eisemann barco 1209 mods - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 67 Old 12-15-2007, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently finished the 7 board and dvi mod from greg eisemann for my 1209 and am extremely happy with the results. For those who are considering the mods and can't find many posts concerning results, I hope this is helpful.

My 1209 was purchased around end of 2000. Since that time I have had no problems. I replaced an aging red tube around 2002 and had the green and red c-element installed at that time - which in my opinion is a must. After 5 years of enjoying the pj, it was time to do some tweeking.

Once I got the boards back from greg and reinstalled them, the results were obvious even after only a couple of hrs of refocusing and converging. There were significant improvements to both spatial and contrast resolution. Playing hd dvds that I was very familiar with, I saw a sharper picture with more fine detail. Just as impressive as the sharp picture was the improvement in blacks and shadow detail. The colors were more saturated and there was much more punch to the picture.

I use a crt is because I prefer the way crt's render color and texture. The increase in sharpness with these mods erase any temptation for me to consider a digital pj. I would also say that the increased sharpness I have now is more natural and different from a digital's sharpness. As for the new levels of blacks and colors, well, there was no competition with the stock 1209 to begin with.

My wife loves the new picture. Last sunday she had turned on the system for the colts/ravens game and called to me that I was missing not only a good game (colts fan) but that I was missing how good the ravens black uniforms looked. Yesterday we were watching casino royal (a movie we had watched on the system before the mods) and she says how much easier she can see the grain and how much richer the colors were - qualities in film and movies that we both appreciate.

For those considering the upgrade from greg, I would say do it and you will not regret it. the improvement is not subtle.

And thanks to Greg for a great product and all his help.

Loi Vu
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post #2 of 67 Old 12-15-2007, 10:12 AM
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Loi,

Has it been that long since you purchased that 1209?? Wow how time fly's.

Before anyone jumps on Loi thinking he is harping Gregs mods because he only has a few posts, understand that I sold Loi this 1209 and he is a straight shooter. Loi has always prefered the picture of CRT over the digitals for the reasons he discribed.

Glad to hear that Gregs mods worked out for you. Which ones did you get??

Terry

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post #3 of 67 Old 12-15-2007, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Terry,

It's hard to believe but it has been about 7 yrs since I got the 1209 from you. As you know I have been very happy with the purchase and have been enjoying the heck out of it - thus the long period of time before the current upgrade and post.

I got the 7 board mod from Greg, which includes dvi on port 3 input. Maybe in another 5 yrs the tubes will be ready to be replaced and I can mod the neck boards for a final upgrade to lug tubes. Who knows a digital may have figured out how to do the 3d and texture effects that I like so much by then.

If you're ever in the area give me a call. You're welcome to come by and check it out.

My intention with this post is only meant to be helpful for those considering modifying the 1209. I know before I did the mods, researching results and reviews of any 1209 mods yielded limited info.

I am very fortunate to have been involved with very nice people in this whole home theater thing (Terry for barco sale and support, vdc for tube and c-element, petr for transcoder, greg for current mods). Hope my luck continues and thanks again to all.


Loi
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post #4 of 67 Old 12-17-2007, 09:23 AM
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Thanks Lou,

For the nice comments I had no idea I would still be doing mods this long. I have a new V7 designed this year that replaces our previous V1-6. Each time I do a mod I review the schematic and fine places to improve. This new set is really in-depth it really makes very large gains in detail and black levels.

New HDMI/DVI internal board for Barco with new firmware.

It has more detail and lower noise.

We also have a new 7 GHZ input stage our supplier of thru hole mount transistors in 5 G ran out so we have to use SMT transistors in the mods now and it takes longer to mout the SMT transistors to the threw hold mounts but the results are a bit sharper than the old 5G.

Anyone who has my old version of the mods I will work with and upgrade for a min cost or some for free.

The key projectors that are a MUST to upgrade in my opinion are non-s.

1209
808
800
1200
(Huge gains)

For S models the 1080p is a quite week in my opinion and should be upgraded.

Our new V7 for S and Cine using the new chips we got samples early this year for are promoting very nice gain too better than last years 1.6 G chips. These chips have less noise and resolve much more detail than the cine and S model 800MHZ chips. The chips are hard to install however so trying to keep the prices the same.


Greg

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post #5 of 67 Old 12-17-2007, 12:10 PM
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Any thing new with your marquee mods?
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post #6 of 67 Old 12-17-2007, 12:47 PM
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Yes we have the same chips aval for the marquee and I am going to start testing Jan hopefully!

So email me and I will let you know on Marquee. I have been focusing so much on barco mods because thats 97% of the orders.

The most popular mod is the 1209 mod. It is also our best mod. The 1209 is a great projector for updates because of the design and the wonderfull neck cards. This projector has true 130 mhz push pull type neck card/boxes that after the mod it makes a 1209 really peform. I have had people come over and confuse it with a 909 after the mod.

