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About adam6502

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    Combat Commando

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  1. Seconded on the Goo Gone. Perfectly safe on most materials, I always then clean my connectors out with some silicone switch cleaning spray that dissipates quickly. I recently had a problem with my 800XL ribbon cable in the fact the transparent plastic stiffening strip that the bare edge connectors are usually stuck too, came unstuck. I cleaned the plastic strip up, 're-seated' the connectors on to it with a strip of double-sided tape (ordinary Scotch type, clear 8mm wide) and once they had been stuck for a couple of hours I dusted the connector with some 'tricians talc (the white powder used to feed cables through sheathing). The talc made the exposed parts of the tape smooth and the contacts stuck to it rock solid. As for the isopropyl, just test it on a bit of the ribbon cable that's not important first. I've had that laminated cable go very brittle on me after having isopropyl on it for more than a few minutes.
  2. Evening guys, I originally had a broadcast signal converter that I could plug all my 8 and 16 bit'ers into and fed nicely into the VGA port on a 25" Philips monitor but unfortunately DHL in my local country have made sure I'm never going to get it back after sending it for repair. The signal converter allowed lots of different resolutions and aspect ratios and was virtually limitless in the signals it would accept. Here in Ecuador there are a huge amount of 15-17" CRT's and LCD's and virtually nothing with S-Video inputs or that will accept happily the PAL composite video that my 800XL is knocking out. I have tried a $20 S-Video/Composite to VGA converter which gave me nice multicoloured blurred text on everything that I plugged into it (including a Raspberry Pi). So I'm looking to connect to VGA, especially as I still prefer the look of CRT's for my vintage machines. So, rather than going UAV now, I'm looking at getting a Sophia Board. I've tried reading through the Sophia threads but struggling to get a clear answer to some queries before I start hassling Simius with an order. I could do with hearing some experiences of other users findings. Firstly, the Sophia Rev.B is shown as RGB. Is this directly compatible with VGA or would it feed into one of the Arcade RGB to VGA GBS8200 converters found on Ebay? I ask about this board in particular because I'm getting one for an Amstrad CPC 6128 and could probably build a switch to shift between the tow machines. Secondly, regardless of this going VGA directly, or through an RGB converter, do I need to determine the resolution when I order the Sophia? Some of the monitors here are 1024 x768 and others 1280x1024. Are these the correct aspect ratios to be as similar as possible to old CRT TV's that the Atari's would have plugged into originally? Thirdly, if I end up having to order the DVI version, presumably there's a 1280x1024 option available, will I get black bars on the left and right of my full HD monitor to keep the aspect ratio or is it more likely to stretch to the whole screen or black borders on all sides with a tiny image in the middle? Lastly, is Simius based in Europe, or in the US, as I need to find out the best method of getting it to me without using couriers? USPS tracked service is ideal, but if it's coming from Europe then I'd need to get it shipped to the UK first to be forwarded by Royal Mail. Apologies for the long post and multiple questions. If you've any further advice or help to offer (unused Sophia Board??) please let me know, and thank you in advance.
  3. I'm just checking up on the other OS's available, quite an eye-opener really
  4. Are you in Quito? The parts I'm looking at sourcing are the ones mentioned in the 1985 Byte magazine article for a homebrew 256K upgrade. There seems to be a few updated versions of this article too but it's taking me time to read through them to see which is the most recent/practical. There are some good components stores on Cristobal Colón y Versalles, and also Wolf electronics near Quicentro Sur. Wolf even have a stock of old 74xx DIP chips of various types and fairly cheap memory chips.
