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Euro ST works in North America?

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Can a European ST, like from the UK or Germany, work in North America? I understand the difference between the power supplies - 120VAC vs. 220VAC. Assume the power supply is changed to the 120VAC unit.

 

Just curious to know how international the ST was.

 

Thanks!

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The differences in HW are:

Mentioned PSU voltage.

Color encoder circuit - in Eu it is PAL in America it is NTSC. But irrelevant when using RGB output - and should because it gives best picture quality.

There is slight difference in CPU clock too, what is done in goal to lower interference with color encoder carrier frequency (what is different by PAL and NTSC) . That can affect only very timing sensitive SW, like some demos, high-color displaying code .

In case of using RGB signal 50 Hz refresh rate may be problem for some monitors, TVs . It is easy to set to 60 Hz by SW, but there is SW what will set it self to 50 - sometimes because only at it works properly.

ST is pretty much international, but TV standards are not it. And things changed a lot since 1985, so main problem now is to solve display for Atari - using compatible monitor/TV or using some scan converter.

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Just curious here i know a PAL MSX2 does a v:50 15hz output and a PAL Acorn Electron does v:49 00hz all on RGB

Also are PAL machines interlaced or progressive sources?

So what output can i expect from a PAL STE from RGB?

Edited by 256 colors

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49 Hz is a bit too low, but most of analog TVs could sync. to it.

PAL is interlaced by standard, but many, if not most of computers from that era generated progressive signal.

PAL STE is : 50 Hz vertical freq, 15626 horizontal freq. Some monitors/TVs will accept separated V and H sync. signals, some will need composite sync (pin 2 on monitor conn.) .

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So it looks like the changes are minimal.

 

Power supply, TOS, and CPU clock rate.

 

Power supply can be changed for a small efficient unit.

 

TOS can be swapped out for different version.

 

CPU clock rate is something I didnt expect. Slightly lower? Is it something like 7.9 MHz? I thought North American units were actually something like 8.1 MHz.

 

I have to confess why I am asking these questions. Last night I bought a UK version of a 520 STe for $65. It was a little bit of an impulse purchase. |:) So, now I must get it working here in the US.

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You must swap the PSU for a 110v version.

 

If you also replace the TOS with a US dito, it will set 60Hz automatically.

 

As the RF circuit is the major difference between NTSC/PAL, as long as you don't use it, but use the RGB output, (like the contemporary atari SC1224 color monitor, philips cm8833, commodore 1084s, NEC multisync 3D, or a modern VGA monitor that can handle it), you should have no problems, since RGB don't care about NTSC/PAL at all. (Other than setting the screen refresh rate at 50 or 60Hz obviously)

 

As for the slight difference in cpu speed, the PAL ST is afaik slightly faster than an NTSC ST (For STE it is the other way around), but otoh, software (ie demos) written for PAL using critical timings for special screen fx, will probably work better. Typically, but there are variations, a PAL ST/STE is 8.02MHz, an NTSC ST is 8.01MHz, and an NTSC STE is 8.05MHz.

 

But hey, it's still faster than an amiga at 7.15909 MHz (NTSC) or 7.09379 MHz (PAL)...

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Thanks, Greenious! :)

 

I will definitely be using the RGB output and I am planning to try a scan doubler in this instance. Scan doubler like this from Amazon :

 

https://www.amazon.com/AllAboutAdapters-15Khz-Component-Converter-Scaler/dp/B072FKFL13/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=Cga+to+vga&qid=1550508998&s=gateway&sr=8-9

 

Hopefully the link works. It is Amazon p/n B072FKFL13.

 

I am using a Framemeister with my current 1040 STe setup. The Framemeister doesn’t like it when the STe switches between 50 / 60 Hz. We’ll see how that scan doubler works.

 

My biggest concern will be the power supply. I must make sure to find a unit small enough that fits inside the case and be powerful enough to prove the 3A for 5V and 1.6A for 12V.

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Thanks, Greenious! :)

 

I will definitely be using the RGB output and I am planning to try a scan doubler in this instance. Scan doubler like this from Amazon :

 

https://www.amazon.com/AllAboutAdapters-15Khz-Component-Converter-Scaler/dp/B072FKFL13/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=Cga+to+vga&qid=1550508998&s=gateway&sr=8-9

 

Hopefully the link works. It is Amazon p/n B072FKFL13.

