Workshop:

Workshop Generating VGA Signals

A hands-on workshop that introduces you to the world of VGA signals.

10 Jul 2009
10 Jul 2009

By using the very simple and cheap PIC Microchip micro-controller it's possible to generate signals. With these signals you can display all kinds of pixel patterns on any VGA monitor or beamer. During the workshop participants will create their own "VGA test box" that will make it possible for you to do the same.

A short workshop report and instructions

Our trainer Arjan Scherpenisse was a part-time student at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and graduated in July with an installation consisting of 72 centrally-controlled VGA monitors, using self-built electronics. While his current passion lies in combining the virtual with the physical using electronics, his background is in software engineering and Open Source software.

The workshop is based on this VGA box and the participants could learn how to build one themselves and re-create all the fabulous imagery.
As most of our workshops it started with soldering the components to the micro-controller (see the workshop hand-out) and creating images or text on your computer. By the way, all of our workshops a great way to learn soldering and learn more about electronics, micro-controllers and necessary equipment.

After a few hours of soldering, tweaking and drilling holes in the plastic box (where the soldered boards have to go in), the results were fantastic! And one team (Jeroen Holthuis and Evert Hilhorst) used an Arduino to add even more output signaling to the micro-controller. It looked great. See the pictures and do check out the PDF, with this hand-out you can build one at home. You also need the open source code and other documentation that you can download here.

Keep an eye on our website as we might plan another workshop in autumn.

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Picture / project by Arjan Scherpenisse. Image taken from Arjan's Flickr - Arjan Scherpenisse

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Anne-Fleur and Tijmen (brother and sister) soldering together. - Deborah M. Kōdō

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Evert meticulously soldering the micro-controller - Deborah M. Kōdō

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Olivier, Heerko en Arjan staring at the controller. Is there something wrong? - Deborah M. Kōdō

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Signal is still a little distorted... Maybe some contacts aren't soldered properly? - Deborah M. Kōdō

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Concentration - Deborah M. Kōdō

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Designing the text / image - Deborah M. Kōdō

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VGA Signals workshop - Deborah M. Kōdō

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Light - On or off - Deborah M. Kōdō

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Heerko and his Swummoq logo - Deborah M. Kōdō

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VGA Workshop. The test box is working! - Deborah M. Kōdō

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The hypnotic one on the big monitor. The colors you see on this screen are actually there because the monitor is sort of broken! - Deborah M. Kōdō

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Henriette made a heart-shaped signal - Deborah M. Kōdō