View Full Version : Trouble pairing a CGA monitor with an Orchid dual card

April 15th, 2016, 04:46 PM
I am trying to get an Orchid Designer 800 dual VGA/EGA 8-bit ISA card (closest card I could find (http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/graphics-cards/M-O/ORCHID-TECHNOLOGY-Monochrome-CGA-EGA-VGA-DESIGNER.html)) to work with a CGA/EGA monitor (Casper HD-55 (https://books.google.com/books?id=MK_-L8Mr1u4C&pg=PA237&lpg=PA237&dq=casper+hd-55&source=bl&ots=W7-Quzx_ML&sig=TP3Z66K0GJ75fEYLWg3BCKERwAY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi7n8GmkYjMAhXIOCYKHSgzD6sQ6AEIIzAC#v=on epage&q&f=true)). I can't seem to find any information on either of these.

The card is based off of a Tseng Labs ET3000 chipset, similar board layout to the link above. The dip switch settings and jumper react differently though when I try it. When connected to the monitor, text and graphics are visible, but heavily skewed and rolling horizontally. Maybe these jumpers are set wrong, causing badly synced signal or a frequency outside of the monitor's range. VGA from the card works fine on a 31khz VGA monitor.

I like this quirky Casper monitor because it has many controls and even a switch to go between full-color, green, and amber phosphor, awesome for on-the-fly hardware monochrome! The card's great because of the obvious versatility of VGA and EGA. Does anyone know anything about them? Documentation, jumper/dip switch settings, or explaining any obvious things that I've overlooked would help me get these two to become more agreeable :-) Let me know if you guys need pics.

April 17th, 2016, 03:12 PM
This might help:


Looks like not only do the DIP switches set the modes but so does an internal jumper.

April 19th, 2016, 09:33 PM
Thank you for trying, but that's exactly the same information as the link in my original post.
I reiterate, that card is not the same as mine. For example, the video outputs are switched, there's an extra
jumper on my card, and the dip switches behave differently.

Since forums tend to be a wall of text, and no one else has chimed in,
I figure posting pictures will sweeten the deal and get better attention on what I have here.

30698 30699 30700 30701 30702 30703 30704

April 20th, 2016, 01:36 AM
4 dip switches is 16 possibilities, just try each setting and keep a note.
Are you sure the monitor can do EGA ? I see them offered as CGA on several places. So if the card can handle EGA only it might be the problem..

April 20th, 2016, 09:17 AM
I already tried 10 possibilities before posting this thread. Also, I don't always trust
the listings of recyclers who tend to only care about scrap recovery and selling to businesses at inflated markup.

According to the links, the Orchid Designer dual series should handle monochrome, CGA, EGA, VGA, regardless of card version. My original link to the ad talks about the monitor. Alas, here is a screencap of the ad, highlighting the one I have:


April 20th, 2016, 02:26 PM
The 15 kHz line frequency sets the monitor into the 'CGA only' zone.
And about the card: only 6 combinations to try :-) fingers crossed..

April 20th, 2016, 10:17 PM
Thank you for your suggestion, gertk, but I already know that which is why I
acknowledged it in my thread title. I see I wrote "CGA/EGA" in the first post, which
I said as a way to hedge my bets. Still the 15khz spec made me more confident in CGA,
as it did for you.

I don't want to guess 16-32 more times (factoring in the jumpers) with improper scan
modes on such an old monitor. If I was content with that, I wouldn't have posted
this thread here. Which leads me back to the original point, but I shall simplify it further:

Does anyone have the dip-switch settings for an Orchid Designer 800 VGA card?

or, more specifically

What are the settings to enable CGA output on this card?

Please, anyone? :grin: I figured I'd ask on this board where you talk about more archaic hardware than this.
Has the knowledge base on Orchid cards fallen through the cracks?

April 20th, 2016, 11:21 PM
Maybe the setting is the same as for my Qtec VGA1024 card (also based on ET3000):

CGA configuration:

on off off on Color 40 x 25
off off off on Color 80 x 25

JP1 is for selecting TTL monochrome or color operation (1&2=mono 2&3=color)