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Found 11 results

  1. 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!!!
  2. I'd like to share this audio improvement project I've been working and testing last weeks, recreating the audio companion for the UAV developed by Bryan, taking the Pokey output to generate a new signal. In a phrase: it's like to listen an "old sound in a new machine" instead of to listen an "old sound in an old machine". And it works. Quality sound: Time ago I was looking for an audio improvement, unfortunately there wasn't a good comparison or comments about a difference of this kind of projects with the original Atari sound, so I decided to build my own and play with it. I played changing components several times to get a clearer and smooth sound, and also increasing the power. The feeling is like listening an mp3 at 96kbps and then to listen the same song at 128kbps. You can hear some improvements in some frequencies, and it feels better, but of course it's far away from a 320kbps mp3. The main noticeable changes are with bass related sounds, now they are not lost in the background. With the sharp sounds the difference is less noticeable, but in overall I'm happy and it's a recommended improvement. (For this post I tried to make a video if we are talking about sound, but for some reason when connecting the 3.5mm cable to the camcorder, it appeared a noise not noticeable with the speakers and with the TV, so it wasn't a good comparison test to be published). Further works: Pseudo-stereo improvement: Since the 99.9% of the games and demos are mono, and the only way to convert them to stereo is to tell each developer to re-write the code, I've been searching for a way to have some kind of stereo sound. I started with splitters to divide the signal in 2 according to its frequency, but those tests were unsuccessful and with undesired results. So then, an approach to have some kind of stereo is to generate 2 signals (left-right) with different tone. And so far so good. It's not stereo but if you move around the room it's possible to hear some louder sounds to the right, and others heavier to the left, instead of to have the same mono sound to the left and to the right. Internal speaker: And the last sound-related improvement I'm testing is to install a small speaker inside the Atari, with an amplifier. Having an untouched 3rd signal with the original tone at low volume in the room, it will create a more spatial effect. It'll require more energy and it's not tested yet, but I think it will be fine, and also I will add a switch to turn it off if it becomes louder.
  3. I've been working on a new upgrade that can be installed in any A8, 5200, & even the 2600. I know there's a million upgrades out there, but the good ones are mostly based on tweaks to the original Atari circuit, and the bad ones are haphazardly designed. 1st, the real problems with the Atari circuit(s): The video circuits in most A8's are not sufficiently decoupled from the digital noise in the system. Video power and ground are often shared with very noisy components like DRAM and this causes vertical bars to appear in the picture. For example, you can often see the refresh cycles on the left side of the screen. Crude DACs like the one made from the CD4050 have no ability to reject power supply noise and will superimpose it on the picture. No tweaking of the video buffers will remove it. Atari actually put components in some XLs to blur the image in an attempt to clear up the lines. That's not to say the buffers didn't need tweaking. They frequently deviated from the 75-ohm impedance standard that that meant the picture quality could be unreliable (shadows, smearing & ghosting), especially with longer cables. At video speeds, you only get maximum transfer when everything is the right impedance. In addition, some of the chroma circuits produced highly distorted sine-waves which contributed to noise in the image. So to solve these problems, my board: 1. Has an on-board regulator to create a clean video power source. 2. Has a 3-channel video amplifier designed for 75 ohm loads. 3. Has a pixel re-clocking circuit to remove skew and better align the 4 luminance signals into a perfect pixel edge. 4. Has a carefully designed chroma-shaping circuit. In addition, there's an adjustable pot on the board which controls the phase between the chroma and luma signals. A nice side-effect of this that you can change the artifact colors. There's also a jumper to invert the chroma which swaps the positions of the artifact colors. The board plugs into the CD4050 socket for easy installation on most machines. It can be used in place of the original circuit or along side it. I'm working on the final board layout and I hope to have them available in the AtariAge store early next year. Here are some pictures of the prototype. Any patterns in the picture are due to the camera picking up the CRT mask, but you'll notice the absence of vertical bars (I'll try to get better pictures...). One of the pictures is taken off my LCD (and even the LCD is hard to photograph). The split screen pictures show the effect of artifact tuning. The board is currently installed in a very noisy 130XE. I'll try to get some before pictures. I'm calling it UAV for Ultimate Atari Video. More to come!
  4. My youtube video in the link below shows a summary of how i got rid of the Atari 5200 switchbox that is bulky, inconvenient, prone to failures, and is expensive to replace. Even when it works, it usually does not give a clean signal. I ditched the switchbox and RF altogether by applying two mods: 1) the switchbox bypass power mod from console5.com and 2) the UAV board from thebrewingacademy.com. PLEASE READ THE NOTES SECTION OF THE VIDEO FOR MORE DETAILS NOT MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO. I am not an experienced modder, and do not post a lot of videos, so i would really appreciate your positive comments and likes. rradi
  5. hawk

