Rescued LG Monitor for TRS-80

Okay, so maybe “rescued” isn’t so accurate for a monitor I bought at a secondhand store. But it feels rescued to me.

I’ve been looking for a dedicated monitor for one of the TRS-80 CoCos (Color Computers) I picked up a couple months ago. And I just realized I haven’t written about those acquisitions yet. I guess I have some catching up to do.

If you don’t already know, the TRS-80 didn’t have a monitor. You hooked it up to your TV using the RF cable to a switch on the TV — like any other video game of the time like Pong or Atari. These days, you can’t just connect a TRS-80 to any flat screen LCD monitor unless you modify the motherboard of the computer and add outputs like VGA.

One of the CoCos I bought had that modification, and it worked okay. I connected it using some DVI cables and some switches I had laying around. The sound, on the other hand, was more complicated. The other CoCo had the unmodified RF out, which means I have to hook it up to a TV. I’ll get into that more in a dedicated TRS-80 post. Back to the monitor.

I’ve been scouring Goodwill stores for a couple of months, but none of them had the monitor I wanted. Then I saw this used LG TV at a secondhand store for only $22. It has a coax input on the back, which was all I needed for the TRS-80. It also has HDMI and VGA ports. Bonus! That means I can hook up my Raspberry Pi 4 at the same time. All I have to do is switch inputs using the remote, and I can easily jump from one system to the other. I can also hook up a third system using the VGA port.

Stellar Life-Line on the TRS-80
Debian on the Raspberry Pi

We are finding new ways to geek out over here.

I’ll write a post about the TRS-80s soon.


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