Retrochallenge – IBM 5140 Display

Hooked Up To An IIyama LCD

The non backlit LCD display on the 5140 is poor to say the least, low contrast and dim.  Fortunately I have the expansion ‘slice’ that offers CGA and composite outputs, unfortunately it smoked alarmingly the first time I powered it up.  However after taking it apart and not being able to find any obvious damage I decided to risk it and  plug it in again.  I don’t think I’ve got any monitors capable of hooking up to the CGA output so I decided to try the composite out.  I wasn’t expecting it to work but was pleasantly surprised when my trusty IIyama flat panel picked up a signal.

Application Selector

Initially it looked pretty awful, all sorts of convergence issues and generally pretty fuzzy.  The IIyama however offers a lot of adjustment options and after fiddling with the brightness and contrast, reducing the colour to zero and altering the sharpness I had a pretty useable image.  I then remembered you can alter the output via the Application Selector supplied with PC-DOS.  Sure enough once I’d changed it from colour to mono I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the composite output.  After a bit more fiddling I was even able to achieve a cool retro amber look by altering the colour temperature.

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