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Old XL System Purchased from Sal "Kjmann" Esquivel Help

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Back in 2011, I was hunting for an upgraded XL system, and pretty much didn't know where to turn. I found Sal's site which offered XLs with upgraded memory. He had one product advertised simply called an "Atari XL" (or XL+ I forget). It had the 128 upgrade and S-video out. I wasn't sure why he didn't have model number, but the pic looked like an 800XL and I was fine with that. After paying with Paypal, it took quite a while for things to get going, to the point, I was going to cancel and ask for a refund, but he said the money was spent, and sure enough, the next day, I got a tracking number. When I received the product, it turned out to be an upgraded 600XL. I was somewhat OK with that -- probably cause I had to wait so long.

 

My problem was, the S-Video output was awful, with thick, vertical bands. If you moved the power supply, the bands would pulse for a second. I tried various cables and 2 different monitors...same problem. I emailed Sal and he did respond a number of times with various suggestions, but nothing seemed to work. I was able to use it, but was so unhappy about the interference. After a while, I put it aside and it's been in the closet for years.

 

Now recently, I've gained my interest back (and finally free time) in the retro scene, playing around with emulators and loving Altirra to death. This inspired me to take out the 600XL again, but the problem was, I no longer owned an S-Video capable monitor/TV. After reading some older topics here, I decided to try a Tendak upscaler with S-Video to HDMI out from Amazon. Someone here in the forum apparently had good luck with it. Well, unfortunately, that wasn't the result I got. The actual upscaler is great, however, it only outputs in B/W from the 600Xl.

 

So, that brings me to these questions: Is this B/W problem due to the type of upgrade Sal installed? I saw in other topics, there was an S-Video upgrade/mod that seemed to be quite popular, and the recommended option among most of the responders. I know Sal removed the composite out of the 600XL, as that output now only supports audio. Is there something I can do, or is this too far gone. I have some soldering experience from a few past modifications, but I'm far from an expert.

 

Thanks for any suggestions (sorry for the long backstory).

Edited by JCat

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What kind of cable are you using between the Atari video port and the upscaler. Are you sure it is connecting to the correct pins?

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Hard to know with any certainty. Did the color work before you put the 600XL in storage? I am assuming it did.

 

Modern digital upscalers usually have limited tolerance for out-of-spec video signals, unlike older analog devices, so your upscaler may simply not recognize the 600XL's output as a valid color signal.

 

Kjmann had his own 600XL SVideo mod, and even though he made several posts about it, I have never seen one. Can you take a picture of the motherboard and share that? You might need to take a pic of both sides depending on how the mod was done. You mention the RF out has been converted to an audio line, but is the original RF modulator still in place? If it was removed was the shield ground restored or not?

 

The mention of the power supply makes me very worried. Do you know what PSU you have? Check here in these forums for an Ingot power supply and find a picture. Compare it what you have and if that is what you are using, stop it immediately and toss that PSU in the trash. They are crap, and when they go, they take the XL with them.

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Back in 2011, I was hunting for an upgraded XL system, and pretty much didn't know where to turn. I found Sal's site which offered XLs with upgraded memory. He had one product advertised simply called an "Atari XL" (or XL+ I forget). It had the 128 upgrade and S-video out. I wasn't sure why he didn't have model number, but the pic looked like an 800XL and I was fine with that. After paying with Paypal, it took quite a while for things to get going, to the point, I was going to cancel and ask for a refund, but he said the money was spent, and sure enough, the next day, I got a tracking number. When I received the product, it turned out to be an upgraded 600XL. I was somewhat OK with that -- probably cause I had to wait so long.

 

My problem was, the S-Video output was awful, with thick, vertical bands. If you moved the power supply, the bands would pulse for a second. I tried various cables and 2 different monitors...same problem. I emailed Sal and he did respond a number of times with various suggestions, but nothing seemed to work. I was able to use it, but was so unhappy about the interference. After a while, I put it aside and it's been in the closet for years.

 

Now recently, I've gained my interest back (and finally free time) in the retro scene, playing around with emulators and loving Altirra to death. This inspired me to take out the 600XL again, but the problem was, I no longer owned an S-Video capable monitor/TV. After reading some older topics here, I decided to try a Tendak upscaler with S-Video to HDMI out from Amazon. Someone here in the forum apparently had good luck with it. Well, unfortunately, that wasn't the result I got. The actual upscaler is great, however, it only outputs in B/W from the 600Xl.

 

So, that brings me to these questions: Is this B/W problem due to the type of upgrade Sal installed? I saw in other topics, there was an S-Video upgrade/mod that seemed to be quite popular, and the recommended option among most of the responders. I know Sal removed the composite out of the 600XL, as that output now only supports audio. Is there something I can do, or is this too far gone. I have some soldering experience from a few past modifications, but I'm far from an expert.

 

Thanks for any suggestions (sorry for the long backstory).

 

If moving the power supply causes issues, then maybe the power supply is the problem. Maybe you should try a new one. Best Electronics website or myatari on eBay should sell them.

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What kind of cable are you using between the Atari video port and the upscaler. Are you sure it is connecting to the correct pins?

