Jump to content

Photo

STE or Mega STE


54 replies to this topic

#1 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:51 AM

I use my ST to play games only. Nothing else.

Rather than wait for something old and untested to show up on ebay, I'm thinking of ordering a STE from Best Electronics.

Question is would there be any advantage to paying more for a megs ste vs a 1040ste?

Is the switchable 16mhz mega any use at all to a gamer? Does the Mega use the sc1224 monitor?

Do these systems switch from ntsc/pal with no issues like my 1040stfm?

Anything else anyone can think to sway me one way or the other?

#2 scottinNH OFFLINE  

scottinNH

    Space Invader

  • 20 posts

Posted Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:03 AM

I'm thinking all the same questions -- and 1 more, if I may: is there a standard solution to get the STe color modes working on a modern LCD? Like a scan doubler, etc.

Seems a lot of ST display solutions are model specific. Would be nice to avoid RF TV display..

#3 Sub(Function(:)) OFFLINE  

Sub(Function(:))

    Moonsweeper

  • 409 posts
  • Location:Athens, Greece

Posted Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:57 AM

I use my ST to play games only. Nothing else.

Rather than wait for something old and untested to show up on ebay, I'm thinking of ordering a STE from Best Electronics.



Question is would there be any advantage to paying more for a megs ste vs a 1040ste?


IMHO no most games were designed to run on standard atari ST Hardware, the extras with the MegaSTe are not that greatly utilized, if at all.

Is the switchable 16mhz mega any use at all to a gamer? Does the Mega use the sc1224 monitor?


No see above, and yes you can use standard atari monitors.

Do these systems switch from ntsc/pal with no issues like my 1040stfm?


No experience here I live in PAL land. But I guess this should be possible

Anything else anyone can think to sway me one way or the other?


Additions you get with the Mega are:
  • Built in HDD (possibly irrelevant now we have ultraSatan)
  • detachable keyboard (keyboard with cord)
  • VME interface, (possible expansion route, for video and network cards) but in reality there is not a lot of things it IS used for now.
  • Really heavy case :) mine weighs a ton (thinks about postage)
  • Real time clock
  • 16MHz control is done via a control panel (I don't play games that much so don't know how inconvenient that will be)
  • Socket for FPU (this is a real niche market for CAD etc, Not games)
I would on the whole say if you ONLY want games just go for an ST/STe

#4 Goochman OFFLINE  

Goochman

    Quadrunner

  • 6,192 posts
  • Moongates to the Past

Posted Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:01 AM

The 16mhz mode is helpful in some games. I upgraded my Mega 2ST with a 16mhz CPU swap. Games like Arctic Fox can benefit from that.

I also us the Mac mode so it helps with speed there also

#5 DarkLord OFFLINE  

DarkLord

    River Patroller

  • 2,656 posts
  • Location:Prestonsburg, KY USA

Posted Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:24 AM

I use my ST to play games only. Nothing else.

Rather than wait for something old and untested to show up on ebay, I'm thinking of ordering a STE from Best Electronics.

Question is would there be any advantage to paying more for a megs ste vs a 1040ste?

Is the switchable 16mhz mega any use at all to a gamer? Does the Mega use the sc1224 monitor?

Do these systems switch from ntsc/pal with no issues like my 1040stfm?

Anything else anyone can think to sway me one way or the other?


The 16mhz speed won't help with most games, but it certainly will help with a few. Games like Elite/2 will have
increased FPS.

Yes, the Mega STe uses an SC1224 color monitor or a mono monitor. It also has RF out.

All the PAL games I've tried work just like they do on my other STs.

The Mega STe has a lot of enhancements like the built in HDD, TOS 2.06, VME expansion, optional math coprocessor, separate keyboard, multiple serial ports, and later models had the 1.44m floppy drive, etc,...

You'll have decide whether the added expense is worth the money, especially if *all* you're going to
do is play games...

#6 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:37 AM

I'm thinking all the same questions -- and 1 more, if I may: is there a standard solution to get the STe color modes working on a modern LCD? Like a scan doubler, etc.

