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Are there any instructions anywhere for a video upgrade such as SV 2.1?  Do the video components match up with the 130XE?

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On 1/31/2021 at 5:25 PM, hueyjones70 said:

Are there any instructions anywhere for a video upgrade such as SV 2.1?  Do the video components match up with the 130XE?

I wouldn't bother with any of the previous video upgrades, the Ultimate Atari Video (UAV) is superior.

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I have a visible zig-zag vertical pattern on my screen (stock Atari 130XE, Lotharek cable, s-video, Retrotink 2x pro, Nec LCD). Apart from this the colors and sharpness seem to be good. I have just ordered Hercules Workshop double shielded cables to see if this helps. Some people on the forum had good results with it. Maybe it is just Atari design thing and part of retro experience :) 

However, it would be nice to reduce it a bit if possible without internal mods. I am keeping all machines in stock configuration. Therefore, the question: is there a way to reduce the zigzag without Atari internal mods? e.g different LCD (I assume on CRT will be way better), changes related to RetroTink, cables, etc? Thanks! 

acid800 test.JPG

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35 minutes ago, mikesk8 said:

I am keeping all machines in stock configuration. Therefore, the question: is there a way to reduce the zigzag without Atari internal mods?

It's possible without mods like UAV or Sophia but it will still require some tuning inside machine (replacing couple resistors and run couple of wires)

 

 

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Yes there is, use high quality double shielded impedance matched cables of shorter length with taroid at both ends. Make sure everything you connect is quality and shielded. The machines themselves should still have their shields. Electrolytic caps tend to get weaker on old stuff so be aware that your' CRT monitors and televisions may start to show noise and retrace lines and will need them replaced etc. Many newer display choices do not contain the filters needed to clean up the signal, in that case you might have to custom make a cable like noted but with an inline resistor and capacitor. Scanning through the forum you will see recent posts about what folks did for their Atari and other video game consoles video cables.

Clean power in, clean signal path out, quality cables, quality monitor/TV, taroids. inline impedance/filter if necessary. Not much else to do after that other than replacing electrolytic caps and correcting the impedance resistors in the Atari. All discussed in the forums as well. Hope this helps.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Keep in mind that there are a lot of s-video cables that don't have double/seperate shielding! Luminance & Chroma run next to each other causing interferance! Found that out on my 5200 with the UAV mod! I use Acoustic Research brand! Heavy duty and you can get them on E-bay!

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I've only ever noticed the zig-zag pattern on PAL machines.  None of my NTSC machines do it.  Does anybody know why this is?

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On 9/15/2021 at 1:05 PM, ZuluGula said:

It's possible without mods like UAV or Sophia but it will still require some tuning inside machine (replacing couple resistors and run couple of wires)

 

 

Just thought I'd report on my own results following this Simple XE video (S.X.E) 4 stage mod in the above video. Yesterday I decided to do the mod on both my stock 65XE and also 800XE.

 

The mod:

 

Replace R204 with a 68ohm 1/4W resistor

Replace R205 with an 820ohm 1/4W resistor

Bridge/jump R116

Add a short 24AWG or larger wire from pin 8 or 9 of the 4050 (U20) to a ground point near the RF modulator

 

First thing to note is that I used the same Din to S-video cable bought off Ebay so the cable is definitely contributing to the vertical lines and noise.

I am also using my newly aquired LG Flatron M227WD LCD TV which has an S-Video port.

 

Secondly just to say I ran the video above by @tf_hh who kindly drew my attention to FJC's documented UltraVideo XE 1.0 mod (PDF attached). (FYI the Ultravideo XE 1.0 mod derives a lot from Charles Cole's SuperVideo XE mod btw - more details contained within the PDF).

He mentioned that there are variations and a few more steps detailed there that will improve the video output for my XEs further. However from what I've read of the process the Ultravideo XE mod removes composite completely, (unless I guess if you install a switch which I've seen documented on an AA topic somewhere). It also involves removing the RF unit. I want to keep both S-Video, Composite and RF on both of these XEs and also wanted to keep it simple. So I decided for now I'll leave it having done the S.X.E 4 part mod.

