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monzamess

My 130XE video is gross (Super Video 2.0 vs UAV)

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Hello experts, 

 

I have a 130XE with the Super Video 2.0 mod, at least I'm pretty sure. I bought it with the mod already performed, and comparing the mod instructions to what's actually on the motherboard, it appears the mod was performed properly.

 

I also just obtained a 600XL with a UAV installed and didn't realize what I was missing. 

 

I tried both computers connected to a Dell 2001FP LCD monitor using an S-video cable from 8bitclassics.com. 

 

The 130XE image has vertical bars consistently across the screen, and low-ish contrast.

Side note: On a Sony Trinitron (also S-video), the bars go away but the image is still pretty soft/low-contrast.

Side question: Is this what the UAV manual is talking about when it states "Video power and ground are often shared with very noisy components like DRAM and this causes vertical bars to appear in the picture" ?

 

The 600XL image in comparison is gorgeous with no bars and better contrast and sharpness.

 

I've attached pictures of both.

 

EDIT: These are US / NTSC models. 

 

Are there any simple mods I can do to the 130XE video to further clean it up? Or do I just need to get UAV for it as well? (assuming I don't want to delve into the world of RGB/VGA/etc).

 

Thanks!

 

 

supervid 130xe.jpg

uav 600xl.jpg

Edited by monzamess

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I have a 130XE and it also has the vertical bar issue on modern TVs.  I've tried a few scan converters but they don't help and it costs too much money to keep buying different models to try out.  I only want one Atari in the house, and if I were to do it over again I would go with a 600XL or 800XL.

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1 hour ago, monzamess said:

Side question: Is this what the UAV manual is talking about when it states "Video power and ground are often shared with very noisy components like DRAM and this causes vertical bars to appear in the picture" ?

Yes, and some models are much worse about it than others. Unfortunately, the issue is often noise in the Atari's own ground plane, which is almost impossible to remove. In my experience, the 130XE is afflicted with this the worse, with the 1200XL not too terribly far behind. Even with a UAV, you may get some of the same faint jailbars, depending on the minor variations in component tolerance, age, any noise in the power supply itself, etc. And as you've already determined, the type and quality of your display and even the cable used can affect the apparent visibility of the effect.

 

It's sad, but the cleanest "Atari" computer video I've seen with my own eyes are the UAV outputs from my 1088XEL and 1088XLD machines which I built myself. @mytek did an amazing job ensuring that the ground planes on those designs are utterly noise-free, and the video outputs show it. 

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I never had great improvement with the Super Video mod on any 130XE that I tried (vs stock).  And it's a fair amount of work! OTOH, I've always had good success with UAV.  From your pics, your video doesn't look bad to me, but if it bothers you, I'd definitely try UAV. I think you will see a modest improvement.

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Thanks everyone for your perspectives. In reading prior threads about video quality and comparing images, it's hard to really grasp the fine differences. I mean, yeah, RF vs Composite vs Chroma/Luma is easy to tell, but with these finer differences within variations of Chroma/Luma, it didn't hit me how different the machines & upgrades could be until I saw them back-to-back in person.

 

 

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I don't have any video mods in my machines, however there is a marked difference between my 800 and my 130XE

when connected either by Composite or S-Video I have to make significant adjustments when I switch between

machines on my monitor, the 800 has the best of the two.

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I just got a 130XE (see other 130xe thread ;) ), and I see the same thing when using S-Video. I was hoping there was something simple I could try. The S-Video on my 800xl and 800's are much better.

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super video mod and a number of cables... you would be surprised what different cables do... some appear robust and you'll think they'll be great... until you hook them up, others appear chincey and thin... you hook it up and it looks great. Cables really do matter.

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Can I suggest post #12.  Without seeing your machines I'm making the assumption that all of our XE's left the factory in a similar incomplete state.

 

I tried it and my XE's output was improved.

 

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The video cable can be the weak link that greatly contributes to the jail bars. I was battling a similar issue just recently on a prototype system I'm working on, until I decided to take apart the DIN-5 end of my 8-Bit Classics Atari to s-video cable.

 

DSC00025.JPG

 

To my dismay I discovered that the s-video signals are sharing a common shielded cable with both the luma and chroma lines being in direct contact (insulation to insulation). This allows the chroma to bleed into the luma, and thus produces the vertical lines in the display. The blue and yellow wires should be individually shielded.

 

DSC00027.JPG

 

After I built my own cable from scratch insuring that I used individual coax for each signal, the bars completely went away :) .

 

BTW, this is really more of an LCD monitor issue, and not something that normally affects CRTs.

 

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Oh! Almost ordered this 8-Bit Classics cable, based on your recommendation in another thread:

On 17 lipiec 2020 at 10:56 PM, mytek said:

The Lotharek cable appears to be suffering from cross talk issues between the Luma and Chroma signals, causing banding (vertical lines) on screen. Whereas the 8-Bit Classics cable rendered a flawless video display.

 

I'm guessing that a common shield was being used for all of the signal lines on the Lotharek cable, instead of individual shielding that the 8-Bit Classics must be using.

The issue with Lotharek's cable must be thinner wires then?

If someone could dismantle its plug to confirm, that would be nice ;) :D

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Yeah I remembered posting that recommendation, but I'm glad I caught the problem with it fairly quick and was able to help you out. I should probably also find that other thread and point to what I discovered. Edit: you provided that link in your post - thanks :)

 

Since the Lotharek cable was even worse, I suspect that only one shield is present surrounding all the video signals including the composite. So that would mean twice the chance of bleeding chroma into the luma. When I get a chance I'll disassemble the DIN-5 side to verify.

 

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