Seems a lot of ST display solutions are model specific. Would be nice to avoid RF TV display..


There are devices that work but the ST needs to be a STfm or STe as the composite signal gives the up-scaler device sync.

Basically what I did was get a ST SCART cable (had it imported for the UK) the used a SCART to YUV (component) device and it worked. I also used a EURO SCART to J-SCART adapter and XRGB2+ (VGA up-scaler) and that worked also.

Problem (for those in the US) is the ST was so popular in Europe most software runs in PAL so what ever device you use needs to be able to switch between PAL and NTSC easily. Same goes for the display.

The devices I mentioned above, the YUV converter worked great in NTSC but not PAL even though it claims to support it. I could not find an LCD able to switch to between PAL and NTSC. I had great luck with older CRT monitor and wound up using a NEC 15V crt and the XRGB2+.

Since then I purchased a SC1224 Atari crt monitor and it works in all color modes flawless. Its a small screen and I thought I wouldnt like that. Thats why I was doing all the converting to VGA. Now that I have one though, the ST fills out the screen better on the sc1224 and I would recommend getting one.

Edited by Official Ninja, Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:39 AM.


#7 Zogging Hell OFFLINE  

Zogging Hell

    Chopper Commander

  • 211 posts

Posted Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:23 PM

Also worth mentioning is the lack of enhanced joystick ports on the Mega STe, which are used by some games (not many though)..

#8 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Your snarky overlord

  • 22,236 posts
  • Location:ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha

Posted Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:00 PM

Also worth mentioning is the lack of enhanced joystick ports on the Mega STe, which are used by some games (not many though)..

Are you sure it doesn't have them? I thought it did.

#9 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:06 PM

Does the Mega STe have the same DIN plug for the SC1224 monitor as the 1040ST?

#10 Christos OFFLINE  

Christos

    Dragonstomper

  • 782 posts
  • Location:Thessaloniki, Greece

Posted Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:16 PM

No the mste doesn't have them. Also as already discussed there should be very few problems with NTSC ataris and games and finally all ST have the same impossible to find 13pin DIN for the monitor.

#11 Zogging Hell OFFLINE  

Zogging Hell

    Chopper Commander

  • 211 posts

Posted Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:17 PM


Also worth mentioning is the lack of enhanced joystick ports on the Mega STe, which are used by some games (not many though)..

Are you sure it doesn't have them? I thought it did.


Sure (though I did just have to check on mine to make sure I wasn't going mad!). The enhanced joystick ports were dropped for Mega STe and TT.

#12 rdemming OFFLINE  

rdemming

    Dragonstomper

  • 941 posts
  • Location:The Netherlands, Amstelveen

Posted Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:22 AM

No the mste doesn't have them. Also as already discussed there should be very few problems with NTSC ataris and games and finally all ST have the same impossible to find 13pin DIN for the monitor.


Are only the connectors missing or also the chip to read it? I don't know which chip is responsible for the enhanced joystick ports, but if the functionality is part of a chip that is in the Mega STE, maybe you can solder in the connectors yourself.

Robert


[edit]
According to the Atari Profibuch, the enhanced joystickports are connected to three 74LS244 and one 74LS373. These chips are activated by pins 99-103 and 137 of the MCU. So if the Mega STE MCU is the same as in the STE, you could add it the enhanced joystick port yourself.
The paddle inputs are connected to an AD converter but I think this can be left out since I don't think there is any game that uses it.
[/edit]

Edited by rdemming, Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:35 AM.


#13 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:23 AM

Searching around I found this site. You can see all the ports on the STE and Mega STE.
http://translate.goo...seum.de/ste.htm

#14 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Your snarky overlord

  • 22,236 posts
  • Location:ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha

Posted Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:47 AM

Ok I think I was getting confused by the regular joystick/mouse ports on the keyboard.

#15 oky2000 OFFLINE  

oky2000

    Stargunner

  • 1,859 posts

Posted Sat Oct 1, 2011 11:22 AM

LCD use with ST you best bet is to seek out a EU PAL TV and use a stepdown 240-120v transformer IMO.