 

I am using a Framemeister with my current 1040 STe setup. The Framemeister doesn’t like it when the STe switches between 50 / 60 Hz. We’ll see how that scan doubler works.

 

My biggest concern will be the power supply. I must make sure to find a unit small enough that fits inside the case and be powerful enough to prove the 3A for 5V and 1.6A for 12V.

 

 

Would you mind please sharing your Framemeister STE profile i know it's for NTSC but least i have a base to modify for PAL

Edited by 256 colors

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My biggest concern will be the power supply. I must make sure to find a unit small enough that fits inside the case and be powerful enough to prove the 3A for 5V and 1.6A for 12V.

 

Here's what you need for your PSU swap.

 

EXXOS PSU ATARI ST/STE/MEGA ST/FALCON PSU 110V

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/#0030

 

He only makes them in batches as he gets requests for them. He's showing six remaining, so you may want to jump on it quickly.

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Or get one from Best Electronics.

 

http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/power%20guide.htm

 

Probably cheaper than importing it from europe.

 

and see if you can't sell your eu PSU back to europe... lol

 

Maybe, but there didn't seem to be any ST/STe related PSUs on the page you linked to. Actually, I couldn't find them anywhere on the site, though I'd be surprised if Brad didn't have some reconditioned units lying around somewhere. Also, even if Best has them, they're probably original units, reconditioned, not new units, and the original PSUs weren't really top-of-the-line to start with. The ones from Exxos are completely redesigned from the ground up to be more efficient and longer lasting than the original PSUs that came in the original ST/STes and they're drop-in compatible.

 

When I eventually replace mine, Exxos is where I'll be going. Best and B&C Electronics are great dealers and I use them for a lot of things, but some things I just don't mess around with, and PSUs are one of them.

 

Just my two cents.

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Maybe, but there didn't seem to be any ST/STe related PSUs on the page you linked to. Actually, I couldn't find them anywhere on the site, though I'd be surprised if Brad didn't have some reconditioned units lying around somewhere. Also, even if Best has them, they're probably original units, reconditioned, not new units, and the original PSUs weren't really top-of-the-line to start with. The ones from Exxos are completely redesigned from the ground up to be more efficient and longer lasting than the original PSUs that came in the original ST/STes and they're drop-in compatible.

 

When I eventually replace mine, Exxos is where I'll be going. Best and B&C Electronics are great dealers and I use them for a lot of things, but some things I just don't mess around with, and PSUs are one of them.

 

Just my two cents.

fifth row, the leftmost look a lot iike an ST(E) psu to me. and it comes complete, exxos does not.

 

and atari's psu's, despite their flaws, has worked for 30 years now, and probably will work 30 more if reconditioned. That's actual, proven track record, so I wouldn't consider them trash.

 

I just don't see the point in replacing something that works, or can be reconditioned cheaply, with something more expensive.

 

But everyone spends their money the way they want to, I'm just not agreeing that atari's original psu's are that bad, not for their intended purpose, and that exchanging them for a supposedly better psu is worth the money/trouble. I certainly have no problems with keeping my original psu's, occassionally giving them a look over and recondition them.

 

and thats my 2 cents.

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Would you mind please sharing your Framemeister STE profile i know it's for NTSC but least i have a base to modify for PAL

 

I haven't saved my profile because I don't have a micro-SD card. :( The settings seem to stay after disconnecting power so I haven't been in a rush to get a micro-SD card.

 

Perhaps I can describe my configuration settings to you?

 

I have two SCART cables. One is from a German seller on eBay and the other is from Cool Novelties in the UK.

 

The default settings in the Framemeister + the German cable instantly worked. I saw a picture on my monitor. It wasn't perfectly centered, zoomed, etc but it worked. My Framemeister was set to display everything in Japanese and the Japanese documentation was useless to me. After switching from Japanese to English I used this online reference :

 

http://arekuse.net/blog/my-games/the-ultimate-guide-for-framemeister-eng/

 

A lot of the menu items are self-explanatory by their name and no guide is necessary. The guide above gives some insight on menu items that aren't intuitively named. Otherwise, you'll need to experiment ... or learn Japanese. ;)

 

I'm using a Dell FP2007 monitor. It's a 4:3 ratio display with a maximum resolution of 1600x1200. I bought this monitor for my 130XE before I decided to get a ST. This monitor also has some analog inputs like composite and S-video but the quality of the digitization for displaying is extremely poor. The Framemeister produces a superior picture. I connect the Framemeister to the monitor's DVI input and I have a separate cable for monochrome graphics connected to the monitor's VGA input. Switching between color and monochrome is simple. Unplug one cable, plug in the other, and switch the input between DVI and VGA.

