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Fully automatic SCART switch with full galvanic inputs separation.

  • 8 scart inputs ( RGB, s-video, composite) 
  • 1 scart ouput
  • "Knight rider" style active scart detection 
  • full ROHS
  • expandable with 2 additional HYDRA HEADS devices to offer outstanding 24inputs scart functionality
  • AVR controller with firmware future updates
  • HQ plexi transparent ( made by me ;-) at my laser machine)
  • MICRO USB power supply (regular mobile phone charger 5V will do the job - please, use sth decent - approx 1A)




Do not use garbage power supply – any decent micro usb mobile charger will do the work.. and please be careful with USB SOCKET 😉



How doees it work ?

      Imagine, You have many retro system in use. Amiga, Atari ST, ZX spectrum, etc... And You have only one classical TV/Monitor with one SCART INPUT. Each time, You want to switch system, You have to connect Your machine to Your monitor. Everytime, You do it - You damage scart socket inside. Those days are over. Connect up to 8 computers/consoles to HYDRA, then connect HYDRA to Your TV/Monitor and power on hydra with You mobile phone charger with MICRO USB plug. Since now, HYDRA will detect active scart input and forward all signals to Your monitor. Simple and efficent.



NEVER connect / disconnect SCART PLUGS 

when HYDRA is ON

especially when CONSOLE/SYSTEM is ON !



You may ask why..

           Designing device, I put much effort  into ability to  passthrough many types of signals: from composite to component. To protect device and not to cut signal`s range, HYDRAs have additional ESD protection diodes, but for a short period of time when scanning for active scart, Hydra is defenseless. If You got hit that moment plugging powered on device, You will damage RGB chip with ESD voltage that may reach thousands of  volts (not dangerous for you, but electronics is fragile..). This chip may become very hot and protection will probably brick hydra till one of chips is replaced (NCS2564). Cost of repair is 10Euro !!!


Possible symptoms:

  • knight rider effect stops
  • one scart port doesn`t work
  • Interferences between ports
  • HD led doesn`t work anymore
  • only one port gives correct picture; others are darker....




  • No tricky electronics inside as NOT NEEDED. Hydra has built in all necessary features
  • Hydra accepts following sync signals at pin 20 of scart:
    • composite video 
    • luma
    • composite sync  ( please, read FAQ tab above)




  • left - scan for active source to the left from active one (if active is far left, no action) /  next scart in manual mode
  • right - scan for active source to the right from active one (if active is far right, no action) / previous scart in manual mode
  • middle - HD/LOW PASS filter (led on/off) - default ON
  • left+right pressed - disables "knight rider led effect"
  • middle + right - Automatic/manual mode


Hydra 8port scart switcher, may be “easily” expanded with 2 additional HYDRA HEADS devices to offer outstanding 24inputs scart functionality.


How does it work ?

       After establishing connection with flat cables between HYDRA (master unit) and HYDRA HEADS (slave unit), user  forces HYDRA to work with HEADS expansion and 8 additional scart inputs it offers.




To obtain above functionality,  jumper (solder pads) JP1 must be shorted. From that moment, HYDRA does scanning between 16 scart input ports in search for active one to route all signals to output scart.


How about connecting another Hydra Heads to already connected one ?

Additional Hydra Heads unit may be added to previously  installed one to achieve 24 inputs. JP2 jumper needs connection. 



Product gallery



FIRMWARE UPDATE PROCEDURE: (thanks to Frank Skilton for debugging)

  • download last firmware from FILES section
  • connect usbasp (or any avr programmer) to KANDA connector of HYDRA (PINOUT)  ( HIROSE DF13A-6P-1.25H )
  • run Your AVR programming software
  • load *.XEX file; do not change any fuses !
  • flash it




  • 20180220 firmware
    • left - scan left in auto mode / next scart in manual mode
    • middle - HD/SD filter
    • right - scan right  in auto mode / previous scart in manual mode
    • left + right - DISABLES/ENABLES leds
    • middle + right - Automatic/manual mode switch




Q.What happens if i have two active sources the same time ?

Nothing, First applied input is a master signal. You can switch to next one by pressing buttons ( previous/next) or switching  first computer off


Q. ...all my consoles with cables from RETROGAMINCABLES , most of them with sync on luma. Will I need to mod all my cables like the ps1 one in order for them to work with the hydra? 

There are 4 types of signals, that can be fed to pin 20 of scart sokcet as SYNC:

All  cables recently sold by RGC shall be compatible with scart standart, but  If Your cables are: 

  • TTL CSYNC (not atenuated with 470 ohm resistor and/or  with "elctronic chip" inside)  
  • built in past

probably You will need to add 470 ohm resistor before pin 20 of scart ( to get proper csync level).   Please, contact cable supplier for further details. 

Composite video or luma as sync cables shall work without any modifications.


Q: Hydra1 is making  "click sounds" when scanning. ?

A:  Yes, it does. it is normal. simple experiment: detach all input cables and try again...  


Q. I want to send component through the whydra2 as well and I wonder if that is possible?

480p component works well through the W-Hydra2 with proper adapter ( - Thaks Jonas to  for deep tests and report !!


480p (reported as 525p 50Hz on ossc) works
480p (reported as 525p 60Hz on ossc) works
720p (reported as 750p 50Hz on ossc) works
720p (reported as 750p 60Hz on ossc) works
1080i (reported as 1125i 50Hz on ossc) works
1080i (reported as 1125i 60Hz on ossc) works
1080p (reported as 1125p 50Hz on ossc) works
1080p (reported as 1125p 60Hz on ossc) works