 

Gotta say I am pretty happy with the results.

 

So first off is the stock 65XE.

 

This is what I was getting before the mod using the S-Video cable, which I am sure you'll agree is pretty poor with jailbar zigzag vetical lines and checkerboard, plus other noise and duller test colour:

BEFORE S.X.E mod

image.thumb.png.dc5c907cc8eb06622e63f5d02a5391b0.png

 

and this is after carrying out the S.X.E 4 part mod as detailed in the video above with the same S-Video cable:

AFTER S.X.E mod

image.thumb.png.97e1c9eba95f072c280f57962b1d2c3f.png

 

So jailbars still present but far less pronounced and the horrible zigzags are minimised. Colours, (especially the text), are brighter and sharper.

 

****************

 

Next up my 800XE with same cable with some of the same issues as the 65XE but with more pronounced nasty green vertical zig zags bleeding in:

 

BEFORE S.X.E mod:

image.thumb.png.0eca58d19e72ddd132bf67966003c734.png

 

AFTER S.X.E mod:

image.thumb.png.d350aaf5b05fa3e0ac9e8de234c47bc9.png

 

So still some green vertical bleeding coming though but a much crisper and brighter text with zigzag and checkerboad all but gone.

 

I took the liberty of snapping a couple of other pics of the 800XE's output after the mod here, (again S-video on LG TV):

 

image.thumb.png.266d49be3645efbff9b40b99b88bae42.png

The colours on the Albert spash screen are very vibrant

 

image.thumb.png.bc724fb70251c83853e7943f0975aee2.png

U1MB menu is crisp and bright.

 

********************

 

Composite output

 

I also tried both my stock 65XE and 800XE after the mods with another Ebay Din to composite cable I have with the LG's composite in port and here are the results:

 

65XE after S.X.E mod on composite:

image.thumb.png.24977937dd9300bcc61ea8fbec65d7d1.png

Pretty pleased with the composite out on the 65XE where the jailbars have all but gone,  although colour wise it appears to be less blue and text has some horizontal lines.

 

And here is the 800XE's composite out:

image.thumb.png.e4449a7c4b738e2d6cff49489b80f1b4.png

Still some jailbars but not too bad, again with some horizontal lines passing through the text.

 

*******************

 

Again I know both my Din to S-video and Din to composite cables are also causing noise because they are unsheilded. Plus it's likely I need to tweak the colour pots on one or both of the XE's.

 

However for 30mins of soldering work, and the low cost of 1 x 68ohm and 820ohm resistors and some wire, I am fairly happy with the immediate improvements for both machines at this stage. It's certainly not perfect.

 

One thing is for sure - the XE models certainly don't have as good a stock video output as the 800XL and 600XL A8s I have on both S-video and composite. I guess that was the price to pay for Atari cutting costs and also, (from what I understand), having components closer to each other on the PCBs that would cause interferance and weaker video quality.

 

Thanks to the Retro channel guy, (sorry I couldn't find your name), for the video and devising the mod. And thanks for Tf_hh and FJC re the Ultravideo mod which I may do later with one of my other XEs. It's clear it brings superior results then S.X.E but at this stage I wasn't willing to loose composite and RF, (should I sell the machines on at some stage. I am very likely to sell on the stock 65XE).

 

 

 

UltraVideo XE 1.0.pdf

Edited by Beeblebrox
incorrect info corrected
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I recently install a UAV rD into my 130xe. While it did provide a much better composite image vs stock from the same set of cables, I still have the vertical bars pretty easily seen in both composite and s-video. The bars aren't that noticed when playing actual games, but pretty easy to see on the default Ready prompt screen and others that use light colored background. 

 

I installed the UAV by soldering a new socket on top of the 4050 as I wanted to keep the RF output intact. Then soldered clipped leads from components to solder in as the needed jumpers for xl/xe setups. I cut the trace in the middle between the two ground pads on the UAV, and ran a separate ground soldering a wire to the ground plane next to the RF modulator and running that into one of the ground (outputs) from the back of the UAV. I also attached the new outputs to the front of the ferrite beads that I lifted from the board vs infront of them to bypass them as TBAs docs would show.

