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Justin Payne

Please confirm I'm not missing some planned 1200xl fixes

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Hey all,

 

I have a 1200xl that I repaired the keyboard but while I have it open I thought I might make a few other suggested fixes. I went through several meandering forum discussions¬†ūüėȬ†and here is my take-away. Please correct and clarify if I'm off base.

 

SIO 5+ fix

It appears that I need to remove R63 and replace with either a jumper or a 0 ohm resistor. Not sure which is a better choice.


Improve video

Since I don't want to lose the ability to play games that depend on artifacting (Ex: The Ultima series), it appears that Ultimate Atari Video(UAV) is the best choice for this. My only concern is the DRAM refresh line image. I see that revision D does a good job of eliminating most of this issue but I'd rather not see any of those sort of stuff on the screen. It is my understanding that if I go with the Sophia, ClearPic 2002, or SuperVideo 2.1, artifacting will not be available to me. Is this correct?

ROM upgrade

I see there is the 32 in 1 (AtariMax) and the U1MB as ROM upgrade options or just getting someone to burn Rev 11 1200XL to give myself a bit more compatibility. Now, I do have a XLBoss in my 800xl that I'll be removing but I suspect that this isn't something that would work in a 1200xl. If it will, would it be enough to up the compatibility enough to play most games.

 

Seeing that this isn't my only Atari Computer, having total compatibility isn't super important so I'm mostly just interested in a bit a fit-and-finish before closing up the case and am looking for a few suggestsions.

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1 hour ago, Justin Payne said:

SIO 5+ fix

 

It appears that I need to remove R63 and replace with either a jumper or a 0 ohm resistor. Not sure which is a better choice.

Ultimately, it's the same difference.  Mine has a jumper wire and works fine.

Quote

Improve video

Since I don't want to lose the ability to play games that depend on artifacting (Ex: The Ultima series), it appears that Ultimate Atari Video(UAV) is the best choice for this.

I'm also running a UAV in mine, and will give it two thumbs-up.

 

Recommended since you're in there anyway: replace the 74LS08 with a 74F08.  It should be socketed, so next to no effort to do it should be required.  The chip is also dirt-cheap - under $1 when I ordered mine a month or so ago.

 

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i installed a U1MB to also get the ROM slots but the Antonia also gives RAM and ROM upgrades

a 0 ohm resistor is just the same as a jumper wire, it just looks in keeping with other local components

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6 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Recommended since you're in there anyway: replace the 74LS08 with a 74F08.  It should be socketed, so next to no effort to do it should be required.  The chip is also dirt-cheap - under $1 when I ordered mine a month or so ago.

 

What's the purpose of this upgrade to the 74LS08?

 

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8 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Ultimately, it's the same difference.  Mine has a jumper wire and works fine.

I'm also running a UAV in mine, and will give it two thumbs-up.

 

Recommended since you're in there anyway: replace the 74LS08 with a 74F08.  It should be socketed, so next to no effort to do it should be required.  The chip is also dirt-cheap - under $1 when I ordered mine a month or so ago.

 

Sweet! Thanks for that. Yeah, I can get a zero ohm resistor for like 10 cents but good to know about the jumper wire.

I'm actually putting together a parts list for some other things and I want to have a BOM whose price exceeds the shipping cost so adding the socket and the 74F08 on there will help that. 

 

As far as the UAV? No "jailbar" lines?

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2 minutes ago, cx2k said:

What's the purpose of this upgrade to the 74LS08?

My understanding is that it stabilises ANTIC/GTIA access times, eliminating compatibility issues with certain cartridges.

 

 

 

I had to do this in order to get my SIDE3 cartridge working with the 1200XL.  It's been rock-solid since (not that it wasn't before, but you get the idea ;-) ).

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18 minutes ago, Justin Payne said:

As far as the UAV? No "jailbar" lines?

If they're there, I'm not noticing them ;-)

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2 hours ago, Justin Payne said:

As far as the UAV? No "jailbar" lines?

 

If you use a fully shielded video cable that will help greatly. No guarantees, from my experience.

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SV2.1 does artifacting, any composite output would do that.  
and you could just do an 800XL OS upgrade for more XL compatibility.  Unless you were looking for better 400/800…

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1 hour ago, kheller2 said:

and you could just do an 800XL OS upgrade for more XL compatibility.  Unless you were looking for better 400/800…

True.  I'm a fan of keeping the 1200XL OS; it's a big chunk of what gives it its personality.  But if you don't want to get another XL/XE machine, it's definitely a possibility.

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2 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

True.  I'm a fan of keeping the 1200XL OS; it's a big chunk of what gives it its personality.  But if you don't want to get another XL/XE machine, it's definitely a possibility.

