Compact dual monitor VGA adapter for P2ES

TubularTubular Posts: 3,727
edited 2019-05-03 - 22:15:15 in Propeller 2
I'm working on a compact adapter for P2ES that allows connection of two VGA monitors.

The VGA connectors are 35mm apart to allow room for chunky VGA connectors. The connectors are slimline Norcomp and their backs butt up against the edge of the P2ES for support, so it should feel nice and rigid. The corners are chamfered to allow access to things like the reset button and aux usb leds.

OzProp has been showing me the benefits of having two monitors for self hosted development. As a result I've added connection pins for USB keyboard. For now I just intend to solder a short female USB A lead to these pins.

I'll put this up on OSHPark when finished. They're $6.80 for 3 pcbs
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Comments

  • jmgjmg Posts: 14,022
    That's nifty. A part code for the VGA connector could help ?
  • roglohrogloh Posts: 1,452
    edited 2019-05-04 - 00:07:36
    Very nice. This looks rather handy Tubular (you can count on me to be a local participant if you intended to order 3 boards right away and the connectors). I can certainly see the benefit of a dual VGA debug system, especially if you were doing video driver development in a standalone self-hosted system. What are those passive components labelled L5 and 13 fitted for? Filters or voltage selectors?
  • Sure thing

    L5 is a led plus resistor off pin P5 (or 21 or 37), and L13 similar

    P6 and P7 nominally for a USB keyboard.

    Connectors are NORCOMP 200-015-213L537
  • roglohrogloh Posts: 1,452
    edited 2019-05-04 - 00:19:58
    Sound good, I just hope there is enough PCB left for strength in the middle during removal and it doesn't snap in two. Will have to be somewhat careful when removing it that it doesn't try to flex right at that point. Only seems like about 5mm or so left of board there. If the two VGA connectors were touching each other at the middle that might stop that but it may not leave room for wiring to extra pins etc, unless they are accessible from the other side.

    Edit: It might not also allow the VGA connector housings to fit either, so closer might not be doable.
  • jmgjmg Posts: 14,022
    rogloh wrote: »
    Sound good, I just hope there is enough PCB left for strength in the middle during removal and it doesn't snap in two..

    Does it even need that bite ? It may not be large enough to allow a croc clip anyway, and there are other GND posts ?

  • Doesn't have to have the bite. Using normal 11mm headers the PCB sits in a plane above it, anyway

    If we lose it, we can have pads for a vertical usb A connector in the middle, maybe even a horizontal one
  • roglohrogloh Posts: 1,452
    edited 2019-05-04 - 01:57:47
    Sounds even better then. USB should directly allow additional keyboard etc in the dual monitor setup without burning another connector spot. Would two normal VGA connectors be possible with USB cable in the middle?
    Another option if PCB routing easily supports it is to put a USB (or two) at the outer edge(s) of the VGA connectors, though that increases the size/cost of your board.
  • I'll make up a couple of mechanical 1:1 prints and see what looks like it'll fly
  • jmgjmg Posts: 14,022
    Tubular wrote: »
    Doesn't have to have the bite. Using normal 11mm headers the PCB sits in a plane above it, anyway

    If we lose it, we can have pads for a vertical usb A connector in the middle, maybe even a horizontal one

    That could be useful. I guess a full size USB-A is more keyboard common, and there seem to be some quite strong right angle vertical ones.
  • TubularTubular Posts: 3,727
    edited 2019-05-04 - 05:51:47
    Yeah, going with a Wurth right angle vertical one. If it doesn't work out, we can solder a short usb A socket cable

    Here's the updated design with the USB A connector in the middle. Both leds have been moved up adjacent to the USB connector.

    263 x 1301 - 14K
  • jmgjmg Posts: 14,022
    Tubular wrote: »
    Yeah, going with a Wurth right angle vertical one. If it doesn't work out, we can solder a short usb A socket cable
    Here's the updated design.
    Looks good, the Wurth one is quite expensive, I think the Assmann WSW Components AE11178-ND (A-USB A-E) is very similar, and is just 78c/10+,

  • Yep I think that one would work just fine, too.
  • roglohrogloh Posts: 1,452
    edited 2019-05-04 - 06:49:21
    @Tubular. When fitted, do the VGA connectors hang below the board (ie. mounted upside down) or above? Do you intend to use those two way type pin header mounting blocks or the through hole mounting types Parallax used, lowering the board height and potentially causing ground post clearance issues?