Greg

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post #7 of 67 Old 12-17-2007, 02:20 PM
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I'm a Marquee fan and have been wanting to upgrade the video chain with a mod of either yours or MP's. His has had a lot more reviews and customers so i am just curious on what you have on the drawing board. Those who have seen his mods say you can not own a marquee with out getting them. I wish there were more info from end users about your mods. i know its been along time since you have looked at the marquee but it is the oldest running production CRT projector out there and still being produced. Not sure about the barcos. I'll be looking forward to what you have planed for improving the video chain and what it exactly entails , not looking for a list of parts changed but slightlly detailed idea of what you will do from your last version. I also do not plan on using the PL tubes as of yet.

Athanasios
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post #8 of 67 Old 12-17-2007, 06:16 PM
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The marquee really needs mods. I would not sell one without.

It tends to have poor color variation, noise and a non-realistic picture.

Typically from poor power from cross opamp interference in the VIM.

In my mod I up the filters on each op-amp by adding two caps to each amp in the video chain. Then replace the opamp with a wideband low noise amp designed for more BW. This resolves more detail.

The main package includes

- Power supply mod, with filament repair ( Quite the fans 90%)
- Vim upgrade power rails on each amp, bypass caps replaced and new op amps installed, new bias resistors in sections to correct gain.
- Neck cards power rails repaired, new opamps, all new caps.

A few of my customers have been asking about the new chips to upgrade there current ehome mods and I will hopefully be done testing in Jan with the Ehome. Just my shop is overloaded with barco and i need to get the ehome in the viewing room to test the new amps. The vim is already populated with the new opamps so its ready to go just need to do some real testing.

Greg

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post #9 of 67 Old 12-18-2007, 01:59 AM
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Cool Will wait to see what you have done. And if its possible some screen shots would be nice too. Mike does them all the time !;-)

Athanasios
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post #10 of 67 Old 12-18-2007, 10:29 AM
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I use resolution, black level, and contrast scaling testing to verify results from test material. I have a computer linked camera to color balance etc.

I have many monitor test sets from various places that I like to use.

One you can down load for free is the Nokia monitor test is freeware.

http://www.retroblast.com/files.php

One of my tests on the Nokia test is before and after the mod if you can read the small TN or do really see a TM next to FULLSCREEN (TM) on the Readability test from 144 inches back at 1080p. The base 909 you can’t see it that clearly but with the mod you can see it very well defined. Also on the 1209s it’s almost impossible but with the mod you can see it well. With 1209/2 its terrible after the mod its better than 1209s.

One of my customers was amazed that his BARCO 1209 after the mods resolved the full 2000*2000 according to his resolution tester he had purchased a set of test disks where before it only was good up to 720p.

He said the blurring happened much higher in the scale where the lines blurred.

The problem with screenshots is the camera, lighting, source material and the overall size of the shot.

In my opinion screen shots with a camera is not really a good idea of what a picture looks like.

If you are in the area come on over I can give you a demo.

G

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post #11 of 67 Old 12-18-2007, 04:44 PM
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Hey Gregory, what about 1208s\\e2, is the result of the mod on this as good as the 1209?

Henning Bortne - Sound Engineer - Loves CRT's
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post #12 of 67 Old 12-19-2007, 11:46 AM
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Barco was famous for having lots of names but there projectors didn't really change software was really what changed in the S models.

The E/2 is basically software changes and it uses the same boards the S model uses. In fact the 808s 1209s 1208s and even cine 9-909 all use the same video boards.

Even the 2006 909 they had a semi new switcher ( change of options only video design is the same) card but still used the same old 800 MHZ amps so it's the same BW as the other S models in the back end.

There no circuit improvements in the video section between 1997 to 2007, except the 909 neck cards. You could tell Barco was winding down the CRT development and using what they knew worked including older op-amps.

To be honest once the S model came out that was it on Video development on BARCO and barco really cut corners on the S model neck cards the 1209s neck cards were soft because they are really only 85MHZ. They stop using the VPA13 true 130 MHZ push pull which was superior on the 1209 and 1209/2 models.

Even the 909/cine9 uses the S chips and same RGB driver card. These chips are quite old now and have poor BW. Only 800 MHZ and when you put a few tougher it really hampers your 1080p.

The issue with the Cine and 909 is the neck cards are higher BW but the back end is just OK.

So Yes I do recommend you upgrade your unit with the new chips it will help it quite a bit.

This is an email from a customer that I just upgraded his 808s.

Hi Greg,

I went this morning with a former technician from barco to do the setup of the DVI input.He was very anazed to see how was the result of a full HD picture on a 808 Graphic.Great picture.

