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Found a working SCART->HDMI adapter on Amazon

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I have been on the look-out for an alternative to the expensive Framemeister and I am happy to say I found something! Here is a link to the adapter :

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N06Q9WH/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_cWSOCb1TRTAMN&

 

In case the link expires some time in the future just search for this on Amazon:

 

VCANDO SCART to HDMI Converter Video Audio Adapter Box with SCART/HD Switch, PAL/NTSC Video Scaler, 1080P/720P

 

If you search eBay and Amazon long enough then you may find this same device under a different brand name. Compare the product photos carefully.

 

You will need an Atari ST SCART cable. Not all cables are created equal. I have one from Cool Novelties that gives me a noisy, wrinkly picture at either resolution (low or med) and either refresh rate (50 Hz or 60 Hz). I also have one from " kabelheinz" on eBay and it gives a beautiful picture at either resolution and either frequency. Here is a link to the cable :

 

https://ebay.us/jzTlkA

 

The eBay item number is 361509837136. In case that link expires you can search for this title :

 

Atari 260/520/1040ST/MegaST Kabel an RGB SCART 2,0 Meter

 

You may need to diddle with the buttons a bit but it's super simple.

 

  • Be sure to set your input to SCART. The default power-on selection is HDMI.
  • Experiment with the different output resolutions. It defaults to 1920x1080. Other resolution options include 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1280x720 in that order.
  • Set your PAL/NTSC output to match your 50/60 Hz input. In my case a mismatched input frequency makes the screen jump and jitter every so often. Sometimes sync seems to get lost and the picture goes black momentarily. This switch may sting you if you are not careful.

 

There's not much else to it. The device will stretch your 320x200 and 640x200 screens a little on a modern 16:9 monitor but it doesn't necessarily look bad. If your displays allows adjusting the screen to compress it back down then you may be golden. You may enjoy using an older 4:3 ratio monitor as will give a more natural image.

 

How does it compare to Framemeister?

 

I have to say the image quality at low resolution is excellent ... maybe an ever slight step down from Framemeister in some colorful, high contrast situations. Really, only slightly. The picture degrades a bit in medium resolution in more situations. Black text on a white background is a good example. The characters look a little softer than the Framemeister where the picture is razor sharp. You have very little control over your image here whereas the Framemeister lets you set every little settings from input A/D characteristics to sync level sensitivity to adding overscan lines to whatever else you can imagine. Those settings, plus the razor sharp image quality, does set the Framemeister apart. Don't forget the Framemeister has a lot of inputs : SCART, S-video, composite, HDMI1, HDMI2, and D5 plus audio input for S-Video/Composite and for D5. You can save settings for each input onto a SD card for easy retrieval. That's a lot of functionality in one box. It easily works as a central hub for many, many inputs. That's also worth something, especially if you have more than a ST.

 

I did not test high resolution but there isn't much point to that. Just use a VGA cable.

 

This box cost me $40 on Amazon and that seems like a fair price compared to the Framemeister. Add the other 5 inputs at $40/each plus the SD card functionality and the all-in-one convenience and you're right up to the price of a Framemeister. Now, if this box cost less than $40 then it's a true bargain! However, if it costs more than $40 then I would say that it's just less money than a Framemeister. Be sure to compare product photos when looking at alternative converters for less money. Many are missing buttons to control resolution and refresh rate.

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I had nothing but problems with the Framemeister and sync issues for me it's a much over rated and over hyped product

So my next move was to purchase the OSSC it's been perfect for my 1040STE infact I've never had to touch the default settings so far

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I had nothing but problems with the Framemeister and sync issues for me it's a much over rated and over hyped product

So my next move was to purchase the OSSC it's been perfect for my 1040STE infact I've never had to touch the default settings so far

 

Yeah, I remember you were having a lot of issues with yours. Sorry to hear that. :( My Framemeister has been working flawlessly as long as I got a good SCART cable.

 

I wanted to try an OSSC but for some reason had problems finding one.

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I 'like' this: "

Price $39.99 AmazonGlobal Shipping + $9.98 Estimated Import Fees Deposit + $15.84

"

Import Fees Deposit ? Huh ! If there is such, that needs to be payed not to Amazon, but to country where it is delivered, by reception.

 

Btw. it seems that proper cable is big problem, and that's pity, because it is trivial thing in fact. I need to look for source for Atari DIN video connector, then can make and sell them. There are couple things where it can make problems: Vblanking signal, RGB line levels are usually too strong, so need to reduce .

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I 'like' this:

 

Price $39.99 AmazonGlobal Shipping + $9.98 Estimated Import Fees Deposit + $15.84

 

Import Fees Deposit ? Huh ! If there is such, that needs to be payed not to Amazon, but to country where it is delivered, by reception.

