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Help me please no signal monitor VGA to hdmi

  • Hi, I've been making arcade table from an IKEA table. I finish the build yesterday and added retropie to the SD but I cannot get the monitor to acknowledge it is connected to the pi, all I get is a no signal message 😫

    I have a pi 3, the monitor has a VGA to HDMI cable connected. I am powering the monitor through mains and the pi has the correct per supply too. The monitor is an old Acer al1716. I have tried changing a few things in the config txt but I really feel out of my depths and so clueless because I've never done anything like this before.

    I know the pi works because I connected it to my TV and retropie worked. Please please please help me.

  • Global Moderator

    @kid-icarus What exactly do you have in your config.txt file ? Did you look up to see what resolutions are supported by your monitor ?

  • Connecting to an old monitor is not that straightforward. You should've done a bit of reading before jumping in.


  • @mitu # For more options and information see

    Some settings may impact device functionality. See link above for details

    uncomment if you get no picture on HDMI for a default "safe" mode


    uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible

    and your display can output without overscan


    uncomment the following to adjust overscan. Use positive numbers if console

    goes off screen, and negative if there is too much border





    uncomment to force a console size. By default it will be display's size minus




    uncomment if hdmi display is not detected and composite is being output


    uncomment to force a specific HDMI mode (this will force VGA)


    uncomment to force a HDMI mode rather than DVI. This can make audio work in

    DMT (computer monitor) modes


    uncomment to increase signal to HDMI, if you have interference, blanking, or

    no display


    uncomment for composite PAL


    #uncomment to overclock the arm. 700 MHz is the default.


    Uncomment some or all of these to enable the optional hardware interfaces




    Uncomment this to enable the lirc-rpi module


    Additional overlays and parameters are documented /boot/overlays/README

    Enable audio (loads snd_bcm2835)






    The monitor resolution is 1280 1024. I really think I've keyed everything as I should but still no luck

  • @youxia I've done everthing the link suggested but still no luck

  • Global Moderator

    @kid-icarus You should surround your config text with code marks (```), so it's easily readable. Some things to try:

    • hdmi_mode=38 means 1280x1024 @ 120Hz, but the specs of your monitor say 1280 x 1024 at 75 Hz, so try lowering the refresh rate and use something like 35 or 36.
    • hdmi_drive=2 makes no sense, since you're not going to be able to send sound over VGA.

    Look in the reference documentation ( and choose the best options for your display.

  • @mitu Thanks for your response. I have tried changing the HDMI mode but no joy. I have kept the HDMI drive set to two as I have external speakers mounted to the table and I read that 2 is for monitors and 1 is for tv's (I did also try setting the drive to one but no joy anyway) Thinking this is doomed to fail! From reading through that link you posted I cannot see what I am doing wrong. Would an older Pi be more suited to this style monitor?

  • Global Moderator

    @kid-icarus said in Help me please no signal monitor VGA to hdmi:

    Would an older Pi be more suited to this style monitor?

    I doubt it, the video 'card' is the same in all PI models. I'd try mode video modes or a different HDMI/VGA (or maybe DVI) adapter if you can get one.

  • @mitu Think I am going to try a VGA cable and a HDMI adapter rather than a straight VGA to HDMI... see if I have any luck with that. Its really strange that this monitor is not working with the Pi. I chose the monitor as Element 14 has a guide to make this "Pik3a" table and the same monitor was used and worked.

  • @kid-icarus Well, every guide I read on the subject says you need the adapter, not just the cable. So you should start with buying it if you don't have it already. Otherwise there's no point messing with config.txt and all that.

  • Yes, I have seen a lot of problems with those cables. They are meant for projectors that have the correct logic to send a signal. They will not work with a passive VGA signal and convert to hdmi.

    They make cheap converters (and nicer ones 😬) that will get the job done fine. But it will have to be an active process with some sort of dongle or box housing the electronics.

    Also, VGA does not pass audio along either. So you may not have embedded audio on your HDMI feed.

  • @chuckyp most adapters have a headphone jack on them for audio which is far better quality than the jack on the pi.

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