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This thread has been created for the brave who are embarking on this 1088XEL project alone. This is a place to share your updates, questions, and issues during the course of your journey. Some have already started as others will begin later. Please share what you have done, and anything else that can be of value to everyone completing this board. I have my boards from McRorie, my BOM components from Digi-Key (1 item on Back-Order), UAV Rev D from Bryan, Sophia Board (requires updating, U1MB board (Candle version), which requires an update from v1 to v2. I will be also completing several XEL-CF-][ and JOY2PIC-STIK as well. I will provide updates on those builds too. I will be using a Xytronic 137ESD Solder Station. For the solder I'm using .015 diameter low residue flux core solder with 2.2% flux. It is great to solder with especial with small boards and tight areas where a flux mess is not appreciated. Below, I have soldered the 24 CAP 0.1UF (digi-key 399-9870-1-ND). More to come..... Special Thanks to Michael St. Pierre (mytekcontrols) for which none of this would have been possible!!!
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.
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.