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Atari 2600 RGB mod


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#101 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:52 PM

It's YouTube; you were probably viewing in 480p30. My pop-up notice says to view in 720p60 mode, so that you can see the interleaved graphics.

Once you view in 720p60, the Harmony's menu looks incredibly legible via RGB, unlike viewing in RF where I have to strain my eyes to see what the heck is going on.

That option is not available to me. I switched to 720 HD (that's the best they offer) and the text still looks broken like before.

#102 darcagn OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:06 AM

That option is not available to me. I switched to 720 HD (that's the best they offer) and the text still looks broken like before.


That's bizarre. I wonder if that has something to do with YouTube in Germany (I see that your location is Germany)?

Either way, I can assure you that the menus on the Harmony Encore cartridge are 100% compatible with the 2600RGB. The menus actually look pretty amazing.

#103 Atari_Warlord OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:16 PM

I've never soldered anything in my life, but this mod is getting me excited and I might give it try.



#104 grips03 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:41 PM

Can someone post pics of pre RGB mod and post RGB mod for various games?

 

It would be great if the before was Atari 2600 with s-video. 

 

I'm just wondering if the colors look the same with RGB or if they are a bit off.



#105 romeoteknik OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:18 PM

That option is not available to me. I switched to 720 HD (that's the best they offer) and the text still looks broken like before.

 

Only Google Chrome allows the 720p60 option, no other browser supports it as far as I'm aware.



#106 roland p OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:45 PM

 

Only Google Chrome allows the 720p60 option, no other browser supports it as far as I'm aware.

Safari on OSX also has 60p.



#107 collinp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:29 AM

I've never soldered anything in my life, but this mod is getting me excited and I might give it try.

 

If doing this sort of install sounds fun I'm sure you can learn to solder and do it yourself. I'd recommend starting with some hobby kits or something a little less challenging to get your bearings. I would consider this an intermediate project. Soldering the sockets and pin headers isn't too bad with a good iron. A few things need to be desoldered which is easy with a proper desoldering iron, but can be a challenge with hand pumps or solder wicks. Two items need to be laid down on their sides which involves desoldering then re-soldering with little pieces of wire for leg extensions to put things in the right place. This doesn't have the benefit of being held in place by a through-hole and I think might challenging for a beginner.  Alternately if you just want this mod in your Atari there are installers you can pay to do it. I think the thread originator is an installer. Also it's probably more cost effective to pay an installer than buy a good iron if you are unlikely to ever solder again.


Edited by collinp, Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:30 AM.


#108 collinp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:32 AM

FYI - I noticed the mod for the Atari six-switch is available for order.



#109 jarreboum OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:16 AM

Only the Jr left. Damn.



#110 darcagn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:24 AM

Alright, I soldered up a SCART cable so I could connect the Atari up to my Sony BVM via SCART->BNC cable. I can say with certainty that the brightness/dim difference that is apparent on the XRGB-mini is NOT present on the BVM, so it is definitely just the way that the XRGB-mini is processing different types of sources.

Here's some pictures:

Pitfall on Sony BVM
Spoiler


Pitfall in RGB vs. Pitfall in Composite on Sony BVM
Spoiler


Close up detail comparison
Spoiler


#111 Grimakis OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:12 AM

Alright, I soldered up a SCART cable so I could connect the Atari up to my Sony BVM via SCART->BNC cable. I can say with certainty that the brightness/dim difference that is apparent on the XRGB-mini is NOT present on the BVM, so it is definitely just the way that the XRGB-mini is processing different types of sources.

Here's some pictures:

Pitfall on Sony BVM

Spoiler


Pitfall in RGB vs. Pitfall in Composite on Sony BVM
Spoiler


Close up detail comparison
Spoiler

 

The Framemeister has to be set individually for each source. Default setting are not always perfect.



#112 Atari_Warlord OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:17 AM

I didn't know paying someone to do the install was an option.  That probably is more cost effective than buying all the needed tools.



#113 darcagn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:28 AM

The Framemeister has to be set individually for each source. Default setting are not always perfect.


I understand that default settings are not going to be perfect; I've had it for years and use it as a video processor for many different consoles. Given that the point of this kit is to get RGB from the 2600 it's obviously worth comparing RGB to S-Video and Composite, and I chose not to tweak the settings to make any input look better lest we defeat the entire point of doing the comparison to begin with (i.e. if the kit really did have dimmer RGB output then tweaking the settings would have just covered it up). Hence why I also used another display to compare as well, to eliminate the processor or display as a factor.

#114 Grimakis OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:53 AM

I understand that default settings are not going to be perfect; I've had it for years and use it as a video processor for many different consoles. Given that the point of this kit is to get RGB from the 2600 it's obviously worth comparing RGB to S-Video and Composite, and I chose not to tweak the settings to make any input look better lest we defeat the entire point of doing the comparison to begin with (i.e. if the kit really did have dimmer RGB output then tweaking the settings would have just covered it up). Hence why I also used another display to compare as well, to eliminate the processor or display as a factor.