 

So I'm of the opinion, that most of this has to do with the internal design of the later made 8-bit computers they are just inherently noisy within them?

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43 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

I recently install a UAV rD into my 130xe. While it did provide a much better composite image vs stock from the same set of cables, I still have the vertical bars pretty easily seen in both composite and s-video.

Can you show what video cable you are using?

 

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@-^CrossBow^-I have UAV ReV D installed in my 800XL and on S-Video and I still have faint jailbars which I put down to the same DIN to S-Video (unsheilded) cable I am using in my posts earlier in this thread. I have enquired about the Hercules Workshop (Canadian) shielded cable they sell. This is because all the European and Ebay based sellers I've contacted who sell S-Video cables for A8s confirm their cable's Chroma and Luma wiring is not sheilded.

 

http://herculesworkshop.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-product.cgi?d=hercules-workshop&item=59616

 

Pain I potentially have to source a cable from Canada. I know I could build my own of course.

 

Far as I am aware from what I've picked up reading related AA threads is XE A8s have a lot more noise owing to the placement of some of the components, etc than the XL lines. However far as I am aware with UAV Rev D installed in either an XE or XL AND a Shielded S-Video cable I would expect to see a clear image and no jailbars. My UAV install saw the removal of the 4050 IC btw, and the usual 5 x wires hooked onto various points on the 800XL's PCB.

 

Again I defer to others who have vastly greater knowledge and expertise in this area, so please do correct me if I am wrong. :grin:

Edited by Beeblebrox
adding more info

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3 hours ago, mytek said:

Can you show what video cable you are using?

 

Okay this is strange as all get out. I've noticed today that I've answered and replied to several posts on the site, only to find them not there later?

 

Here is the cable I recently purchased and am currently using. It at least removed the buzz I was getting through my audio on the home made cable I used before.

 

https://www.8bitclassics.com/product/atari-xlxe-5-pin-din-to-s-video-composite-av-cable/?fbclid=IwAR10fdFkbvkMkHFUouoQIrVapLUikGsEq0BqC324_59oSFiBJS73TIjZoTw

 

And it does produce a better overall composite picture than my home made cable through the UAV. So it is an improvement. But I know that on the 5200, the UAV does NOT have the same jail bars on s-video unless the composite and s-video grounds are one in the same at the connector ends. So perhaps it is something to do with that. I could install a separate 4-pin s-video jack and run my chroma and luma to that to see if it helps.

 

 

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3 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Okay this is strange as all get out. I've noticed today that I've answered and replied to several posts on the site, only to find them not there later?

 

Here is the cable I recently purchased and am currently using. It at least removed the buzz I was getting through my audio on the home made cable I used before.

 

https://www.8bitclassics.com/product/atari-xlxe-5-pin-din-to-s-video-composite-av-cable/?fbclid=IwAR10fdFkbvkMkHFUouoQIrVapLUikGsEq0BqC324_59oSFiBJS73TIjZoTw

 

And it does produce a better overall composite picture than my home made cable through the UAV. So it is an improvement. But I know that on the 5200, the UAV does NOT have the same jail bars on s-video unless the composite and s-video grounds are one in the same at the connector ends. So perhaps it is something to do with that. I could install a separate 4-pin s-video jack and run my chroma and luma to that to see if it helps.

That cable is no-good for S-Video use. Reason being, is that it doesn't have individually shielded luma and chroma wires, and instead wraps them and the composite video in a single common shield. Without individual shielding you will get cross-talk between the signals - end result jaibars. I have been trying to disseminate this fact, and dispell the myth that the jaibars are caused by the dynamic memory refresh circuits for quite a while now, as well in several other topics. Unfortunately it has become somewhat like an urban legend that refresh is the cause :)

 

Another frequent cause of this problem is due to the way Atari chose to create a composite output in some of the systems, where a capacitor was used to mix the chroma and luma. Unfortunately if not done correctly this too will create the jailbars because of that mixing passing on through to the S-Video output.