    Edit: re-read your first post, and I guess it looks like you are mounting them below the board.
  • The VGA connectors hang down (on the underside of the board). Just using standard (11mm) or low profile (5 mm) female headers (depending on what works best for VGA connector who will be close to 'desk' level.

    The USB A female connector however is 'above' the PCB, and I may even solder it 1 or 2mm above its normal height, depending on clearance from the VGA plugs

    The ground post itself isn't that high, it won't cause drama

  • Neat! :cool:
    Melbourne, Australia
  • Photos, or it didn't happen...

    Board 1 featuring 'elevated' USB connector feature

    3456 x 4608 - 3M
    3456 x 4608 - 3M
  • Thats right, "Brady bunch" formation
  • Nice :smiley:
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2 , RamBlade , CpuBlade , TriBlade
    P1 Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    P1: Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
    P2: Tools & Code , Tricks & Traps
  • Looks good Tubular. Now, what to try with 8 monitors and a P2...?
  • Photos of the next revision.

    Its been 'contoured' to leave max access to the reset button, micro SD card etc.

    Also the VGA connectors have been pulled in closer to the headers, so they tuck into the edge of the pcb better.

    3456 x 4608 - 3M
    4608 x 3456 - 3M
  • Looks sturdy and well designed/assembled.

    Hope the elaborate contour didn't raised the cost too much.

    Congratulations! :smile:

    Henrique
  • Thanks Henrique.

    Yeah they don't seem to charge extra for elaborate contours these days. Its a good thing
  • Though it looks solid and well soldered in place, the USB connector housing will also be exercised a lot, as a conveniently placed push/pull handler.
  • Yes, the vertical USB connector was born of necessity of no other spots to put a USB connector without interfering with things. However, the natural thing to do is grab its sides with forefinger and thumb, while putting index finger behind the back wall of usb socket, and that 'three finger lock' provides good support for adding/removing plugs.

    Some of these usb plugs are quite tight
  • Tubular wrote: »
    However, the natural thing to do is grab its sides with forefinger and thumb, while putting index finger behind the back wall of usb socket, and that 'three finger lock' provides good support for adding/removing plugs.


    Not a problem at all, unless....

    https://reddit.com/r/mildlyinteresting/comments/7oczjg/i_have_only_four_fingers_on_my_left_hand_and_have/

    :lol:
  • OT
    I have a friend that lost a finger in a circular saw accident in the late 70's.
    His surgery makes his hand look almost identical to this photo (it isn't).
    The top of his finger to the first joint was intact and they transplanted that onto his thumb. It was just the beginning of microsurgery back then. He needed his thumb for work but could get away with only 3 fingers - you see, he was an airline pilot!
    He got his wings back after grueling testing by the major airline company. He is a Captain and has flown passengers all over the world. After flying for years, often with a specific Second Officer, he told him he had a finger missing. The Second Officer didn't believe him until he saw the proof!

    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2 , RamBlade , CpuBlade , TriBlade
    P1 Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    P1: Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
    P2: Tools & Code , Tricks & Traps
  • Hi Tubular,

    Never saw VGA connectors with that footprint before. Nice board!

    Kind regards, Samuel Lourenço
  • Thanks Samuell. I think they use those style VGA connectors on things like laptops. They are designed to sink down a bit with respect to the pcb, so the edge of the metal flange is actually just below the pcb bottom surface.

    Normally they have a little bit too much bend for my liking, but in this case we can support their back from the female header connecting to the P2ES board. That keeps things quite rigid.

    I'm happy with how it turned out. I have some 9 pin versions (DB9) in male and female. Its tempting to push on and connect things via those, since DB9 is nice and easy to connect ribbon or field devices to.
  • Did this ever get to OSHPark? Based on the pics being green mask, they did not?
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