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mamejay

Atari 800XL French. Any better AV options or mods?

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Hi Team,

I managed to get a Atari 800XL from France recently.  I live in Australia and all our equipment here supports all standards.

I am disappointed with the quality of the output and was wondering if there is any AV/SVideo mod for the French models?

There is not much information out there on these and was hoping there may be some French or European users here that know if any mods that can be performed.

Thanks

 

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I believe the French standard is called SECAM, can't find the 800XL version of the circuit diagram, but assuming the 130XE has similar circuitry

it appears that the video connector on SECAM has 6 pins, does yours have 6 ? normally it's 5 pin

 

This is the 130XE SECAM Video circuitry

 

image.thumb.png.15cd18a3a39886cd8ea61d9762d64796.png

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2 hours ago, TGB1718 said:

I believe the French standard is called SECAM

Yes you´re right, it´s SECAM.

I´ve a 130XE SECAM version too in my collection.

 

For a proper Video-Out I made myself a custom AV-cable (using Pin4, Pin5 and Pin2).

 

Important:

The monitor plug isn´t the same like in PAL/NTSC XL/XE machines.


You need a MAS 60 DIN connector like this one: (see picture)

 

Another disadvantage of the SECAM ATARI´s is, that they are only able to display 128 colors...

 

Gtx.,

andY
 

 

MAS_60.png

Edited by andymanone
Typo

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8 hours ago, TGB1718 said:

I believe the French standard is called SECAM, can't find the 800XL version of the circuit diagram, but assuming the 130XE has similar circuitry

it appears that the video connector on SECAM has 6 pins, does yours have 6 ? normally it's 5 pin

 

This is the 130XE SECAM Video circuitry

 

image.thumb.png.15cd18a3a39886cd8ea61d9762d64796.png

Yes it has a 6 pin din connector.  I have already made up a composite cable for it but just not happy with the quality.

Do you have the rest of the SECAM schematic?

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Is SECAM really 128 colours?  I thought I remember reading somewhere, that the SECAM 2600 could only do 8 colours.  I assumed the computer line was the same.

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9 hours ago, Stephen said:

Is SECAM really 128 colours?  I thought I remember reading somewhere, that the SECAM 2600 could only do 8 colours.  I assumed the computer line was the same

ATARI used in the XL/XE SECAM Line a modified GTIA (a so called FGTIA - C020120)....

But I´ve correct myself 😉, the FGTIA brings up to 120 colors (15 colors x 8 intensity levels).

 

Gtx.,

andY

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@mamejay

 

The ATARI 800XLF Secam Rose (which is the one you have) can produce up to 256 colors if you install the SOPHIA upgrade from ATARI Age user Simius.

 

I think only the Rev.B of the SOPHIA upgrade is available in Secam. It's a special order so you'd have to contact Simius directly.

 

Note that the picture quality with the Secam Sophia upgrade is nothing short of phenomenal.

 

A couple of tidbits: 1) your French ATARI 800XL contains the Freddie chip hence its 800XLF designation. 2) there is a French speaking group on facebook which contains major info about how to upgrade the video quality of the Secam XL/XE's if you cannot get a Sophia.

 

Here's the link (they speak English too): https://www.facebook.com/groups/957320864626817/

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Great news😎,

 

I was sure, but to be absolutely sure,

I was asking Bryan again, for the use of "UAV" in a SECAM XL/XE, and he agreed  👍

 

His answer you´ll find here:

 

"You had asked if the UAV would work in a SECAM 130XE and the answer is “Yes, it will work in all Atari computers regardless of PAL/NTSC/SECAM.”

 

 

->    The Brewing Academy - UAV XL/XE

 

 

Gtx.,

andY

 

 

 

Edited by andymanone
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@andymanone

 

Thank you for reaching out to Bryan! I'm glad to hear that the UAV is now working in Secam systems (this contradicts what I heard from Bryan eons ago but maybe the UAV has evolved sufficiently).

 

As a sidenote, only the SOPHIA will give you the full range of colors but nothing prevents you from having 2 video outs: (1) Composite or Chroma enabled, (2) Sophia.

 

BTW- I posted pictures of the XEGS secam a long time ago on this board as French models can sometimes be full of surprises.

 

The XEGS secam for instance offers video mirroring in its stock model having both a monitor out and a standard video composite out.

 

Also, the French 800XLF secam rose is quite common in France and, not only does it contain the Freddie chip, it can (most often) be found for less money than a regular PAL 800XL on Ebay UK.

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If you don't want to make your own 6-pin secam video cable, you can get it from Spain.

 

I bought quite a few from this store and they are of good quality for the price (€5,99 each).

 

http://retrocables.es/tienda/index.php?id_product=178&controller=product&id_lang=4

 

And if go for a secam sophia, a regular sophia cable (B Rev) will do.

 

https://coolnovelties.co.uk/coolnovelties/atari-800-1200-65xe-130xe/307-atari-sophia-rgb-mod-board-revision-b-to-scart-cable-0705693506395.html?

Edited by abbotkinneydude
added sophia cable info
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Thanks everyone for the comments.  This has helped heaps.

I contacted The Brewing Company but never received a reply so its great that andymanone managed to get in contact with them.

I think I will go down the UAV route for now as its the cheapest and easiest to come by.  If i hear back about the Sophia I would love to grab one of those also.

 

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16 hours ago, abbotkinneydude said:

@mamejay

 

The ATARI 800XLF Secam Rose (which is the one you have) can produce up to 256 colors if you install the SOPHIA upgrade from ATARI Age user Simius.

 

I think only the Rev.B of the SOPHIA upgrade is available in Secam. It's a special order so you'd have to contact Simius directly.

 

Note that the picture quality with the Secam Sophia upgrade is nothing short of phenomenal.

 

A couple of tidbits: 1) your French ATARI 800XL contains the Freddie chip hence its 800XLF designation. 2) there is a French speaking group on facebook which contains major info about how to upgrade the video quality of the Secam XL/XE's if you cannot get a Sophia.

 

Here's the link (they speak English too): https://www.facebook.com/groups/957320864626817/

I took your advise and ordered a Sophia.  Can't wait now.  Would like to see how others have mounted the device

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One more question about the 800XL SECAM: What is the function of the switch right to the monitor connector with the title SWITCH BOX?

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Thanx for the fast answer!

Does it just switch composite from black/white to color or does it switch composite to lumina?

On a PAL 800XL at this position the HF modulator is placed. Does it mean the SECAM 800XL in general does not have a HF modulator?

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4 minutes ago, janzh said:

Thanx for the fast answer!

Does it just switch composite from black/white to color or does it switch composite to lumina?

On a PAL 800XL at this position the HF modulator is placed. Does it mean the SECAM 800XL in general does not have a HF modulator?

 

The switch enables/disables the color generation. So if you set the switch to "no color", a multi-norm TV will switch to "PAL". If color enabled, it will switch to "SECAM".  SECAM Atari computers always have no RF modulator.

 

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