 

Btw. it seems that proper cable is big problem, and that's pity, because it is trivial thing in fact. I need to look for source for Atari DIN video connector, then can make and sell them. There are couple things where it can make problems: Vblanking signal, RGB line levels are usually too strong, so need to reduce .

Odd pricing!

 

One fact I forgot to mention is how I found this converter. I searched SCART hdmi Amiga on Google and received several hits on Amazon UK. The keywords were in the reviews. Looking at the product photos I recognized the devices from the Amazon US site. Same devices! Only difference is the reviews. No mention of Amiga, Atari, etc. I figure if the device worked with an Amiga it would work with the ST. It does. :)

 

Yes, cabling does seem to be the biggest challenge and I agree it should not be. I ordered another cable from kabelheinz to see if his cables give repeatable results or if I just got lucky with one.

 

Its good to know we have solutions available to us besides Framemeister, OSSC, and old monitors.

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I have been on the look-out for an alternative to the expensive Framemeister and I am happy to say I found something! Here is a link to the adapter :

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N06Q9WH/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_cWSOCb1TRTAMN&

 

In case the link expires some time in the future just search for this on Amazon:

 

VCANDO SCART to HDMI Converter Video Audio Adapter Box with SCART/HD Switch, PAL/NTSC Video Scaler, 1080P/720P

 

If you search eBay and Amazon long enough then you may find this same device under a different brand name. Compare the product photos carefully.

 

You will need an Atari ST SCART cable. Not all cables are created equal. I have one from Cool Novelties that gives me a noisy, wrinkly picture at either resolution (low or med) and either refresh rate (50 Hz or 60 Hz). I also have one from " kabelheinz" on eBay and it gives a beautiful picture at either resolution and either frequency. Here is a link to the cable :

 

https://ebay.us/jzTlkA

 

The eBay item number is 361509837136. In case that link expires you can search for this title :

 

Atari 260/520/1040ST/MegaST Kabel an RGB SCART 2,0 Meter

 

You may need to diddle with the buttons a bit but it's super simple.

 

  • Be sure to set your input to SCART. The default power-on selection is HDMI.
  • Experiment with the different output resolutions. It defaults to 1920x1080. Other resolution options include 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1280x720 in that order.
  • Set your PAL/NTSC output to match your 50/60 Hz input. In my case a mismatched input frequency makes the screen jump and jitter every so often. Sometimes sync seems to get lost and the picture goes black momentarily. This switch may sting you if you are not careful.

 

There's not much else to it. The device will stretch your 320x200 and 640x200 screens a little on a modern 16:9 monitor but it doesn't necessarily look bad. If your displays allows adjusting the screen to compress it back down then you may be golden. You may enjoy using an older 4:3 ratio monitor as will give a more natural image.

 

How does it compare to Framemeister?

 

I have to say the image quality at low resolution is excellent ... maybe an ever slight step down from Framemeister in some colorful, high contrast situations. Really, only slightly. The picture degrades a bit in medium resolution in more situations. Black text on a white background is a good example. The characters look a little softer than the Framemeister where the picture is razor sharp. You have very little control over your image here whereas the Framemeister lets you set every little settings from input A/D characteristics to sync level sensitivity to adding overscan lines to whatever else you can imagine. Those settings, plus the razor sharp image quality, does set the Framemeister apart. Don't forget the Framemeister has a lot of inputs : SCART, S-video, composite, HDMI1, HDMI2, and D5 plus audio input for S-Video/Composite and for D5. You can save settings for each input onto a SD card for easy retrieval. That's a lot of functionality in one box. It easily works as a central hub for many, many inputs. That's also worth something, especially if you have more than a ST.

 

I did not test high resolution but there isn't much point to that. Just use a VGA cable.

 

This box cost me $40 on Amazon and that seems like a fair price compared to the Framemeister. Add the other 5 inputs at $40/each plus the SD card functionality and the all-in-one convenience and you're right up to the price of a Framemeister. Now, if this box cost less than $40 then it's a true bargain! However, if it costs more than $40 then I would say that it's just less money than a Framemeister. Be sure to compare product photos when looking at alternative converters for less money. Many are missing buttons to control resolution and refresh rate.

 

I have this exact same setup for my ST's.(VCANDO SCART to HDMI Converter + Kabelheinz cable )

 

Picture is flawless on my UK STE. The picture on my US 520STFM I get the 'Jail Bars' but picture still is still acceptable. It doesn't work at all for my US 1040ST

 

It's been discussed here before but it doesn't seem to work on ST's with out a modulator - At least US models. But 2 out 3 aint bad.... :music:

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I have this exact same setup for my ST's.(VCANDO SCART to HDMI Converter + Kabelheinz cable )

 

Picture is flawless on my UK STE. The picture on my US 520STFM I get the 'Jail Bars' but picture still is still acceptable. It doesn't work at all for my US 1040ST

 

It's been discussed here before but it doesn't seem to work on ST's with out a modulator - At least US models. But 2 out 3 aint bad.... :music:

 

Interesting note on the modulator. Any idea what makes the modulator essential to operation with a SCART cable? Does the modulator create signal used by the SCART cable?

