One of the challenges QL users currently face is the lack of monitors able to correctly show the QL display. The RGB output from the QL is not fully suitable for connection to modern flat screen monitors.

Some users have had a limited success with SCART to HDMI video upscalers. But as VGA computer monitors have been so common and readily available, we have long dreamed of being able to attach a QL to such a monitor. Oh, and make sure that our display monitors correctly display the full 85 character/512 pixel QL display without losing a couple of characters at the left and right edge.

After his foray into the QL hardware world with his work on updating the QL-SD interface to work with Gold Cards etc, Marcel Kilgus is now working on a small QL-VGA board to allow QLs to be successfully connected to modern monitors.

Marcel’s solution consists of a Cyclone II development board with an FPGA and other components, to which Marcel has added a second small board with RGP input with level shifter, VGA output and SRAM chip. The FPGA chip is programmed to do the hard work on the video – Marcel says it empowers software people like him to solve real hardware problems.

The idea behind the board, put simply, is that it converts the 512×256 50Hz QL screen into a standard 1024×768 60Hz VGA signal that can be processed by probably every monitor in existence, or further converted by additional hardware to HDMI if need be.

QL-VGA pictures from Marcel Kilgus

The device is currently undergoing testing before there can be a production run, so availability date and price are unknown at the time of writing.

Keep up to date with this by following Marcel Kilgus’s blog at https://www.kilgus.net/blog/