Yeah, as you can see from my signature, I have other systems so I don't need to make it perfect. Ideally, I'd just do the things to improve it but having an 1200xl with the stock ROM, it might be useful for testing purposes. 

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I did the 12V fix and the super video 2.1.  Do you have an SVID cable? Do you have an SVID TV?

I have the UAV (as well as the actual UAV flying model airplane.. the symbol on the board is from an RC airplane)

 

Anyway, depends on if you want older school or crack addict new tech.

 

I personally think older school is more fun as you learn as you go, but plug n play fits some people.

 

I have 4 1200XL in various states of missing chips bit its fine..

 

Enjoy!

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7 hours ago, rockdoc2010 said:

I did the 12V fix and the super video 2.1.  Do you have an SVID cable? Do you have an SVID TV?

I have the UAV (as well as the actual UAV flying model airplane.. the symbol on the board is from an RC airplane)

 

Anyway, depends on if you want older school or crack addict new tech.

 

I personally think older school is more fun as you learn as you go, but plug n play fits some people.

 

I have 4 1200XL in various states of missing chips bit its fine..

 

Enjoy!

SVID cable? You mean S-video? No. The one I'm currently using is using the composite.
As far as SV2.1 vs UAV, SV2.1 definitely looks like a cheaper upgrade but how does the picture compare to UAV? How about the colors? I noticed that UAV colors were a bit more muted than the ones that came from the Sophia but, as I understand it, Sophia doesn't do artifacting. So, I guess, since the UAV (and SV2.1?) can coexist with the Sophia, is the general use by most people who implement both to just switch over to using the UAV signal out when they want to play games that use artifacting and use the Sophia the rest of the time?

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So, I think I'm going with the Super Video 2.1 fix. From what I understand it's seems to be the prefered video upgrade with the ClearPic 2002 being second followed by the UAV (Due to its muted colors). I will say, however, that it appears the be the most challenging to implement. Lots of parts need to be removed and replaced and some of those steps you better read several times just to make sure you're understanding them correctly.
Now, I found the SV 2.1 instructions and boy does this article need some photo or even a video. If this doesn't exist I might go and create them if people would think this would be helpful.
In any case, it appears that I need to remove C60, C62, C63, C99, C101, C115, CR20, L15, R21, R25, R28, R44, R145, R181, and R187. I also need to buy...

  • Capacitor. Glass Ceramic. .001uf
  • Capacitor. Electrolytic. 22uF/16v
  • (2) Resistor. 100 Ohms 5% (Grn-grn-brn-gold)
  • (2) Resistor.. 75 Ohms 5% (Vio-grn-blk-gold): NOTE: These can replace the two 150 ohm parallel configuration that was in the original article
  • Resistor. 1.5k Ohms 5% (brn-grn-red-gld)
  • Resistor. 330 ohm (orn-orn-brn-gld)
  • Resistor. 10k Ohms 5% (brn-blk-orn-gold)
  • Resistor. 2.7K (red-vio-red-gld)
  • Resistor. 120 Ohms 5%.
  • SPST switch
  • wire (The article says to use¬†stranded but solid might be easier to route) 18 gauge?


Please correct me if I incorrect in ANY of these assumptions. I don't mind being corrected.

 

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On 8/24/2021 at 3:32 PM, Sugarland said:
On 8/24/2021 at 1:13 PM, Justin Payne said:

As far as the UAV? No "jailbar" lines?

 

If you use a fully shielded video cable that will help greatly. No guarantees, from my experience.

In my experience it always comes down to cross-talk between the luma and chroma lines, or in other words chroma bleeding into the luma signal. So first and foremost any video circuit that doesn't fully isolate these two signals will cause this, as well as any video cable that doesn't use 'individually' shielded signal wires. I know people often say it's due to the DRAM refresh, but in my opinion this is often not the case, at least not where jailbars are concerned.

 

So invest in a high quality video cable with individual shielding such as the ones made by Hercules Workshop. And be sure to steer away from the one made by Lotharek which is not built as advertised.

 

If you still want both the composite and S-Video present at the highest quality, and without cross-talk, the UAV is the ticket.

 

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23 hours ago, mytek said:

If you still want both the composite and S-Video present at the highest quality, and without cross-talk, the UAV is the ticket.

