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Want to setup a PAL system in the states

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I am in the U.S. and have an 800XL and a 130XE, the former seemingly having much cleaner video output.

 

I want to setup a system for gaming but mainly for watching scenedemos which are basically all PAL. I would like to know what I need. Can I modify this 800XL to do it, or should I source a PAL 800XL? If the latter, do I need an AC adapter to convert voltage or will a US PSU work?

 

Also, I had a SIO2PC many many years ago, but I know weve come farther since. What do I need to load disk images from SD on such a machine? I see this Ultimate cartridge. Is that it?

 

I have a Sony PVM which should be able to do PAL on s-video. Id like to go that route on video if possible. Any tips appreciated. Thanks!

 

 

bp

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Swap out the GTIA and ANTIC with the PAL versions in your 800xl. They are available at best electronics. Power supply is the same. Watch the demos in color on a Commodore 1702 monitor. No need to change crystal with this config. Most Euro demos only require just the GTIA, but NUMEN and few others require both.

Edited by Paul Westphal
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Just the GTIA won't help much. The main cause of incompatibility is that NTSC has too few CPU cycles per frame (which is controlled by Antic). Also the Pal GTIA uses a seperate pin for it's colour clocking input (from a seperate crystal) which isn't present on NTSC boards.

 

In some cases monitors will work OK with the foreign frame rate but still expect the native colourburst rate (Antic swap only will satisfy that).

 

IMO it's probably better to just source the machine overseas rather than doing a half-baked hack. Just use your own PS to cut down on postage costs.

Edited by Rybags
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you get 50 in pal, ntsc get 60...but they really pretty much even out... it's ignoring the other 10 that keeps alot of pal stuff from working, it requires moving a few things to fit in a tighter fashion but realize you get sprint a couple more times. so you in a race analogy... pal is a flat out run with a few staggered heats, ntsc is a full on relay with a number of heats. if that doesn't make sense to you try it this way...

It's drag race where the cars have to go the same distance.. 1 mile.... but

pal is doing in a 1/3 of a mile at a time so 3 heats.

ntsc is doing it a 1/4 mile of a mile at a time so 4 heats..

they both travel the same distance... and in the computer world...they don't need to accelerate to get up to speed... so it works out the to about the same time and distance... just more heats to do it...

simple but effective analogy

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Since most NTSC machines I've seen have the extra circuitry for the PAL color burst routed on the motherboard minus the components, I would suggest for ultimate compatibility installing those components and then change the main crystal, Antic, and GTIA for their respective PAL versions.

 

The SAM's Photofacts will show what those missing components need to be. PDF versions of the Photofacts can usually be found with a Google search in most cases, or found in various threads here on AA.

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You absolutely can go that route but you will have to be careful theres an inductor pre existing to swap, rf modulator and make sure to break the interconnect on the gtia for the separate color clock to be input...

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I merely bought some PAL systems from B&C Computervisions a few (several?) years ago, since they had them (both 800XL and 130XE systems) at the time. Prices have risen significantly, since then. But I think it's still worth it, for those not so handy with electronics. The price will only continue to go up.

 

Then, get a JVC TM-A13SU monitor from Ebay. Here....

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/247508-modding-the-jvc-tm-a13su-monitor/

 

...is a thread from Atarian Extraordinaire AtariAge user "Bryan" on how to perfect this sucker. It's the best small classic computer monitor I've ever seen. It's all clean digital controls, it takes S-video, and IT DOES PAL!!! They come and go on Ebay. I have several in my closet for backups, etc..... But most importantly, it's a monitor available in the U.S. that does PAL, affordably. It would be too costly to import a PAL monitor from PAL-land, and pay shipping; not to mention that it would likely take 220V - when you can get one here. Since the PAL systems will work with Yankee power supplies, it is finding a PAL display that runs on 110V, is affordable, and available on this continent that makes it easy. Indeed, it does!

 

They sell PAL 130XE with both "bad" GTIA and good ones, for differing price. Of course, you want "good" GTIA.

 

Currently, I see they are selling (with "good" GTIA) 130XE for $150 for "PAL I" and $175 for "PAL B." I don't know if it would matter if you use an AV cable instead of RF??? Anyone???

 

$175 PAL B 130XE

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 1308872322221?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=130887232222&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

$150 PAL I 130XE

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 1409531231511?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=140953123151&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

I have also imported PAL Atari 8-bit computer from England, at a fairly reasonable price, but shipping was murder. I love this stuff, so I don't mind! :)

 

 

Of course, regardless of PAL or NTSC, this is the video cable you need - the ultimate A8 video cable - from 8-bit classics....

