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Barco - Port 3

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Boris Blank, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    (Not sure if this should be posted here or in the HTPC forum - kind of covers both in one thread!)

    Whilst waiting for my replacement Cinematrix module to be installed in my DVD player, I started messing about with the HTPC again (withdrawl symptoms I suppose!). After a horrendous time trying to get the HTPC synced back up to the Barco using Port 5 (and my HTPC is a good 'un), I started to investigate Port 3 which by all accounts does not require the dreaded negative sync to get a display from the input signal.

    After many wasted hours attempting to construct my own cable - a standard VGA HD15 at one end and the Barco Port 3 9 pin input non-standard configuration on the other (which I thought would be quite straight forward), I ended up having to buy one ( £35 from http://www.crtprojectors.co.uk ,ask for Henry - no connection with them, just very pleased with their excellent custom-made cable service!).

    Well, using the cable, the HTPC synched up immediately on the first attempt!! I can even watch the whole boot-up process which I hadn't seen before, in fact, Port 3 will auto-sync itself with whatever is coming at it! Why on earth everyone recommends using Port 5 I have no idea! (Ok, I do know - Port 5 uses BNC cable/connectors which supposedly provide a better quality display but I can see absolutely no difference in the display in tests using Port 5 or Port 3).

    Hours of frustration trying to sync the HTPC to Port 5 wasted due to not having the brains to use Port 3 first - duh!! I use a 15 foot decent quality VGA cable (£16 from VDC!) terminated with the smaller HD15 to 9 Pin cable and I can't believe that I didn't bother to try this before jumping on the Port 5 bandwagon! Anyone who needs to connect a VGA/RGB input to a Barco could do a lot worse than investing £35 in a suitable cable and save themselves the heartache of having to use negative sync, Powerstrip etc - the advantages of using Port 3 far, far outweigh the cost of the cable!

    Best £35 I've spent in a long time! Anyone else putting their feet in the Port 5 waters, forget it, get the cable, plug it in to Port 3 and you'll be able to spend time watching DVD's rather messing about with flipping negative sync;)
    Regards
    Paul
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Great timing, I was looking at the port3 thing today and was wondering...
     
  3. Paul D

    Paul D
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    I use port three for my HTPC and have had no problems.

    I cut a normal "high quality" 10mtr Vga to 5 BNC lead(i cut off the BNCs etc), and soldered on a nine pin mini "D" plug i bought from Maplins.

    Just a hint when soldering the 9 pin mini "D". Always pre-solder the pins where the wires are to go. That way you only need the iron and the wire to to touch the pin to make the joint etc. ie no third hand to hold the solder wire!

    It doesn't appear to lose any picture quality as my HTPC looks stunning(v sharp etc).
     
  4. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Exactly - it was sitting there......., empty......., looking at me...... and I thought "hmmm, doesn't need negative sync, well in for a penny......"!

    It saves a LOT of hassle Jeff, I had this negative thing sorted and then each time I changed something on the HTPC (change of drivers, change of VGA card etc) you had to fiddle for blinking hours to get it back - its just not worth it when a simple (!) cable can resolve the whole negative sync thing. Its one less problem to worry about and one less thing that may be causing crashes on the HTPC.

    If you're gonna fiddle with your HTPC then you NEED this cable - been there, done that and starred in the remake. Don't use Port 5 for HTPC unless you have the patients of a saint or you are not an HTPC tweaker ;)
    Regards,
    Paul
     
  5. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    I don't understand the need for fiddling!
    Can you explain what was so hard about neg sync.
    Mine worked from the first moment it was switched on.
    Ahh - come to think about it Roland left an Extron box - is this helping me avoid something complex?
     
  6. NickBull

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    With Rob's utility for changing Powerstrip settings on insertion of a DVD, even if I mess things up, i just stick in a DVD and it resets the PS settings to whatever it is for that region!

    It's a great side effect rather than having to cart out a monitor!
     
  7. ReTrO

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    I wonder if the 9pin port on my Data600 is the same idea. I hope so, save me using my old 4BNC lead and the Barco convertor box.
     
  8. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    No it won't I'm afraid the port is for TTL type signals. Which is originally where the Port three came from and hence why it only has 9pins.
     
  9. larsan

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    Exactly what is TTL?