 

At first I was considering the UAV. For one, it's definitely less work to implement. I don't have to pull as many components and the instructions are much easier to follow. Yeah, it costs a bit more but more but one should definitely consider the cost of their time. My ONLY real concern was the reported "muted colors" of the UAV. I know there is an adjustment on the UAV but I haven't found a definitive answer to if this allows one to adjust the color saturation to match the other video mods. 
As far as my cable, I'm currently using composite BUT S-Video is an option with my LCD TV and would, I expect, give a better picture. As previously mentioned, "SV2.1 does artifacting, any composite output would do that". If I were to start using a well shielded S-Video cable, is artifacting still present or would I have to purchase as video switchbox that would allow me to switch between the two cables when I wanted to play a game that relies or artifacting? I'm fine with doing something like this but some of the threads don't make that requirement quite clear.

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53 minutes ago, Justin Payne said:

My ONLY real concern was the reported "muted colors" of the UAV. I know there is an adjustment on the UAV but I haven't found a definitive answer to if this allows one to adjust the color saturation to match the other video mods.

Well if you like the over saturated color output from a stock 1200XL, then yes the UAV will appear muted by comparison, but only because it outputs the proper color level. Keep in mind that the 1200XL's video is not a correct representation of how things should be. In my opinion Atari really screwed this up, which is par for the course when it comes to consistency of video output with each machine they built. It's almost like they would assign the video circuit design to whoever was standing around the office looking for something to do - not that they really had clue as to what video should really look like.

 

BTW, even when applying the ClearPIC mods, the color saturation gets reduced to something more in the proper range. So that too will appear muted in comparison to the unmodified video circuit.

 

1 hour ago, Justin Payne said:

If I were to start using a well shielded S-Video cable, is artifacting still present or would I have to purchase as video switchbox that would allow me to switch between the two cables when I wanted to play a game that relies or artifacting?

Artifacting is only suppose to be a composite related thing, unless your S-Video circuit or cable is so poorly made that the chroma is bleeding across. So yes if you want to do this right, only expect artifacting from the composite output via a composite input on your monitor or TV. For S-Video use a high quality individually shielded cable as I already mentioned (and linked to) via an S-Video designated input on a monitor. I don't see how a switch box comes into play, since Composite and S-Video are already independent outputs destined for their individual respective inputs (S-Video -or- Composite input on monitor).

 

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15 minutes ago, mytek said:

Well if you like the over saturated color output from a stock 1200XL, then yes the UAV will appear muted by comparison, but only because it outputs the proper color level.

So, I guess a better question would be, assuming the best color representation is probably the original 800 line, how close does the UAV get to that OR are are they ("they" meaning those who are defining what the proper color saturation is supposed to be) using some sort of external monitor calibration tool?

Quote

I don't see how a switch box comes into play, since Composite and S-Video are already independent outputs destined for their individual respective inputs (S-Video -or- Composite input on monitor).

I think my understanding might need some correcting then. I'm currently using a composite cable connect to my monitor port BUT what i didn't think about is having a cable that has both an s-video plug and the composite plug and then switching between video sources. I assume that is what needs to be done. Yes?

Edited by Justin Payne
Hitted SAVE too soon and need to clarify my statements

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there are whole threads where we discuss the UAV while he was working on it, right down to and including artifacting he (Bryan) included only those he was able to reproduce with his equipment, great care was taken to strike a balance between industry standards and what our Atari's intended as it's standard. Not sure if the emails about any of this still reside on one of the machines laying about. I do remember near the end we were provided as many true artifacts as possible leading to including an artifact that was proven in Ultima testing and am not sure if the full color split on ntsc was adhered to in the golden rod range... so it was verified using the scope as well as on screen. While it might be given one final revisit, the UAV was and is one of the best... though I am of course biased.

Edited by _The Doctor__
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1 hour ago, Justin Payne said:

So, I guess a better question would be, assuming the best color representation is probably the original 800 line, how close does the UAV get to that

I don't presently have an 800 for comparison, but from my recollection I would have to say that the UAV is everything that the 800 was and even better. So in other words the UAV was designed to match the latest iteration of the 15 Khz analog based video standard, and from what I understand the 800 came pretty close to doing that as well BITD.

 

1 hour ago, Justin Payne said:

I think my understanding might need some correcting then. I'm currently using a composite cable connect to my monitor port BUT what i didn't think about is having a cable that has both an s-video plug and the composite plug and then switching between video sources. I assume that is what needs to be done. Yes?

Yes a cable with composite, luma, and chroma would be the ticket if you want to use either without switching cables. In fact the old original Atari audio/video cables with 4 RCA plugs would also work (and were composed of individually shielded wires), but might require a dual RCA to Mini-Din4 S-Video adapter to mate with a more modern monitor depending upon it's requirements. Keep in mind that these cables rarely follow traditional color code as it applies to the signals, so some fiddling around and/or continuity checks may be required.

