[Coco] Bad news, good news...

Roger Merchberger zmerch at 30below.com
Sat Dec 10 15:43:55 EST 2005

After almost 4 years, I've finally sparked up one of my CoCos again!

Our local "Mega Mart" (if you can call it that) had 15" LCD TVs on sale for 
$188. The wifey wanted to pick up one of these critters as a "Bedroom TV." 
Roger was thinking "CoCo TV!" ;-)

Wifey came home with the TV last nite, so Roger had to try it out today. 
Roger goes up to the 3rd floor attic (a chore in and of itself!), grabs a 
CoCo3, comes down, plugs 'er in, nuthin but green screen. Ratz. Back to the 
attic, I grab a CoCo3 box, and yet I'm not smart enough to look inside 
whilst I'm up there. Get downstairs, open the box, CoCo2. Ungh. After 
cursing myself out for being a moron, I head back to the attic once again, 
and grab "my" CoCo3. The one I bought new lo, those many years ago. Trudge 
'er back downstairs, spark 'er up, and Bam! Alive it is! And looks kinda 
crappy. :-( 40 Columns didn't get any better[1] and 80 columns was... 
well... pretty much unreadable, no matter how you slice it.

I'm not sure if it's the RF modulator in the CoCo, the RF demodulator in 
the TV (It's not exactly a Sony after all) or both working in concert to 
make me unhappy... tho I did start wondering a few things:

a) if I could pick off the Chroma & Luma & feed it into the SVGA port... 
would that improve the video at all?

b) if the video circuitry on the VGA port will sync down to NTSC levels. 
IIRC, tho, the voltage requirements of the RGB port on the CoCo and 
standard VGA aren't quite the same. If I'd "underdrive" the VGA circuit, 
I'd solder up a cable & try 'er, but if I "overdrove" the VGA... well... I 
doubt my wife would be happy if I let the magic smoke out of what's 
basically her TV having owned it less than 24 hours.

There is good news, tho: [2] I popped the lid on the first CoCo3, reseated 
the memory chips, and everything came to life.

Oh well, can't say I didn't try. Maybe if the wife gets out of doing 
daycare, I'll finally have room to set up my CoCo full time again soon...

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

[1] (well, after I diddled with ATTR & CLS# I got it readable, but it 
wouldn't win any beauty contests...)

[2] Y'all prolly thought this was a segway to a Geico commercial...

Roger "Merch" Merchberger   | "Bugs of a feather flock together."
sysadmin, Iceberg Computers |           Russell Nelson
zmerch at 30below.com          |

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