 

While I understand the rationale, the way the Framemeister handles AV vs RGB is so different, that you might as well be comparing Processor A to Processor B. 



#115 darcagn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:54 AM

While I understand the rationale, the way the Framemeister handles AV vs RGB is so different, that you might as well be comparing Processor A to Processor B.


Hence why I also used another display to compare as well, to eliminate the processor or display as a factor.



#116 jarreboum OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:01 AM

How does it compare, in terms of brightness, to the original RF? Assuming your console can still output RF and that your PVM can decode RF.



#117 Grimakis OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:01 AM

Fantastic.



#118 collinp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:40 PM

Has anyone tried Warlords?

 

I'm having some trouble with Warlords via RGB to an XRGB-mini. I can sometimes see a stable image but then the screen goes black after a few seconds and stays that way. This is using either a Harmony or the original cart. It works fine via composite or s-video from the 2600RGB so this may be an XRGB-mini issue. Hopefully this is a setting I can tweak on the XRGB, but so far I haven't found anything that works.

 

All other games I've tried work great and look absolutely fabulous though.



#119 Grimakis OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:18 PM

Has anyone tried Warlords?

 

I'm having some trouble with Warlords via RGB to an XRGB-mini. I can sometimes see a stable image but then the screen goes black after a few seconds and stays that way. This is using either a Harmony or the original cart. It works fine via composite or s-video from the 2600RGB so this may be an XRGB-mini issue. Hopefully this is a setting I can tweak on the XRGB, but so far I haven't found anything that works.

 

All other games I've tried work great and look absolutely fabulous though.

Can you adjust the sync level?



#120 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:27 PM

Has anyone tried Warlords?
 
I'm having some trouble with Warlords via RGB to an XRGB-mini. I can sometimes see a stable image but then the screen goes black after a few seconds and stays that way. This is using either a Harmony or the original cart. It works fine via composite or s-video from the 2600RGB so this may be an XRGB-mini issue. Hopefully this is a setting I can tweak on the XRGB, but so far I haven't found anything that works.
 
All other games I've tried work great and look absolutely fabulous though.

 
You should throw Medieval Mayhem on your Harmony.



#121 collinp OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:41 PM

Can you adjust the sync level?

 

I tried a higher sync level and lower sync level relative to the default, but I have not tried sweeping over the whole sync range yet. I will try the whole range, maybe this evening. I have to stop the game to get the xrgb menus back so it's a bit of a slow process.



#122 darcagn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:05 PM

Has anyone tried Warlords?
 
I'm having some trouble with Warlords via RGB to an XRGB-mini. I can sometimes see a stable image but then the screen goes black after a few seconds and stays that way. This is using either a Harmony or the original cart. It works fine via composite or s-video from the 2600RGB so this may be an XRGB-mini issue. Hopefully this is a setting I can tweak on the XRGB, but so far I haven't found anything that works.
 
All other games I've tried work great and look absolutely fabulous though.


Warlords drops sync on my Framemeister as well, but I didn't have the time to mess with the sync settings. It works fine on my BVM monitor though.

#123 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:45 PM

Looks like VSYNC is set at the wrong time:
Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 8.34.15 PM.png
 
The VSYNC should be done just after the WSYNC like this:
  STA WSYNC
  STA VSYNC
 
I did a quick hack of the ROM using Stella to fix the order.
Attached File  warlords_sync_test.a26   4KB   134 downloads

Do note that the hack messes up the position of the left side kings:
warlords_test.png
 
If that hack fixes your sync problem I'll look into correcting the king position in the hack.

#124 collinp OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:03 AM

Looks like VSYNC is set at the wrong time:
attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2015-08-20 at 8.34.15 PM.png
 
The VSYNC should be done just after the WSYNC like this:

  STA WSYNC
  STA VSYNC
 
I did a quick hack of the ROM using Stella to fix the order.
attachicon.gifwarlords_sync_test.a26

Do note that the hack messes up the position of the left side kings:
attachicon.gifwarlords_test.png
 
If that hack fixes your sync problem I'll look into correcting the king position in the hack.

 

 

Oh nice. That appears to fix it. Thanks. I guess the XRGB-mini isn't quite as tolerant to incorrect timing as a CRT. If you manage to fix the king position I for one would be happy. 

 

I wonder how many other Atari titles will be discovered with other video timing errors that the XRGB-mini doesn't like on RGB.

 

Thanks again.



#125 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:23 AM

I am pretty sure there are more ROMs which will face the same problem. Instead of hacking them all, wouldn't it be a better idea (if possible) to make the XRGB-mini a bit more tolerant (like CRTs are)? 

 

I had a brief look at the Warlords code. It seems that it produces the VSYNC signal for ~3.2 scan lines (starting with the 0.2 or ~14 cycle scan line). AFAIK at least 3 scan lines are required. I don't know about a requirement that partial scan lines are forbidden. So Warlord seems to met the specs.


Edited by Thomas Jentzsch, Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:29 AM.





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