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1200XL M.U.L.E.

Will do 1200XL SIO mod this week - anything else simple?

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Following my question on a printer solution, I decided to try implementing the 1200XL SIO modification where R63 is essentially replaced with a 0 Ohm jumper/wire. I ordered some axial 0 Ohm resistors last night that should arrive this week. 

 

Are there any other relatively simple modifications in the same spirit that I could implement while the computer is cracked open? Jumper "this" to "that"?

 

I was thinking of removing the RF modulator to get some space for potential future upgrades but maybe better to leave this alone for now?

 

Thank you.

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Add the chroma output to the monitor jack.  The problem is I've seen at least 3 versions of where to tap that line, so I'm not sure off the top of my head which is the correct one:

 

"Run a wire from the left side of R186 to the empty pin on the video connector (J2)."

"Add a wire from R44 (either side) to pin 5 of J2."

"Add a wire from the junction of R27 and C61 to J2-5 (the empty pin on the video DIN connector)"

 

let's wait for the folks to chime in.

 

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I may get some static for this, but here goes.  In my opinion, the max memory expansion really needed is 256K.  The Rambo XL, originally by ICD, is one of the simplest RAM upgrades there is.  Dropcheck (search here on this site) sells re-imaged, brand new, Rambo XLs for a very reasonable price.  Some will say a Meg RAM upgrade is best.  But, if every one was really honest, our computer is really limited to accessing 64K at any one time. The extremely limited software available that takes advantage of that much RAM, which is only used as banked ram, makes a Meg RAM upgrade (again, IMO) overkill to the max.  Even with 256K, you'll not use it much.  I works great with a 256K-upgraded Atariwriter Plus word processor, it allows for larger document files.  It will allow programs like Gigablast to play along with the full music playing in the background.  It will allow for some demos to play that take advantage of the extra RAM to sequentially load data (picture captures, music, etc.). 

 

Please don't get carried away and Frankenstein the thing.  Removing the resistor and replacing it with the jumper makes perfect sense to power up the SIO port.  Atari should have never put that resistor there in the first place.  And remember, opening and closing your 1200XL multiple times stresses the mylar keyboard ribbon cable (wears the contact fingers out).

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Add Junction of R45 & C61. 

 

Four places to pick off CHROMA on the 1200XL. This really only has an effect if you are running s-video (LUMA and CHROMA). Normally, people are just using one 1200XL (and maybe other Atari 8-bits) so you can just try each connection and pick the best one for your setup. Beware of crummy cables & don't expect modern LCDs to be completely happy with the weird video our Ataris put out.

 

Bob

 

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modern sets aren't happy with some old dvd player, vcr's, game systems, computers, visualizers... the problem isn't all of those old things... it's crappy lcd tv's and their firmware... not decoding and doing all the things even the cheapest tv set did back in the day...

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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

 

It seems like the recommendations so far are related to improving video out. Is that right? I have a UAV in my 1200XL and I am running a S-Video signals to an old plasma TV. The video quality is very good.

 

Maybe for those that don't have a UAV these suggestions would be a good way to go? Or, can some of these modifications work with a UAV?

 

I wanted to address the post by @gilsaluki.

4 hours ago, gilsaluki said:

I may get some static for this, but here goes.  In my opinion, the max memory expansion really needed is 256K.  The Rambo XL, originally by ICD, is one of the simplest RAM upgrades there is.  Dropcheck (search here on this site) sells re-imaged, brand new, Rambo XLs for a very reasonable price.  Some will say a Meg RAM upgrade is best.  But, if every one was really honest, our computer is really limited to accessing 64K at any one time. The extremely limited software available that takes advantage of that much RAM, which is only used as banked ram, makes a Meg RAM upgrade (again, IMO) overkill to the max.  Even with 256K, you'll not use it much.  I works great with a 256K-upgraded Atariwriter Plus word processor, it allows for larger document files.  It will allow programs like Gigablast to play along with the full music playing in the background.  It will allow for some demos to play that take advantage of the extra RAM to sequentially load data (picture captures, music, etc.). 

 

Please don't get carried away and Frankenstein the thing.  Removing the resistor and replacing it with the jumper makes perfect sense to power up the SIO port.  Atari should have never put that resistor there in the first place.  And remember, opening and closing your 1200XL multiple times stresses the mylar keyboard ribbon cable (wears the contact fingers out).

I have been thinking about some sort of RAM or OS upgrade but am not sure which way to go. That is beyond this thread since that is a lot more than add a jumper or two. I'll start another thread on this.

 

I don't feel any desire to Frankenstein my 1200XL. No internal lights, storage, stereo output, etc. At some point the computer is so modified that it's no longer a 1200XL and the experience wouldn't be the same for me. 

 

Maybe some sort of internal HDMI output circuit one day but that day is not today.

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Here's a personal favorite.  If your not going to use the RF channel 3/4 output anymore, try this simple OS upgrade.

 

D01-9972042

Image of SIP socket.  Just clip off pairs (2 pins per set) and add to end of existing 24 socket to make it a 28 pin socket without having to remove the original 24 pin socket.

 

Edited by ACML
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@ACML That's very clever!

 

Adding a pair of 2-pin SIP socket pins to each ROM socket is much less tedious than swapping out the 24-pin sockets for 28-pin sockets. I can't remember which sockets I have in my 1200XL but I will order some SIP sockets just in case so I am ready.

 

I also like your idea of installing a switch in place of the RF output jack. Use what you have vs. hack the case.

 

My only hesitation is in me wondering if I would ever install a 32-in-1 OS upgrade from AtariMax or Ultimate 1MB upgrade from The Brewing Academy. Aren't those two OS versions included in those upgrades?

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