You will probably hear from him because I forwarded him your contact infos beacause he will propose your upgrade to some of his customers here in switzerland owning similar barco projectors.

I will be happy to leave a feedback on your wesite as well !

Did you check the price you can get for the Octava model I need ? (5 inputs 2 outputs )

Thank you very much for your service.
Regards,

Florient




In Jan I might have some time to send out some loaner boards if you want to see the performance increase.

Greg

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post #13 of 67 Old 12-20-2007, 08:36 AM
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Loi,
I too had my 1209/2 mod'd by Greg about a year ago and have been very happy with the result. Sometime in the near future Terry is comming to Dallas and he is going to replace my green tube and re-calibrate. I am looking forward to the finale result. The main thing I noticed about my machine after the mods is that it stays in convergence and focus much longer than before. I don't think I have fooled with the convergence in 6 months were I used to have to play with it every two weeks.

Mike Patrick
Once a novice now insane.
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post #14 of 67 Old 12-20-2007, 12:48 PM
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So what you say is that you get the same result on 808s as you get on 1209s? I ask, because I have a quite good BD808s, and I use the BG-DVI interface and PQ is good. But I want to get it even better. So my question is should I buy a better PJ like 1208se/2 and buy your mod, or can I keep my BD808s and do your mod on this? What get the best result/price.. My english is a bit rusty, but I hope you understand.

I like this forum, lot of action.

Henning Bortne - Sound Engineer - Loves CRT's
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post #15 of 67 Old 12-20-2007, 01:23 PM
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I say keep the 808 S and do the mods if your tubes are young.

The 1208 /E/s/ has no video improvement. -
The 1208 does have P16 tubes so will be sharper +
The 1208 does have high scan coils so you can do 1080p without a scalar +

IF you have a scalar then the 808s might be fine. The Sony tubes got soft with age where the P16 tubes tend to hold sharpness. If they are young then the 808s is not worth replacing.

I say a 808s with over 10k on sony tubes is shot. For some reason sony tubes get very week at high hours.

Remember BARCO did nothing what so ever in the video chain between 1997 to 2007

OXO we made firmware changes in the HDMI firmware to improve HDCP handshake if you want to send back for a re-flash.

Greg

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post #16 of 67 Old 12-20-2007, 03:15 PM
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Thank you for the reply, it was very helpfull answer. My barco data 808s has Mec tubes, and the green one is a P16 tube.

Runtime is about 900 hour's on the green and the red and blue is the orignal tubes which have an runtime on 4950. slight wear, but no mis coluring on screen.

Have bought new part machine with almost new tubes on, so I think have tubes for a while. I got this part machine almost for free, 360$, all tubes has a runtime on 1000 hour's and it also include hd-144 linses for this prices. I think it is the quadrupler that are broken.

But what with the limit on 75 mhz, is this something you will improve? I don't have a scaler, but I have an top notch HTPC. My goal is to show 1080p..

I like to keep my bG-DVI interface to save litlle money, but I want the rest og your mod.

I'm living in Norway, in there any problems with the shipping then?

Henning Bortne - Sound Engineer - Loves CRT's
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post #17 of 67 Old 12-20-2007, 03:37 PM
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I watch on your webside now, and I see that the dvi mod it's free if I go for the full package..

Henning Bortne - Sound Engineer - Loves CRT's
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post #18 of 67 Old 12-21-2007, 10:42 AM
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Yes it is free a special we have been running and people seem to like this combo .

G

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post #19 of 67 Old 12-21-2007, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geisemann View Post

Yes it is free a special we have been running and people seem to like this combo .

G

Hey, you didn't aswer my other question in post 16. :-) can I get good 1080p on my bd808s with this tubes? And how long time to you need to do this for me?

Thanks for replyes.

Henning Bortne - Sound Engineer - Loves CRT's
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post #20 of 67 Old 12-21-2007, 05:24 PM
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Yes with the mods many people use 1080p on 808G, 808s, 808d with very good results.


The P16 on green is excellent for HD as its much sharper. To save money I recommend people to replace green with P16 keeping the low rez red and blue is ok.

The BW + makes the picture very sharp. In jan I can possibly send you a set of demo boards to show increase.

Greg

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post #21 of 67 Old 12-22-2007, 06:27 AM
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Awsome,I can't wait! :-) thanx for answer me so fast. Should I give you my adress and stuff on e-mail maybe?

Henning Bortne - Sound Engineer - Loves CRT's
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post #22 of 67 Old 12-22-2007, 07:23 PM
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Just send email from my website.

I just finished a 808 mod yesterday at a customers home and it came out very nice my assistant said it looked like a 909.


g

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post #23 of 67 Old 12-23-2007, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geisemann View Post

Just send email from my website.

