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Thread: Is the "AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Monitor" usable with the Laser 128 system?

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    Default Is the "AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Monitor" usable with the Laser 128 system?

    Anything special I need to do to get these to work together? I'd just plug it up but I'm not certain the 15-pin Laser video connector will support the RGB monitor...

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    Quote Originally Posted by keenerb View Post
    Anything special I need to do to get these to work together? I'd just plug it up but I'm not certain the 15-pin Laser video connector will support the RGB monitor...
    No. The "AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Monitor" is a Mac II compatible monitor that runs a little north of VGA frequencies and isn't compatible with any Apple II machine. Also beware that if the 15 pin port on the Laser 128 is compatible with the one on the Apple IIc it's actually not really a "monitor" port at all and isn't directly compatible with the RGB monitors for the Apple IIgs either.

    Edit: I guess there were several different models of the Laser 128, if you have the last one, the EX/2, it has built-in the ability to drive either digital or analog RGB monitors. (Although it still won't drive that Mac monitor, it needs to be a TV-frequency one like a Commodore 1084, etc.) The other version's "video expansion" port is like the IIc's, which means it supplies a selection of raw TTL outputs that can be externally converted to RGB or an LCD panel driver.
    Last edited by Eudimorphodon; February 6th, 2020 at 06:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    No. The "AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Monitor" is a Mac II compatible monitor that runs a little north of VGA frequencies and isn't compatible with any Apple II machine. Also beware that if the 15 pin port on the Laser 128 is compatible with the one on the Apple IIc it's actually not really a "monitor" port at all and isn't directly compatible with the RGB monitors for the Apple IIgs either.

    Edit: I guess there were several different models of the Laser 128, if you have the last one, the EX/2, it has built-in the ability to drive either digital or analog RGB monitors. (Although it still won't drive that Mac monitor, it needs to be a TV-frequency one like a Commodore 1084, etc.) The other version's "video expansion" port is like the IIc's, which means it supplies a selection of raw TTL outputs that can be externally converted to RGB or an LCD panel driver.
    Actually this is a Applecolor RGB Monitor 6014; I"m not sure if that's the High Resolution rgb monitor or what. It works with a IIgs...

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    The IIgs monitor should work with an 128EX/2 if the slim references on the web are to be believed, but not on the earlier models. If they really do have that IIc-style video expansion connector you could well kill the video ASIC plugging it in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    The IIgs monitor should work with an 128EX/2 if the slim references on the web are to be believed, but not on the earlier models. If they really do have that IIc-style video expansion connector you could well kill the video ASIC plugging it in.
    It has a 15-pin connector that is visually identical to the IIgs adapter.

    This is why I was afraid to plug it up to begin with

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    No. The "AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Monitor" is a Mac II compatible monitor that runs a little north of VGA frequencies and isn't compatible with any Apple II machine. Also beware that if the 15 pin port on the Laser 128 is compatible with the one on the Apple IIc it's actually not really a "monitor" port at all and isn't directly compatible with the RGB monitors for the Apple IIgs either.

    Edit: I guess there were several different models of the Laser 128, if you have the last one, the EX/2, it has built-in the ability to drive either digital or analog RGB monitors. (Although it still won't drive that Mac monitor, it needs to be a TV-frequency one like a Commodore 1084, etc.) The other version's "video expansion" port is like the IIc's, which means it supplies a selection of raw TTL outputs that can be externally converted to RGB or an LCD panel driver.
    This is incorrect; the entire Laser 128 line has digital RGB output (think CGA), unlike the IIc/+ which requires additional peripheral to interface with RGB monitor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorkbert View Post
    This is incorrect; the entire Laser 128 line has digital RGB output (think CGA), unlike the IIc/+ which requires additional peripheral to interface with RGB monitor.
    So what does that mean? The monitor SHOULD be cmopatible with the Laser 128?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorkbert View Post
    This is incorrect; the entire Laser 128 line has digital RGB output (think CGA), unlike the IIc/+ which requires additional peripheral to interface with RGB monitor.
    How sure are you about this? The pinout of the 15 pin "Video Expansion Port" of the Laser 128 is on page D-94 of this manual, and it appears to match that of the IIc video expansion connector.

    Edit: Okay, maybe not. This Apple FAQ says it *partially* matches the IIc's, enough that it'll work with the IIc LCD display, but with the right cable it can drive a digital display. (The pinout in the Laser manual makes you trace back to the ASIC pinouts to determine what some of the functions are, I was going by the labeled ones like the 14M clock and CGSEROUT.) But that still means the IIgs monitor *will not work*. It's analog, and the pinout is completely different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    How sure are you about this? The pinout of the 15 pin "Video Expansion Port" of the Laser 128 is on page D-94 of this manual, and it appears to match that of the IIc video expansion connector.

    Edit: Okay, maybe not. This Apple FAQ says it *partially* matches the IIc's, enough that it'll work with the IIc LCD display, but with the right cable it can drive a digital display. (The pinout in the Laser manual makes you trace back to the ASIC pinouts to determine what some of the functions are, I was going by the labeled ones like the 14M clock and CGSEROUT.) But that still means the IIgs monitor *will not work*. It's analog, and the pinout is completely different.
    Sounds like my best bet is still to get a IIc monochrome monitor to get any use out of the Laser, or a small LCD tv with composite input?

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    Quote Originally Posted by keenerb View Post
    So what does that mean? The monitor SHOULD be cmopatible with the Laser 128?
    Apple used that same DB15 on many computers and monitors and they are very much not interchangable.

    IIgs -> 15khz analog RGB w/ composite sync
    IIc/IIc+ -> no RGB signals at all, has memory bitstream output that requires external hardware to convert to RGB (or drive the LCD monitor) -- has composite video but also has 12v so can easily damage things plugged into it
    Macingoth DB15 video port -> Analog RGB with H+V sync (not sure on the sync) but the signals run at north of 31khz (VGA)
    Apple III -> has a DB15 port too and this one is TTL RGB but doesn't use the same color mapping as CGA/Commodore 128 so finding a monitor that works with this isn't easy anymore. Pin out may be different.

    So a Mac monitor and IIgs monitor are NOT interchangeable even with the same connekor. And you should not plug either monitor into IIc/IIc+ or Apple III ever.

    Sounds like the laser may have TTL RGB or it may not. Either way, this would be a 15khz refresh rate but it is probably more like the Apple III color mapping than anything else -- so not the same as a CGA monitor (if you could make the adapter.) Laser may have sold a specific monitor for this machine -- or you'll need to investigate with oscilloscope if digital RGB signals are avail and what the sync signals look like. A CGA type monitor may work if the sync is right, but almost certainly the colors will be wrong. CGA does not have the same 16 colors as an Apple II.
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