 

Side note - look for a Dell 2005 or 2001 model instead. These older monitors supposedly support horizontal refresh rates as low as 15 kHz which is exactly what you need for your ST. Search for "dell 2005 monitor" on eBay. Look for the deal that has free shipping and accepts returns. That's how I got my 2007 model and for very little $$. Had I known about the 2005's capability I probably would have gotten it instead if I could find one. But, maybe the S-Video quality would have been poor there too and I still would have gone with a converter like Framemeister.

 

Some recommended settings :

 

-> Set the Framemeister output to the highest available supported by your display. In my case I am set to 1600x1200. Lower resolutions will result in larger pictures needing less zoom but quality may be lower. Also, if you want to emulate scan lines then lower resolution settings will look far, far, far worse. I don't enable simulated scan lines.

 

-> I set my "Image Mode" to "Standard". The "GAME_1" setting didn't look different to me. None of the other modes appealed to me.

 

-> Be sure to set your "Aspect Ratio" correctly.

 

-> The "Color Set" menu has "Gamma", "Black", and "Sharpness". Default "Gamma" and "Black" values resulted in blacks that were almost grey. Adjust to suit your taste and to work with the settings in your display. I lowered my black settings way, way down. If your gray levels are washing out to white then adjust your "Gamma" value. Set "Sharpness" to 0. Higher values result in poor picture quality.

 

-> The "Visual Set" and "Zoom Set" are used to center the image and stretch it to fill the screen. ST low resolution is 320x200 and I have a 1600x1200 display. Yeah, gotta zoom in. ;)

 

-> The "Sync Set" menu is very important. If your screen looks like jumbled and scattered puzzle pieces then check your "Sync Level" setting. Adjust it up/down until your screen stabilizes. I think mine is set to 18 or something like that. My "Sync Mode" is set to "Auto". When switching between 50 / 60 Hz my Framemeister loses the synchronization and my screen goes blank. Re-engaging the "Sync Mode" to "Auto" seem to perform an internal sync reset and my display reappears.

 

I tried to leave everything else alone. The image output is beautiful and stunning! I also have a 130XE connected to the S-Video input on the Framemeister. That video output is also gorgeous. Each input seems to have it own set of settings. I have different zoom, position, etc settings for my 130XE.

 

The cable from Cool Novelties doesn't seem to work as well as the generic German cable. My image is jumpy, scattered, and broken. Odd because Cool Novelties tested and retested the cable with their own displays to ensure the picture is stable. So, the Framemeister needs different settings for that cable.

 

When switching between 50 / 60 Hz I only reengage the "Sync Mode" setting. I don't change any settings. The reset is slightly compressed screen at 50 Hz. I'm OK with that since I usually run at 60 Hz.

 

I hope that long winded description helps.

 

 

Here's what you need for your PSU swap.

 

EXXOS PSU ATARI ST/STE/MEGA ST/FALCON PSU 110V

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/#0030

 

He only makes them in batches as he gets requests for them. He's showing six remaining, so you may want to jump on it quickly.

 

Or get one from Best Electronics.

 

http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/power%20guide.htm

 

Probably cheaper than importing it from europe.

 

and see if you can't sell your eu PSU back to europe... lol

 

Power supplies : Wow, those are pricey! I was thinking of something like this instead.

 

https://www.meanwell.com/Upload/PDF/RPD-60/RPD-60-SPEC.PDF

 

That can be had for $20 from Digikey.com

 

Assuming that supply fits would it be a bad choice?

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Power supplies : Wow, those are pricey! I was thinking of something like this instead.

 

https://www.meanwell.com/Upload/PDF/RPD-60/RPD-60-SPEC.PDF

 

That can be had for $20 from Digikey.com

 

Assuming that supply fits would it be a bad choice?

 

Going your own way, eh? I approve.

 

Well, except for one pesky little detail, The ST also wants a miniscule amount of -12v (Original PSU delivers 30mA...). I believe that it should be relatively easy to add a circuit for that, given the small current.

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Going your own way, eh? I approve.

 

Well, except for one pesky little detail, The ST also wants a miniscule amount of -12v (Original PSU delivers 30mA...). I believe that it should be relatively easy to add a circuit for that, given the small current.