I just finished a 808 mod yesterday at a customers home and it came out very nice my assistant said it looked like a 909.


g

I will do that. Wow, was it with p16 tubes? data or graphic?

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post #24 of 67 Old 12-26-2007, 10:47 AM
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No had normal 180DVB but it was well calibrated.

The 909 and the S models had week back ends (switcher and preamp stages). Not as week as the non-s, the non-s has more capability to be upgraded because it has discrete components and can be modified without the limitations of current op-amps technology. Discrete transistors go up to over 7 GHZ where modern op-amps can only go to aprox 2GHZ. Its the old issue of placing a large amount of components in a single wafer without harmonics and distortions. Discrete components are always better in high frequencies.

The combination of factors make a sharp picture.

Tube type, switcher BW, RGB driver BW and final output neck card and tube type. Finally how well the projector is mechanical and electronically focused.

I find however that the neck cards in the 909 and even the 808 really don't do that much for picture because the amps in the switcher and the rgb driver are poor.

Upgrading the op-amps/noise/path performance in the switcher and the RGB driver have a great deal of impact on the picture vs neck card BW.

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post #25 of 67 Old 12-26-2007, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geisemann View Post

The combination of factors make a sharp picture.

Tube type, switcher BW, RGB driver BW and final output neck card and tube type. Finally how well the projector is mechanical and electronically focused.

I have done similar chances to my BG1200 boards and those chances really makes difference. I'm not using as high BW components that Greg are and I'm not finished yet, but difference is still clear.

Not sure why they used so much peaking circuits in original design? Those needed lot of chances and lot of time to test.

Maybe they was compensating poor performance of some components or those circuits was designed to get low resolutions look better...
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post #26 of 67 Old 12-26-2007, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ile View Post


Not sure why they used so much peaking circuits in original design? Those needed lot of chances and lot of time to test.

Maybe they was compensating poor performance of some components or those circuits was designed to get low resolutions look better...

Barco's are notorious for peaking circuits. And because of that, it's almost impossible to swap out a higher bandwidth device without spending days and weeks on end tweaking those peaking circuits..

And the testing is what determines that you've pulled it off. Otherwise, what appears to be sharpness, is more likely overshoot, or other forms of HF distortion.

Each stgae would need to be scoped, and it would need to be scoped using the better test pattern and methods to fan this out. Below is a good test pattern that would be a good one to determine the end results @ 1080P. It's a pattern found on SONY Blu-Ray disk.



I'm not sure I'll be doing barco mods next year. I've found that with some boards, I have to peak each one Individually. And that's not fun..


Ile, I want to send you a 75mhz board that also has your mod with my work. I'm using an inductor in place of that cap that jumps the chip.
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post #27 of 67 Old 12-27-2007, 09:47 PM
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I had to remove most of the peaking on port 3 input after using the 5 Ghz input stage.

Barco had peaks to the point where they caused ghost effect. Way over to give the fake effect of sharpness.

I have to use surface mount on the mods now. The new 5 GHZ surface mount more difficult to put into the boards but the thru-hole are no longer aval at 1GHZ+. The werid thing is they were last year?? Someone bought them all?

I had to boost the gain on the R network on the 5ghz as they are not saturated devices and have less video output.

Greg



Greg

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post #28 of 67 Old 01-02-2008, 07:37 AM
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I was away, happy new year !

To answer the question yes the 808 can do 1080p however it does not have high scan coils so you have to keep the width of the source controlled so its its not too wide.

If you do not have a scaler you can control with a HTPC.

Other than that one factor the 808 is a very good 1080p machine. Without the mods it tends to be soft however. Especially in the input stages.

However I am finding on the 909, Cine 9, 1209, 808 most of the EM focus with high rez tubes and mods that they will show pixel loss and are not forgiving of bad cables because you can see more pixels now.

Most people with the V7 mods I am recommending Fibreoptic DVI cables or CL2. Even at 33 feet I am seeing issues now with copper cables. On a 909 I was building last week I noticed if you didnt have the edge focus perfect you could not see the loss . However if you really dialed it in you could see the Pixel loss in the corners where you lose a few every few seconds because the Copper cable had lag.

G

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post #29 of 67 Old 01-10-2008, 03:46 PM
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Now I have ordered full 6 boards and dvi mod from greg eisemann on my bd808s. I'm so excited and looking forward to see the improvement. When I got the BG-DVI from JohnHWman,I thought that was a huge upgrade, , but I hope and belive this will be even better upgrade.

Also order fibre optic cable :-)

Henning Bortne - Sound Engineer - Loves CRT's
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post #30 of 67 Old 01-13-2008, 04:06 PM
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Hello Mr Eisemann,

Is there any plan in the near future to do/mod HDSDI input card for Barco Cine 8?

Tks/David
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