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We all may agree at this point that a good and concise guide on how to get your Atari/monitor combination adjusted is necessary (for both NTSC and PAL).

 

I have read hundreds of posts and I am still not sure what I am doing (the part with the colorbars in SALT is easy and clear)  but the rest is not clear. I have downloaded and run all those little tool for producing colors and have tried to get a good result, and I am fine, I guess with the results, but also a bit "neurotic".

 

For example, while measing with the HUE i can get the blue in the star raiders , but then I discovered that the blue is not correct when dealing with PAL system... or the red in the sound self test (and Joust) is more like pink in PAL, and I guess that's OK... but what about the flags program? it should be OK in PAL?  Is it correct to have the B row that green or the C row with ot without pink... etc.

 

Edited by manterola

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Thanks for sharing these excellent photos tschak99! I've been on the fence about buying one of these and this nudges me over the fence. My UAV modded 800XL should love this. :) 

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5 hours ago, tschak909 said:

it is DEFINITELY not the Retrotink, my 1200XL is generating this. but why?

May be bad GTIA, the so called "GTIA bug type 2".

 

1) Good:

 

http://atariki.krap.pl/images/d/d4/Sysinfo-gtia_test.png

 

2) Bad:

 

GTIAbug2_small.png

Edited by drac030
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4 hours ago, manterola said:

We all may agree at this point that a good and concise guide on how to get your Atari/monitor combination adjusted is necessary (for both NTSC and PAL).

 

I have read hundreds of posts and I am still not sure what I am doing (the part with the colorbars in SALT is easy and clear)  but the rest is not clear. I have downloaded and run all those little tool for producing colors and have tried to get a good result, and I am fine, I guess with the results, but also a bit "neurotic".

 

For example, while measing with the HUE i can get the blue in the star raiders , but then I discovered that the blue is not correct when dealing with PAL system... or the red in the sound self test (and Joust) is more like pink in PAL, and I guess that's OK... but what about the flags program? it should be OK in PAL?  Is it correct to have the B row that green or the C row with ot without pink... etc.

 

After many moons, many tests, looking at a trillion illustrations, catalogs, brochures, searching for visual clues, testing with National Flags title, etc., all roads ended up here for me:

 

  1. This is for NTSC-standard users (there will not be a common / same adjustment for PAL).
  2. Power up monitor and Atari and leave warming up for at least 3 hours (minimum convergence time for GTIA drift).
  3. Load ACP.XEX posted above here or (for even more precise tuning) COLORMAP.COM from Altirra's Additions disk (comes inside Altirra SW package).
  4. Check #1:
    • Verify that Hue Band $10 (the first one below top gray bar on color chart) is GOLD-color (NOT chicken-yellow or yellow-greenish).
    •  If NOT golden, proceed with RETARDING HUE or PHASE on your CRT/TV or Video Processor, until such color band is GOLD.
    •  Once completed, you will never need again to adjust HUE / PHASE.
  5. Check #2:
    •  Verify that Hue Band $A0 (Star Raiders shields) appears DARK, GRAYISH-BLUE or with a very MINOR hint of green.
    •  IF NOT showing as such, then proceed and adjust Atari's COLOR POT until such color is precisely displayed.
    •  NOTE: perform this step, while, simultaneously overseeing Check #3.
  6. Check #3:
    •  For this step, it is necessary to run COLORMAP utility as mentioned above.
    •  While performing Check #2, verify that Hue Band $F0 (prior-to-last one on COLORMAP) appears DIFFERENT than the very next below it (last one).
    •  This will ensure you get 256 colors, without overshooting your hue ramp.
    •  Your resulting hue on $F0 will be relatively close (but behind) $10 band (GOLD), if you look at it circularly, which is how it should be.
    •  If you end up in an orangish / yellowish tone, you will OVERSHOOT the ramp, and $A0 will be compressed to GREEN, which is wrong.

Feel free now to tests the following key titles for accuracy:

 

  1. Star Raiders (shields).
  2. SCRAM
  3. Atari Timewise (plenty of printed material to compare)
  4. My First Alphabet, 1st version. Check Background on W and P letters. Z-letter will test greens and A-Letter will test reds. 
  5. Intro-screen of ALL Lucas Films titles (should appear dark RUST / REDDISH, and  NEVER green).
  6. Last but not least (and most importantly) NATIONAL FLAGS, because many flags there have not change much (or at all), and that is solid evidence of what the colors should have always been, since then.

 

Enjoy!

Edited by Faicuai
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35 minutes ago, drac030 said:

May be bad GTIA, the so called "GTIA bug type 2".

 

1) Good:

 

http://atariki.krap.pl/images/d/d4/Sysinfo-gtia_test.png

 

2) Bad:

 

GTIAbug2_small.png

What test program is this? I'm curious to see if this is indeed the issue I am seeing.

