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New development: GTIA in CPLD

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Just for info.....here's a pic I made that compares a regular precision (machined) socket (left) and ultra-low profile precision socket (right).

 

The ultra-lows are rather hard to find and crazy expensive.

post-25272-0-38701100-1512511104_thumb.jpg

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This is great, could you explain how you did the ribbon extension for this? I need to do exactly this on my 800.

I put a sophia into an Atari 800 and it works great. Sophia must be set into another area, because of lack of space at the CPU-Board.

 

A DIN 13 with french Atari 7800 Pinout was used for RGB-Output on A/V Out place of the Atari.

 

S-Video and Video is still possible with a special cable.

 

More Info on my blog site

 

a800_sophia-3.jpg

 

a800_sophia-4.jpg

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You can get one here if you catch the restock at the right time, Mondays I think. Their cables are fantastic. https://www.ebay.com/usr/retro_console_accessories

 

 

That eBay store got switched to a real website:

https://retro-access.com/

 

Also really good (I ordered all my scart / RGB cables from them):

https://www.retrogamingcables.co.uk/

 

Thanks guys, but any direct links to the actual cable to buy, rather than the online stores? I don't wanna ask them for the wrong one, which is entirely possible. :)

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You can contact them and ask them what you need for you set-up.

Saying you need "rgb scart cable(s)" can mean almost anything.

 

No body knows what your setting up, so store links are the best anybody can do.

 

Maybe start a new thread with what you want to connect to what. Because it might get complicated.

Meaning what kind of monitor, what exactly you plan to connect to the monitor and if you plan to connect anything else.

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Just picked up another Dell monitor that does 50Hz over DVI. It is a model 1708FP-BLK which has a great stand with a built-in carry handle, and allows for both physical height and tilt adjustments of the screen. It also has a spot behind the monitor to hold a small form factor computer (might be a great place to park an Eclaire-XL or 1088XEL for that All-In-One feel).

 

post-42561-0-24141200-1513634947.jpg

Brochure

 

It really has a beautiful picture when driven from the Sophia RevC-DVI board, with the only caveat being that the screen display is not proportioned correctly as can be seen in the following image (slightly too much height vs width - that SST icon should be square).

 

post-42561-0-23929500-1513634039_thumb.jpg

 

post-42561-0-00221400-1513634047_thumb.jpg

 

post-42561-0-69415000-1513634029.jpg

 

Unfortunately I can not change this from within the monitor's configuration menu. It would really be nice to accommodate this better somehow on the Sophia side of things, because this really is an excellent monitor, and plays well in all other aspects with Sophia. And apparently it's very available in sealed NOS condition from eBay (as well as other places) starting around $125 shipped.

 

Ebay

PC Liquidations

 

BTW, I got mine for $4 using my senior discount at a local thrift shop (getting old has finally paid off ;) ).

 

- Michael

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I hate LCDs for any vintage stuff but let me get over it for a while and say: you can probably adjust the size issue from the service mode Michael. These things always have a service mode. The trick is....finding how to access it.....usually it's a sequence of combined button presses..... try googling for service mode and the model number...

Edited by Level42
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I hate LCDs for any vintage stuff but let me get over it for a while and say: you can probably adjust the size issue from the service mode Michael. These things always have a service mode. The trick is....finding how to access it.....usually it's a sequence of combined button presses..... try googling for service mode and the model number...

 

Thanks, I found it :) .

 

To enter Service Mode:

With Monitor Turned Off (but plugged in)...

  1. Press and hold MENU and + buttons
  2. Press power ON button momentarily
  3. When monitor powers-up, release Menu and + buttons, and then press the - button

post-42561-0-41151800-1513641879.jpg

 

At first glance none of this looks useful for adjusting screen proportions or resolution :( . Well maybe Bank Scaler, although that doesn't sound quite right to me.

 

- Michael

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I'm not sure DVI (in particular -D) allows you to adjust much if any screen properties. The majority of all those settings are set by the sender. If you hooked up an Analog signal, you could then adjust them. But that sort of defeats the purpose then now doesn't it? :)

 

Of course, the monitor might not be interpreting the digital signal properly and need to be calibrated -- perhaps a different service menu?

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I'm not sure DVI (in particular -D) allows you to adjust much if any screen properties. The majority of all those settings are set by the sender. If you hooked up an Analog signal, you could then adjust them. But that sort of defeats the purpose then now doesn't it? :)

 

Of course, the monitor might not be interpreting the digital signal properly and need to be calibrated -- perhaps a different service menu?

 

I couldn't find any other service menus other than the one I showed, although I did discover that if the Menu and + buttons are held when power is ON, then the monitor screen will turn completely gray. If you then keep momentarily pressing the + button, the screen will turn RED, then GREEN, then BLUE, and back to GRAY. I guess this would be good for spotting dead pixels.

