Tinting BVMs & the German CRT wizard w/ John Linneman

In this episode Steve and I are joined by John Linneman from Digital Foundry & Eurogamer to discuss CRTs.

A few weeks ago John posted a picture of his project to apply tinting (like a car window) to the screen of his BVM to reduce glare. John tells us the story behind this mission and we find out this latest successful effort has only come after years of trial and error.

We also talk about issues involving European CRTs: just what is an 100hz CRT anyway and how living in the East or West back in the day very much determined what TV you were watching.


I apologize for the bad video of John. Our filming app Riverside screwed up his footage and it was out of sync.… Read the rest

Latest MiSTer S-Video & Composite Update w/ Lu’s Retro Source

Big news this week that the S-Video MiSTer FPGA framework from Mike Simone has been integrated into the main MiSTer core. This means you can access EXCELLENT S-Video and Composite analog output using a fairly inexpensive adapter.

In this video I talk with Lu from Lu’s Retro Source and I have a long form discussion about the framework and explain the ins and outs. Lu is also producing his own short, sharp, only-the-facts video coming very soon if you need to understand quickly.

Topics include

  • Background on the S-Video MiSTer project
  • Do you NEED an adapter at all?
  • Explanation of the new vga_mode setting in the mister.ini
  • Difference between Active and Passive YC adapters
  • Whats up PAL / NTSC?
  • Vendors selling adapters (full list below)

Follow Lu’s weekly MiSTer updates on his channel: https://www.youtube.com/@LusRetroSourceRead the rest

Upgrade your light gun trigger with this mod

If the trigger on your retro light gun is feeling mushy, here is a mod kit to help.

An eBay seller by the name of MagicTrashman is selling a (almost) drop in replacement micro switch and 3D printed bracket for a range of light guns. I bought a kit for the Sega Saturn Stunner and in this video I install it and give you my thoughts after a play through of Virtua Cop 2.

MagicTrashman on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/usr/magictrashman

They have replacement microswitches for

Sega Saturn Stunner
Sony Playstation 1 Guncon 1
Sony Playstation 2 Guncon 2
Sony Playstation 3 Guncon 3
Nintendo NES Zapper
Sega Dreamcast Starfire
Sega Dreamcast MadCatz
Sega Dreamcast HKT-7800
SNES / Mega Drive Konami Justifier (the blue and pink guns)
Sony Playstation 1 Konami Hyper Blaster

Tunes in this video are from Adam Silady Music.… Read the rest

Categories CRT

Racing Wheels on MiSTer FPGA – Setup Guide Dec 2022

Dec 26, 2022 Update: A MiSTer core update just dropped which says it integrates the atrac17 patch into the main MiSTer core. This means you do not need to manually enable the patch as I describe below, it should already be enabled after an update_all. From what I can tell in the patch notes, the rest of the article should still be relevant. I am currently on holiday in Japan (follow my twitter for daily Hard Off pickups!) and I will do a full update when I return in mid January

Analog racing wheel support is just starting to become a thing on the MiSTer FPGA with the popularity of the PS1 core and the upcoming Outrun arcade core.… Read the rest

Categories CRT

CRTs on Display at the Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn Estonia

Today is Sunday, a great day to leave the CRT workshop and head out into the wide world and not think about retro games for a while. Why not go experience some fine art?

Kumu is the main building of the Art Museum of Estonia and I took my camera to see if they had any visual art displays which involved CRTs. My friend Steve’s has been doing work at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts to help them preserve their CRT collection so they can continue to display visual art in the same way the artist intended. We made a whole podcast episode talking about the issues a museum faces when trying to display a visual art piece which was originally constructed with CRTs.… Read the rest

Categories CRT

Steve’s trip to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The last week Steve was visiting Houston, Texas where he was running a series of workshops for the Museum of Fine Art. The purpose was to educate their curators of this museum (an several other notable museums) about CRT preservation and maintenance. Steve tells the story of his 20 hour drive to Houston, the different workshops that he gave and what he learnt about the use of CRTs in the world of visual arts. He also saw a great wrestling match.

If you missed last week’s episode, go back and check out Steve’s tour of prominent 20th century artists who used CRTs in their work.

00:00 Start
1:16 MiSTer S-Video updates
3:28 Steve’s trip to Houston
7:20 First day of presentations – PVM 2030 teardown
22:10 Steve tears-down a dotronix monitor for the first time
30:45 The HDMI to S-video converters driving the exhibitions
32:40 Backstage in the museums CRT storeroom
37:50 CRT or flat panel for visual art?… Read the rest

MiSTer FPGA S-Video & Composite Update – May 2022

Today I put out a short video giving an update on how work is going on the S-Video MiSTer FPGA cores by Mike Simone.

If you are not into watching videos, here is the script.

Antonio Villena Prototype Adapter

Last week Antonio Villena sent me a couple of prototype dongles which are designed to be used with these new cores. Remember, Antonio has had an external RGBs to S-Video and composite adapter available for years now which works with any core, you can see my video about it in the card above.

Antonio was nice enough to send me a prototype which works with the new cores and while some parts of it still need work, some cores already really great over composite.… Read the rest

CRTs in visual art – An art history tour by Steve

Recently CRT repair expert Steve from Retro Tech has been consulting for a museum, helping them preserve their collection of CRTs.

You may not have considered this before but CRTs have played a huge part in visual art in the 20th century. Almost since they were created, artists have been incorporating them into visual installations. In this podcast, Steve gives us a presentation showing a few of the notable artists from last century who used CRTs in their work.

The CRT visual art presentation starts at 36:51

Why are CRTs important to museums?

When museum curators are putting on installations which incorporate CRTs, they have many of the same concerns we retro gamers have:

Is this the same monitor that the artist originally designed this with?

Read the rest

How To Hook Up MiSTer FPGA S-Video & Composite – The cables you need for the new YC cores

I made a video about it which I will embed here however, below that I wanted to give the same information but in written form.

With the advent of the tremendous new S-Video cores from Mike Simone, we can now get native S-Video (and by extension, composite) video from the MiSTer’s analog IO board. The goal of this guide is to help you understand how the cores output S-Video and show you a range of options for how you could hook this up to your TV. At the time of writing the project is still a work in progress, so this information could change over time.

As I explain at the end of the article, when the project is released then Mike will also be releasing designs for a low cost open source dongle which which will handle most of these steps for you.… Read the rest