Connecting the Raspberry Pi to an analogue vga monitor
The Raspberry Pi uses a HDMI output for its video. Ideally this should be connected to a monitor or TV with HDMI input or DVI input (the DVI monitor connection is electrically compatible with HDMI so it just needs the appropriate cable to change the connector type). Unfortunately many of us still have monitors with only VGA connectors, and in fact many cheaper monitors are still sold with only VGA. It is npt possible to connect HDMI direct to a VGA only monitor as the signal needs to be converted from a digital signal to an analogue signal. Fortunately there are converters available and here are two of the ones that I’ve got to work successfully with the Raspberry Pi. Some are expensive, but these are ones that I’ve been able to buy for about £15 or less.
Please ensure that the one you buy is listed as a converter, active converter or “with chip”, and is not just a cable that changes the connector type as some cheaper cables may be. It won’t work if it doesn’t have the required electronic chip to convert the signal from HDMI to VGA.
Neewer HDMI Input To VGA Adapter Converter For PC Laptop
This is the first one I bought which is described as a “Neewer HDMI Input To VGA Adapter Converter For PC Laptop”. This works fine once connected.
This does not support audio from the HDMI port, so external speakers will also be required to connect to the onboard 3.5mm adapter.
HDMI TO VGA Cable Adapter for PC Laptop Power-Free, Raspberry Pi, MHL support
The second one I purchased is HDMI TO VGA Cable Adapter for PC Laptop Power-Free, Raspberry Pi, MHL support. It is branded CAMAC. Looking at the title and description this sounds like this would be an even better one for the Raspberry Pi, but that is not the case. Whilst it does work well with the Raspberry Pi and may work directly with some monitors it is likely that some configuration changes are needed.
The file to edit is /boot/config.txt. If it’s not possible to edit this directly on the Raspberry Pi (as you can’t get video working until this is complete) then you can edit the file in another computer. The file is in partition which is about 56Mb formatted as a FAT partition accessible on any computer. Edit the file called config.txt
The following two lines need to be uncommented by removing the ‘#’ at the start of the line.
The Raspberry Pi should be able to work with most vga monitors. If it still doesn’t work then you may also need to look at the hdmi_safe and the hdmi_mode entries.
Again there is no audio support. There is another adapter made by the same manufacturer that has audio support built-in, but I haven’t tried that one with the Raspberry Pi.
Although this adapter states it is for the Raspberry Pi and sounds promising from the description the other adapter works better with other the Raspberry Pi.