-Thom

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I'm getting a replacement GTIA and seeing if this issue goes away. (THANK JEEBUS THAT MY 1200XL HAS SOCKETS) :)

-Thom

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49 minutes ago, tschak909 said:

What test program is this? I'm curious to see if this is indeed the issue I am seeing.

-Thom

That's System Informatiion... A mandatory inclusion in your arsenal.

 

Not just informative, but loaded with neat benchmarks and performance tests for plenty of system's areas.

 

Attached is v2.24, load from SDX prompt with "X" command, to clear $A000-$BFFF space for it.

 

si224.com

Edited by Faicuai

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So, for 8-bit output, I know artifacting was used to good effect in some titles. Am I correct in saying that artifacting is only really seen in composite or RF signals? Would it be present in an S-Video signal?

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11 minutes ago, bfollowell said:

So, for 8-bit output, I know artifacting was used to good effect in some titles. Am I correct in saying that artifacting is only really seen in composite or RF signals? Would it be present in an S-Video signal?

Nope.

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OK, didn't think so. Just making sure I understood.

 

So, I have a 1088XEL about 75% complete. It has a UAV and Sophia DVI output, and will also have VBXE once shipping from Poland starts back up and Lotharek can get it to me. I figure I'll use the VBXE or Sophia for most everything except those titles that really need the artifacting, and I'll use UAV for those. I may have to look into a RetroTink for that.

 

Thanks for the excellent writeup and pictures of it in action!

 

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6 hours ago, tschak909 said:

@to everyone in this thread: thank you for helping me discover that my GTIA was indeed bad. :)

 

-Thom

I think this is the 1st time I've ever seen that GTIA bug in a non PAL machine (most 800 XEs had the bad GTIA).

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12 minutes ago, Stephen said:

I think this is the 1st time I've ever seen that GTIA bug in a non PAL machine (most 800 XEs had the bad GTIA)

That is not the same bug. That what you mean is "type 1", pretty much always bad display in GTIA modes plus ugly highres. GTIAs produced in 1990-1991 probably all have this. It is fixable in hardware.

 

This one is "type 2". Bad display only when a program switches modes in the middle of a scanline. GTIAs of any production date may exhibit this. It is fixable in hardware too (and the fix is different than for the type 1).

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39 minutes ago, drac030 said:

That is not the same bug. That what you mean is "type 1", pretty much always bad display in GTIA modes plus ugly highres. GTIAs produced in 1990-1991 probably all have this. It is fixable in hardware.

 

This one is "type 2". Bad display only when a program switches modes in the middle of a scanline. GTIAs of any production date may exhibit this. It is fixable in hardware too (and the fix is different than for the type 1).

I long wanted a step by step detection and identification followed by the fixes on this subject, the number of machines and chips trashed over this fixable situation has been a point of contention. Someone meticulous could write it up and get it stickied across the forums in all languages. Perhaps with the software used to identify it included etc.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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2 hours ago, drac030 said:

That is not the same bug. That what you mean is "type 1", pretty much always bad display in GTIA modes plus ugly highres. GTIAs produced in 1990-1991 probably all have this. It is fixable in hardware.

 

This one is "type 2". Bad display only when a program switches modes in the middle of a scanline. GTIAs of any production date may exhibit this. It is fixable in hardware too (and the fix is different than for the type 1).

Thanks.  Had an 8-bit since 1982 and am still learning new stuff all the time.  Fascinating little machines they are!

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7 hours ago, drac030 said:

That is not the same bug. That what you mean is "type 1", pretty much always bad display in GTIA modes plus ugly highres. GTIAs produced in 1990-1991 probably all have this. It is fixable in hardware.

 

This one is "type 2". Bad display only when a program switches modes in the middle of a scanline. GTIAs of any production date may exhibit this. It is fixable in hardware too (and the fix is different than for the type 1).

I got a replacement GTIA that I'll slap in the socket, will that fix this issue?

-Thom

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13 minutes ago, tschak909 said:

I got a replacement GTIA that I'll slap in the socket, will that fix this issue?

-Thom

Yeah - the hardware fix previously mentioned, is additional hardware that can be used to fix the "defective" GTIA in-situ.

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On 4/9/2020 at 1:14 PM, tschak909 said:

it is DEFINITELY not the Retrotink, my 1200XL is generating this. but why?

-Thom

Firstly, damn you for making me order one.

Secondly, I'll give it a shot on my 1200XL with it's newly installed SuperVideo 2.1 mod and report back when it arrives.

