|What it does|
|The Ultracade Universal Video Converter, or UVC for short, can convert a high res video signal into an arcade monitor compatible RGBS signal. In 15kHz or in 24kHz. There are other ways of hooking up a high res source to an arcade cabinet like this, but no other can output to 24kHz (AFAIK).
From the manual:
” This is a very simple board that has only one function, to allow the display of PC based games on older arcade style monitors. The board needs to be an external device that requires no modification to the software running on the PC. It will handle one of three input resolutions (1024×768, 800×600 or 640×480) with a vertical refresh rate of 60Hz and output to one of two user selectable output modes (640×firstname.lastname@example.orgKHz) or (640×email@example.comKHz) The coin-op monitors are RGB non-interlaced and run at 60Hz. The Input of the board will be a DBH-15 VGA analogue VGA connector and the output is a 0.156” molex connector with pins for R, G, B, Ground and Syncs.
The uVC board supports multiple output resolutions
Mode 1 – Low Resolution – CGA – (std resolution)
Mode 2 – Medium Resolution – EGA
*Vertical Front Porch Timing is variable based on input frequency ”
|How it looks|
|All example pictures are NANAO MS9 (EGRET II, New Astro City, etc). The best dual-sync monitor (15/24kHz) ever made in my (and many other peoples) opinion.
Note: I used a 3rd party 360 VGA cable at the time of taking these, but have since upgraded to an official product with noticeable results. There’s a slight ghost effect on all pure white objects that’s completely gone once I switched to a Microsoft cable.
Do-Donpachi Dai-Ou-Jou Black Label Extra (XBox 360) on 15 kHz mode:
Next a couple of pictures not shot by me (but a guy in Japan), with a game not set to vertical on a vertical monitor, hence the monitor scanlines shown incorrectly:
Ikaruga, (XBox 360) on 15 kHz mode:
Ikaruga, (XBox 360) on 24 kHz mode:
Next, some comparison shots between an UVC and an Extron Emotia that I had before finding out about the UVC. The Extron scan converters are superb, but can’t except higher input resolutions than 480p and can only output at 15kHz.
The game is Do-Donpachi Dai-Ou-Jou Black Label Extra (XBox 360) on 15 kHz mode:
Extron Emotia +a lamp reflection, sorry
As you can see in the pictures above, the colours are a bit more vivid from the UVC, but in all fairness, the Extron Emotias aren’t made specifically for Arcade monitors, and thus the monitor might need some extra tweaking that I didn’t do while taking these photos.
|Installing it in a JAMMA cabinet|
|This is how I installed mine:
Part list (video only):
1 JAMMA fingerboard
1 ATX HDD/CD power connector
You wire the black wire to GND on the fingerboard, the red wire to +5V and yellow to +12V
I got mine from an old PC / ATX ”Auxilary power” type connector) for VIDEO (you wire this up to the fingerboard, Red, Green, Blue, Video Sync, Video Ground
Note: I wired both of the sync wires (H & V) coming from the UVC to the VIDEO SYNC on the fingerboard, thus making it into a COMPOSITE SYNC signal.
|I’ve found the last (?) revision of the manual and I’m putting it here: PDF
And as it’s convenient, here are the available dip switch settings (from the manual):
|Dip switch settings|
|1 Splash Screen Display
· *On = When the uVC is synchronizing, the splash screen is displayed
2 Output Delay Scan Lines (if tearing appears on the bottom of the screen, increase the delay lines, if the top of the screen is wrapped around to the bottom, decrease the delay lines)
· *On = 8
3 Output Display
· *On = Low Res (CGA) 15.75KHz
5/4 Input Resolution
· *On/On = Auto Detect
6 Horizontal/Composite Sync Polarity
· *On = Positive
7 Vertical Sync Polarity
· Separate Sync
· Composite Sync
8 Sync Output Signal
*denotes default settings
|The uVC should work right out of the box. If you are having trouble getting an image, refer to the section below that applies.
No image on the monitor at all:
NOTE: if you have a v00 or v01 PCB (firmware 1.xx), make sure that the Hsync and GND pins are correctly connected; they changed on the v02 PCBs and later (firmware 2.xx and later)
Monitor always displays the default “splash” screen
Image on the monitor keeps cycling:
Image on monitor is stable but top of screen is displayed on bottom, or bottom of screen is “torn”
Image is good, but intermittently goes back to the “splash” screen
· If you’re using a computer as your source, some versions of Windows (Vista, maybe others) are tricky to get into a compatible video mode
· Using a video card with a DVI output using a DVI->VGA adapter might not always work
|The pinouts for the video output (J7) were different in prototype PCBs (version 00). In all subsequent PCBs produced, the output video matches the reverse of the pinouts on most monitors (R,G,B,Gnd,Vsync,C/Hsync).
The version of the PCB is given on the PCB serial number starting 990uVCxxxxxxxxx; the last two digits after the final dash are the PCB version.
If you have a uVC with PCB version 00, please note that you must swap the C/H Sync and Video Ground pins on the cable to your arcade monitor.
· Version 00A. PCB version 00. Firmware version 0.18: 10/10/2003, DRF. Original version.
|Some ”unofficial” stuff|
|Using an XBox 360 as a source, you can get the UVC to accept the below resolutions.
I can’t think of a really good use of these, but perhaps for some odd 360 game it’ll come in handy :
848×480 (this mode is widescreen, so the 360 can’t be set to full screen)
Note: I’ve only tested the above two modes in 24kHz, not sure how they will handled in 15kHz but they should work.
|Note: This web page is a re-write (pictures are edited too) from a post I made at the shmups forums in case it should disappear.|