Xybernaut Head Mounted Display to VGA hax!
I have a Xybernaut Xyberview HMD, which originally connected to a Xybernaut MA-V or MA-IV wearable computer. Xybernaut went out of business after some questionable corporate shenanigans, but while they were around, they made a solid product. Unfortunately, they used a custom, or at least obscure, connector to hook that solid product together.
Thanks to the Wayback Machine, I’ve found the pinouts for the connector, and wired mine up so that it takes a standard VGA input. I also built a power supply for it, because it needs 5V and 15V power. The power supply takes 15V from a laptop power brick and drops part of it to 5V while also providing a 15V pass-through. I used a switching regulator, because otherwise I’d be dropping 10V at unknown current as heat.
I initially had the red and blue lines of the VGA connector crossed, but I think that is because they are crossed in the instructions that I found. My corrected pinout is below. If you happen to actually be equipped to do this hack, please do let me know if I made an error, and your terribly expensive, extremely obscure hardware from the mid ’90s somehow fails to work.
The HMD connector has two rows of pins in a connector that looks a little like a miniature Centronics connector. Assuming the longest edge of the connector is on top, there are 13 pins in the upper row (U1-U13) and 13 pins in the lower row (L1-L13).
Wire colors are described as the color of the wire, the color of the mark on it, and whether the marks are sparse. So Yellow/Red (sparse) means a yellow wire with a red mark on it that is less dense than the wire described as Yellow/Red. You’ll know it when you see it.
Signal Name Xybernaut Wire Color VGA Pin Red L4 Pink/Red (sparse) 3 Red ground L3 Pink/Black (sparse) 6 Green L2 Yellow/Red (sparse) 2 Green ground L1 Yellow/Black (sparse) 7 Blue U14 Gray/Red (sparse) 1 Blue ground U13 Gray/Black (sparse) 9 H Synch L6 White/Red (sparse) 13 V Synch L7 White/Black (sparse) 14 Synch ground U10 Pink/Black 10 +5V U1 Gray/Red +5V U2 Yellow/Red +5V U3 White/Red +15V U5 Pink/Red Digital ground L13 Yellow/Black 5 Digital ground L10 Gray/Black Digital ground L5 White/Black Analog ground U8 White Headphone out L12 Pink Mic in U7 Yellow HMD Sense L8 Gray 11
I connected the Gray/Black and White/Black wires to the ground of my power supply, the Yellow/Red, Gray/Red, and White/Red wires to 5V, and the Pink/Red wire to 15V. The display powers up, and I can drive it from my laptop using 640×480 resolution at 60Hz.
Unfortunately, none of this hacking changed the fact that wearing an HMD makes you look like a cyborg from space.