 

A regular M/M S-Video through the upscaler, with an HDMI output.

 

 

Hard to know with any certainty. Did the color work before you put the 600XL in storage? I am assuming it did.

 

Modern digital upscalers usually have limited tolerance for out-of-spec video signals, unlike older analog devices, so your upscaler may simply not recognize the 600XL's output as a valid color signal.

 

Kjmann had his own 600XL SVideo mod, and even though he made several posts about it, I have never seen one. Can you take a picture of the motherboard and share that? You might need to take a pic of both sides depending on how the mod was done. You mention the RF out has been converted to an audio line, but is the original RF modulator still in place? If it was removed was the shield ground restored or not?

 

The mention of the power supply makes me very worried. Do you know what PSU you have? Check here in these forums for an Ingot power supply and find a picture. Compare it what you have and if that is what you are using, stop it immediately and toss that PSU in the trash. They are crap, and when they go, they take the XL with them.

 

Thanks. Yes, definitely had color (and bad horizontal lines) when I had it plugged into an S-Video Monitor back in 2011, but I no longer have that monitor. Anything now would have to have HDMI which is why I got the upscaler (which works because I tested it with a SNES). As for the RF, this was a reply I got from Sal back in 2011 " I already disconnect the RF when I install the S-Video. it's probably just the version of the motherboard that is in it. Also the TV that you use can also have an effect. Have you tried it on a different TV?".

The power supply says SPC Technology. Switching Mode Power Supply. Input: 100-250V - 47 - 63hz 0.5A / Output: 5V 3.5A. One end uses a standard PC power cord that you plug into the PSU. I'll look up this Ingot thing. I never opened the unit, but I will look for some videos on how to do so, and post it here.

 

 

If moving the power supply causes issues, then maybe the power supply is the problem. Maybe you should try a new one. Best Electronics website or myatari on eBay should sell them.

 

Thanks. That would related to the question about interference, but I'm super concerned on getting this thing to output color. I know other people were successful using an upscaler, but it sounds like they didn't use the method sal posted, or did himself for other machines.

Edited by JCat

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I had one of Sals svideo boards, pulled it and threw it in the garbage where it belonged. Bryans UAV is the way to go. I have every Atari power brick made and several 3rd party bricks and every one I tried still had terrible jail bars with Sals board. Not so bad on a CRT though. I cant see why the UAV wouldn't work perfect with an upscaler, but I haven't tried it. The only upscaler I use is with my VBXE to HDMI.

Edited by Umberto

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Thanks, Umberto. I have a feeling the B/W problem when using an upscaler has to do with the type of procedure Sal used for S-Video. Just popped the top. Here's the inside of Sal's work, which includes the S-Video and and some kind of added power out port.

post-22492-0-14517100-1541727856_thumb.jpg

Edited by JCat

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I had that board once as well and canned it. My 800xl always had terrible video. I've tried several different boards now and the UAV is much better then the others(have not had sophia or vbxe yet). Mytek is developing a UAV substitute that looks promising as well. So far it looks to have less noise on svideo then even the UAV.

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I had that board once as well and canned it. My 800xl always had terrible video. I've tried several different boards now and the UAV is much better then the others(have not had sophia or vbxe yet). Mytek is developing a UAV substitute that looks promising as well. So far it looks to have less noise on svideo then even the UAV.

 

How difficult is it to put in a new board? Also, where are you folks sourcing them these days?

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...some kind of added power out port.

Probably more likely intended as an input for a 5V DC power supply with a more common barrel connector.

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OMG that's a terrible evil hack job, people paid for that deranged and completely useless mess? Please put it back to stock with RF reconnect and shielded lid back on top. Instal any one of the clearpic mods, simple video mods, uav mods sophia ... just so many choices that look great... kj screwed up a whole user groups worth of machines with that crap!

Edited by _The Doctor__
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I don't want to get flame-slammed, but...Just buy a 130XE. It has 128K and S-Video out of the box. People complain about the keyboard and the build quality of the PCB, but I've never had much problem with either. Just my 2 cents.

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Back in 2011, I was hunting for an upgraded XL system, and pretty much didn't know where to turn. I found Sal's site which offered XLs with upgraded memory. He had one product advertised simply called an "Atari XL" (or XL+ I forget). It had the 128 upgrade and S-video out. I wasn't sure why he didn't have model number, but the pic looked like an 800XL and I was fine with that. After paying with Paypal, it took quite a while for things to get going, to the point, I was going to cancel and ask for a refund, but he said the money was spent, and sure enough, the next day, I got a tracking number. When I received the product, it turned out to be an upgraded 600XL. I was somewhat OK with that -- probably cause I had to wait so long.

 

My problem was, the S-Video output was awful, with thick, vertical bands. If you moved the power supply, the bands would pulse for a second. I tried various cables and 2 different monitors...same problem. I emailed Sal and he did respond a number of times with various suggestions, but nothing seemed to work. I was able to use it, but was so unhappy about the interference. After a while, I put it aside and it's been in the closet for years.