 

DIN5-to-4_RCA_cable.png.10e91968af8b0ab8949dc7f65bea2bf3.png    S-Video_Adapter_-_Split_Chroma_Luma_to_S-Video.jpg.fe7b41143999b83ee94e1c0507fe7321.jpg

 

Atari Audio/Video DIN5-to-4xRCA cable from eBay

Dual RCA-to-Mini-DIN4 adapter: Hercules Workshop P/N H0A4PX2

 

-----

 

As has been pointed out, there are entire threads devoted to this subject, but unfortunately they keep getting buried and new topics get started that end up rehashing this stuff ;-)

 

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1 hour ago, _The Doctor__ said:

there are whole threads where we discuss the UAV while he was working on it, right down to and including artifacting he (Bryan) included only those he was able to reproduce with his equipment, great care was taken to strike a balance between industry standards and what our Atari's intended as it's standard. 

I've been reading through several threads on these options and TBH, it's easy to get lost in all that has been said. It probably make sense to a lot of people who are deeply involved but somewhere along the line I lose a lot of context....and then my eyes cross.¬†ūüėĄ¬†As I mentioned, I originally was planning on going with the UAV but the major thing steering me away from it was the color representation. If that isn't the case, I don't think it was clearly shown so maybe a comparison thread might be helpful. The UAV screenshot I did come across did have an obvious muting colors and so it was then between SV2.1 and¬†ClearPIC and from my research, the SV2.1 was the better option for the 1200xl....but that's why I've been asking for input since nothing is all that crystal clear to me.¬†ūüėä

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1 minute ago, Justin Payne said:

The UAV screenshot I did come across did have an obvious muting colors and so it was then between SV2.1 and¬†ClearPIC and from my research, the SV2.1 was the better option for the 1200xl....but that's why I've been asking for input since nothing is all that crystal clear to me.¬†ūüėä

Well let me just add that on my 1200XL I first modified its video per the ClearPic 2000 instructions, which looked much better. However I found that it really required a switch to deactivate the chroma mix for the composite video when only S-Video was going to be used (prevents jail bars). Other than that the picture quality was very good. Then later on I installed a UAV, and have never regretted that decision. Both composite and S-Video outputs are perfect, and no chroma mix disable switch required.

 

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20 minutes ago, mytek said:

I don't presently have an 800 for comparison, but from my recollection I would have to say that the UAV is everything that the 800 was and even better. So in other words the UAV was designed to match the latest iteration of the 15 Khz analog based video standard, and from what I understand the 800 came pretty close to doing that as well BITD.

 

I have an 800 and a capture device. If it would help, let me know and I'll grab some screenshots to use as a comparison. Just an offer if there is a desire to have such a thing.

Quote

Atari Audio/Video DIN5-to-4xRCA cable from eBay

Dual RCA-to-Mini-DIN4 adapter: Hercules Workshop P/N H0A4PX2

So, this option would be perfect. The only question I have is would there be a need to swap between composite and s-video. For example, if games with artifacting looks better using composite but everything else looks better with S-video, then a cable that has both connection types would be the best option and then I'd just switch sources when needed BUT maybe the problem¬†isn't that significant and I'm just overthinking then entire thing.¬†ūüôā

Quote

and no chroma mix disable switch required.

Yeah, I did see that SV2.1 also required a switch. So, no switch with the UAV, eh? The switch, as far as I understood it, was to allow the artifacting since it gets eliminated when switched on. Is this a correct understanding?

Edited by Justin Payne

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I did the Clearpic 2002 on my 1200XL.  The first three pics are composite on a cheap 13" TV and the s-video pic is my 24" Sony.

 

 

IMG_0491.thumb.jpg.6845e3b2803c8fd020b386d349a9ea28.jpg

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3 hours ago, Justin Payne said:

I have an 800 and a capture device. If it would help, let me know and I'll grab some screenshots to use as a comparison. Just an offer if there is a desire to have such a thing.

So, this option would be perfect. The only question I have is would there be a need to swap between composite and s-video. For example, if games with artifacting looks better using composite but everything else looks better with S-video, then a cable that has both connection types would be the best option and then I'd just switch sources when needed BUT maybe the problem¬†isn't that significant and I'm just overthinking then entire thing.¬†ūüôā

Yeah, I did see that SV2.1 also required a switch. So, no switch with the UAV, eh? The switch, as far as I understood it, was to allow the artifacting since it gets eliminated when switched on. Is this a correct understanding?

 

you are overthinking this.  Most of the time you'll be in Chroma/Luma mode, and on occasion when you want to see artifacting in games you will use Composite.

 

The switch in the SV mod disables Composite (for better Chroma/Luma).

 

 

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