 

https://www.8bitclassics.com/Atari-800-XL-XE-5-Pin-DIN-S-Video-Cable.html

 

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Is the mask on it (dot pitch) small enough to make a clean display without moire with an unmodified Atari? Does it hit the sweet spot for phospher persistence not too little not to much so as thwart some flicker but not so much that it looks like trails or what movies and shows depict slightly as an acid trip if the answer is yes my last question... does it come in a 13 15 or 19 inch size? I don't wike the wittle wittle screens...

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Good info. Another question: You mention good and bad GTIA. Does this explain why my 800XL has notably cleaner video than my 130XE (I dont recall if I had composite or s-video cable - its been years since I payed with them)? Also, does anyone know if there are many demoscene productions that require the extra RAM of the 130XE? Also, if I setup this PAL system for demos, probably most games will be not-ideally running with extra scan lines and 50 vs 60, correct? I could just swap in and out that NTSC 800 XL I have already for games, I suppose. Thanks.

 

 

 

bp

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I bought a PAL 800XL motherboard form Jurgen (tf_hh here on AtariAge).

 

I put it into a standard 800XL case here in the states (it was a dead NTSC machine I had).

Popped that PAL motherboard into the case and I was good to go.

 

I use the same power supply and everything else I use for my NTSC 800XL/130XE's.

 

Currently I just attach it via RGB cable to a small Vizio LCD TV that shows PAL and NTSC just fine.

 

Eventually I plan to get a CRT that will do PAL/NTSC since LCD just isn't quite the same, is it? ;)

My CRT I use today only handles my NTSC machines.

 

Anyway, this turned out to be a great solution for me, and Jurgen's motherboard is absolutely top notch (he had already applied a video mod to it so it gives a truly exceptional picture).

 

Best Electronics also still sells PAL motherboards too, which would allow you to do the same thing.

 

-Eric

Edited by erichenneke

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Ericthanks. Do you have a web link for info on Jurgens PAL board video mod? Id like to go that route.

 

How do NTSC games look/run on it? Wondering if having PAL and NTWC systems is the way to go.

 

 

bp

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Programs that base their in-game timing (e.g. how often you or the baddies move) on Vertical Blank Interrupts (VBI) rund faster on NTSC machines as they have 60 interrupts where PAL units have 50. That is, unless the game code checks for PAL/NTSC and adapts accordingly. Games using other devices like delay loops don't slow down that much as the system clock is nearly identical.

 

PAL has slightly different colors and different artifacting, so games depending on artifacting will look strange on a PAL machine and all games will look different. You can "preview" that in an Emulator. So you might want to keep an NTSC machine.

 

There are no "NTSC games" per se as there are on the VCS. It's just that PAL machines can handle some stuff that NTSC machines can't.

Edited by slx

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The Philips 20PF5120/28 20" LCD TV does PAL or NTSC and runs from 120VAC. I have two of them and they work very well. There's one on eBay right now, but the shipping is about twice what it ought to be (LINK). I got both of mine for just under $60 delivered.

 

post-42561-0-90309100-1513544530.jpg

 

Phillips 20pf5120_28 Brochure.pdf

Phillips 20pf5120_28 User Manual.pdf

 

A good starting point for the settings using S-Video:

 

Color Temp = NORMAL
Brightness = 50
Color = 45
Contrast = 50
Sharpness = 62
Tint = 45

 

S-Video Examples (via UAV RevD):

 

post-42561-0-12494300-1513546359.jpg

 

post-42561-0-37690000-1513546372.jpg

 

post-42561-0-19019000-1513546381.jpg

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Programs that base their in-game timing (e.g. how often you or the baddies move) on Vertical Blank Interrupts (VBI) rund faster on NTSC machines as they have 60 interrupts where PAL units have 50. That is, unless the game code checks for PAL/NTSC and adapts accordingly. Games using other devices like delay loops don't slow down that much as the system clock is nearly identical.

 

PAL has slightly different colors and different artifacting, so games depending on artifacting will look strange on a PAL machine and all games will look different. You can "preview" that in an Emulator. So you might want to keep an NTSC machine.

 

There are no "NTSC games" per se as there are on the VCS. It's just that PAL machines can handle some stuff that NTSC machines can't.

