VGA-PT review
Homebrew VGA-Pass-Through Controller
for LCD-3D-Shutterglasses

Photo by Thomas Schuhmann

The Controller
How to make it
Hardware (VGA-card) compatibility
Software compatibility
Game-compatibility list

Please note: The newer homebrew sync-doubler controller has all the features of the VGA-PT and adds a great deal of compatibility. The sync-doubler supports all the Wicked3D and almost all H3D titles plus lots of professional application software.

This page follows the same rules as the review pages for commercial 3D-devices.


So muß ein VGA-dongle aussehen, dann klappt's auch mit der Nachbarin!

The VGA-dongle fits between VGA-card and monitor and just syncs to the vertical synchronization. That means the glasses are activated all the time, even in a standard screen mode.
There's a stereo reverse switch which has to be used very often (in 50 percent of the cases) since there is no way to tell the controller the stereo orientation. I like this switch more than the software solutions of many commercial shutterglasses controllers.

The only task of the user is to get an interlace or page-flipping stereo-3D image up there on the monitor-screen. The controller will just sync to it. No questions asked.

LCD-BIOS doesn't need any parameters anymore. Also functions like /lockflip which eats up valuable CPU-time isn't required. Please read the Drawback section for possible problems.

Always check the stereo orientation by using the reverse-switch at startup and from time to time during a stereo-session.
Beginners can easily miss the fact that the image is reversed, which results in eye&brain-strain and an unsatisfying 3D-experience.

To my knowledge the following commercial products might use controllers which are similar to the homebrew VGA-PT:


  Now the major drawback: the controller itself doesn't seem to loose syncs, but the page-flipping has to be very "clean" (well-timed).
Each time there are any slip-ups the image is reversed.

This happens with LCD-BIOS (and drivers based on it, like NuvFrag).
The problem seems to related to IRQ's and depends on the hardware configuration and the software used.
There are "jumps" or "jerks" in the page-flipping which are visible, even to the bare eye. In this case the stereo orientation flipps about every 1 to 5 seconds which renders the game/application useless.

(from my system, must not apply to other configurations):

Nascar Racing: no problems
Whiplash: no problems as long as General Midi sound is deactivated
Magic Carpet: unplayable, no fix yet

This problem is one of the reasons why VRex is using interlace and tweaked page-flipping only and it's the reason why Stereographics uses white line code and it's the reason why H3D accepts properly done hardware page-flipping only (it switches to split-screen/sync-doubling when hardware p.-f. isn't available).
It also shows that there is at least one advantage of serial/parallal controllers. They don't loose the right stereo-orientation.
Commercial products which feature a controller similar to the homebrew VGA-PT (i-Art VirtualEyes, APEC VR97) are usually distributed with interlace drivers.

There seems to be no problem with interlace mode whatsoever. Interlace is a special case of hardware-page-flipping.

No matter how you put it, the VGA-PT controller is big fun anyway and worth a try!


Here are a few excerpt from Don Sawdai's LCD-BIOS documentation which might be of help:

"To make the program run faster:
· Remove /LockFlip from the command line.
· Reduce x in /FastInt:x.  Negative values of x may be used and yield the fastest results.  For LCD glasses on the parallel or serial ports, negative x values will make the black band very large.  However, for LCD glasses directly attached to the video card, negative x values cause little change in image quality but a noticeable speed increase.

If the screen jumps around a lot while in 3D mode:
· Remove /LockFlip, /FastInt, /DelayFlip, and /HRefresh from the command line (be careful: these options may be buried in a batch file)."

How to make it

The printed (!) circuit layout can be found on the TS-homepage.
Latest circuit layout and part-list can be found on the JF-homepage.

The controller is based on the work of:

Tomi Engdahl  email TE-homepage
Martin Krysiac email
Jörg Fischer, Michael Bosch & Team email JS-homepage
 Franz Krause & Thomas Schuhmann email TS-homepage
 and maybe some people I'm not aware of

Sample was built by

Franz Krause

 More infos can be found on the Technology page.
There you'll find a homebrew TV-controller for watching stereo-3D videos also.



Any wired shutterglasses can be used. Sometimes they're even sold without controller.
(German mail-order specialist Pearl sells 3D-Max glasses seperately. There should be other sources.)

Hardware (VGA-card) Compatibility

You'll need a VGA-card which supports interlace and/or page-flipping. Many common chipsets support interlace. Almost all chipsets support hardware page-flipping. Only a few cards support neither of the two, such as the Voodoo 1&2 add-on boards. These boards might be able to perform software page-flipping, but I don't know of any current driver. They might be supported by SSDI in the future, but this is uncertain. Voodoo Rush boards do work with the VGA-PT since the signal is generated by an Alliance chipset, not by the Voodoo chips.

As far as I know the VGA-PT is 100% hardware compatible to the following commercial shutterglasses systems (appart from the TV/Video capabilities of some products and the known DRAWBACKS):

The VGA-PT is only partially compatible to the following devices (depends on the VGA-chipset, 3D-driver and software used) Well, I can live with that!

Software compatibility

The VGA-PT controller should work with the following driver-software:

All drivers are copyrighted. All drivers, except the VRex and i-Art drivers are available on the internet. Click here.  VRex SSDI will be available on the net sometimes I guess.

