The F18A Video Enhancement Board
Retro Computing on the TI-99/4A can be a blast from the past for many of us, but nothing can ruin the experience faster than blurry, distorted or snowy images. Are we really going to dump hundreds of dollars into re-acquiring old equipment, as well as the cool new toys coming out, only to view a crappy picture over some lousy old TV or monitor? Heck NO, and we didn't have to, because as many of us in the community already know, before it was discontinued, Matthew Haggarty came to our rescue with the truly affordable F18A Video Enhancement board.
UPDATE --- 02/02/2019 ---
At one point, among Atari Age users, the F18A was the most used video output device for the TI-99/4A. After being discontinued, the 9918 has regaining that spot as more new users have entered the TI community. Of course, the F18A Mk II will probably change that again after it's release.
There were so many reasons to get one of these video upgrades, some of the most obvious were:
1) Crisp and sharp video
2) Ability to use modern HDTV's and computer monitors
3) Ease of installation
4) Reasonably priced
However, there are more not so obvious reasons as well:
With age, numerous TI systems have developed different video issues, the F18A card fixed all of these problems, without the owners having to waste literally hours trying to diagnose and identify the specific video chip at fault. They also avoided the hassles of removing the old broken components. Since this is a socketed device, it was even a fix even a newbie with no soldering skills could perform.
It was only advertised as a functional 9918 replacement, but quite frankly, it had a few tricks up it's sleeve that went above and beyond a crisp, clean, and flicker free picture. This board had HUGE additional benefits that many people, myself included enjoy...
...80 COLUMN MODE...
Yep! The F18A will display 80 columns in programs like the Multiplan, BOOT, 4A/DOS, the Tursi modified BA-Writer and many more. With the sheer number of F18A's out in the wild, it's had become the de-facto standard. I'm hoping more stuff becomes available for it's replacement in the coming years.
Here are a few screenshots taken from my system....
The attached PDF file below contains all the known programs to currently take advantage of the F18A's 80 column mode or enhanced graphics capabilities. (As of 1 January, 2015)
You can download a few of the major 80 column compatible programs << HERE >>
If you would like to purchase one of these little marvels, just click on << THIS LINK >>
This is the #1 upgrade for the TI-99/4A. (IMHO) Everyone can can gain from this device, from the lowly newbie or returning user with only the basic console, to the rabid TI zealot with a totally over-blown and radically expanded system. If you've not yet purchased one of these for your TI, there is only one question that needs asking... What's taking you so long? It's time you get in on the enjoyment.
Another Atari Age user, Vectrex Roli made a neat little You Tube video about this card, take a peek here...
*** UPDATE -- 09/21/2016
If you want to use this device on a modern flat screen TV that only has an HDMI connector << CLICK HERE >> for more information about VGA to HDMI converters.