 

Oh? I didn't know the ST supply provided 3 outputs. Thanks for mentioning this! :)

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It doesn't use any -12v, I'm running a Meanwell RD-50A in mine without issue (although it was a tight fit, and required me modify the power supply mount a bit, it does fit)..

 

2018-11-18%2018.28.00.jpg?dl=1

 

The RF shield would PROBABLY fit back on, but I left if off. I also could have installed it with the connections on the right and not had to extend the wiring. I'd also wager a RD-35A would power the machine just as well, but it's the same physical size as the RD-50A. I'd also bet that MeanWell makes an open frame supply that WOULD fit fine on that mount, and supplies enough power for the machine.

 

I had to take a tiny bit of metal off the bottom of the MeanWell to make it fit between the mounting posts on the original power supply bracket, you can kind of see it in this picture:

 

2018-11-18%2018.28.05.jpg?dl=1

Edited by David Hefner
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Thanks for posting this, Dave! Excellent work! i want to do something similar.

 

Mean Well does have several open frame power supplies, both dual and triple output units, that look like good candidates.

 

I found a 1040 STe schematic here :

 

http://www.gossuin.be/index.php/520-et-1040-stx

 

On sheet 2 of the 1040 STe shematic I see J100 which is the power connector. There is a VCC (+5V) and +12V along with grounds. I am attaching a screen grab of that section.

post-66835-0-90054700-1550762232_thumb.jpg

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@6BQ5 were did you get your scart adapter to XRGB lead from?

With the lead here the XRGB MINI refuses to take any signal from my STE

Edited by 256 colors

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I am using the SCART adapter that came with my Framemeister. The adapter is unmarked so I assumed it is the Japanese SCART adapter (vs. Euro SCART adapter). While I was waiting for my ST<->SCART cable to arrive I ordered a Euro SCART adapter from Solaris. Both the SCART cable and the Euro SCART adapter arrived at the same time.

 

The Euro SCART adapter with my ST<->SCART cable did not work.

 

The SCART adapter that came with my Framemeister plus the the ST<->SCART cable did work!

 

I know ... it's very strange. I didn't open the adapters or cable to check the pinouts or anything.

 

Here is the SCART cable I am using.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Atari-260-520-1040ST-MegaST-Kabel-an-RGB-SCART-2-0-Meter/361509837136?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

Let's start a new thread, called Framemeister Troubleshooting or something like that and we can discuss further there. It could become a good reference (sticky?) for Framemeister owners.

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I strongly suspect that the PT-35A would supply enough power for the system. Anybody know what the output power is on the stocker?

 

 

Thanks for posting this, Dave! Excellent work! i want to do something similar.

 

Mean Well does have several open frame power supplies, both dual and triple output units, that look like good candidates.

 

I found a 1040 STe schematic here :

 

http://www.gossuin.be/index.php/520-et-1040-stx

 

On sheet 2 of the 1040 STe shematic I see J100 which is the power connector. There is a VCC (+5V) and +12V along with grounds. I am attaching a screen grab of that section.

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You could also use a PicoPSU to supply the various voltages you need. I had an STE with a Pico in it and it worked great. It used an external AC-DC adapter to feed the Pico +12VDC, but you could put a tiny +12VDC PSU inside the case and feed the Pico that way. This is how I power a Sharp X68000 currently.

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Just for simplicity and reference. I have a UK 4 Meg STE running fine in the USA with no internal adjustments. Just external:

 

1. $30 Step up voltage converter box (120 --> 240).

2. $20 Atari STE RGB + stereo out to Scart Cable
3. $25 Scart (RBG) to HDMI converter box.
4. $0 50hz - 60hz ST utility that auto runs from my Ultra Satan. This allows the wider 60hz screen size.

 

This allows the machine to run fine on a USA 120V household circuit and play low and medium res with incredible clarity on any HDMI TV or monitor.

The other solutions are great too, and I might just put in a USA TOS ROM, but for now there really is nothing to change and no visible latency when player games, etc.

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Just for simplicity and reference. I have a UK 4 Meg STE running fine in the USA with no internal adjustments. Just external:

[...]

3. $25 Scart (RBG) to HDMI converter box.

[...]

The other solutions are great too, and I might just put in a USA TOS ROM, but for now there really is nothing to change and no visible latency when player games, etc.

 

Are you also using that square metal box reading "HD Video Converter - Scart/HDMI to HDMI 720P/1080P" that is available off AliExpress (e.g.)?

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