 

The only Atar video cables that I can recommend that come with a Mini-DIN S-Video plug, are the ones made by Hercules-Workshop. And the worse one in my opinion is the Lotharek HQ Video Cable which has no shielding whatsoever. 

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I'm also going to ask what does the attached power supply look like.  I found my 130XE wants the big brick supply.  Make sure you are not on the "Ingot" supply.   Anyone have a link to the picture of good vs bad power supplies?

 

Thank you 

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3 hours ago, Bee said:

I'm also going to ask what does the attached power supply look like.  I found my 130XE wants the big brick supply.  Make sure you are not on the "Ingot" supply.   Anyone have a link to the picture of good vs bad power supplies?

 

Thank you 

See here http://atariprojects.org/2018/08/05/purging-dangerous-power-supplies-15-60-mins/

 

Also IHMO personally I ditched any original brick PSU because you can get the USB ones dirt cheap on Ebay and the don't take up any room, get hot, etc etc:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143807813716

image.thumb.png.a90ada77f7f9478c5d816fb6a7f42c11.png

 

Course it means I have loads Atari PSUs in a box now heh heh!

Edited by Beeblebrox

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I think I am gonna have a go at making my own fully shielded 5pin DIN to S-Video/audio cable.

 

A quick search of AA and I've found these on the same topic thread:

 

 

Atari 5 pin DIN:

Atari monitor port.png

SVHS (S-Video) mini DIN:

image.png.64caa876cc77f9645e46402c2bd5568a.png

 

I am gonna source a fully shielded SVHS (S-Video) to SVHS (S-Video) video/audio cable here in the UK, cut off one end and make the cable as short as I can without leaving it too short of course. (1-1.5m should be ample for my setup). Then splice a DIN on the end matching up the cables to the above.

 

The cable I am looking at is here from Farnell: https://uk.farnell.com/roline/11-09-4265/audio-cable-s-video-plug-5m-blk/dp/2807812#anchorTechnicalDOCS

 

Spec is here: https://www.farnell.com/datasheets/2372273.pdf

 

The tech guy I virtually chatted to seemed to think it is fully shielded. Any thoughts? It mentions insulation but I am not sure that is the same thing. 

Edited by Beeblebrox

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12 minutes ago, ZuluGula said:

i'm also considering making my own S-Video cable using tgis cable 

https://www.parts-express.com/S-Video-Stereo-Audio-Bulk-Cable-100-ft.-100-544

Cool. At first glance that cable didn't look individually shielded. Spec looks good though.

 

I could also take a video only fully shielded S-VHS (S-Video) cable which is dirt cheap here:https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HQLSOHQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ASM3GIMD0800K&psc=1

 

where I'd run some additional audio cables separately alongside it as it were, even though both video and audio cables would be connected to the DIN plug audio pins pins either end.

 

 

Edited by Beeblebrox
typo

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14 minutes ago, ZuluGula said:

To me, this is individually shielded cable

 

100-544_HR_0.default.jpg

Absolutely :) At first glance (I was on my mobile - tiny pic) it didn't look shielded.  (I thought they were separate wires). All good. :thumbsup:

Edited by Beeblebrox

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22 hours ago, Bee said:

I'm also going to ask what does the attached power supply look like.  I found my 130XE wants the big brick supply.  Make sure you are not on the "Ingot" supply.   Anyone have a link to the picture of good vs bad power supplies?

 

Thank you 

I'm using a large XL style brick. I believe it an 800xl power brick. The white one they refer too as the 'Beauty Queen'?

