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dimfil

Atari 600xl 64k memory upgrade methods

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Hello everyone...

 

In need to upgrade my 600xl to 64k, I found three different places describing how I can do it:

 

https://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~machek/atari/600xl64Ka.html

 

https://www.atarimax.com/freenet/freenet_material/12.AtariLibrary/2.MiscellaneousTextFiles/showarticle.php?108

 

http://mathyvannisselroy.nl/xl600k64.htm

 

It seems to me that the first one (with the R36 resistor) is the most popular but as far as I can understand they do the same job by finding different "roads" on the board.

Is there any reason for preffering one or another of the above methods or it is compltely irrelevant?

I find the 3rd method from Mathy easier, because there is no desoldering of resistor and so I believe it is quicker and safer for the board.

 

Any opinion would help!

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This is what I did for my 600xl... It is super simple: soldering two wires and a third one not soldered used as a jumper. I like it because it requires no change to the PCB. I went for this method since I am bad with the soldeing iron and I was scared of damaging the motherboard, and this method if you do something wrong you can destroy the ls158 or the ls375 which you can still find very easily in eBay.

It can be performed in 10 minutes if you go slow and carefully.

I think is similar to Mathy's one, but in this one I just took off the U18 and save it for later, if need to go back to stock.

AFAIK, all different versions do the same: first find A14 and A15 in some point and feed it to the pair of ls158 (which originally have their A14 and A15 pins connected to GND, so you need to lift those pins)

And finally bypass in some way the U18 since that logic is not needed anymore to route the CAS signal.

ah! and obviously change the memory DRAM chips.

post-49742-0-67993000-1548340947_thumb.jpg

Edited by manterola
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They all do the same one way or the other, and you always need to solder some wires. I personally don't like the above one with the jumper :) the jumperwire might come loose. It is not fixed in place...

If you don't want to desolder the resistor, you can always cut the resistor wire from the board. Desoldering the resistor at one side will give you the option to easily undo the memory fix (like that will ever happen...)

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Thank you all for your information!

My first attempt was not successful unfortunately... I ended up with black screen.

I performed all three mentioned mods just in case, very carefully and checked thoroughly. I used two 41464 ram chips (these are mentioned as equivalent) unsoldered from a c64. This board had passed the ram tests so I believed these chips should be OK.

I don't have others to test at the moment, I have to order and wait...

So, unless there is a matter of compatibility of these rams, I concluded that at the end they are faulty...

Edited by dimfil

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There is also this nice looking thing...

 

https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=232

 

upgrades 600XL to 64k or replaces 64k RAM of any XL/XE/XEGS.

Yes, I have seen that. It is interesting for sure but it will be available around end of February.

Most likely I will give it a try but at the moment I would like to complete the mod!

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This is what I did for my 600xl... It is super simple: soldering two wires and a third one not soldered used as a jumper. I like it because it requires no change to the PCB. I went for this method since I am bad with the soldeing iron and I was scared of damaging the motherboard, and this method if you do something wrong you can destroy the ls158 or the ls375 which you can still find very easily in eBay.

It can be performed in 10 minutes if you go slow and carefully.

I think is similar to Mathy's one, but in this one I just took off the U18 and save it for later, if need to go back to stock.

AFAIK, all different versions do the same: first find A14 and A15 in some point and feed it to the pair of ls158 (which originally have their A14 and A15 pins connected to GND, so you need to lift those pins)

And finally bypass in some way the U18 since that logic is not needed anymore to route the CAS signal.

ah! and obviously change the memory DRAM chips.

The way I do this is very similar to this photo, except I don't solder to those pins on U15 (?) directly, but on the 2nd two pads of the 4 pads below U14. Cleaner...

Edited by R.Cade
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There is also this nice looking thing...

 

https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=232

 

upgrades 600XL to 64k or replaces 64k RAM of any XL/XE/XEGS.

This is very very interesting looking. Will I be able to use it on a 600XL in conjunction with other upgrades? Like an U1MB or ANTONIA? I gather that it should be compatible with a Sys-Check. I might need to look into acquiring another 600XL once this gets released.

 

.

Edited by SS

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After installing two other ram chips 4464-10NL I get the following test picture.

I believe it is not correct as the 3rd row should also have 16 blocks, isn't it?

 

Any thoughts?

 

246db563e6261df9750cb437d8d63860.jpg

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Thank you both!

Everything is OK...

 

I am quite noob to the world of 8bit Ataris as you already understood! I am coming from the world of C64 and I have a lot to learn. Up to now I found out that Atari did a great job back then! I am really happy that I got my hands on one of these incredible computers!

