Rany Battikh

RetroTINK Ultimate is now open sourced

Retro Gaming hardware/equipment developer Mike Chi has just just released the design files of the RetroTINK Ultimate to the public thus changing the status of the product from discontinued to open sourced.

In late 2019, Mike sold the very last batch of the RetroTINK Ultimate, a Raspberry Pi hat that outputs RGBs and RGBHV through DE-15, YPbPr component video and CVBS composite video through RCA and S-Video through a 4-pin mini-DIN connector.

Regarded by many as being one the best multi-out hat for emulation purposes on CRTs, the RetroTINK Ultimate makes a comeback under the form of a downloadable zip file containing all the requirements (GERBERS, BOM, etc.) for building a unit from the ground-up.

For the tech-savvy this should be a fun project to undertake, but it would be great if someone, with a good reputation within the scene, could step in and produce a run or two for those who are still interested in acquiring a fully assembled kit.

Mike also went out of his way to suggest a few quick solutions, in his post, for RPi users who still want to game on CRTs but don’t want to invest in an add-on. He deliberately explained how to obtain YPbPr and RGBs video through the on-board HDMI connector using cheap converters:

Here’s a quick and dirty guide for CRT options as of 2020. If you’re CRT is YPbPr capable, get a cheap HDMI -> component box. Quality is very good and they can generate the correct sync signals as well as operate in 480i (which hats aren’t capable of). You can re-tool any of the distributions for CRT use by modifying the appropriate lines in the config.txt to redirect video output back to the HDMI port.

If your CRT only supports RGB+Sync, you can use a HDMI->VGA converter. A passive sync combiner by connecting the H and V lines via a T splitter works on most displays. Note: I have never had an issue, but use with caution and at your own risk since the sync voltage is twice as high as normal.

 

In my opinion, turning a product that the designer/developer no longer wishes to manufacture or sell for whatever reason into an open source project, is a perfect scenario that should be adopted more often in the classic gaming scene.

Check out Mike Chi’s press release about the RetroTINK Ultimate for more info: http://bit.ly/39JXHtu

 

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