Jump to content

Photo

Who has modded their 7800 and what mods did you use?

atari 7800 mods s-video component

15 replies to this topic

#1 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

redsteakraw

    Chopper Commander

  • 200 posts

Posted Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:05 PM

Who has modded their 7800 and what mods did you use?  Everyone knows the limits of the stock video output of the 7800 and how it leaves much to be desired.  What mods have you gone with and why did you choose to mod your system. 



#2 -^CrožBow^- ONLINE  

-^CrožBow^-

    Quadrunner

  • 7,123 posts
  • Collector of Fine Atari and Sega Antiquities!
  • Location:Ivory Tower, Fantasia (Oklahoma)

Posted Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:58 PM

I've used all that I personally know about and had access to purchase or make on my own. For me the RF is simply too dark on my flat panel TVs and the interference seems to be much worse on a higher resolution display when scaled up. So These are the mods I've used on  my personal 7800 over the years:

 

- Basic composite mod that is similar to the 2600 one.  (It worked, but had bad jail bars and honestly didn't seem that much improved over the RF in most cases.)

- LHE (Long Horn Engineer) CVBS/S-VID mod kit. (This also worked, but it had really bad color bleeding and fringing on the edges of the graphics. The contrast was never where it needed to be regardless of TV adjustements and it had issues with the 2600 TIA colorburst causing a diagonal pattern on the screen in 7800 mode games that was quite distracting. Thus you would have to wire in an external switch to physically kill this signal. It was a lot of work to put in this mod for what I considered very little payoff from the results.)

- Magic Knight early rev boards (These original boards produced much better results with color bleeding as compared to the LHE and was my primary s-video board I used for over a year. However, it was s-video only, and still had some contrast issues. I later found this was because the initial version of the boards was more tailored to PAL consoles. Additionally, the Magic Knight doesn't provide composite built in and the earlier boards didn't handle audio correctly.)

- UAV Rev. D (This is what I prefer to use and currently have installed in my 7800 now. It produces a nice properly composite video signal, and the s-video from it is excellent! No color bleeding to speak of and the contrast appears to be correct.)

- Magic Knight v2.2 boards (These newer version of Magic Knights boards produce an s-video image that is comparable to the UAV but still initially have the wrong resistor values in place for the audio and still do not provide a composite output)

 

So to sum up at this current point in time. I believe that either the Magic Knight or UAV are excellent choices if all you care about is s-video and composite. True the magic knight board doesn't have composite, but a cheap $1 s-video to composite adapter works great and allows you the flexibility of having one of the other as needed since you only have to install the s-video jack and use the adapter plugged into it to get CVBS video from it. Both the UAV and Magic Knight boards require some audio modification to get that working well. The UAV has nothing in place for audio at all and requires that to be gotten externally from it. The Magic Knight does, but you have to change the resistor value on one of them to get the TIA and Pokey audio amplitude (Volume) balanced properly. You can also not use the audio section on the Magic Knight and just wire the audio the same as you would for the UAV installation. Audio can be done in any number of ways, but I still prefer to just wire in dual mono rather then add the extra to amplify the left and right tia channels for stereo separately. But..that is all subjective honestly.

 

It also has to be said that thus far, in regards to using these on flat panel TVs or LCD...etc. None of them produce the right colors for the brownish/golden hues as can be evidenced from the Green grass you get in commando vs the dirt color you would expect. But Commando is on the extreme in this regard and all the other 7800 titles I've played didn't look that vastly different to me colorwise. Not enough to think it an issue. Also, at least for tower toppler, the UAV produces some really strange purples and orange colors in that game that aren't correct. It looks okay in s-video but you get the stripped effect from the lack of artifacting through s-video. Through composite, the colors are just wrong on that game. But it is the only game I've found to do this on the UAV. The Magic Knight board looked correct on tower toppler through the composite to s-video adapter.

 

So...I hope that helps to some degree? 


Edited by -^CrožBow^-, Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:05 PM.

  • mellis , gorfcadet , Magic Knight and 1 other like this

#3 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

newtmonkey

    Chopper Commander

  • 119 posts
  • Location:Nagoya, Japan

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:34 AM

I modded my 7800 with the basic mod, specifically this one:

https://www.thefutur...-video-mod.html

 

+ It's very easy to install if you have any soldering ability whatsoever (maybe even if not; it's a decent first soldering project imo).