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1 hour ago, jnharmon said:

I was wondering, is there a consensus on the gauge and type of wire that is best for these PCB jumpers?

I like to use Kynar Wire Wrap wire for these kinds of mods. You can buy it in 100 foot rolls in various colors from the likes of Jameco.

 

22606.jpg

Color Green - Jameco Part no.: 22606

 

Also comes in Black, White, Blue, Red, and Yellow

 

Edit: Just in case its not perfectly clear, you would need to strip the insulation at either end and solder - not suggesting that it be actually used for wire wrapping in the suggested mod ;) .

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Did anyone every try this and confirm it?

 

https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=232

 

I recently found a brand new 600xl, mint in box, I suspect never been used or even touched because the computer is still wrapped in plastic, and all the manuals and promotional booklets are still in the box, too. I've been doing a LOT of reading up on these systems and I'm pretty hyped about getting to know them. There's 2 things I want to do with it that I've read so far:

1. upgrade the RAM to 64k of course

2. put in an AV jack output so I don't need a specific type of TV to hook up the devil pitchforks switchbox

 

I've read up on the methods of how to upgrade the RAM here but if this piece linked above just does it in one go, wouldn't this be the simplest? With a computer that might as well be brand new, I don't want to risk anything.

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1 hour ago, Pig said:

Did anyone every try this and confirm it?

 

https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=232

 

I recently found a brand new 600xl, mint in box, I suspect never been used or even touched because the computer is still wrapped in plastic, and all the manuals and promotional booklets are still in the box, too. I've been doing a LOT of reading up on these systems and I'm pretty hyped about getting to know them. There's 2 things I want to do with it that I've read so far:

1. upgrade the RAM to 64k of course 

2. put in an AV jack output so I don't need a specific type of TV to hook up the devil pitchforks switchbox

 

I've read up on the methods of how to upgrade the RAM here but if this piece linked above just does it in one go, wouldn't this be the simplest? With a computer that might as well be brand new, I don't want to risk anything.

Replacing the original 4416 DRAM with 4464 requires a little bit of soldering but is quite a bit less expensive, partly due to lower shipping costs even if you live in europe.

Another alternative, also from europe, is the 576KB(64KB main + 512KB extended) SRAM module by tf_hh for 31 euros + shipping. It only requires soldering 2 wires to bent up pins of the MMU if the original 4416 DRAM chips are removed. This module inserts in place of ANTIC, ANTIC is then plugged into it. The manual mentions desoldering chips may be required, but to my knowledge ALL 600XL are completely socketed.

http://www.van-radecke.de/STUFF/tfhh_HW_info.pdf

 

1. 64KB for the cost of a couple of 4464 DRAM(<5 euros) and a little soldering.

2. 64KB for 18 euros + shipping, no soldering.

3. 576KB for 31 euros + shipping, soldering wires to 2 bent up pins of MMU and removal of 4416 DRAM.

Edited by BillC
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I have tf_hh's 512K board in one of my 800XLs and it is a great product.  His 600XL board is essentially the same thing but with a 64K base.  600XLs ARE almost all socketed motherboards (except for some VERY rare, late produced PAL models) so instillation is very easy with these boards.  I have a few of tf_hh's products and highly recommend all of his stuff.  

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Thank you all for the info~!

 

I'll keep checking in for that solder-free 512K upgrade as it seems to be out of stock right now.

 

So am I correct in assuming that once I get my 16K upgraded to (at least) 64K my 600XL will be able to run most programs an 800XL or XEGM would?

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16 minutes ago, Pig said:

Thank you all for the info~!

 

I'll keep checking in for that solder-free 512K upgrade as it seems to be out of stock right now.

 

So am I correct in assuming that once I get my 16K upgraded to (at least) 64K my 600XL will be able to run most programs an 800XL or XEGM would?

Once upgraded to 64KB the 600XL effectively becomes an 800XL. The only significant difference is the lack of a monitor port(on the NTSC model) which can be rectified, the PCB footprint for the DIN5 is already there. Many owners upgrade the 800XL for better video output anyways.

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1 hour ago, Pig said:

I'll keep checking in for that solder-free 512K upgrade as it seems to be out of stock right now.

Not exactly solder free.  There are three wires that need to have easy solders made to two chips.  

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16 minutes ago, SS said:

Not exactly solder free.  There are three wires that need to have easy solders made to two chips.  

Ah, that's still alright, I mod gameboys so I'm not a total stranger to light soldering.

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