All hail the mighty SCART socket :)

#16 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:57 PM

Here is my new Mega STe :love:

Attached Thumbnails

  • ON_MSTE_2.jpg


#17 Christos OFFLINE  

Christos

    Dragonstomper

  • 782 posts
  • Location:Thessaloniki, Greece

Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:33 PM

Heh, looks nice! Got teradesk running!

#18 DarkLord OFFLINE  

DarkLord

    River Patroller

  • 2,656 posts
  • Location:Prestonsburg, KY USA

Posted Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:33 AM

They really are great looking machines, such clean lines! Glad to see you got yours running. :)

#19 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:53 AM

Thanks. Unfortunately the machine is showing signs of having bad ram installed.

I emailed Best Electronics who sold me this computer and I'm waiting to see how it gets handled.

check it out:
http://dbug.kicks-as...?num=1318776466
http://dbug.kicks-as...?num=1318560127

#20 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:45 AM

So far the only response from Brad at Best is he "doubts" anything could be wrong with the ram in my MSTe. This is after I gave him links to forum discussions over at dbug forums showing pictures of my MSTe showing corrupt graphics in games and failing a memory test (test is in German, sent to me from those forums). Also in the posts are other MSTe users who tested the files from the same location I downloaded them and having no troubles.

Very disappointed really. For what I consider a premium price I would expect much better support. His doubt was based on tests run on the machine before it was put on to a shelf some time ago. The ram that is bad is the upgrade ram I purchased and was installed by Best before shipping.

I hope it gets resolved well. I have purchased and plan to purchase more items from Best in the future. I'd hate to have a bad feeling because of the $40 price of the upgrade to the computer...

Edited by Official Ninja, Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:48 AM.


#21 DarkLord OFFLINE  

DarkLord

    River Patroller

  • 2,656 posts
  • Location:Prestonsburg, KY USA

Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:43 PM

I personally have had nothing but top-notch service from Best Electronics. Everyone else's mileage
may vary of course.

Just out of curiosity, have you tried isolating the assumed RAM problem? I mean, pull all the memory
and add different combinations and see if you can narrow it down to a single stick or 2.

Just a thought.

PS Be very careful with the little white tabs that lock the memory sticks down. On the Mega STe's I've
seen, as they age they get very brittle.

#22 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Your snarky overlord

  • 22,236 posts
  • Location:ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha

Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:55 PM

My guess is that one of the RAM chips came loose during shipping. Like DarkLord said, those little white tabs that hold in the RAM are very fragile so this sort of thing is pretty common when you move the system around (happened on my MSTE). If Brad won't help, I'd open it up and re-seat all the RAM.

#23 thgill OFFLINE  

thgill

    Moonsweeper

  • 300 posts
  • Pants: Optional
  • Location:Cincinnati, OH

Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:23 PM

30 pin simms are pretty cheap. You can probably pick up a whole set on eBay for next to nothing.

That way you can prove/disprove if the existing ram is the issue.

For example:

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 330590859845

$10 shipped for 10 x 1MB simms. Plenty of leftover simms in case you want to have spares or upgrade another machine down the road. This is a REALLY good price for them. Its the route I would go.

#24 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:54 PM

Thanks all for the replies.

Brad at Best has agreed to send me a new set of Simms. Awesome. :thumbsup:

I have narrowed it down to 2 of the simms. When I swap the last 2 simms position the graphic glitches go away.
The memory test then reports errors at different memory addresses than before.
One of them is bad.

I know the simms are not expensive or even hard to find. Thats not really the point though. I'm glad Best is sending another set.
I was a little worried by the initial contact about the problem but it looks like things are moving in a better direction now.
I'll of course post here the results.

I don't blame Best in anyway. I just don't think factory tests beat up the hardware the same way a great game does. ;)

#25 Official Ninja ONLINE  

Official Ninja

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 2,433 posts
  • Location:NJ, USA

Posted Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:32 PM

Best Electronics sent me replacement ram. Installed and the system runs perfectly. No more graphic glitches, no bombs, no errors in memory tests. :-)
Best really came through and shipped the ram to me fast once it was clear what the problem was. :thumbsup:




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users