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Thread: Can anyone identify this "frame buffer"?

  1. #1
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    Default Can anyone identify this "frame buffer"?

    It's such a generic term, but I don't know what else to call it. There isn't even firmware, as such it must be an addendum to another card I guess. If I were to plug it in, what should I expect to happen? Line up multiple NTSC monitors and get to play the same game across multiple monitors?

    IMG_20190106_180838.jpg

    In case visibility leaves something to be desired, the white chip is a upd7220. As I read it seems it has a bit of onboard ROM, but not much. Intriguing. And no identification whatsoever, which is really weird.

    Also components I've never seen otherwise:

    IMG_20190106_190651.jpg

    And some numerics on back:

    IMG_20190106_190740.jpg
    Last edited by 2icebitn; January 6th, 2019 at 04:11 PM.

  2. #2

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    My first guess was that this PC was part of a security system, thus supporting several monitors. But the upd7220 is a special video IC capable of drawing circles, line, etc., something not needed for a security system. So my second guess: a CAD/CAM system with multiple monitors.
    With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen

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  3. #3
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    CAD/CAM with composite monitors? There are high resolution monochrome monitors that receive a composite signal, not ntsc compatible, but I've seen one only with bnc connections.

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    I'm a bit confused about the 6 connectors. If there had been 5 I'd guess they were R, G, B, Hsync and Vsync, and they just used RCA jacks because it was cheaper or easier for them.

    Since there's 6, maybe it's RGB sync-on-green, both inputs and outputs, and this card supports video overlay? Or maybe it's a pair of RGB sync-on-green outputs meant to drive 2 monitors. Or maybe 1 RGBHV plus a composite output?

    I don't think they could fit 6 BNC jacks on the plate so I understand using RCA jacks instead, which fit into a slightly smaller space.

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    Maybe some sort of captioning/training video overlay type deal?

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    A 7220 on a regular IBM PC...interesting! 7220s were more commonly seen on early members of NEC's APC lines as well as the Japan-exclusive N5200 and PC-98 systems the APCs were localized versions of.

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    Isn't that what the Rainbow used?

    IIRC, it's not really suitable for multiple displays. I'm stumped by the 6 connectors too. 5 would make sense, but there's no good reason to substitute RCAs for BNCs (or even TNCs). Even if it's used for overlay, it would be pretty bizarre to have that many connectors.

  8. #8
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    Yup! DEC licensed the 7220 for a couple of their systems - even some of the larger minicomputer-scale stuff! I think some of the Welsh Dragon computers did, too? The 7220 was one of the more versatile graphics chipsets of it's day.

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    Really a shame it wasn't used in the Tandy 2000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX
    IIRC, it's not really suitable for multiple displays. I'm stumped by the 6 connectors too. 5 would make sense, but there's no good reason to substitute RCAs for BNCs (or even TNCs). Even if it's used for overlay, it would be pretty bizarre to have that many connectors.
    I wondered if it was actually two sets of inputs, and one set of outputs. I noticed the last two were spaced differently.
    Might do just fine for a store display or a wedding video. I have my parents wedding on VHS, and text overlays + scene switching (no effects) were all that was used there.

    All just guess work though , hopefully someone recognizes it. I'm curious now
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