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Discussion Starter #1
I have this old Ambery PC-TVIII converter but it's set to output Composite/S-Video. I need to switch it to RGB or YUV Component. The button menu does not give me this option, but in reading the old manual, you can do it with a remote (don't have one) or RS-232 Software via PC. I have a USB to RS-232 cable but I cannot find the old software online anywhere. Does it exist anywhere???



https://www.blk.gr/uploads/files/products/attachments/pdf/pdfs/Ambery/PC-TVOM.pdf


 

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Even if it does exist, it probably won't run. Maybe you can reach out to the manufacturer and see if they'll provide you the serial command that needs to be sent? If so, you can probably use a terminal application to send the command through the USB->serial cable.
 

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Even if it does exist, it probably won't run. Maybe you can reach out to the manufacturer and see if they'll provide you the serial command that needs to be sent? If so, you can probably use a terminal application to send the command through the USB->serial cable.

I've tried serial codes via USB. The problem is they don't all work. For instance, I changed the aspect radio with AS[01] but now I cannot go back which is command AS[00]. I do not know why. I emailed Ambery, no response. I'll try calling them on Monday, but I presume they're useless.
 

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I've tried serial codes via USB. The problem is they don't all work. For instance, I changed the aspect radio with AS[01] but now I cannot go back which is command AS[00]. I do not know why. I emailed Ambery, no response. I'll try calling them on Monday, but I presume they're useless.
What are you using to transmit the codes right now? There's a difference between "AS1" and "AS"1 for example. It's likely the firmware checks for ==0 so anything not 0 is 1 which would explain why, if you sent it wrong, that it toggled it once but won't toggle it back.

"A" = ascii code 65
"S" = ascii code 83
"0" = ascii code 48
"1" = ascii code 49
0 = 0 (ascii NULL)
1 = 1 (ascii start heading)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What are you using to transmit the codes right now? There's a difference between "AS1" and "AS"1 for example. It's likely the firmware checks for ==0 so anything not 0 is 1 which would explain why, if you sent it wrong, that it toggled it once but won't toggle it back.

"A" = ascii code 65
"S" = ascii code 83
"0" = ascii code 48
"1" = ascii code 49
0 = 0 (ascii NULL)
1 = 1 (ascii start heading)

I've tried several GUI apps like Termite 3.4 or Tera Term, as they're just copy paste or type and hit enter. So I'm typing or pasting literally AS0 or AS[00] and it's not doing anything. However if I do AS1 or AS[01] it responds.


I have seen some of the sophisticated apps out there, but they just seemed way too complicated so I avoided them. Initially, I had it configured right, but it wasn't populating the full screen, so I tried commands to enlarge the screen, and then did a wide screen code and got stuck on that, and just gradually made it worse.
 

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I've tried several GUI apps like Termite 3.4 or Tera Term, as they're just copy paste or type and hit enter. So I'm typing or pasting literally AS0 or AS[00] and it's not doing anything. However if I do AS1 or AS[01] it responds.


I have seen some of the sophisticated apps out there, but they just seemed way too complicated so I avoided them. Initially, I had it configured right, but it wasn't populating the full screen, so I tried commands to enlarge the screen, and then did a wide screen code and got stuck on that, and just gradually made it worse.
What is the com port number and speed / port settings? I might be able to whip up something for you to use real fast
 

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I've tried several GUI apps like Termite 3.4 or Tera Term, as they're just copy paste or type and hit enter. So I'm typing or pasting literally AS0 or AS[00] and it's not doing anything. However if I do AS1 or AS[01] it responds.


I have seen some of the sophisticated apps out there, but they just seemed way too complicated so I avoided them. Initially, I had it configured right, but it wasn't populating the full screen, so I tried commands to enlarge the screen, and then did a wide screen code and got stuck on that, and just gradually made it worse.
Ok i Terra Term, you can use the "send' macro. So I'd try typing something like:

send 65 83 01 and
send 65 83 00
 

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Many of these USB-to-RS232 converters use a standard PL2303 chip. 1. Download and run the test app to find out whether you have PL2303 v1 or v2 chip, 2. download and install the PL2303 driver for your version.
 

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Many of these USB-to-RS232 converters use a standard PL2303 chip. 1. Download and run the test app to find out whether you have PL2303 v1 or v2 chip, 2. download and install the PL2303 driver for your version.
This doesn't sound like it's part of the problem though. He has already successfully communicated with the device.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What is the com port number and speed / port settings? I might be able to whip up something for you to use real fast

COM3 9600 baud port 1.


Ok i Terra Term, you can use the "send' macro. So I'd try typing something like:

send 65 83 01 and
send 65 83 00

I'm actually needing to get it to accept the NP00 command to switch to NSTC from PAL (long story) most of all. Anyway, thanks for the help. I tried the macro thing but didn't work, all it seemed to do was echo NP0 onto the screen. I'm not betrothed to Tera Term, it just seemed least complicated. I haven't used these kinds of terminal apps in like 20 years!



Is there a Windows program you recommend?
 

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I'm actually needing to get it to accept the NP00 command to switch to NSTC from PAL (long story) most of all.
What are you starting with (in terms of computer display geometry) and what do you want to end up with?


I get the feeling there may be a way to accomplish this that doesn't involve jumping through stone hoops. For their part, Ambery offers an updated converter for $67 that is pretty much fully automatic (other than slide switches for PAL/NTSC and three modes of overscan.
 

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What are you starting with (in terms of computer display geometry) and what do you want to end up with?

