Recently I was fortunate to get a lead from a mate about some old monitor that had ended up at a tip salvage. I was surprised to see it was an ex video wall monitor, a Hantarex MGG 28 EQ model. It was a bit beat up with scratches on the metal casing, some rust and plenty of spiderwebs inside.
However these monitors are excellent for a few reasons:
- They have an extremely low profile casing/ bezel barely larger than the full viewing area of the screen.
- They have a perfectly rectangular case meaning it is perfect for a “Tate” set up. This means turning on its side to play games in vertical orientation.
- The give a pretty decent RGB picture
First a bit of a clean up.
There was some sort of residue on the screen. It felt like dried glue, and could not be simply wiped off using typical glass cleaner. Without wanting to use a powerful solvent, gently running a razor blade to scrape off the residue works really well and does not damage the screen if you are careful.
As this monitor was intended for use in a video wall, it is made to stack with other monitors and has some areas of the tube rim exposed. This was covered up with some black tape that was no longer appealing so that was scraped off, and then removed the remaining sicker residue with Oomph.
Its not clear from the pictures, but this was pretty scratched up, especially underneath as it has no feet. As it is very heavy, it would have likely been scraped along concrete floors in a warehouse after it was no longer needed.
I removed rust underneath with a wire brush, then sealed with some primer.
The front metal bezel was quite scratched in parts so removed that, cleaned with wire brush then sprayed black.
As I was going to be using this in my games room now, I wanted to give it some protection for scrapes etc. I used some aluminium brackets to make corner pieces to screw into existing holes. I covered these with black vinyl.
Now the really good thing is that this monitor casing is really easy to cover with black vinyl. I had enough left over from a previous project to go round the whole casing. Now you can’t see any scratches etc, and it looks fantastic. In the first picture above you can see some brackets, plus I added some feet on the bottom. As I will be using the monitor in a vertical set up, I added some slide strips to make it easy to position & adjust position without damaging the case.
Looks great now! So importantly there are some things you need to know when using these monitors.
Looking at the connections above, you might assume that a normal SCART cable will give you an RGB picture using the scart port. This will only give you composite video. To get RGB you need to feed clean composite sync or horizontal sync into pin 12 (Horizontal sync input). To get clean sync from composite video you will need to make an LM1881 circuit or buy a prebuilt solution like a sync strike
You can make an LM1881 sync stripper circuit quite small. I used a relatively large project box for some stability plugging cables in either side. Within the box it puts the clean sync onto pin 12 of the output specifically for this monitor. I also built in a bridge rectifier so I can use most power packs <24V AC/DC regardless of voltage to power the circuit for convenience. I have finally found a good use for my $2 Monster scart cable.
The picture above doesn’t do the screen justice – it really looks great, especially playing games in the intended vertical resolution. There are plenty of resources online about games which have vertical modes, but as a starting point you can’t go past the original Playstation Namco Museum packs, or Capcom Generations.
For some more detail regarding the Hantarex videowall monitor see the PDF MGGEQ3