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Bikerbob

Is there 80col. only hardware available right now?

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Ultimately, the practical success of a new hardware 80 column option depends on how much software support it gets. Personally, I'd buy it if the only thing it worked with was The Last Word, but others may not want to pay for such limited scope of application.

Edited by yorgle

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This is probably crazy talk, but you could redo the XEP-80 with a Raspberry Pi Zero and some wiring and emulation programming joy. At least this would have HDMI output.

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Bob Wooley had a mod to add TTL output to the XEP-80. I have an XEP with the mod, but have never connected it.

 

-Bob

What where huh??? take pictures please!!

Edited by Umberto

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From: http://www.atariarchives.org/cfn/05/11/0139.php

______________________________________
Xx IBM Monitor With Your XEP80
______________________________________
by Bob Woolley

If you read my earlier article in DL7 about the XEP80, you might remember
that the XEP80 uses all of the display field of the monitor and the two
cheap composite monitors that I had tried did not give a very satisfactory
display. I have been using a high quality video unit from a NorthStar
Horizon that works very well, but a monitor like that would be very
difficult for the average user to find (not to mention, expensive). I
spent some time at the West Coast Computer Faire looking for some
reasonable candidates, but none of the vendors had composite monochrome
monitors on display! There were lots of monochrome displays with seven
zillion lines of resolution, a built in swivel base, non-glare screens -
the works. Good prices, too! But every one was TTL, IBM. Wellll.........

Never being one to shy away from a little soldering, I decided to
investigate the possibility of adapting the XEP80 to an IBM monochrome
monitor. The IBM TTL monitors have a separate input for the sync and video
signals, whereas the XEP80 generates a composite signal containing all
three components. I figured that a little circuit to strip the Horizontal
and Vertical sync from the Video couldn't be that hard, but it turns out
that the XEP80 has all the signals you need inside the box!

The whole project didn't amount to anything more than soldering one end
of a 10" piece of four conductor ribbon cable onto the XEP80 board and
connecting a 9 pin joystick socket to the other end. I tried the XEP80 on
a standard IBM monochrome monitor and it worked fine! I also tried it on
some OEM TTL monitors made for an IBM PC (an AMDEK 310A and a SAMSUNG
MD1254G) and that also worked well.

After a little pot tweaking (a LOT of tweaking on the SAMSUNG). The XEP80
uses a lower Horizontal frequency than the IBM PC, so some OEM monitors
may require adjustment, but not so much that you need to re-adjust it
between a PC and your Atari. The display field on the TTL units does not
overscan the face of the tube so there is no adjustment required for that
problem. Also, the linearity is very good on these guys, so all the
characters look great!

The major disadvantage to a TTL monitor is the absence of audio on them,
although I prefer a separate audio amplifier anyway. [Enough babbling, I
waannnt one! How  do I do the mod, dummy??]

The wiring required is: (from the bottom of the XEP80 board)

Pin 1 and 2 of 9 pin socket to pin 7 of U6.

Pin 7 of 9 pin socket to the pad 1/4 inch to the left of pin 8 of U6.
(This pad is the same distance to the LEFT of pin 8 as pin 7 is to the
RIGHT of pin 8.)

Pin 8 of 9 pin socket to pin 9 of U6.

Pin 9 of 9 pin socket to pin 10 of U6.

I ran the flat cable out where the power switch is mounted. The bottom
cover will clamp the cable between the board and the bottom cover at this
point and provide some strain relief. I would imagine that you could use
a much longer cable, but at some point you will begin to lose character
resolution.

Now, you can take advantage of any good deals you might see on a quality
IBM monitor. I saw many different TTL units for less than $100 at the
WCCF. Most of them looked like much better devices than any composite
monitor I have seen and they are everywhere. If you are reasonably adept
at soldering, or know someone who is, think about using one of these TTL
monitors on your XEP80. The normal composite output is not affected by the
modification at all. Now, if I can hack an IBM keyboard onto this thing.....

Bob Woolley   [75126,3446]
  • Like 1

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