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Trident TVGA8900D Color Issue

salamontagne

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
244
Location
Harwinton,CT
Ive been experianceing some strange issues with an old system I'm building. Sometimes on poweron
the display will be in black and white, and sometimes it will be in color. Sometimes a soft reset will
get it in color, sometimes a hard reboot, sometimes re-attaching the cable does it.

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcf...ing-monitor-correctly&highlight=trident+color

The above post mentioned a prolbem with old VGA vards and newer monitors, but this cards from '94
(not very old in the ISA dept, IIRC) and the monitor is a Sun 21" CRT. Not sure of the age, but i can't
see it as being any older then 2000 or so. The motherboard has an Opti chipset and appears to be a downgraded VLB board with a Amd 486dx2 and 4MB of memory. I did have a slight issue with grounding out
(case its in uses non-standard height standoffs) and i managed to isolate it.

Could this be the same problem as above? I really hope not; my skill at soldering something up as mentioned in the post is something i'm too terrified to attempt :blush:
 

RWallmow

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,791
Location
Anoka, MN USA
I am guessing its related to your monitor, SUN was never known for industry standard monitors, they were TYPICALLY (but not always) fixed frequency, oddball sync monitors. I know converters/cables existed to make them work with standard VGA PCs, but with mixed results, they were really best suited to SUN or SGI computers.

It really shouldn't be too hard to come up with a Cheap or Free PC CRT off craigslist or local estate/garage/yard sales or the like.
 

RickNel

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
640
Location
Canberra, Australia
You will need to make your monitor look like the old VGA monitor your Trident card is expecting, by shorting the right combination of pins 11,12,15 to ground. See the thread references by z80eu above. Note also there is a reference to a Trident-specific software utlity "smonitor" - I haven't tried that though.

This is a very common problem for people trying to connect later VGA or SVGA monitors to 68k Macs which also have graphics cards that expect hard-wired monitor ID signals on the VGA cable.
Rick
 

H-A-L-9000

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
120
Location
Bavaria / Germany
The issue is most likely a speed sensitive video BIOS. You can read about the two different monitor detection methods in the vogons link.

If old games have problems with fast CPUs, why shouldn't video BIOSes have them too? :)
 
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