  5. Just as a matter of interest, what's the main reason users are wanting to switch operating systems? When they were mainstream I was a daily Atari ST user, obviously with TOS and the GEM desktop. I could load up programming languages, games, a database etc but it was all done through the same OS. Am I going to hit a restriction on what I can load on to the ROM OS already available on the XL? I'm mainly wanting to start programming on it, maybe some BASIC to begin with, tapping the hardware a bit more later on, and getting back into 6502 assembly along side that. As a couple of leisure projects I was thinking about programming a game or two but in the same manner they were produced back in the 80's and I presume the alternative OS's weren't around then? I think I'm going either for Claus Buchhholz's route as I can pick up components locally for this rather than trying to get pre-built boards shipped. I'd love a U1MB but I'm looking at almost $200 before it's sat on my desk. As for the video, I'm trying to source a UAV but if that doesn't work out the Super Video 2.0 mentioned above looks like the closest I will get to decent video output without a manufactured board, thank you for the link to the schematic. It's probably of no interest to anybody but the reason DIY is much easier for me is purely down to getting ready made stuff to where I live, outside the city boundary of Quito in Ecuador. The main couriers companies (DHL, UPS) are pretty 'corrupt' and on top of the $80 standard shipping fee here I end up with $24 handling fee, 40% taxes instead of the 12% standard import taxes, a so-called 'fuel-surcharge' usually around $15 if I order packages directly from suppliers. I do have a method of getting stuff to the UK then to here in a consolidated package but unfortunately most companies shipping to the UK are not so cheap either. Last year I ordered 4 FPGA boards from Poland to the UK and they arrived well packed in a bubblewrap envelope. Postage with tracking and a signature was 6 Euros. Other suppliers are charging 20 Euros for a single pre-built smaller board. Thanks guys for the responses so far, and I definitely have enough to work on with these suggestions.
  6. Thanks you Gunstar.... working from your suggestions I've now found some more helpful information, although the actual products linked to are no longer in stock. Clearly from those links however there is Claus Buchholz’s memory expansion solution. And for the video there is also Super Video 2.1. Both seem to be some kind of open-source solution with schematics somewhere but for the life of me I cannot find a homepage or schematics for either Claus's solution or Super Video 2.1 .... lots of people talking about them and saying they've fitted them, but no actual project page. Dare I mention I just bought a Commodore 128 as well? It seems the video ram upgrade is desolder/solder job on two chips. Difficult access but very straight forward. Wish the Atari was like this cos Atari and Sinclair were the machines I was brought up on
  7. Yep, the UAV is what I wanted but sadly no boards likely to be available in the short term. I've been trying to check the ANTIC and GTIA chip information online in case there was anything more than just the chroma connection I could do myself, maybe with a bit of FPGA work or even just signal cleaning. The Sophia is not affordable for me at the moment. I was getting a rough idea of the prices from other threads but postage to Ecuador and the customs fees which follow make it almost as cheap to get a flight and fetch one. The thread on s-video has a lot of posts with people contributing to improving video output but none of the thread seems to be a place to start from and neither defines a current DIY method for doing so. As much as I've got from it is connect the chroma up or buy a UAV. I've scoured the net fro the Rambo upgrades which seemed a pretty standard way of getting to 256K RAM, but literally no guidance on getting hold of one, an alternative, a homebrew method or whatever. Most forms of upgrade seem to have disappeared apart from Lotherek's offering. As I've said, shipping to Ecuador is really expensive and even shipping to the UK which I could get forwarded afterwards is at least £20 from Poland (expensive by European standards) and then UK to Ecuador, then customs fees.
  8. So I've got myself a new, or to me at least, Atari 800XL PAL (Manf. Taiwan) version that seems pretty much untouched. I've just built an SIO2PI, and SIO2Arduino to start getting software on to it but with regards to memory and video upgrades I'm a bit lost with all of the options mentioned in the forums. Firstly with the video. I've got an s-video to VGA converter which I want to use, and I've seen a lot of recommendations to go the way of UAV but as I understand Bryan's got a lot going on these days and won't be producing more boards until next year at the earliest. I took a quick look at the s-video modifications thread which started in 2009 but it's really hard to figure out what the latest suggestions/methods are in this thread with a number of changes made in the last few years. Unfortunately Sophia is out of price range for me at the moment, especially with shipping and import taxes where I'm located. What are the options for improving the video signal these days? Homebrew/DIY preferred over trying to get boards into the country. Secondly, I'd like to upgrade the memory a little. Again, U1MB seems to be the go for solution these days but though the board is only $80 I'm looking at another $100 on shipping and customs fees. Looking at the stuff I want to do, 256K would be sufficient but I've no idea if there's any highly compatible, reasonably straight forward upgrades currently available, or again homebrew/DIY. Soldering is not an issue so not necessarily needing plug-in solutions. Anyway, great to be accepted into the community; the last one I was part of was the FaST club in the UK back in the 90's but feel more at home with my 800XL on my desk. Any help or advice on getting started also gladly accepted.
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