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Interesting note on the modulator. Any idea what makes the modulator essential to operation with a SCART cable? Does the modulator create signal used by the SCART cable?

Yes, it creates composite sync. signal. What is led to composite video input in case of RGB signal used. The really interesting question is about small circuit what creates it in machines without modulator, better said color encoder:

post-31554-0-71806900-1554275759.png

Is it present in all STs without modulator ? Is it good enough for diverse adapters ?

In my Mega ST it is present, and it works well with SCART cable in RGB mode - with newer Philips flat TV.

So, I can recommend to look for it in ST, because according to schematic it is optional - well should be not present when modulator is stuffed in, but ...

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Posted (edited)

It looks like that circuit would be really easy to add.

 

2 diodes, 3 resistors, and a transistor?

 

Edit: I'm going to look at my 1040 and see if I can add that circuit. I can't quite make out the resistor values, 10K, 100, can't tell what the other is. Two diodes 1N916? One transistor 2N9304?

Edited by Ute

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It looks like that circuit would be really easy to add.

 

2 diodes, 3 resistors, and a transistor?

 

Edit: I'm going to look at my 1040 and see if I can add that circuit. I can't quite make out the resistor values, 10K, 100, can't tell what the other is. Two diodes 1N916? One transistor 2N9304?

 

Are the traces present on the board or will you need to jumper the connections with wire?

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Are the traces present on the board or will you need to jumper the connections with wire?

I'm not sure. I'm actually out of town and won't be able to check for another week.

 

I'm really excited though, I love the idea of being able to use the video converter for all my ST's.

 

I think my motherboard is a C070789 and IIRC I wasn't able to find schematics for it. I suppose I could trace everything back from the J4 monitor connection?

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Posted (edited)

Yes, looks like the final resistor value is 150.

 

I can't wait to try it when I get back.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

I'll keep you guys posted with my findings.

Edited by Ute

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Had this photo sent of where the RF Modulator would have been.

 

Right away I noticed a highly suspect area(Encircled in red) - Room for 2 diodes, 3 resistors, an a single transistor. It looks very promising.

 

I'll have to wait until I get back in town to test it out with my multi-meter. but I'm almost sure this has got to be the area.

post-40949-0-03925700-1554580347_thumb.png

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Posted (edited)

I should have paid more attention to the schematic. All the values match the silk screen. :) :) :)

 

I have to wait until Friday to try it out :sad:

Edited by Ute

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Alright. First I evacuated the motherboard.....

 

A few minutes later I had the components soldered in......

post-40949-0-34698600-1555095150_thumb.png

post-40949-0-17390200-1555095226_thumb.png

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And a few minutes later I tested.....

 

WOW!!! :) :) :)

 

This was the best picture I could capture on my phone. No Jail bars - It's clean, clear, and very crisp, almost perfect.

 

For the amount of money this upgrade is totally worth it. I couldn't be happier with this simple upgrade. Best part is I can connect all of my ST's to this one converter and use a TV - no more special monitors!!!

 

I really want to say thanks to PLM, this was a very cheap and easy upgrade!

 

 

 

 

post-40949-0-35091800-1555095329_thumb.jpg

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I have this exact same setup for my ST's.(VCANDO SCART to HDMI Converter + Kabelheinz cable )

 

Picture is flawless on my UK STE. The picture on my US 520STFM I get the 'Jail Bars' but picture still is still acceptable. It doesn't work at all for my US 1040ST

 

It's been discussed here before but it doesn't seem to work on ST's with out a modulator - At least US models. But 2 out 3 aint bad.... :music:

I have been using this convertor for years with a Mega ST which doesn’t have a modulator. It’s the cable makes the difference.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I wanted to try an OSSC but for some reason had problems finding one.

I think these were in short supply at one stage but in recent months there has been a huge increase in availability (being open source, it appears someone from China is now mass producing them). I picked up a second one from eBay and the quality is as good as the one I got from the UK.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I would recommend watching this comparison video that looks at the Framemeister, OSSC and this generic convertor.

 

https://youtu.be/lHoOKLWIMKU

 

I’ve tried many options and I’ve finally settled on the OSSC.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have been using this convertor for years with a Mega ST which doesn’t have a modulator. It’s the cable makes the difference.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

In this case it's not the cable.

 

As PLM said these little black units need the composite sync signal. Some ST's have the composite sync circuitry and some do not. Quoting PLM from above:

 

In my Mega ST it is present, and it works well with SCART cable in RGB mode - with newer Philips flat TV.

So, I can recommend to look for it in ST, because according to schematic it is optional - well should be not present when modulator is stuffed in, but ...

 

Hence why the VCANDO worked after the composite circuit was added in my 1040ST. :)

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