Atari Connectors and Cables

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Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby DrCoolZic » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:02 pm

I would like to create a document on Atari ST/STE connectors and cables.

To start with I have looked at the Video connector and cables.

You will find attached a preliminary doc on the subject. Information there is a compilation of information as well as experiments.

I have several open questions on the subject:
1) SCART cable (doc 1.4.1): GND signals. Some advice to connect only pin 21 of the SCART connector to Atari GND (pin 13), other also advice to connect 4, 5, 9, 13 (and even 17, 18)? I have even seen a doc that says connect shield to pin 21 but NOT GND? Any idea.
What about dumping resistors: all cables I have seen do not have dumping resistors. However some advice to use 150 Ohms on RGB and 75 Ohms on sync? Note that Atari alrteady has dumping resistors on video outputs and that they have different values in ST and STE (see doc 1.1).

2) VGA cable (doc 1.4.2 1.4.3): not much to say on this! only that I beleive Pin 9 on DB15 should not be grounded ? For info I beleive (almost sure) doc http://www.logicsays.com/atari/mono/docs/atari_vga.htm is wrong on DB15 side

3) NEC Multisync II monitor cable (1.4.4 1.4.5): Not sure many people still have one (I do :wink: ). My setup is using Hsync and Vsync to pin 4 & 5 and works well. Looks like there is an alternate solution with composite sync connected to pin 4 instead of Hsync. Did anybody tried ?

4) S-Video / Composite video (1.4.6 1.4.7): This is my main concern. S-Video pin 3 Y (Luma) is connected to DIN13 pin 2 Composite Sync (SCART 20), and pin 4 (chroma) to pin 7 Red (SCART 15) . This does not make at all any sense to me as s-video requires some encoding (PAL / NTSC). Y=composite sync and C= Red ????? However solution seems to work (see viewtopic.php?f=15&t=17488) for some people! It does not work for me I am waiting for a "good certified" cable from Ali to further test the solution with the SuperColor HD. I would really like to hear what people have to say about this !!!

For info I have opended a SCART to S-Video/Composite adapter (be careful if you try this...) and added the "schematic" to the doc (tested on two brands with only one small difference).

My NEC multisynch is already 22 years old and I am afraid is gonna die. So I am looking for a good replacement solution that allows to switch from mono to color on the same monitor
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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby spiny » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:41 pm

I can't comment on the hardware specifications, as I simply don't know enough about them :) but that is a great document :) thanks !

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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby wongck » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:26 am

There was someone who already did this.... called special cables or something like this and a text file of pin outs and how to connect to other devices.
But I cannot remember where on the Net it is.
may be I dl it somewhere on my systems.... let me have a look.
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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:34 pm

wongck wrote:There was someone who already did this.... called special cables or something like this and a text file of pin outs and how to connect to other devices.
But I cannot remember where on the Net it is.
may be I dl it somewhere on my systems.... let me have a look.

Actually I have found many documents on the net. I have collected the information (there is a short list of link at the end of the doc) and checked with many cables / box I have.
I think it is nice to have all the information grouped in one doc.
Planned chapter will be FD with special cables like the Blitz cable... DC cartridge ...
Then chapter on serial with special cables like Parcp cables ...
etc.

Currently I am focused on the Video because I have several cables not working and the SuperColor HD solution no working either :(
I am waiting on cables from Ali to validate the video cables that do not work for me and hopefully I hope to find a viable solution for the SCHD :wink:
Again if anyone has contradicting info on the subject please speak out :mrgreen:

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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby spiny » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:47 pm

found a typo in section 1.3 ST monitor connection:

pin 10 blue says its connected to red, when presumably this should be blue :)


only a tiny thing, but I do proof reading as part of my job, so I just notice these kind of things :)

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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby wongck » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:57 am

DrCoolZic wrote:I think it is nice to have all the information grouped in one doc.


