Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Raspberry Pi model B+ composite/RCA video/audio adapter

With the release of the Raspberry Pi model B+ the previous arrangement from the A/B of having a 3.5mm stereo audio jack and an RCA for video has been changed to a single 3.5mm jack that includes stereo audio and the composite video.

I kept reading online that the arrangement was the same and the iPod and also the Zune so there are loads of cheap cables and adapters out there that work.

After lots of searching I found a number of cables that looked like they would work, but since they were all cheap no specifications for the wiring were listed.

From the Schematic (http://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/schematics/Raspberry-Pi-B-Plus-V1.2-Schematics.pdf) the arrangement needed from tip to base is.

Tip - Audio Left
Band 1 - Audio Right
Band 2 - Ground
Base - Composite Video

It doesn't really matter if the audio connections are reversed as you could just swap the leads, but getting the ground or the composite in the wrong position means no video would be output and in the case of ground no audio also.

So, I went mad and took the plunge to buy a £2.00 adapter from eBay and see if it works.

Here it is plugged into the Raspberry Pi Model B+

RCA/Composite video adapter for Raspberry Pi B+

It covers the HDMI port which isn't a problem. As, when I'm using composite I'm not using HDMI.

I am delighted to say it works perfectly. The wiring is correct. I plugged it into a television and up popped the display from my RetroPie install. Playing Double Dragon on the big screen.

Double Dragon played over composite with stereo audio
The price was only for the adapter, but I had an RCA cable from my kids Karaoke machine, but if you don't have one handy then this one for £1.99 also from eBay would work.

Meaning for £4.00 all in you  have an adaptor for B+ to connect to composite and analogue audio as well as the required connecting cable.

I like that it is a 2 piece configuration as a composite cable can have other uses.  I spliced one before to work with an Arduino and the TV-out Library.

Gathering more bits.