VGA-PT game compatibility list

For information regarding availablility &  patches consult the  Hotlist.

Usually special bundle versions or patches are required!
For drivers click here.

Please read the DRAWBACKS section also!

Please note: The very useful VR-BIOS driver is only available in conjunction with the VRex VRSurfer glasses! No free download!

Title Comp Driver Comment
Andretti Racing (YES) Works with Voodoo Rush only !!!
Armored Fist 2 YES VR-BIOS No problems. 3D-hotkey: ALT-F6. 
Doesn't seem to work with NuvFrag, but you might give it a try.
Comanche 3 - hacked LCD-BIOS mode YES 
LCD-BIOS buggy on S3 and maybe other chipsets, the image jumps every now and then, visit my Comanche 3 page
Comanche 3 - standard stereo mode YES 
NuvFrag buggy on S3 and maybe other chipsets, the image jumps every now and then, visit my Comanche 3 page
Comanche 3 - standard stereo mode YES VR-BIOS no problems
CyberBykes YES LCD-BIOS(?), 
choose a normal hi-res mode, avoid the CyberMaxx mode, press F12 for stereo mode. Visit the CyberBykes hint page.
Depth Dwellers YES LCD-BIOS (Using the Cybershades bundle version.)
Descent 1 YES LCD-BIOS, NuvFrag, 
It works with most versions. In case you have a really old version and anything fails try NuFrag with -3dmaxlo option.
Descent 2 YES LCD-BIOS, 
Flawless! Wonderful! 
Duke Nukem Shareware (Woobo patch)  (NO) LCD-BIOS NOT TESTED, but I guess it won't work
Duke Nukem Retail (Woobo patch)  (YES) LCD-BIOS  NOT TESTED, the retail version should work
Havoc YES i-Art3DWin 
Hexagon-Kartell  YES (LCD-BIOS) 
NOT TESTED, but there's a good chance it'll work 
Hexen 2 YES i-Art3DWin 
Hi-Octane YES VR-BIOS 
(LCD-BIOS - sync problems?)
In Pursuit of Greed YES
Madspace (demo) - i-glasses, VFX1 mode (YES) VR-BIOS May cause split screen error 
Madspace (demo) SimulEyes mode YES  
Magic Carpet YES VR-BIOS 
(LCD-BIOS - sync problems?)
Magic Carpet 2 YES VR-BIOS
Math Rescue YES LCD-BIOS (Using the Cybershades bundle version.)
MDK YES RRedline Rendition card required
Nascar  YES LCD-BIOS NuvFrag 
QPV 1.7c YES NuvFrag 
QPV isn't a 3D-program, it's a good normal DOS image viewer. In conjunction with NuvFrag it can be used as an "Alternate Line Stereo Image Viewer". Other DOS image viewers should work as well. For "alternate page" images use NUVIEWER from the 3D-SPEX software package (*.bmp only).
Quake DOS 1.08 YES NuvFrag 
Quake Win 1.09 YES i-Art3DWin 
Quake H3D-DOS NO requires sync doubler controller
Quake H3D-Win not officially released yet
Quake H3D-V (Rendition) YES
Quake H3D-GL (Voodoo 1&2) NO requires sync doubler controller
Quake H3D-GL (Voodoo Rush, Rendition, others) YES
Quake 2 H3D-GL (Voodoo 1&2) NO requires sync doubler controller
Quake 2 H3D-GL (Voodoo Rush, Rendition, others) YES Currently only Rush is supported, Rendition and other cards might follow
Rise of the Triad YES
Sento  ?   might ask for the 3D-Max ISA card, I haven't tried it
Shattered Steel - i-glasses mode YES NuvFrag 
Important: no 3D-effect? press ENTER during mission & type DEFAULTPARALLAX; for more commands click
Shattered Steel - SimulEyes mode YES Important: no 3D-effect? press ENTER during mission & type DEFAULTPARALLAX; for more commands click
Slipstream YES LCD-BIOS
Terminal Velocity  (patch) YES (buggy!?!) NuvFrag produces a split screen on S3 and some other chipsets, stereo image is correct though
Terminal Velocity  (patch) YES VR-BIOS flawless
VR-Slingshot YES LCD-BIOS (Using the Cybershades bundle version.)
Wendy Models - 3D SimulEyes mode YES  
Wendy Models - 3D-Max mode, SimulEyes mode YES LCD-BIOS NuvFrag 
The images may  used with some 3rd pary image viewer also. 
Visit the Pix page for info on this title.
Whiplash YES LCD-BIOS no refresh higher than 78 Hz, doesn't react to the SDD5.3a refresh utility (unicentr.exe)
Wolfenstein YES LCD-BIOS (Using the Cybershades bundle version.)
Word Rescue YES LCD-BIOS (Using the Cybershades bundle version.)
ZAR (3-level-demo) - SimulEyes mode YES  
ZAR - other versions/modes     NOT TESTED

Special thanks to Thomas Schumann und Franz Krause for providing me with a free VGA-PT   sample.

Please consult the Shutterglasses Comparison Chart for a complete market-overview.

Brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
The author can not guarantee the accuracy or topicality of the information given on this page.
Christoph Bungert, Germany .