Jump to content

The TMS-RGB is pretty sweet!


Recommended Posts

I installed this setup into my pretty decently upgraded CV last night. It is the new TMS-RGB solution for the Colecovision and it was created to address some of the issues with the older Citrus3000 RGB solution from a few years back. The board is very easy to install with only 1 component really having to come off the mainboard to provide a more clear picture and even then, it might not even need to be removed from most NTSC setups.

What you use for getting your RGB out to your display is up to you, but I went with using the common Sega Genesis/Megadrive model 2 AV out port. But my initial plan to install it where I wanted ended up not working out because of the placement of the RCA output jacks I already have installed for the composite output. So I had to go a more difficult and time consuming route but I'm quite pleased with the results. I might add it to my list of services I can offer since it is inexpensive for the kit compared to most solutions for other systems these days and there are a number of ways that you an install the RGB output. In my case the genesis model 2 port is soldered upside down directly to the ground plain along the mainboard to both provide the ground it needs and also to secure it in place without the need for epoxy or other glues in this case. It also keeps the entire kit on the board so that no addition connectors are needed as I have to do with my other AV upgrades I provide usually. Another nice thing about using the Genesis 2 AV port is that you could wire composite into it as well if you wanted. I didn't since again I already had the RCA jacks in place and removing those doesn't make sense. But yes I'm quite pleased with the results and haven't seen a colecovision look this good on a modern display before. I'm sure the CV flashback and the F-18 video upgrades are excellent but I've not seen either of those in person on a modern display so this is my only reference.

Here is the TMS-RGB installed on the bottom of the CV mainboard. It just solderd onto the pins of the VDP. The thing orange wire is not part of the mod and is instead a repair for a broken trace I did several years ago. White wire is to route audio to the RGB out port.



Here is the top component side of my CV. The +5v RAM was done years ago and you can see my Retrofixes composite board in the center that was wired up previously.



Closeup of the TMS-RGB board installed.



Here is the RGB AV output I installed. Yes I had to drill out a hole that was large enough for an actual Genesis 2 AV cable to fit through.



Here is shot of the Genesis 2 AV port that is being used for RGB output. It is soldered upside down to the ground plain of the CV mainboard for both its required ground and for stability. It is actually soldered around 3 sides. Left/Right and the rear.



here is the other side of it where you can see the other side soldered down to the mainboard.



Here is the AV port and wiring when the RF shields are put back in place. I had to notch out both the bottom and top RF shields to allow access for the ribbon cable. I could have left the top RF shield alone and it would have just sat ontop of the cabling but because I had to remove the rear left tab that screws down from the RF to the mainboard to make room for the RGB connector, I decided to solder down the side to the mainboard as additional stability for the top RF shield.



This is the Fathom title screen through normal RF on my LCD in the game room. Not bad but the diagonal lines actually move around while the image is up and it is beyond annoying. Also the image is a bit blurry through RF.



Here is the Fathom title screen through composite on my LCD. Clearer and sharper picture but it also seems to suffer from quite a bit of dot crawl and color artifacting as seen in the rainbow effect around white objects.



And here is the Fathom title screen through the new RGB out that goes into my OSSC and back to my LCD via HDMI. The picture speaks for itself really.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks you two! It is a pretty simple job to do compared to some other stuff I've done. I think the most tricky have been the HiDef NES and the DCDigital although the DCDigital one went much smoother than I had initially figured it would take me. But yeah, I might add the TMS-RGB to my list of services for current and future clients of mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, socrates63 said:

Wow, so this is why people talk about getting an RGB signal out from consoles. Even on these still shots, the difference in quality is very apparent. You do a lot of cool stuff, Jesse. Thanks for sharing and explaining.

Yes, but the cost for the equipment to actually use it can be a bit expensive LOL! In my case I have a 3 SCART auto switcher so I can connect up 3 different RGB sources via SCART. Technically I also have RGB input ability on my Extron 7SC but I would have to get and likely make cables to use it with my consoles because it has all BNC connectors on the back of it. And I don't know that anyone just makes a good quality Genesis 2 AV to BNC breakout cable. Anyway, yeah...got that plus I have the OSSC that all the SCART rgb stuff eventually plugs into. From there HDMI to the modern TV in the game room.

However, my Genesis va2 with HDRetrovision cables connected to the OSSC via component is my console with the best overall analog image quality I have in my setup. The s-video setups look really good as well and in fact more than once I've had other gamers at my house in the past with RGB that thought my 7800 and 5200 were actually running RGB because of how clear those look through my setup. Since there isn't an s-video solution that works well for the colecovision, I figured I would try and put RGB on it and test it out to see what the results looked like. The results...are quite nice!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I first got into retro gaming, I wanted everything hooked up to a modern TV with HDMI. I watched a lot of videos from My Life in Gaming and considered going all out on RGB and SCART and OSCC. I backed off due to cost. I only went as far as getting a RetroTINK 2X and stuck with component and s-video on the older consoles with my home theater receiver acting as the hub.

