Vector sources beyond the Vectrex?

Hi there!

Are there any mass market or otherwise interesting (cheaper than vintage oscilloscopes) sources of vector display to use and possibly hack beyond the Vectrex?

Sort of an open-ended question, so if there’s something in the relative wheelhouse i’d be interested in hearing possibilities :slight_smile:

There are Vector monitors for old arcade systems, which are better than both scopes and the vectrex, but sadly these are not at all cheap.

Scopes can get quite cheap/free (old analog scopes are often considered ‘junk’ rather than ‘vintage’) if you live near the right kind of e-waste dumpsters or know the right people, but once you get shipping into the equation the prices tend to increase.

If i recall correctly the vintage arcade community have figured out how to convert old b/w CRTs to vector ones by replacing most of the drive circuitry and i think there might be kits, but this very quickly turns into the DIY high voltage domain. (aka. the “this will kill you if you mess up” category)

Something like LZX cyclops or some other way to get at an ILDA laser would also qualify, but again leaving the price category you were thinking of. (Diy is again a thing here, but please don’t blind yourself or the audience)

Someone else can hopefully fill in some software alternatives


There are plenty of e-waste recyclers in Seattle but i have no contacts to notify me of scopes, and Craigslist is stupid expensive for what remains. I will have an ILDA laser sometime this year to control with CV, but for the moment i’m looking more for a phosphor coated screen.

Thanks! Didn’t know people modded arcade monitors, but while i’d probably do some hardware modification of a Vectrex if i ever got it i probably should stay well clear of anything liable to make my heart and brain go poof.

Better than scopes? Which monitors? I know arcade vector monitors to be quite slow compared to scopes and xy displays

I was thinking more in terms of screen size and a phosphor designed to look pretty in a vector setting (rather than designed for a hard scope bw concern).
I was unaware of any decent-size XY displays beating out the XY arcade monitors, but i’ve mostly been focused on things i have a snowballs chance of actually getting my hands on in Norway

I’ve been on this for a while and bought a few different sized old scopes off ebay.
The main thing I found is that the larger the scope screen, the lower the bandwidth.
So initially you see this whatever-its-called oscilloscope and think ‘Yes, THIS is gonna be AMAZING!!!’
Then you worry that someone from the Video Circuits facebook group is gonna spot it and outbid you.
Then you do win it after all, but have to pay whatever for the postage.
Then you worry about how it’s going to packed when it is shipped to you.
Then it arrives and all the pots are crackly or it stinks your workshop out when you finally get it plugged in and switched on.
…then once you plug your gear into it you find that the bandwidth is weird and to get a circle you have to amp up the X more than the Y… etc.
Or that the Z input needs about 60 volts cos these old things were made for testing televisions out and not plugging 0-1volt into.

Sorry, I went off on one there.
But that’s my story, I hope it helps give some perspective on this.

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I think was an LZX April’s Fool’s a couple of years back, but this does seem like a potential Kickstarter to me. The kind I’d fund and never get my money back on.

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