+ It's reversible if you ever want to for some reason (the case itself isn't modified).

+ Very cheap.

+ I can verify that the one linked above supports POKEY games.

- Video quality isn't great.  It's slightly better than RF, there is noise in the picture, and it's a bit soft overall.


Edited by newtmonkey, Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:35 AM.


#4 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

redsteakraw

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 200 posts

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:05 AM

I modded my 7800 with the basic mod, specifically this one:

https://www.thefutur...-video-mod.html

 

+ It's very easy to install if you have any soldering ability whatsoever (maybe even if not; it's a decent first soldering project imo).

+ It's reversible if you ever want to for some reason (the case itself isn't modified).

+ Very cheap.

+ I can verify that the one linked above supports POKEY games.

- Video quality isn't great.  It's slightly better than RF, there is noise in the picture, and it's a bit soft overall.

 

That is interesting mod no case drilling needed.  I like how you don't have to solder on their board because of the connector. 



#5 save2600 ONLINE  

save2600

    Quadrunner

  • 15,668 posts
  • Location:Wisconsin

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:12 AM

High quality A/V out from ANY RF system, and does not require any soldering or even opening up your system:

https://www.ebay.com...wcAAOSwM4xXa~Tz

6683E00D-0765-44BD-8B93-7F1DB4D43553.jpeg

Sony TU-1041U

:grin:

#6 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

redsteakraw

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 200 posts

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:17 AM

High quality A/V out from ANY RF system, and does not require any soldering or even opening up your system:

https://www.ebay.com...wcAAOSwM4xXa~Tz

attachicon.gif6683E00D-0765-44BD-8B93-7F1DB4D43553.jpeg

Sony TU-1041U

icon_biggrinwink.gif

 

 

Pics or it didn't happen.  How is this any better than a VHS player?  It can't even play '10 things I hate about you'.



#7 -^CrožBow^- ONLINE  

-^CrožBow^-

    Quadrunner

  • 7,123 posts
  • Collector of Fine Atari and Sega Antiquities!
  • Location:Ivory Tower, Fantasia (Oklahoma)

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:27 AM

I guess I should have specified it because I didn't...

 

Both the UAV and Magic Knight boards do NOT require you to remove any actual components. You also don't have to drill holes into the case to use them. You could certainly just buy standard composite/audio rca cables, cut one end off and just solder that directly to the board with a strain relief in place and go that route. Same with the s-video. I just personally don't like cables being attached in a semi permanent way to my consoles because Id rather not wrap a cable or three around them when I set them on the shelf. But as with all mods, you can handle the actual AV connection side of things however you want.

 

Even though in my guides I specify to lift or cut the legs on the R5 and R6 resistors when doing the audio, you could just solder additional 18k and 8.2k resistors off the south legs of R5 and R6, tie those together and then run that out to your AV connections. That way you still have full audio and video through RF should you want or need it and can still easy desolder the components you added to reverse it all back.

 

And while a challenge in many ways, you can install AV jacks on a 7800 in ways that don't look crappy or require the cabling to come out the left or right side of the console.


Edited by -^CrožBow^-, Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:33 AM.

  • phattyboombatty and newtmonkey like this

#8 newtmonkey OFFLINE  

newtmonkey

    Chopper Commander

  • 119 posts
  • Location:Nagoya, Japan

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:35 AM

I guess I should have specified it because I didn't...

 

Both the UAV and Magic Knight boards do NOT require you to remove any actual components.

 

This is a good point!  The basic composite mod I linked above requires removing several components (including the RF unit itself).  Removing the components is by far the most difficult part of the mod, especially if you don't have the right tools (like me); but it can be done with just a basic manual solder sucker and a lot of patience.



#9 sdamike ONLINE  

sdamike

    Star Raider

  • 70 posts
  • Location:Warsaw, NY

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:09 PM

Great question OP, I'm wondering the same. I have just a basic A/V mod on my 7800 and the ghosting and sharpness is pretty disappointing. Im looking to upgrade soon and this time just pay to have someone else do it. Who does S-Video mods out there? I did notice some one is doing a hdmi mods but Im curious if these truly make it a nice image, or only marginally better. Anyone have any experience with either of those?



