Software to calibrate an arcade monitor?

    • The color is going to vary from game board to game board.
      A good example of this is Irem M92, which is always dim next to Konami boards that seem to be too bright.

      My advice would be to use the service menu/mode to display the PCBs dotcloth/color bars and adjust accordingly.

      This is from 1944/CPS2 service menu.
      Darksoft: CPS3, ST-V, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3

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    • Unfortunately no, you have to really adjust for every game like J says.
      Superguns: Jasen's MK30ADCAP│RGB's HASv3.1
      Displays: PVM 2950Q│Pioneer PDP-V402E│LG B6 65" Oled
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    • mathewbeall wrote:

      Thanks for tall the replies - I will just have to spend some more time I guess.... I saw this guide which seems to be a good one.…or_Colours_and_Brightness

      It's just that all the controls are on the back of the neck obviously - so it's tough to adjust a little bit, run around and see the difference, etc...

      Nothing you all don't face I am sure!

      Well, you can use a mirror so you dont have to be running around the cab to look at the image every time you adjust it, when you get close to how you want it with the mirror, then go around and take a direct view on it.
      Superguns: Jasen's MK30ADCAP│RGB's HASv3.1
      Displays: PVM 2950Q│Pioneer PDP-V402E│LG B6 65" Oled
      Scalers/Misc: OSSC│VP50Pro│Gscartsw │Hydra

    • It is actually possible to calibrate your monitors using a hardware calibration device such as a ColorMunki and the corresponding Xrite software.

      I've actually been looking into this myself and according to their own support forums its totally possible to use the device for CRT monitor calibration you just need to make adjustments for the brightness.

      CRT Display Profiling - X-Rite

      I believe you will also need the ability to feed the monitor with the image signal from the software that is used for the adjustment and calibration. So to do this you will need a VGA to CGA converter or something similar.

      My partner is a photographer and has a ColorMunki for calibrating her monitor so when I get a chance I'll give it a try and let you know how I get on.
      I'm looking forward to trying it on my LCD cabs and comparing the image to how I've set them up too.
      I think the CRT's will be a little harder also due to the lower res and convergence issues that the old screens can have along with the fact that a few of mine should be recapped.It will be interesting to see how it handles it though. I think I only have a CGA to VGA converter lying around at the moment so will have to grab a VGA to CGA converter before I can give it a try. I'll look for a decent one tonight, but will be a while I'm guessing, before I can actually try it out.

      Also If you're are going to calibrate your CRT arcade monitors by eye I recommend a CraftyMech test pattern generator.
      Cabs: Namco Noir x 4, Namco Noir Clone x 2, Namco Exceleena x 7, AW Super Sports Shooting USA,Time Crisis II 2P, 6P X-Men, Battle Gear 2 2P and 4P Gauntlet. My partner is not impressed. :/

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    • Blackfish wrote:

      I recommend a CraftyMech test pattern generator.
      I have one of those, it's fantastic for testing if monitors work or have any apparent problems but I wouldn't use it for calibration.

      A good example is my Revenge from Mars cab. the reds and blues were really dim the image was terribly washed out and had a green tinge to it and was mis aligned on the screen. brightness and alignment pots were maxed out. I pulled and capped the chassis and it made ZERO difference. I then hooked up the test pattern generator and the image was flawless... perfect color, perfect alignment etc. I went back to to the original RFM board and the image was all screwed up again. Put in a new video cable and still not change (this uses a PC so the signal is coming right from the video card, it's 240P over VGA)

      I went through the calibration process outlined in the ArcadeOtaku link above and got it looking fantastic except for alignment. Ended up having to put in a new pot with a wider adjustment range to get the picture aligned.

      So now the picture is flawless with the original hardware but looks like total dog shit when using the TPG... but guess what. I don't play games on the TPG so how it looks on that is irrelevant.

      This is obviously an extreme case but monitors react differently with different boards attached, so for dedicated cabs you really need to calibrate using the PCB for that cab. For cabs where you're switching boards, try to use whatever board you'll be Playing most often, and then test out any problem boards to see if you need to make any "compromises" to get a decent looking picture across the different boards.

      Derick2k wrote:

      Well, you can use a mirror so you dont have to be running around the cab to look at the image every time you adjust it
      This. I have a home built tool for this. I went to Walmart, found a good sized cheap hand mirror like this:

      then a cheap adjustable clamp-lamp ( a large strong but padded clamp is ideal) like this:

      I removed the electronics from the lamp and the lamp head and then screwed the handle of the mirror into where the lamp head used to be attached. Now I can clamp the mirror to the side of the cab and adjust it wherever I need it to see the monitor while I'm making adjustments out back.

      this cost about ~$15 for the lamp and the mirror and only took a few minutes to put together but I use it every time I adjust a monitor.

      I know a lot of other people use large full-length mirrors, as those are easy to prop up so you can see what you're doing, but I find having the mirror close to the monitor makes for a real clear view of the adjustments I'm making.
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    • I use the patterns in the CPS2 platform as a reference standard for calibrating my CGA arcade monitors. I started with that when I entered the hobby 2 years ago and have just stuck with it. I even picked up a Crafty Mech TPG, but find it is easier to use the CPS2's patterns.

      The real problem comes from adjusting a monitor while it is mounted to the arcade cabinet. Calibrating a monitor on a work bench is much easier with a mirror mounted on the wall in front of it. I also flip the image to make life easier. Once you plug a different arcade system board, the settings need to get re-adjusted. For instance, the CPS3's alignment settings will be waaaayyy different than even the CPS2. I try to just make sure the colors, brightness, and contrast are good. If there are variations needed from the CPS2 calibration settings when I plug in another board, then I will evaluate if I want to put in the effort to re-calibrate anything other than alignment.

      In my travels looking for software to do this, I found 240p Test Suite. It works great too for arcade CGA monitors and even borrows from some CPS2 patterns. I use a Dreamcast to make the connection to the CGA monitor. If I found this before early, I would have never bought the TPG. Also, it is easier to connect a Dreamcast to a CGA monitor on my test bench setup than a CPS2, so this is starting to take over as my reference calibration tool.
      Arcade Multi Systems:
      • Sega: ST-V, Naomi w/Net Dimm, Naomi w/CF Boot (DIY and OG versions), Taito: G Net, Taito F3, Taito Type X², Capcom CPS2, Capcom CPS3, Neo Geo MVS 4-Slot