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Larry

Quick and Easy Video Upgrade for the XE-series?

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I've been using an almost stock 130XE with my Black Box. Like most XE's, the video is pretty good, but still not on par with some of my enhanced 600 and 800 XL's. (My absolute best system for video is a 600XL with the "simple" Sumrall video fix, augmented by a few simple improvements from the KJMann video mods. As such, it lacks all the added parts that can be stuffed into the missing component holes, but as I said it is the best I have and I would put it up against any non-VBXE system.

 

The "Quick and Easy" video upgrade certainly makes a great improvement for the 800XL. And I even previously did the Super Video XE from Atari Classics, but to my eyes, the "Super Video XE" does not make much improvement, and is reasonably complicated to boot. All it did for me was to boost the color intensity make the foreground text really strong.

 

So has anyone found any "simple fixes" to enhance the XE's? My actual complaints are that I get "smudgy" faint vertical bands in the background, and the text is not very crisp. (Note, these are not the normal color clock vertical lines.) Picture below shows the bands. I do have the color set very high for this picture to accentuate the bands, but even at normal levels, it is still pretty noticeable.

 

Thanks,

Larry

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I have designed a small board that gets rid of video noise once and for all. The main problem comes from using the same power source for digital and analog circuits (plus the horrible routing on some boards which pull video grounds from different areas in the circuit). I've been busy with other things but I hope to be showing it next year. I'd be interested in letting you test it, though.

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The A/C Video issue was published for December, 1993. Sometime after that, there was a list of errata for the video articles -- mostly wrong resistor numbers and values. But I can't find it. Maybe it was on Compuserve or somewhere else?

 

Does anyone recall where this was posted/published? I know it existed.

 

-Larry

 

Edit: Found it! It was in the Feb, 1994 edition on page 30 (next page after the main Errata entries).

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Here's a start. I want to do this on several more XE's before I declare "victory," but on the 130XE (pic posted above) and another XE, this made a nice difference.

 

Using the Super Video for the 130XE from the December, 1993 issue of Atari Classics as my reference, I experimented with the steps to see how I could get the most "bang for the buck." I got good improvement from using the first two steps of the SVXE article. The rest yielded little improvement or (to my eyes), slightly negative results. So I ended up removing all but the first two mods -- those having to do with the output transistor, Q3. This made the background cleaner, and strengthened the Mono output for text. The improvement is still somewhat subtle, but by comparing the pics, I think the difference is visible. I did this on two stock 130XE's, and it yielded similar improvement on both.

 

The original A/C article is posted here:

http://www.retrocomputing.net/parts/atari/130xe/docs/sv130-1.html

 

Now, the disclaimers. My experience with Atari video is that individual computers even in the same model line behave slightly differently, so your results may vary from mine. But this is an easy mod for sure -- one tantalum cap and one resistor added. And of course, easy to reverse if you don't like the results. And although simple enough, if you question your abilities to solder, etc., find someone to do it for you.

 

First pic -- original stock XE (from above)

Second pic -- same XE with the mods

Third pic -- another XE with the mods

 

 

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Video capture (ATI All-In-Wonder).

 

But I also tried it with composite output on an LCD that I have on my test bench. Difficult to compare, but the composite still looks good. (And no S-video input on my LCD.)

 

-Larry

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Hello guys

 

I have designed a small board that gets rid of video noise once and for all.

 

There's at least one other person working on something similar.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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There's at least one other person working on something similar.

The world is full of video mods. :)

 

I can tell you that mine is very small, and is not designed like anything else out there.

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