#10 -^CrožBow^- ONLINE  

-^CrožBow^-

    Quadrunner

  • 7,123 posts
  • Collector of Fine Atari and Sega Antiquities!
  • Location:Ivory Tower, Fantasia (Oklahoma)

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:55 PM

Most of the HDMI mods I've seen (Including one I reversed out and installed a UAV into for another AA member here) was actually just using the standard composite mod board and also had a composite to HDMI converter taken apart and shoehorned into the console. So in reality the output still didn't look any different from the composite. There are several who offer the work done.



#11 blainelocklair OFFLINE  

blainelocklair

    Moonsweeper

  • 337 posts
  • Location:Summerville, SC

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:19 PM

-^Cro§Bow^- did the s-video A/V mod on my 7800, along with button replacements, A/V out, recap, and some other niceties. It's amazing. It goes through a JVC switcher to s-video to a RetroTINK 2x, then to HDMI on the TV. I can't recommend his work highly enough. 

 

I wouldn't exactly call it a "mod", but I bought the Atari Euro d-pad controller from Best. I really like it over the original controller.



#12 sdamike ONLINE  

sdamike

    Star Raider

  • 70 posts
  • Location:Warsaw, NY

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:49 PM

Thanks for the info, guess I will be sending a PM!



#13 Jinks OFFLINE  

Jinks

    River Patroller

  • 4,682 posts
  • Location:Canada

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:58 PM

I love my 7800 with rf cable direct in my crt. The picture is great. It looks that way it should be and the way it was made to be. I will never video mod a console.
Crt tvs are free to 20 dollars used. Enough of them to play for 50 years.
You need to dive into retro gaming.
Extension cables? Nope. Sit 3 feet away.
Save your money and buy homebrew games the picture is fine.

#14 Magic Knight OFFLINE  

Magic Knight

    Dragonstomper

  • 594 posts
  • Waiting for SHATRON to be released...
  • Location:Castle of Karn (Scotland UK)

Posted Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:47 AM

Magic Knight v2.2 boards (These newer version of Magic Knights boards produce an s-video image that is comparable to the UAV but still initially have the wrong resistor values in place for the audio and still do not provide a composite output....

Both the UAV and Magic Knight boards require some audio modification to get that working well. The UAV has nothing in place for audio at all and requires that to be gotten externally from it. The Magic Knight does, but you have to change the resistor value on one of them to get the TIA and Pokey audio amplitude (Volume) balanced properly.

Thanks to you patience and valuable feedback Crossbow, I'm there with balancing up the sound levels as they should. NTSC users will benefit from this on the current versions of the s-video board. :0)
  • -^CrožBow^- likes this

#15 Lendorien OFFLINE  

Lendorien

    Stargunner

  • 1,289 posts
  • Location:Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Posted Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:31 AM

In for a penny, in for a pound. My 7800 have the LHE Svideo mod. It's worked effectively since I installed it about 7 or 8 years ago, but I know there's better stuff available now, but the LHE mod involved disconnecting and removing things. It was so long ago, I don't recall the details. Needless to say, replacing it would be hard to do at this point.

 

Since I still play on a CRT, I guess it doesn't matter that much.



#16 -^CrožBow^- ONLINE  

-^CrožBow^-

    Quadrunner

  • 7,123 posts
  • Collector of Fine Atari and Sega Antiquities!
  • Location:Ivory Tower, Fantasia (Oklahoma)

Posted Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:17 AM

In for a penny, in for a pound. My 7800 have the LHE Svideo mod. It's worked effectively since I installed it about 7 or 8 years ago, but I know there's better stuff available now, but the LHE mod involved disconnecting and removing things. It was so long ago, I don't recall the details. Needless to say, replacing it would be hard to do at this point.

 

Since I still play on a CRT, I guess it doesn't matter that much.

I actually bought resistors to have on hand to replace the stuff that is removed for the LHE mod. The biggest part to keep is that you have to replace that video buffer that was originally removed and put it back for the current mods being used. I couldn't locate my original one when I went back to swap it out and had to get another. But I believe I was able to find one I had lying around easy enough as it is a very common part. In some instances, with the UAV and Magic Knight boards, I'm not sure those resistors being removed is that big a deal since the signals are being taken before those resistors technically if I recall correctly.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: atari, 7800, mods, s-video, component

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users