I know there are a lot of questions similar to mine and this question may be regarded duplicate, but I believe my question is different. As you may know most of questions are concerned about using an HDMI to VGA converter on Raspberry Pi, and they are discussing about which and what kind of converters are working or not. I read on some forums that it's recommended to use a powered converter or else you may damage (maybe melting polyfuse of) your Raspberry Pi, So long story short:
I want to buy a converter (unpowered) and based on the supplier information it's working with Raspberry Pi, but I myself not sure about safety of device BTW I'm going a bit specific on this, Is it safe to use an unpowered HDMI to VGA converter on Raspberry Pi 3?


The Pi3 includes a Power Switch (RT9741) which produces H5V for HDMI which includes current limiting and protection, so provided you have an adequate power supply should be safe. See Raspberry Pi Power Limitations

I have not tried this myself, as the converters are expensive and DVI monitors are cheap - these can be used with an inexpensive passive converter and produce superior results.

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  • @Miliways Thanks, I don't want to use DVI monitors. What do you mean converters are inexpensive? The converter I found is about 5 dollars only! Is quality matters in this case? Can it be a low quality one? – user52010 Aug 21 '16 at 4:44
  • @YaMiN It may be possible to find a cheap HDMI to VGA converter on eBay, but most I have seen cost more than the 2nd hand DVI monitors I bought. I have no experience of the quality of these converters, but performing a digital=>analog conversion, just to have the monitor perform an analog=>digital conversion is hardly going to improve performance. HDMI=>DVI converters are inexpensive, because they are a simple pin for pin connection between 2 different connectors. – Milliways Aug 21 '16 at 5:03
  • This question might be helpful. Different pi models have different amounts of current available to the HDMI port. I've successfully used cheap wee Tendak bus-powered HDMI to VGA converters many times - circa £5 from Amazon/eBay. – goobering Aug 21 '16 at 10:30
  • Dear brother you are telling me don't use unpowered hdmi to vga converter but pi hut selling unpowered hdmi to vga adapter tell me. What is this – user52900 Sep 3 '16 at 4:08

I hope this helps someone out - I've just got my first Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ today, and although I'm quite experienced in different platforms like the Raspberry before, due to my setup, I had to install Raspbian using an official Hewlett-Packard (HP) passively-powered HDMI to VGA converter for the video output. The video converter is great, I've used it with all kinds of retro monitor gear in the past that have required a VGA input, and I have been using the official PSU (power supply unit) for the Raspberry Pi3B+, as well as tried multiple USB outlets and cables, all of them should be capable to provide the required USB voltage and amps for the Pi, however ...

With just an USB mouse + a separate USB keyboard attached, and with or without an Ethernet cable and/or wi-fi disabled as well, I got the lightning warning symbol on the top right of my screen. It seems that a HDMI "bus-powered" HDMI=>VGA converter is sucking up the juice out of the Raspberry Pi3 B+ big time. The OS runs pretty OK and I've checked that it's defo not a temp problem. The conclusion on my behalf is that a HDMI port-powered VGA converter is simply not something that the Raspberry Pi can handle. Load balance offset or something. Given the fact that I've tried disabling just about everything and switching PSU's and so forth, a passive HDMI to VGA converter is probably just too much for the Raspberry Pi (3 B+), even with the official PSU and all, which is a shame.

UPDATE: OK, I changed my cabling to a HDMI=>DVI(-D) cable and it all worked out just fine. No more lightning bolt warnings or any such problems. I tried all professional cabling and converters I could find to get a HDMI=>VGA out, different PSU's and cablings to power the Raspberry altogether, and it seems that all those passively powered HDMI to VGA converter cables are simply causing somewhat of a load balance offset to the RPi3B+ that it can't cope with very well.

My recommendation would be to either use an active converter if you need VGA output, the type that is NOT dependent on the HDMI output voltage/juice; or try keeping it completely digital. In my case, I was luckily able to use a HDMI to DVI cable and that solved all my troubles. Cheers!

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  • While your story is believable, there are many HDMI->VGA converters that do work with an RPi. – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 18 '19 at 13:37

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