VectorVGA Tempest Requirements
The VectorVGA Tempest converter allows you to use an SVGA monitor in a compatible vector arcade game. Here are the requirements to install and get the most out of your converter.
Arcade Game Compatibility
VectorVGA Tempest is compatible with the following arcade games:
- Atari Tempest
- Atari Space Duel
- Atari Gravitar
- Atari Black Widow
- Atari Quantum
These games use the Wells-Gardner 6100 or Amplifone 19” monitor, and generate 7-color graphics. The VectorVGA Tempest converter is designed for these games, and cannot handle the higher scan rate and full-color graphics of other color vector games.
Check Monitor Supply Voltage
The arcade game must be in full working order, except of course for the monitor! Be sure to check the monitor power voltage before installing the VectorVGA Tempest converter because excessive voltage could be the cause of the monitor failure, which could then damage the VectorVGA Tempest converter. Damage due to excessive supply voltage will not be covered by the warranty.
SVGA Monitor Compatibility
SVGA Signal Specification
The VectorVGA Tempest converter inputs the analog vector signal and outputs a standard raster SVGA signal. You can use any video display that accepts the SVGA output specification.
You can use any display that accepts an analog SVGA signal. Common display types include CRT computer and arcade monitors, LCD computer and arcade monitors, plasma displays, and computer projectors. Just be sure that your display accepts the output signal specification.
VectorVGA Tempest works with wide-screen displays, but extra adjustment is needed. The SVGA video signal is 4:3 aspect ratio and will look stretched on a 16:9 wide-screen display. The quality can be improved by setting the display to 4:3 aspect ratio, or adjusting the Analog Vector Generator settings on the arcade game board to shrink the signal in one direction.
Digital displays, such as LCD monitors, computer projectors, and plasma displays will give best picture quality when the monitor “auto adjust” feature is used. The VectorVGA Tempest converter outputs an optimum pattern for calibrating digital displays.
Smoked Glass Replacement
Vector monitors are very bright compared to modern raster displays, so if your game uses very dark smoked glass, like Tempest, then it needs to be replaced with a much lighter tinted filter otherwise the monitor will look dim. You may be able to get tinted plexiglass at a local sign or glass shop. You can also order it from McMaster Carr and cut it to size. Recommended material is cast acrylic sheet, 0.236” thickness, translucent with gray tint, cut to the dimensions of the original smoked glass.
In order to use the VectorVGA Tempest converter, you need to be able to do several tasks. But since you already drove your cabinet halfway across the state and rolled the 200 lb monster into your basement, this shouldn’t be a big deal!
- Remove the old vector monitor. This involves lifting a monitor weighing about 35 lbs.
- Install the new SVGA monitor. If it is anything other than a 19” arcade monitor like the Wells-Gardner WGE1995, it will require custom mounting to position it in the correct location and orientation. This will be left to your ingenuity!
- Install the new lower-tint glass (if necessary).
VectorVGA Tempest Installation
The VectorVGA Tempest converter needs to be secured in the cabinet to prevent it from sliding around. Mount it wherever and however you like. Keep in mind that it will be helpful to have easy access to the configuration DIP switches and connectors.
Game Board and Monitor Adjustments
Part of the responsibility of owning an arcade game is knowing how to adjust it for optimal operation. You are probably an expert in getting the straightest, sharpest lines out of your vector game, and those skills will come in handy with the VectorVGA Tempest converter. You will first need to adjust the SVGA monitor for optimal picture quality, then adjust the game board Analog Vector Generator (AVG) for the best geometry. The AVG adjustment procedure is included in the operator’s manual for your arcade game. The manuals and schematics are available for download in the Download section.