Added April 6, 2008
With some of the video converters that have appeared in the marketplace recently, it's now possible to use a Commodore 128 with a VGA monitor, without too much hassle or expense. Below are two products I've configured for use with my system, allowing 40-column and 80-column video modes to be selected at the flip of a switch:
There is a bypass switch on the back of the RGBI-to-VGA converter that, when used with a Composite-to-VGA converter, allows you to toggle between 40-column and 80-column modes. This switch is in an awkward location (between the power and bypass cable connectors), so for convenience I've added a toggle switch to the front of the project box.
Thanks to members of the Commodore 128 Alive! forum for information and suggestions instrumental in making this possible. Special thanks goes to Mangelore for providing information necessary to overcome the lack of Intensity pin on the RGBI-to-VGA converter, thereby allowing all 16 distinct colors!
Below are some pictures of the final configuration.
Commodore 128; 80-column mode – 16 colors on an LCD VGA monitor!|
Commodore 128; 80-column mode – 16 colors on an LCD VGA monitor! (zoomed)
Commodore 128; 80-column mode – 16 colors on an LCD VGA monitor! (CP/M mode)
Commodore 128; 40-column mode – on an LCD VGA monitor!
Commodore 128 in Commodore 64 mode – on an LCD VGA monitor!
Highway RGBI-to-VGA Converter (for 80-column mode) – open
Highway RGBI-to-VGA Converter (for 80-column mode) – in project box with shielded 9-pin D-Sub connector
RTV Veg Lite Composite-to-VGA converter (for 40-column mode) – top, Highway RGBI-to-VGA Converter (for 80-column mode) – right and monitor (bottom)
Commodore 128 (bottom), VGA LCD monitor (middle) and Highway RGBI-to-VGA Converter (for 80-column mode) – right
Caution: One thing I need to point-out is that the RTV Veg Lite had a rebate sticker on the box without an expiration date something I haven't seen before. I mailed-in the required paperwork, but as you might expect, I never did receive the rebate. Nor did I receive a call back after leaving a message on their voice mail so buyer beware if you intend to buy a product from this company with a rebate form. I'm very happy with the performance of the device, but thought I should forewarn others based on my own experience.