Rather than video, I'm toying with improving the audio of my CRT TV gaming setup (2600, 5200, 7800, PS2, SNES). I've been spoiled with the sound system used with my 4K TV setup, and the sound out of my 27" Trinitron just isn't doing it for me. I'm trying to find room in my small gaming space in the office to squeeze in an older home theater receiver (need to get one) and couple of monitor speakers (which I have already have).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I've been pretty lucky with the stuff I've bought for the game room over the years. Most of it has been used or open box deals etc. The OSSC and the SCART switcher plus power supplies, and remote I got from an AA member who decided to go back to using a CRT. I was able to pick up the OSSC and the rest of the stuff for about $175 at the time which was an good deal because the OSSC with cables, a SCART switchers, PSU, and remote would have ran me at least $250 - $300 depending on where I got them from separately at the time. So yeah.. $175 shipped was a good deal at the time. The Extron 7SC I got off shop goodwill for about $45 shipped as I recall. But I spent another $50 in accessories to use it to the fullest. 

My sound setup has evolved over the years but the center of it all is an old Yamaha 5.1 surround receiver with 4 HDMI pass-through inputs, component, composite. I got is as an open box item from Best Buy years ago for like $100. It was still worth quite a bit more than that when I got it. That was well over 10 years ago though now. But I don't use it as a switcher. I only use the audio on it. I have it set on the retro stuff to do stereo separation across all 5 speakers. The speakers are also stuff I've had on hand over the years or got for really cheap. The rear channels are part of what is left of my Klipsch 2.1 THX system I was using on my computer for several years. When the left channel on the amp (In the sub woofer) gave out and I wasn't able to fix it, I decided to mount them to the upper corners in the game room and use them as rear channel speakers. They seem to do alright that way. The front channel speakers are a set of Roland MA-30s that I got from Reverb.com about 2  years ago. They were only like $30 shipped or something like that? They are from the 90s but are excellent because they are passive studio micro monitor speakers. The center channel and the sub are actually from the older Klipsch setup we were using in our home theater. We replaced that setup with Jamo speakers throughout about 5 or so years ago. I did find a use for the old sub off my Klispch pro media I was using on my PC. Since it was only the left channel that was out, I now have it in the bedroom as an active sub woofer since it only needs a mono audio source input anyway to work.

So I guess over the years there was money spent sure...but then I've managed to find uses for the old when replaced with new. We do the same with our TVs LOL. The TV we did have in the home theater is now in the bedroom as well and the TV that was in the bedroom is what I'm using the game room. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, HDN said:

You guys are fancy! I just daisy chain a bunch of coax cables together and call it a day.

Not fancy...just practical and if I'm gaming on a big screen TV I want my stuff to have some consistency in regards to the video signal quality I'm getting from each system. I'm still sore about my SMS having horrid jail bars through s-video output on it and there isn't much I can do to prevent it. I could get a set of HDretrovision cables for it and I know that would look awesome as I've done it with the set I have on my Genesis in the past to test it, but I don't play my SMS enough to warrant that purchase yet.

All of my older consoles on composite and s-video go through one of these bad boys right here:

That is two of them stacked so you can see the front and rear. But this will take composite, VGA, RGB, Component, and s-video inputs and outputs everything as an RGBHV VGA signal. I can adjust the VGA output resolution all the way to 1080P if I want. But I actually have it set at 640x480P because doing that I can then use the 2x mode on the OSSC and get an even clearer overall picture from the systems. Anything over 480P on the VGA will just cause the OSSC to passthrough the signal as it is. Not everything looks right on the LCD in that resolution and it tends to be a bit softer than going through OSSC. I also have my PS2 and Wii connected to this via component. 

I modified my Extron by adding in a power switch so I can actually turn it on and off at will since these are originally designed to be installed into an AV rack system and just always be powered on. I also installed a Noctua fan into it so it that it is much much quieter than it was before.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I have the PS2 via component connected through my Extron, and originally when I had my Extron set at 720P the PS2 didn't look that great and was kinda soft. That is when I discovered that my signal from the Extron is just being passed through the OSSC with the OSSC just converting that VGA singla to HDMI but nothing else. I then found out that as long as the input resolution doesn't exceed 480P, then the OSSC will allow you to use scale settings on the video signals. So with the Extron dropped to 640x480P, I can use the 2x scale option through the OSSC and once I did that, the PS2 and the Wii both came out looking much clearer! Again the best video quality I get bar none thus far is my Genesis through the HDretrovision cables and with my subcolor signal trace removed off the mainboard and a switch installed to turn it on and off as needed. Even though that is only a component signal, I can use 5x mode on the OSSC on my TV for the Genesis and most of my other systems. Some Genesis games due to odd resolutions, I have to run at a 3x mode but they still look pretty darn good. Next best looking system would be the SNES and Saturn through RGB with the Jaguar just below them. Then it would be the 5200 and the 7800 via S-video off the Extron.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...