    XEGS UAV Installation

    I recently purchased a couple of UAV kits from Bryan, so I thought I'd document my installations. http://atariage.com/forums/gallery/album/2096-uav-installation/ Initially I found it difficult to find installation information, but I soon realised that it was in all the forums, it just wasn't all in the same place. The installation of the UAV mod in the XEGS was extremely easy. The most difficult part was deciding how I wanted to implement the mod, and my decision changed a few times and still is not yet complete. I usually want to keep my machines in mint condition, unless something about them indicates that its not really worth it...maybe a broken case, repaired electronics, or I have more than one machine of a particular type in my collection. In this case, the machine I chose to mod had already been repaired by me. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/258432-xegs-repair/?hl=%2Bhawk+%2Bxegs I had originally planned to remove the 4050 chip when I installed the UAV but realised that if I did that I would lose the RF output. I don't use the RF output if I can help it but I wasn't sure whether I wanted to totally remove it. From the monitor photos you'll see that I went to the trouble of replacing the original LCD driver board with a TV tuner LCD controller board. https://www.ebay.com/itm/LCD-controller-board-Kit-diy-VGA-HDMI-USB-TV-for-LCD-LED-Display-Monitor-Panel/152446068465?hash=item237e7e66f1:g:PlsAAOSwdGFYxLsS that allowed me to use RF in for some of my older machines including my 400. I ended up soldering the socket that came with the UAV kit directly onto the pins of the 4050 chip and then plugging in the daughter board. It almost worked first time, however I hadn't realised that I had to provide a colour input signal to the daughter board. I removed the centre pin of the composite out socket from the motherboard and wired the UAV output directly to that. I also included the extra ground wire. I didn't have any small shielded cables so I used regular hookup wire. You'll see from the photos in the album that there was not a great difference in the compisite signal before and after the mod. To be honest, the image was pretty good to start with. However, the S-video output made a big difference. I'd forgotten that my LCD monitor couldn't handle S-video, so I had to test it out on a CRT TV. I had yet to take photos of the S-video. I am also deciding how to fit the S-video socket on the rear of the XEGS. The socket I was able to buy locally is not the one that I'd prefer so I'm putting off installing that for a little bit longer. I'll update again after I've completed that mod...then it will be on to the 400. The 400 will be delayed until I can receive an Audio mod card from Bryan so that I can also get sound after bypassing the RF.
  6. Here is a video I did on my UAV installation into a 4-port 5200. I had some issues in that this particular 4-port refused to work without the 4050 still in the mix. Since I wanted to keep the RF shield in place, it required some modification of the mod board. Bryan's procedures are pretty much dead on so unless there is a need for something with more pictures...etc I'm leaving it with just my video and Bryan's instructions. Bryan's instructions for installation are found on his blog here: http://atariage.com/forums/blog/695/entry-14462-install-uav-ac-in-the-5200/
  7. 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.
  8. The UAV is a great thing. You can find the details here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/260267-the-uav-rev-d-video-upgrade-thread/ The single board can be used in virtually every Atari 8-bit console and computer. But since there are differences per machine and per UAV revision, you have to know exactly which wires, jumpers and pins are really relevant for your configuration. The long nature and discussion in the main thread make it hard to find the right information. Therefore I decided to create this separate thread. Things you have to know when installing the UAV Rev. D in an Atari 7800 PAL: You cannot rely on any of the NTSC descriptions, because the PCB layout of the PAL version is completely different. You do not have to remove and existing parts from the board for the UAV itself. You may have to remove parts to grab the audio correctly, but that is a separate topic and not related to the UAV itself. You have to use the UAV BASIC Rev. D board without connectors because there is no driver 4050 chip in the Atari 7800 but a 7432 chip which combines the video signals from TIA and MARIA into one. Basically you grab most of the required signals from the resistors connected to the 7432. You will typically not be able to read the Rxx, Cxx labels on the populated board. Therefore is it important to know where to connect what. When connecting to resistors, use a meter to check the value of the resistors to make sure you are at the right place. The Atari 7800 PAL schematic from Jerzy Sobola is very good, but incorrectly states R29 to be 12k but it is 82k. I have created the attached pictures and the corrected version of the schematic for this. The yellow points indicate the solder points on the PCB, Note that on the "wires 1/2" pictures the yellow and orange wires were yet at the wrong pins on the UAV board. Use the ones in the "UAV Points" picture.
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