I'm using a standard Sony Trinitron 27" TV. I just want to convert a 31-kHz VGA signal to component video at 480i output, that's all. When I got this old Ambery, it was set to composite so I had to switch it to YUV. I did that with the command, but then it wasn't filling the screen, so I wanted to expand it. In trying those codes, I turned it to widescreen and can't get it back to 4:3. Along the way, I accidentally set it to PAL so it's really screwed up now. The system reset command uses a damn 0 as well, so that won't register. Honestly, this shouldn't be that difficult. I've similarly programmed (with RS-232 cable) an old TVOne Corio that outputs S-Video using a VGA source.



I get the feeling there may be a way to accomplish this that doesn't involve jumping through stone hoops. For their part, Ambery offers an updated converter for $67 that is pretty much fully automatic (other than slide switches for PAL/NTSC and three modes of overscan.


Which Ambery is $67? The one I see on their website (http://www.ambery.com/av-700cga1.html) is $185 which I'm not spending. This old thing cost me $10.
 

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I'm using a standard Sony Trinitron 27" TV. I just want to convert a 31-kHz VGA signal to component video at 480i output, that's all.
Some terminology clarification is needed here. Does your Sony CRT have component inputs on it? I missed that there is a component output option on the Ambery.


Technically, PAL is 576i but there is much bickering about overscan when it comes to displaying computer images on analog monitors.


VGA is a little sketchy as well. It can be anything from 320x200 on up to 800x400. There are VGA cards with composite and S-video outputs but they may be hard to find these days (especially ones that do PAL).
Which Ambery is $67? The one I see on their website (http://www.ambery.com/av-700cga1.html) is $185 which I'm not spending.
This one:

http://www.ambery.com/pc-tviir1.html


Amazon lists a number of similar converters for under $20. Monoprice shows a $6 cable but I expect that requires a special VGA card.

These devices don't do component but they do offer composite and S-video. This is why I asked the question about the VGA geometry and how you were driving the TV.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Ambery you cited only outputs S-Video/Composite, which is why it's only $67. I have an old TVOne as I said, if I wanted to do that. I prefer component video, it's a better picture. Yes, the one I have has a VGA output port, which you can switch between composite, RGB, and YUV (component) video signals.

Secondly, I'm not outputting a PC here, these are video game consoles modded to output VGA signals. I wish to downscale them to use on my CRT TV rather than a HDTV, with component being the preferred route, so it has to be 480i, which a VGA signal obviously is not inherently.

Third thing, I realized this Ambery is the same device as the Atlona AT-PC-AVSCOMP. I reached out to Atlona, though I probably will never hear from them. I called Ambery, and sent them another email with what I was asking for, but I doubt they'll find anything. I also found a guy on ebay who has one complete in box, and tried asking for the CD's contents. I would have just bought it but a) he wants too much money and b) if he won't confirm what's on the CD I'm not doing that.

I think that @markmon1 was onto something with the string vs. value issue but hasn't replied yet.
 

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COM3 9600 baud port 1.





I'm actually needing to get it to accept the NP00 command to switch to NSTC from PAL (long story) most of all. Anyway, thanks for the help. I tried the macro thing but didn't work, all it seemed to do was echo NP0 onto the screen. I'm not betrothed to Tera Term, it just seemed least complicated. I haven't used these kinds of terminal apps in like 20 years!



Is there a Windows program you recommend?
I whipped these up but no way to test them so maybe they work and get lucky. It hard codes the port to com3, 9600 8 n 1. nppal.exe sends "NP"+1 and npntsc.exe sends "NP" + 0.
Depending on the config of your system you *might* need to run as administrator. At least on some systems com port access requires admin. I would try it normally first. I included the au3 source files. It uses the commapi source files from here https://www.autoitscript.com/wiki/CommAPI
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks for trying and all the help, Mark, and wish I'd known you were trying to create something, I would have piped in earlier, but read on...


Alright so I am mostly happy to report this aggravation has come to a satisfying end. The way I left it with Ambery support back on Monday was the guy I spoke to was going to take my email and be sure that tech support got it. But he didn't think they'd find anything.

So I wound up doing a web chat with William from Atlona support who was very helpful. Unfortunately, though he looked for the remote and the software, they came up empty. I figured oh well. But I got like 4 emails at once, and one I see is from Ambery. Tech support (Jason) had responded with the actual software!!!! About fainted, ha ha ha.

Here's where the story gets goofy. I download the zip file, and throw it on my Windows 10 machine. It installs no problem. Then I setup the video converter again, and turn on the TV. I have a signal?!?!? This is preposterous as the last time I fiddled with this thing, I had a highly scrambled signal. In any event, there it was, though it wasn't quite "right." So I proceed with the app. I got a few errors about COM ports and changed the port on my cable. Still wouldn't pick it up. Alright, out came the old Windows XP laptop. Installed the drivers, and the program, getting the same "Scan Converter is not ready."

I'm ready to give up at this point. Shut down the XP machine, back to my Win 10 laptop. Mind you haven't rebooted or anything, but here's even more inexplicable behavior from this confounded thing! I sign into the laptop, plug in the USB cable, and start the Scan Converter app again, and boom it's connected! Just completely bizarre. I check the settings and I'm still on PAL, which makes the fact I was getting a picture on my NTSC TV totally strange. So I'm able to fix all those settings, move the screen around, etc, etc. The only thing that crashes is the video settings themselves. That would be brightness, contrast, etc. which I have no reason to touch anyway. I really shouldn't have to touch the settings again.

Here's the App file PC-TVIII_RS232_AP_v2.11.zip
http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=87183615215414193170
 
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