    /David
     
  10. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    You don't understand the need for fiddling!!?? I see that you have not been seduced by the dark side young Alex - yet! ;) Fiddling is what committed (or daft!) PC/HTPC owners do in the never ending quest to hone their PC to perfection - if ya don't fiddle ya ain't gonna get the best out of the box of tricks under the desk! (You also run the very real risk of crashing your PC and losing everything on it but hey, no pain no gain right!?)

    The Extron box is indeed taking care of all your negative sync issues, without the box you'd have all the joys of having to set up your PC (or whatever) to ensure that it outputs a negative sync before you will get a picture from it using Port 5. In truth negative sync is fairly straight forward once you understand whats required, its just that getting it right initially and then keeping it right after you've changed the VGA card, changed the hard drive, etc etc is a pain, especially when you forget how you did it the first time.

    Powerstrip is very good at providing a negative sync out of an HTPC, unfortunately it also very easy to screw-up and can mean instant loss of the display leaving you runninga round trying to connect the monitor back up to try to figure out whats gone wrong.

    Nick mentioned above a utility which helps change the Powerstrip settings without messing everything up - I've not used this and it could be VERY useful (but again, its another link in a chain of software which depends soley upon correctly setting negative sync to allow you to see the display in the first place).

    A correctly wired cable into Port 3 removes all the neg sync problems cheaply and permanently with no lose of picture quality and no need to worry about PS settings, VGA card settings, external hardware polarity etc, etc. Like I said, for £35 its worth it to avoid the problems to begin with.

    Now that I've tried it, I totally fail to see why everyone recommends using Port 5 - the impression that BNC connectors are the ONLY connections to use for a HIGH QUALITY display is just plain wrong, provided you are using a good quality cable into Port 3 there is no difference at all!.

    If you already have a fully configured and working HTPC connected to a Barco its perhaps not worth the bother of coughing up for a cable specifically for Port 3 but if you are just about to set up your HTPC or Barco its worth the dosh, believe me, its worth it!

    Hope this helps somebody - it would certainly have helped me had I been fully aware of it a year or so ago.
    Paul

    P.S. David - TTL = Through The Line. I stand to be corrected if I'm wrong but its the old EGA graphics standard so unless you want to view everything in 256 colours 640x480 (or whatever the standard was) it won't be of much use to you I think. The 600 was too early for VGA (and higher) graphical input. Monitors and graphics cards all had 9 pin connectors in them days, the later Barcos kept the 9 pin input at Port 3 but upgraded the firmware/electronics to cope with VGA - I think thats right?

    [Blimey, I've edited this blooming thing about 20 times now - I'm losing it I tell ya!]
     
  11. Rob

    Rob
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    I don't undersatand the problem with negative sync. I've only ever set mine up once in Powerstrip and it has never caused me any problems since. The only problem I now have is trying to find icons & tabs that are off the screen. As its 16:9, the shutdown tab on my taskbar is about a foot lower than the bottom of the screen. I have to click away blindly till I find it. I'm sure there must be a simple way round this (other than buying another screen) I just dunno what it is :confused:

    Rob.
     
  12. BarcoDownunder

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    Hi Guys,

    I am from Australia and recently purchased a Barco Data 800 (manufactured 1990). Does this model have the port 3 in question? On the back of it is a 9 pin RGB TTL port. Will this work with the solution offered by PaulB?

    Thanks in advance guys!

    Mark.
     
  13. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    Mark that is the one. yes it will work
     
  14. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
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    I thought TTL was transistor-transistor logic, which in this context relates to the H-sync and V-sync pulse voltage required; 5V rather than 0.3V, or something like that.
     
  15. quadmad

    quadmad
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    can you scale through port 3 ?
     
  16. flibble

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    I'm also one that doesn't understand the fuss :)

    I've got a Data 800 that I use with a HTPC card, just use an ATI Radeon card and there are options for setting the sync polarity in the Config software. They even default to negative sync. A cheap 10 quid 15pin SVGA to 5 BNC cable is all you need.

    Have I just ended up being very lucky ?
     
  17. ufitsy

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    I have to click away blindly till I find it. I'm sure there must be a simple way round this (other than buying another screen) I just dunno what it is

    Rob

    Alt + F4 should give you shut down (assuming you have a keyboard)
     

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