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Help with Viewfinder Pinout?? Answered

Well guys, I've had this viewfinder sitting around in a drawer for TOO long.

I ripped if off an old camcorder in the dump like 2-3 months ago, remembering a few different projects I've seen on here (and other sites) such as:


(sorry the hyperlink part of instructables never works for me)

I know I've seen a project somewhere online too where a guy used one of these TINY crt's for a miniature arcade machine, just to name an example.

I've ran into a bit of a wall here though, it would seem as though everyone else's viewfinders have indivigual wires coming off the board for power and video input. Mine doesn't, it has ONE ribbon connection (although mangled a bit, I still have the ribbon cable that goes with it).

This is a really simple looking circuit board, but as I don't exactly have lab quality tools sitting around, I don't wanna solder wires onto it until I know for sure which is for power, I'd hate to fry it on the first time!

I tried following the traces on the board but I've never been too good at that, is there some way I can probe around with a voltmeter to determine what is for video input and what is power? I've tried googling numbers off the board and tube and that didn't help either. If anyone can help me power this tube, please tell me!!


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10 years ago


Photo 1: Overview of my unit

Photo 2: The connector, with its 10 pins array (3, 4, 3) and 3 of the 4 connections needed to power and video the view finder.
What i found out is that you must connect :

the power-in (red cable - 5 volts)
ground (black)
signal (pink) and
orange cable, which i have no idea what is for, but requires the same 5 volts as the red.
 - the pink (signal) cable is conected to the Y pin of a S-video out, from some dvd player or alikes. The Y-ground pin should also be grounded.
- The whole thing requires 140mA to run. The 7805 i was using to regulate the 5 volts would heat up and stop working after some 5 minutes of continuous work.

Photo 3: The connectors i made out of a very tiny cable-to-board male conector. I just had to crimp some more the contacts, so that they touch the pins.

Photo 4: Detail of previous

Photo 5: Proof that it works. Photos taken with celphone (sorry) and the lens of the viewfinder.

Hope it helps. 

overview.JPGconnector.jpgwire detail 2.JPGwire detail.JPGworking.JPG

Reply 10 years ago

After some tough time following my own directions, i found that i've changed the polarity of the orange cable in this setup.

The ORANGE must be GROUNDED. (do not connect it to 5V, connect to ground, goddamit)


10 years ago

I've hacked one of these just yesterday. A surprise to see someone looking for help on one of these. I, myself, have no pictures (i can take some, if you want to see the setup), but i've got most of the needed info from this post on make foruns: http://forums.makezine.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=1457

What i did on mine was determine the pinout, since its conector was a round, 10 pin, panasonic exclusive (i think) one.
After using a voltimeter to define what was each pin, so i didn't have to split the cable, i ripped a tiny molex conector apart, using each crimped contact as a probe, insulated them with heat-shrink and made the conections through a bread board.

Ok, i'll take some photos and be back.