So… I learned a bit about RCA and VGA today.  VGA is a component input, RCA is a composite input.  What does this mean?  RCA has the signal all on one wire and the devices that use it separate it electronically.  This compromises fidelity, or information density which is why it’s great for 640×480 and TV but not for 1080p or 4K.  VGA on the other hand is a component signal, red/green/blue, vertical/horizontal sync etc.

Here is a great image of VGA, courtesy of Instructables: (click to view the article)

I’m not sure how well this would work… it’s a little too good to be true.. but it gives you an idea of what is going on.

Here is a better illustration of the VGA pinout: (courtesy of stackexchange, click to view source article)

Here is a schematic that backs up my hunch that the instructables is too simple.  Courtesy of Next.GR (click to visit)

This circuit only generates greyscale…. or black and white video.

In case you were wondering how hard can a video signal be?  lol…. it’s complex.  Really a marvel of radio engineering.  Courtesy of Field Effect LLC, click to follow to article.

I have other objectives than engineering this solution…. and I only need one…. so I bought this on Amazon. (click the image to go to the product)

It offers these modes:


7 Responses

    1. Yes, VGA and Video are different. See my YouTube videos about it. No idea on Raspbian…. I run Debian Jessie.

    1. It is composite or RCA Video….. you need a converter to put it on VGA. I had feedback that the expansion board has an AV jack on it……

      1. Thank you.
        If you are right, then a vga display cannot display a composite video signal.
        A tv with a composite video port should work.
        A cable with 2 jumper pins and rca connector should work?

        1. No, definitely not. I actually have a post about this. Check it out.
          VGA and Orange Pi Zero I go into pretty significant detail about what I use and why.

          Now, in theory, you could use this Orange Pi Zero Expansion board with one of these – 3.5 mm jack to RCA 3 plug cable. I don’t want to promise that will work because I have not tested it.

          One of the problems with Orange Pi is that they have very minimalist documentation and labeling. I ordered one of these cables for 62 cents with free shipping. It will be here in 2 months at which point I will review it in combo with the expansion board.

          I’m working on a YouTube video that steps through how to do basic setup on an Orange Pi Zero. Watch my youtube channel for more videos. I also have a video specifically about the VGA adapter. My Youtube Channel