 

 

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On 9/15/2021 at 1:28 PM, mikesk8 said:

I have a visible zig-zag vertical pattern on my screen (stock Atari 130XE, Lotharek cable, s-video, Retrotink 2x pro, Nec LCD). Apart from this the colors and sharpness seem to be good. I have just ordered Hercules Workshop double shielded cables to see if this helps. Some people on the forum had good results with it. Maybe it is just Atari design thing and part of retro experience :) 

However, it would be nice to reduce it a bit if possible without internal mods. I am keeping all machines in stock configuration. Therefore, the question: is there a way to reduce the zigzag without Atari internal mods? e.g different LCD (I assume on CRT will be way better), changes related to RetroTink, cables, etc? Thanks! 

acid800 test.JPG

I have just tested my new Hercules Workshop double shielded cables (http://herculesworkshop.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-product.cgi?d=hercules-workshop&id=80304) and I am very happy to report the zig zags are gone. I will try to do publish pics later one. Basically, the picture quality on my stock 130XE is similar finally to 800 (both using RetroTink Pro). 

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I bit the bullet and ordered 2 x double shielded Hercules S-Video to RCA cables in the end. They just arrived here in the UK from Canada.

 

Aside from the cables and the audio extension cables they come with, what I thought was a nice touch was the price list that accompanied them was printed on old school dot matrix tractor paper!! :grin:

image.thumb.png.68af7dc6ab3cde21417ddf7684622e3f.png

 

Great service from Robert at the Hercules workshop - really nice guy.:thumbsup:

 

I tried one cable comparing the output from my unshielded DIN to S-video cable and the difference between the quality is notable when using my 800XL with UAV rev D:

(I am using an LG Flatron M227WD Digital TV/Monitor btw)

 

TBH bare in mind the photos don't do the comparrison justice unfortunately, but take my word for it a lot of interference has been removed. What the photos can't illustrate so clearly is the static moving speckle of interference I was getting on the standard cable and the slight horizontal pulsing from time to time it had. (You can just make out the speckle effect if you zoom in on some of the before pics).

 

Before on standard unshielded S-video cable on my 800XL with UAV rev D:

(click pics to zoom)

image.thumb.png.d8268169e5427fcd9abb7f860b2e1641.png  image.png.d30e4b691f409a13a5ebe9bb49130c47.png   image.thumb.png.8802bcaa7e69cd6f700daac6f8348dcd.png   

 

image.thumb.png.e3ff3319a6c04c43275bc5d51c3b5b9b.png

 

 

.........and after using the double shielded Hercules cable:

(click pics to zoom)

image.thumb.png.4a6e23451dec4eda4bf428787b8231e4.png    image.thumb.png.16ec95f717ba392e8b4cd539845ceb40.pngimage.thumb.png.afdeef7178ca95dcf20f1ab09b00f9bf.png   

 

I also did a comparrison on my recently back from the dead 130XE which has had the Simple X.E video mod I had also performed on my 800XE and stock 65XE as per post #159 above. 

 

Not so much of an improvement but XE's are generally inferior in this repect to XLs and besides I think there are likely other issues causing this bleeding, etc.

 

So before on he same standard unshielded S-video cable on my 130XE (Simple X.E video modded machine):

image.thumb.png.bdbb2c6e9703715ce90626dc260faed1.png    

 

image.thumb.png.7381408fa6f7aaa3413c269d3e07121b.png       image.thumb.png.afb40b2bdb5e45829da935e58f611114.png   

 

And after on the hercules cable:

 

image.thumb.png.8c8c256de81e0ac1f9e31be5c03941c8.png

 

I'll do the same comparrisons later with my 800XE, 65XE and also my 600XL. The 600XL has great video anyway after you hook up the Chroma. (If there is anything worth posting I will).

 

So I am very happy with the quality of these Hercules shielded cables, and great service/value on top. Didn't take too long to arrive either, (10 days door to door Canada to UK via airmail).

 

Just a pity no-one sells this level of shielded cable here in the UK or Europe.

 

 

Edited by Beeblebrox
adding more info
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On the last 3 UAV installs I grounded the UAV by splitting the grounding tab and grounding the outside half to the monitor ground. This completely eliminated the vertical lines. It worked on a 600XL, 800XL, and 130XE. I think I will try grounding the 4050 in the same way on a computer without a UAV.

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