

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    As was mentioned earlier, then "50/60Hz" part is probably referring to the power source and not the actual refresh rate of the screen itself.

    I'd say it's probably a safe bet that they all handle 50Hz.

    --Zero

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    I just bought an NTSC CD32 System, can I use a Commodore 1702 Monitor with it?

    What is the difference between a Commodore 1702 Monitor and a Commodore 1084 Monitor? Thanks.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) icbrkr's Avatar
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    The 1702 won't do PAL and doesn't have an RGB input. You can use it for a CD32, but it wouldn't be any different than using a standard television that supports composite.

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    Thanks.

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    interesting. I bought a cd32 recently in need of a power supply(came with loads of games to) and then decided to just buy another one that already had a power supply I'm hoping I don't run into to many problems as I want to enjoy some of these old games.

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