Monday, 20 May 2013

Grab yourself an Extron!

Picked up an Extron RGB 201 Rxi from eBay last week.

This unit was recommended to me as a way of centering the picture horizontally on my Blaupunkt which doesn't actually feature a H position pot on the chassis.

This crafty little unit only cost me $20 but it can do some amazing things! Firstly, it does the desired H position control very well. There is a HUGE range of adjustment available. There is also a V position control that shifts the image up or down one scanline at a time. Really cool. As a bonus, there is a Level Boost pot and a Peak Control.

The Level Boost is really cool for controlling how dark the scanlines are. With the control up high, the image tends to saturate and bleed. With the control down low, the scanlines are far more defined. Neat!

Extron RGB 201 Rxi
The unit also features a horizontal and vertical frequency readout on the front LCD. Very cool for confirming that your GroovyMAME modelines are delivering what they advertise:

Horizontal and vertical frequency readout
Around the back, the unit features RGBHV on BNC connectors. It can also run RGBS meaning that I can possibly ditch my UMSA adapter in the future (provided I make up a BNC to SCART cable).

Overall, a very cool tool for those that are running native res and refresh. Highly recommended!

Street Fighter III looking seriously awesome after Extron tweaking


  1. Many thanks for that tip! I picked one up from ebay myself now - it claims that it also shows resolution?

  2. Hi Paradroid,
    I am after a good crt tv for my Sega blast city arcade cab and was wondering if you had any you would like to sell me?
    Kind Regards Ben.

    1. Hey Ben,

      No, I don't have any to sell currently. Have a look on eBay and use my blog as a guide. Plenty of nice CRTs if you're patient! Happy to comment on specific models if you have further questions...


  3. My RXi201 arrived today :) I'm very excited how this will work out.
    Since I intent to only use it on CRT-TVs (All with Scart) I prepared a box with scart-in and scart-out connectors.
    I plan to lead all the signals straight through, except for R,G,B and Sync - those will be outputted through a VGA-plug into the Extron and back inputted by BNC. This way I don't have to worry about the needed voltages for RGB-Switching and picture-format, as a simple BNC-to-Scart-cable would not have these voltages without using a power-source.

    I haven't tested anything yet, but I'd like to know how you would connect a scart-source to the 15-pin Dsub of the Extron. Right now I have wired the sync-signal from the scart to both hsync and vsync on the vga-plug.
    If you know a better way I'd be happy if you'd share your findings.


    1. Sorry to bother again... I can't seem to get the 201 to accept my signal. Even if I use a LM1881-circuit the device sais 'No Signal'.
      My guess is that the sync level is too low, the manual sais 2VpP for sync-input.
      I connected the leads straight through from scart to vga as this:
      Scart -> VGA
      R -> R
      G -> G
      B -> B
      Csync -> Hsync

      Any advice would be very much appreciated!
      GND (all) -> GND (all)

  4. Hey Alex!

    I'm sure you'll be very happy with your Extron. Awesome device! Wish I had have know about them earlier. Many discarded SCART TVs would have been contenders with the added functionality of this unit.

    As for the wiring, I have been using mine in conjunction with UMSA. I have been thinking about ways to bypass the UMSA and use the Extron for composite sync instead. As you stated, the problem is getting the control voltages to the TV...

    It sounds like you're a few steps ahead of me. I have thought about possible solutions but not actually reached for the soldering iron yet. That said, I definitely want to get this sorted eventually so please share your findings!

    Perhaps you could keep us updated here and then post some images of your final solution? I'd be happy to include details on my blog so that others can benefit from your efforts!


    1. Connecting either csync (from scart) to hsync, vsync or both (on vga) won't let the extron see a signal.
      The solution is to use either RGsB or RsGsBs, means you either connect your csync to Green (sync on green) or to all 3 color signals.
      The extron is factory jumpered (inside) to always output RGBS, if this was changed please see the manual.
      Problem solved ;)
      I'll do a connection diagramme and post the link here when it's done.

