$39 Arduino shield provides all the graphics resources you need

About 4 years ago, I worked with James Bowman (J1 Forth CPU) to produce a simple graphics controller board that produced a 1024 x 768 pixel 24-bit VGA compatible display, that could be added to any Arduino compatible dev-board.

Things have moved on a bit since 2016, and VGA is starting to disappear from many LCD monitors - in favour of HDMI.

James has come up with a new graphics engine using a BT815 EVE device and a Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA to provide the HDMI output of 1280 x 720 pixels in 24-bit colour.

The Dazzler is the 4th generation (since 2011) of his popular GameDuino shields that bring 8-bit gaming to the humble Arduino compatible board - or any other mcu wih SPI bus.

This new Dazzler product has just been announced on CrowdSupply -

I am currently in discussion with James to see how we can produce a Retrocomputing/Gaming platform using his Dazzler and a low cost ($20) Teensy 4.x Arduino compatible controller.


Well I am buying all the old 640x480 displays when I can find them, as I run windows @ 800x600, because I can’t read wide screen or tiny stuff well. Some people still need old sizes and output formats. Some may even find a old TV
to play games on.Ben.

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It’s a nice looking system - I’m sure it’ll be funded and go live, but I’m slightly surprised it’s not a more modern DisplayPort interface than HDMI - it seems a lot of computer manufacturers have gone this route in the past few years - but also (from what I gather) due to the royalties you are required to pay for each HDMI interface you sell… DisplayPort is royalty free.

To use HDMI you need to join the HDMI forum at $15,000 a year and pay them a further 3 to 15c per product sold … Although I’ve actually no idea what legal clout they really have…

Also the name… So to put a retro spin on this - who remembers the Cromemco Dazzler (S-100) video board?



Older display technologies can often be found as “industrial displays”, things for factories and the like. I found for example a 14 inch-display that still accepts RGB.

(I think you can do DVI without being full HDMI - it’s simpler, the HDMI display understands it, and no licensing trouble.)

Dazzler is extremely impressive for the 70s:

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