 

Now recently, I've gained my interest back (and finally free time) in the retro scene, playing around with emulators and loving Altirra to death. This inspired me to take out the 600XL again, but the problem was, I no longer owned an S-Video capable monitor/TV. After reading some older topics here, I decided to try a Tendak upscaler with S-Video to HDMI out from Amazon. Someone here in the forum apparently had good luck with it. Well, unfortunately, that wasn't the result I got. The actual upscaler is great, however, it only outputs in B/W from the 600Xl.

 

So, that brings me to these questions: Is this B/W problem due to the type of upgrade Sal installed? I saw in other topics, there was an S-Video upgrade/mod that seemed to be quite popular, and the recommended option among most of the responders. I know Sal removed the composite out of the 600XL, as that output now only supports audio. Is there something I can do, or is this too far gone. I have some soldering experience from a few past modifications, but I'm far from an expert.

 

Thanks for any suggestions (sorry for the long backstory).

 

 

See this thread from previous previous - http://atariage.com/forums/topic/209136-kjmanns-s-video-upgrade-revisited-atari-400/

 

I slowly was able to upgrade 400, 800XL, 600XL and 65Xe to have S-video off the chip and rewired the ports on the back so that it was cross compatible with the same video lead.

 

Also - I used to sell convenient mini modules for this - see instructions attached.

Magic Knights XL-XE module instruction v1.pdf

Edited by Magic Knight

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Here's the inside of Sal's work, which includes the S-Video and and some kind of added power out port.

 

Eye watering case mods, etc, but I purchased several of those little s-video boards from KJMann and although the devices were incredibly simple (much simpler than even the presence of a PCB suggests, I can tell you: the components might as well be inside of shrink-tubing), the results were actually pretty good on one customer's 800XL. The B/W problem may be caused by the upscaler itself. It's also worth adjusting the colour pot in case it's turned all the way down (searched the thread for 'pot' and didn't find it yet, so apologies if this was suggested already).

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Thanks, I'll give that a look over.

 

 

 

Probably more likely intended as an input for a 5V DC power supply with a more common barrel connector.

 

Yes, that's what I meant, thanks. I'm wondering why he rigged up that input as opposed to going through the normal din connection? The power supply he included is for that added input. Is it because of the ram expansion?

 

OMG that's a terrible evil hack job, people paid for that deranged and completely useless mess? Please put it back to stock with RF reconnect and shielded lid back on top. Instal any one of the clearpic mods, simple video mods, uav mods sophia ... just so many choices that look great... kj screwed up a whole user groups worth of machines with that crap!

 

Yeah, there is no shielded lid unfortunately.

I don't want to get flame-slammed, but...Just buy a 130XE. It has 128K and S-Video out of the box. People complain about the keyboard and the build quality of the PCB, but I've never had much problem with either. Just my 2 cents.

 

I wouldn't mind, but right now, they're pricey on eBay.

 

 

 

See this thread from previous previous - http://atariage.com/forums/topic/209136-kjmanns-s-video-upgrade-revisited-atari-400/

 

I slowly was able to upgrade 400, 800XL, 600XL and 65Xe to have S-video off the chip and rewired the ports on the back so that it was cross compatible with the same video lead.

 

Also - I used to sell convenient mini modules for this - see instructions attached.

 

Thanks, that's actually quite helpful!

 

 

 

Eye watering case mods, etc, but I purchased several of those little s-video boards from KJMann and although the devices were incredibly simple (much simpler than even the presence of a PCB suggests, I can tell you: the components might as well be inside of shrink-tubing), the results were actually pretty good on one customer's 800XL. The B/W problem may be caused by the upscaler itself. It's also worth adjusting the colour pot in case it's turned all the way down (searched the thread for 'pot' and didn't find it yet, so apologies if this was suggested already).

 

Oh, thanks! I didn't know about this color pot. Glad I didn't screw the case back yet...

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The B&W video could be because the video output is not to spec. Those cheap upscalers are sensitive to this. Just a guess. This was happening to me with stock 800XL's. Bryan mentioned this once here, IIRC.

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I have a USB s-video capture dongle here which cannot handle PAL Atari chroma but displays NTSC in colour... I imagine the opposite scenario is perfectly plausible.

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Yes, that's what I meant, thanks. I'm wondering why he rigged up that input as opposed to going through the normal din connection? The power supply he included is for that added input. Is it because of the ram expansion?

..

If his original power supply died, he probably dug through his drawers and found a 5V DC power supply with a barrel connector on it, commonly used on many thing, home network/wifi routers for example. Fitting the computer with a jack may have been easier than splicing a DIN connector onto that supply, and also then preventing the power supply from being used on the original piece of equipment.

 

Original Atari XL/XE power supplies are rated up to 1.5A. Stock computers consume less than 1A. The original supply has enough capacity to handle a decent amount of upgrades before having to worry about load. As long as your replacement supply is rated for 1.5A or higher (2.0A is good) you should be golden. All modern small DC supplies are actually mini switching power supplies, and often let through a bit of high frequency noise, which may be more apparent as load approaches the maximum rating visible as horizontal banding on the screen. Lots of discusions about using cheap 5V USB charger power supplies for the Atari's.

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