 

So when looking at the non-proportional aspect, it appears that all that would be needed is to drive it with either more width or less height. And since the height is actually pretty good as is (fills the screen top to bottom, but doesn't seem to be cutting off anything), maybe if there were a way to get Sophia to put out more horizontal pixels it would be ideal, since the black borders on the side would be minimized. Not sure if this is even possible for Sophia to do with new firmware, but since these 1708FP monitors are quite common over here it would be great :) .

 

- Michael

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Looks OK as is to me, like the NTSC aspect ratio on a standard display.

 

It's way more noticeable when you view something like this.

 

post-42561-0-32718800-1513728150.jpg

 

That's suppose to be round, not egg shaped ;) .

 

BTW, I'm feeding this via a true PAL signal coming out of my 1088XEL through the Sophia RevC-DVI board.

 

- Michael

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Hello Michael

 

I seem to remember that there is a pin on the SCART connector, that selects the aspect ratio. Specific voltage ranges correspond to specific ratios. But I'm to lazy to look that up at almost 20 minutes to 3 at night.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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Hello Michael

 

I seem to remember that there is a pin on the SCART connector, that selects the aspect ratio. Specific voltage ranges correspond to specific ratios. But I'm to lazy to look that up at almost 20 minutes to 3 at night.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

Mathy that would be nice, but this monitor only has VGA and DVI and is being driven via DVI from the new RevC Sophia board.

 

- Michael

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Hello Michael

 

Damn, I knew something slipped my mind (again)....

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

No Problem :) .

 

The monitor is a Dell 1708FP. A very nice square LCD monitor, which unfortunately only gives you control of display height and width when using the VGA input. It prefers a signal with a resolution of 1280x1024 60Hz, but doesn't seem to be choking on the 1536x960 50Hz signal coming out of the Sophia. Only caveat is that this resolution really stretches things in the vertical axis. Since this monitor produces a beautiful image aside from the odd proportions, and it can be bought from multiple outlets still in a brand new factory sealed box, I was hoping that perhaps there might be a way that Simius could make an adjustment in the CPLD code to accommodate it.

 

You can also get a matching soundbar in factory sealed box that is designed to bolt-up and be powered by the monitor (I just picked one up for $13 off of eBay yesterday).

 

DSC06116w.jpg

 

So it really would make a very nice combination with Sophia.

 

- Michael

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1280 is native res, anything greater than that will lose some detail and causes scaling issues that affect aspect ratio...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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1280 is native res, anything greater than that and it loses detail and causes scaling issues that affect aspect ratio...

 

Detail looks great, but I'm certainly seeing the strange aspect ratio problem.

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1536x960 isn't a 4:3 ratio.

1536x1152 is.

 

Same for 1280x1024, should be 1280x960

Am I missing something? Then again, Atari isn't really 4:3 either is it.

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kheller it's a square monitor 5:4, it's not televisions/standard monitor in ratio 4:3 or 16:9 aspect at all.

 

 

a 1909wb is probably a better choice but I'm not sure they are dirt cheap but may have aspect ratios that are easier to deal with... read the manual on dells site... couldn't hurt to try one out...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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The vertical stretching is a little more pronounced than NTSC but who's to say what the correct AR is anyway. Should a circle be perfectly round on an NTSC display, or PAL? The system info icon in the 1088XEL BIOS menu is drawn as a perfect circle but is anything but on an NTSC display.

 

IMO, this shows the advantage of a discreet upscaler. Sophia is outputting a digital signal at a fixed, non-standard resolution. Normally, you'd simply adjust the resolution at source to something the display likes, but that doesn't appear to be possible here.

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a circle should be a circle on both pal and ntsc.. that's what geometry adjustments are for... the dumbing down of monitors is a fault of the manufacturer.

 

Back in the day on multi system capable monitors the width and height adjustment were available not only on crt but panels as well.... some people added preset pots to the crts so that once calibrated it was a simple flick a switch or push button affair, and some manufactured options existed that did such things automatically, hell you even have monitors that adjusted for the magnetism of the earth.. (tilt etc)

 

the systems themselves dictate that a circle be a circle and a square be a square...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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a circle should be a circle on both pal and ntsc.. that's what geometry adjustments are for... the dumbing down of monitors is a fault of the manufacturer.

 

Modern monitors don't expect differences in aspect ratios like they did in th Analogue days....

 

With a normal CRT PAL TV and the Atari 8 bit you get a squashed down image compared to an NTSC signal because the PAL system has much more lines than NTSC yet the A8 still produces the same amount of lines......

 

IMHO the A8 was designed in the US and thus initially geared fully towards NTSC (even the clock speed is dictated by it) and thus a program that draws a circle on a NTSC screen will draw a squashed down ellipse on a PAL TV. In fact, that's what we have had to put up with in Europe for way too long.....incorrect aspect ratio on all the classic (arcade) games.

Edited by Level42

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Pixels look square to me in PAL and vertically elongated in NTSC (hence the aforementioned circle distortion). But NTSC has fewer scan lines than PAL so I can't see how we can expect square pixels on both.

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