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22 hours ago, Faicuai said:

After many moons, many tests, looking at a trillion illustrations, catalogs, brochures, searching for visual clues, testing with National Flags title, etc., all roads ended up here for me:

 

  1. This is for NTSC-standard users (there will not be a common / same adjustment for PAL).
  2. Power up monitor and Atari and leave warming up for at least 3 hours (minimum convergence time for GTIA drift).
  3. Load ACP.XEX posted above here or (for even more precise tuning) COLORMAP.COM from Altirra's Additions disk (comes inside Altirra SW package).
  4. Check #1:
    • Verify that Hue Band $10 (the first one below top gray bar on color chart) is GOLD-color (NOT chicken-yellow or yellow-greenish).
    •  If NOT golden, proceed with RETARDING HUE or PHASE on your CRT/TV or Video Processor, until such color band is GOLD.
    •  Once completed, you will never need again to adjust HUE / PHASE.
  5. Check #2:
    •  Verify that Hue Band $A0 (Star Raiders shields) appears DARK, GRAYISH-BLUE or with a very MINOR hint of green.
    •  IF NOT showing as such, then proceed and adjust Atari's COLOR POT until such color is precisely displayed.
    •  NOTE: perform this step, while, simultaneously overseeing Check #3.
  6. Check #3:
    •  For this step, it is necessary to run COLORMAP utility as mentioned above.
    •  While performing Check #2, verify that Hue Band $F0 (prior-to-last one on COLORMAP) appears DIFFERENT than the very next below it (last one).
    •  This will ensure you get 256 colors, without overshooting your hue ramp.
    •  Your resulting hue on $F0 will be relatively close (but behind) $10 band (GOLD), if you look at it circularly, which is how it should be.
    •  If you end up in an orangish / yellowish tone, you will OVERSHOOT the ramp, and $A0 will be compressed to GREEN, which is wrong.

Feel free now to tests the following key titles for accuracy:

 

  1. Star Raiders (shields).
  2. SCRAM
  3. Atari Timewise (plenty of printed material to compare)
  4. My First Alphabet, 1st version. Check Background on W and P letters. Z-letter will test greens and A-Letter will test reds. 
  5. Intro-screen of ALL Lucas Films titles (should appear dark RUST / REDDISH, and  NEVER green).
  6. Last but not least (and most importantly) NATIONAL FLAGS, because many flags there have not change much (or at all), and that is solid evidence of what the colors should have always been, since then.

 

Enjoy!

You know what would be cool, though maybe I'm one of the few really anal about colors, is get a color calibration PDF made where you can hold it up to a screen to check the various colors.  Unfortunately it'd require a color calibrated printer to really get everything 100% accurate.  Also would be awesome if we had a one stop shop for all the tools used for this, like a floppy image/xex file that boots to a menu with the ACP, COLORMAP, Sys info, etc.

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somebody want to put this together? :) (I'm in the middle of writing the UDP code for the N: device for #FujiNet)

 

-Thom

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6 minutes ago, tschak909 said:

somebody want to put this together? :) (I'm in the middle of writing the UDP code for the N: device for #FujiNet)

 

-Thom

That reminds me, I have the parts I think to build me one of those, I should work on it soon.  Granted I'm going to print up my own SIO connector instead of destroying one like I've seen others do!

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I received my RetroTink 2x pro today in the mail.  I'm hooking up an original stock later model 48k 800 (not xl/xe)  via a composite cable to the retrotink to a hdmi input on a Samsung tv.  I had problems like others have mentioned with the video cutting out and blanking for a few seconds whenever there was too much 'action' on the screen.  (explosions in Defender, warp in Star Raiders, Jumping in Miner 2049er)  I would consistently get it turning on and off.  I tried flashing the update for the 1.2 version of the software on the device, and this seemed to fix it, the picture is great!  I've never seen it look so good.  I've ordered the composite/s-video cable and I'll see what that looks like when I get it.  The picture is great so far.  I just wanted to put the info out there so if anybody else is frustrated maybe they'll see this post.  The picture is amazing, fyi.  I'm not a fan of the smoothing mode, it looks weird, but the 'regular' mode is really clear.

Edited by stuarts
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On 4/13/2020 at 10:12 PM, stuarts said:

I received my RetroTink 2x pro today in the mail.  I'm hooking up an original stock later model 48k 800 (not xl/xe)  via a composite cable to the retrotink to a hdmi input on a Samsung tv.  I had problems like others have mentioned with the video cutting out and blanking for a few seconds whenever there was too much 'action' on the screen.  (explosions in Defender, warp in Star Raiders, Jumping in Miner 2049er)  I would consistently get it turning on and off.  I tried flashing the update for the 1.2 version of the software on the device, and this seemed to fix it, the picture is great!  I've never seen it look so good.  I've ordered the composite/s-video cable and I'll see what that looks like when I get it.  The picture is great so far.  I just wanted to put the info out there so if anybody else is frustrated maybe they'll see this post.  The picture is amazing, fyi.  I'm not a fan of the smoothing mode, it looks weird, but the 'regular' mode is really clear.

Can you try Space Harrier and Warhawk?  The 2011 Space Harrior's title screen is completely buggered (after the firmware update still), the 2018 one looks much better though.  But Warhawk is completely jacked.  Though I'm thinking that might be my 1200xl.

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