Raspi VGA Adapter

January 22, 2015 | 07:45
Raspi VGA Adapter
Raspi VGA Adapter

Gert van Loo has been responsible for many hardware accessories for the Raspberry Pi and has working on the platform from its very inception at Broadcom and even earlier as he was one of the principle architects on the BCM2835 chip used by the Raspberry Pi. At some Raspberry Pi events last year Gert was seen demonstrating his ‘VGA 666’ adapter card. The 666 designation indicates that each of the standard three colors is represented as a 6-bit value. He decided from the start to make the design open source (all the files can be found on the VGA 666 GitHub page so that costs could be kept to a minimum for people wanting to make and sell batches of them. The team at ‘Pi Supply’ launched a kickstarter campaign last year to fund production of the Gert VGA 666 and boards are now being delivered.

The VGA adapter board makes use of the GPIO signals on the newer ‘+’ versions of the RPi so original versions of the Pi are not compatible with the adapter. The Broadcom chip in the Pi has always had the ability to generate VGA signals but it wasn’t possible to implement it on the original A or B models because of the GPIO header configuration. The kit consists of a PCB, 20 resistors, a 40-pin header and a VGA connector.

The Gert VGA 666 uses 34 of the 40 GPIOs on the header so that leaves only six GPIOs available for general purpose use. It offers a resolution of up to 1080p at 60fps and can be used in conjunction with the standard HDMI output, giving you the possibility to use two screens. The Gert VGA 666 retails at around £6.00 (€8.00 / US $9.00).

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