  5. Here's how I connect my retro-consoles with RGB to the Extron:

    If anyone needs more info on how to clean the sync-signal, check here:

  6. Revised Version of my connection-pinout:

    Please feel free to use/alter/share this file as you like:

  7. Hi Alex

    Is doing RGsB a simple matter of connecting the comp sync output from the LM1881 to the Green pin?

    I'm having trouble connecting devices to my RGB 202 Rxi. I have "no signal" on screen all the time. My sync cleaner is definitely working and i'm pretty sure about my DB9 to DB15 cable.

  8. Yes, indeed. Just connect the cleaned sync line to green.
    I'm having a bit of trouble myself... I'm modding the extron so that it has scart in and outputs..
    I'll post a followup when it's complete.

  9. Hi guys - I just bought one of these as well and am having troubles getting it working.

    Mine is a older unit, which has male dsub-9 inputs instead of VGA female. I used a VGA to dsub-9 converter.

    I used an Arcadeforge Sync Strike to clean the sync. The Extron displays that it's getting a signal from my N64 & Gamecube (H 15.66K V 59.9Hz) .

    But all I'm getting is an extremely faint picture, only just visible.

    Maybe the VGA to dsub9 converter is wired incorrectly? Do you guys have any ideas?

    Cheers, Andy

  10. Anykara: Sadly, as mentioned on the shmups forum - the 202Rxi is a b*tch to use. It's the very same unit i have problems with myself.

    You can check if your DB15 to DB9 converter has the right pinout looking at page 11 in this manual:

    You can check that very easily with a multimeter.

    But if it's a very faint picture, but it detects the input signal, i would suspect something wrong with the source. You use the same cable for your N64 / Gamecube right? Try another source, like a Playstation, as well as different cables.

    I would suspect that you will have to add / remove 220uF caps to the RGB lines.

    Sadly, the unit has some high requirements towards the input signal. I was able to make it work with a PS2 simply by changing the scart cable from a high-quality to a very low-quality one, which lacked certain caps / resistors.

    Alex: I was able to make it work with mixing in the sync into the green signal, but only from a PS2 and with a specific third-party cable. Also, to make it sync i had to switch the inputs from 750hm to hi-z. I don't know if it's thanks to this, but i busted my unit and it now behaves very irratical.

    I think, the output from the lm1881 is too low, and would require amplification. The 202Rxi requires 2V sync input, but in the technical specs of the lm1881, there is 0,8V mentioned for the composite sync output.

  11. Hello there. I recently got myself an Extron RGB 190 to play with, but using it for a totally different usage for the moment: connecting a Bluray player to a CRT TV through RGB SCART. (this unit can center the picture horizontally and converts RGBHV to RGBS, the VGA picture coming as 576i or 480i from an HDFury).

    However, when testing it on a PVM1454-QM, the Extron RGB 190 doesn't seem to like interlaced signals and treat them as progressive (creating annoying flickeriness). Switching DDSP ON or OFF doesn't seem to change anything.

    So, do any of you had success with Extron RGB devices you have and interlaced sources? If yes, please tell me the model you have and your dip switch settings, thanks. (I wonder if vertical centering can count, too)

    Infact, my TV (Sony KV-29C5B) shifts the picture to the left way too much when getting a 60Hz signal, which causes dark moving horizontal bars of varying intensity to appear on the picture (and no, this is not a ground loop problem). That's why I needed to center the picture.

  12. I grabbed an Extron 109xi, and wired up a Xbox 360 to get pure 240P.
    U used a LM1881 to get proper CSYNC, but the Extron only sees the 15Khz/60Hz signal for about 30 seconds once the xbox has booted. (If i connect BNC to my rgb monitor, it sees nothing at all.)

    From the LM1881 do i wire up CSYNC into H/V pins 13/14 on the DSUB15?
    Or do i use CSYNC into H and VSYNC into V pins 13/14 on the DSUB15?

  13. I just got the Extron 201 RX the controls don't appear to be responding - the picture is not moving. The led display on the box appears indicate the V or H knob being turned. I tested on CRT TV and pc monitor - same issue? All the jumpers at the back of the box are set to off as standard. Anything else I can try guys? :(