 

 

Soon enough, all these worries will be a thing of the past and we can have the best of both worlds in one machine :D

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The Philips 20PF5120/28 20" LCD TV does PAL or NTSC and runs from 120VAC. I have two of them and they work very well. There's one on eBay right now, but the shipping is about twice what it ought to be (LINK). I got both of mine for just under $60 delivered.

 

 

Yeah, a Philips (Dutch) TV should be multi-standard........ ;)

 

 

Oh wait.....Philips has _nothing_ to do with TV's anymore...... ;)

Edited by Level42
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Interim - found SIO2PC serial cable (need USB to serial which I have). Installed APE software which claims Win10 operation and got non signed drivers error. Oy. Will wait for the SIO2SD to arrive I guess.

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you can get the drivers on the atarimax website... the demo prolly does not install by default.. take a look around and you should find a thread and the appropriate drivers there, and some discussions about it... also as a side note although I think the firmware and drivers will only work on registered versions...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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you can get the drivers on the atarimax website... the demo prolly does not install by default.. take a look around and you should find a thread and the appropriate drivers there, and some discussions about it... also as a side note although I think the firmware and drivers will only work on registered versions...

 

Bah. Maybe so. I purchased SIO2PC cable and APE something like 15 years ago and still have the cable (serial) -- but I see APE is $100. Not going to re-pay that with the SIO2SD en route from Europe, but it would've been nice to play with some games on this NTSC unit while I wait. Is there any other program that can use an SIO2PC cable to run anything, even if crudely?

 

Also -- is it definitely the case that if I were to pay the $100, signed drivers that will run under Windows 10 Pro 64 exist? (I would need to install the Keyspan USB to serial adapter I have and drivers to interface to APE with this serial SIO2PC cable.)

 

Also --- other suggestions for PAL Atari 8-bits (more than just the board)?

 

Thanks.

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I bought a PAL 800XL motherboard form Jurgen (tf_hh here on AtariAge).

 

I put it into a standard 800XL case here in the states (it was a dead NTSC machine I had).

Popped that PAL motherboard into the case and I was good to go.

 

I use the same power supply and everything else I use for my NTSC 800XL/130XE's.

 

Currently I just attach it via RGB cable to a small Vizio LCD TV that shows PAL and NTSC just fine.

 

Eventually I plan to get a CRT that will do PAL/NTSC since LCD just isn't quite the same, is it? ;)

My CRT I use today only handles my NTSC machines.

 

Anyway, this turned out to be a great solution for me, and Jurgen's motherboard is absolutely top notch (he had already applied a video mod to it so it gives a truly exceptional picture).

 

Best Electronics also still sells PAL motherboards too, which would allow you to do the same thing.

 

-Eric

 

What mod are you referring to with the exceptional picture? Thanks.

 

bp

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Bah. Maybe so. I purchased SIO2PC cable and APE something like 15 years ago and still have the cable (serial) -- but I see APE is $100. Not going to re-pay that with the SIO2SD en route from Europe, but it would've been nice to play with some games on this NTSC unit while I wait. Is there any other program that can use an SIO2PC cable to run anything, even if crudely?

 

Also -- is it definitely the case that if I were to pay the $100, signed drivers that will run under Windows 10 Pro 64 exist? (I would need to install the Keyspan USB to serial adapter I have and drivers to interface to APE with this serial SIO2PC cable.)

 

Also --- other suggestions for PAL Atari 8-bits (more than just the board)?

 

Thanks.

If you have an APE serial cable.. If you bought it from the AtariMax website you should email Steve Tucker for the latest version 3.0.13 that has a software mode that will except the USB to Serial adapter..

 

post-10165-0-33867600-1513630642_thumb.png

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Thanks. I emailed Steve, but I am not 100% certain I ordered it from AtariMax.

 

I don't really want to spend $100 on it anew as the i7 Win 10 machine is far across the room and I don't have a laptop to shuttle around as a next-to-Atari support unit. I've got a couple RPi laptops, but Not sure that would work. And besides I have a SIO2SD on order.

 

 

bp

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Thanks. I emailed Steve, but I am not 100% certain I ordered it from AtariMax.

 

I don't really want to spend $100 on it anew as the i7 Win 10 machine is far across the room and I don't have a laptop to shuttle around as a next-to-Atari support unit. I've got a couple RPi laptops, but Not sure that would work. And besides I have a SIO2SD on order.

 

 

bp

Same scenario here, but I have a usb hub with a 25 foot usb cord, and the wire ran behind the baseboard and out of sight. Sit tight below my 55" TV, and that way I can plug in my X-arcade, SIO2SD, or anything else.

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