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Do the Atari XL, C64 and TI99/4A us the same video cable?

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Posted (edited)

Yes. The 800, 800XL, 600XL (US model only?), 65XE, 130XE, VIC-20, C64/128 and TI-99/4A (US model only) will work with the same three wire composite video cable + audio. However once you get into finer details like S-Video, they no longer are equivalent.

Edited by carlsson
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Yes, if you compare all the pins, they are different which matches what I wrote above regarding S-Video etc. But as long as you concentrate on composite video and audio, the same three pins 2 (ground), 3 (audio) and 4 (composite video) are the same. Just like OLD CS1 writes above, if you got a generic lead with four RCA connectors, measure which two ones you need to use and mark those approprietly. Any custom made cable with just two RCA connectors should work.

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3 hours ago, AtariNostalgia said:

The C64, 800 and 99 US seems to have different pinouts in the pic above.

It looks like the 5-pin parts are the same pin-out for audio, video, and ground.  I am actually surprised -- I never looked that closely.

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At one point many years ago, I read that supposedly was called an "American standard" but I don't know if it ever was established as such or if it just happened that someone (Atari for sure, since TI-99/4 didn't have composite video output and the VIC-20 didn't exist in November 1979) designed a pinout that other manufacturers - actually including Spectravideo SVI-318/328 as well - partly happened to follow, just like many just happened to follow Atari's joystick pinout.

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What does it look like on the back side, is there a male 8-pin DIN not showing? I see some kind of spades or jumpers, but not sure what those are. For most part it looks like an advanced adapter so you can use regular RCA cables, splitting up the DIN connector into composite video, S-Video, audio out (which really is mono so it probably just doubles the signal) and the rarely used audio in where you can feed a signal to the SID. Due to the fact it should have 8-pin DIN and that it utilizes both S-Video and even audio input, it makes it exclusive to the C64 and C128. It wouldn't even fit on an Atari or TI.

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Agreed.  Custom-made for the C64/128 with an option for a second SID.  Kind-of nice, really.

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5 hours ago, carlsson said:

At one point many years ago, I read that supposedly was called an "American standard" but I don't know if it ever was established as such or if it just happened that someone (Atari for sure, since TI-99/4 didn't have composite video output and the VIC-20 didn't exist in November 1979) designed a pinout that other manufacturers - actually including Spectravideo SVI-318/328 as well - partly happened to follow, just like many just happened to follow Atari's joystick pinout.

The TI 99/4 has the same video output port as the 99/4A (both are composite video).  The only difference between the 99/4 and 99/4A from a video perspective is the bitmap mode provided by the TMS9918A in the 99/4A that the TMS9918 in the 99/4 does not have.  But the cables are quite interchangeable between them.  

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Oh, cool! I thought the 9918A revision added the composite video output, but perhaps that never was part of the chip itself but additional circuitry inside the computer. As you know, the European 99/4A doesn't have this, instead it outputs the Y, B-Y, R-Y from the chip itself on a 6-pin DIN.

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12 hours ago, carlsson said:

Oh, cool! I thought the 9918A revision added the composite video output, but perhaps that never was part of the chip itself but additional circuitry inside the computer. As you know, the European 99/4A doesn't have this, instead it outputs the Y, B-Y, R-Y from the chip itself on a 6-pin DIN.

The European consoles use the 9928A 9929A (PAL sibling of the 9928A,) which outputs component-like video signals.  They are not in the exact same color space as component, though.  I have spent some time trying to coax the 9928A to produce signals which I can use on monitors other than composite with no luck.  I also learned a lot more about video signals, color spaces, etc. than I will ever use in my life.  I have slept since then, thankfully.

 

Without dragging this too far off topic, as an exercise for the reader, check out exactly what the Y,B-Y, and R-Y signals mean -- NO GREEN!  Yup, the green component is inferred from the three signals.

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9929A probably since that one is 50 Hz. :) But yes, it is off topic for this discussion.

 

Interesting though that the TI-99/4 was released in June (?) 1979 and the Atari 800 in November 1979. Obviously Atari would have most of the layout done by June so they could not partially change their video pinout as per what TI just did, which makes me wonder if there was another system that offered video + audio ahead of both of those, or at least some implicit standard set. To compare with the joystick ports, the Atari VCS from September 1977 obviously had a different pinout and functions than the Fairchild Channel F from late 1976, and the TI-99/4 yet again went with a different pinout that supports two joysticks in one connector.

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The TRS-80 Model 1 has a 5-pin DIN where it uses pin 4 for composite video, but also pin 5 for ground, at the same time it has 5V at pin 1, so no match.

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4 hours ago, carlsson said:

9929A probably since that one is 50 Hz.

Oops.  Fixed :)

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14 minutes ago, AtariNostalgia said:

Is using a 5 pin DIN okay?

Short answer, yes.  The 5-pin DIN profile matches its counterparts in the 8-pin DIN sockets.

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Unless you join two RCA connectors, you wouldn't fry anything but possibly your TV/monitor if you plug in a 12V source in the connector for composite video which normally is 0.7 - 1.0V.

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All these years I've just been willy-nilly plugging in the wires for my ti99 until I got sound and video as I never got around to labeling them. Today I found out that the AV cable I've been using for the past while is one of those universal ones, and one of them was the 12V line. It is now  wrapped up with electrical tape.

 

I'm surprised I never fried anything ....

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4 hours ago, fimbulvetr said:

All these years I've just been willy-nilly plugging in the wires for my ti99 until I got sound and video as I never got around to labeling them. Today I found out that the AV cable I've been using for the past while is one of those universal ones, and one of them was the 12V line. It is now  wrapped up with electrical tape.

 

I'm surprised I never fried anything ....

I'm surprised I never electrocuted myself, although 12 V isn't that high. I had made my own AV cable that I used on the 800xl, and 2 days ago tried it with my bare hands on the 99!

Now, I ordered one from ebay, but who knows when it will arrive with covid 19...

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