Hey, don't get me wrong. This is a good project and the community will definately benefit from it. :thumbs:
There's been so much information that have gone missing or lost.
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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby DrCoolZic » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:56 am

spiny wrote:found a typo in section 1.3 ST monitor connection:

pin 10 blue says its connected to red, when presumably this should be blue :)
only a tiny thing, but I do proof reading as part of my job, so I just notice these kind of things :)

Thanks you are rignt will be corrected in next version :cheers:

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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:30 pm

Here is a new version of the document.

What's new:
    Added a preliminary schematic of the Atari STE video
    Pinout of the Video connector has been changed a lot as many pins have different meanings for ST and STF (e.g. genlock) and for Atari with or without RF modulator.
    Modified info on SCART cable based on feedback
    Added info on SCART to S-Video Adapter
    Plus lots of miscellaneous corrections
As usual feedback welcome.

Next to come FD... stay tuned :)
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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby alexh » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:35 pm

Nice PDF.

DrCoolZic wrote:Some advice to connect only pin 21 of the SCART connector to Atari GND (pin 13), other also advice to connect 4, 5, 9, 13 (and even 17, 18)? I have even seen a doc that says connect shield to pin 21 but NOT GND? Any idea.

I would have thought you should try to connect them all, especially if you're having trouble with an LCD/Plasma TV which will have an ADC & digitising video decoder connected to the SCART.

DrCoolZic wrote:What about dumping resistors: all cables I have seen do not have dumping resistors. However some advice to use 150 Ohms on RGB and 75 Ohms on sync? Note that Atari alrteady has dumping resistors on video outputs and that they have different values in ST and STE (see doc 1.1).

Dumping resistors??

Some older computers (e.g. spectrum) have TTL level voltage outputs (5v peak-peak) on their video for connection to RGB monitors. SCART requires inputs to have lower voltage levels as you know (0.7v rms) so these computers need in-series resistors. I was pretty sure that all Atari ST video outputs including sync were the correct voltage levels for SCART. But if in doubt we should measure them with a scope. Any volunteers?

You recommend putting a 75 ohm resistor in series to pin 16 on SCART. This would only be necessary if Atari VSYNC output was not below 3v?

What is an absolute must is an in-series current limiting resistor (i.e. 1K ohm) on the 12v line going to pin 8. Without one, if you get a short to ground you're likely to melt something.

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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby DrCoolZic » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:15 am

alexh wrote:Nice PDF.

DrCoolZic wrote:Some advice to connect only pin 21 of the SCART connector to Atari GND (pin 13), other also advice to connect 4, 5, 9, 13 (and even 17, 18)? I have even seen a doc that says connect shield to pin 21 but NOT GND? Any idea.

I would have thought you should try to connect them all, especially if you're having trouble with an LCD/Plasma TV which will have an ADC & digitising video decoder connected to the SCART.

This is also what I recommend in my documentation of the SCART cable. My information is based on SCART info from Wikipedia
Pin 4 are ground for audio pin 2 & 6.
Pin 5, 9 & 13 are ground for RGB signals 7, 11, 15 respectively
Pin 17 is ground for pin composite video 20
Pin 18 is ground for blanking pin 16 as well as for "switch" signals 8 and 16
Pin 14 is ground for "data" pin 10 and 12
pin 21 is shield

For SCART RGB cable with audio: use pin 4, 5, 9, 13, 18 and 21 is probably best.
For SCART Composite video Cable : use pin 17 (requires presence of an RF modulator in Atari)
S-Video is not really supported by Atari without modification

Therefore "universal" RGB / composite video cable should probably use 4 + 5 + 9 + 13 + 17 + 18 + 21

DrCoolZic wrote:What about dumping resistors: all cables I have seen do not have dumping resistors. However some advice to use 150 Ohms on RGB and 75 Ohms on sync? Note that Atari alrteady has dumping resistors on video outputs and that they have different values in ST and STE (see doc 1.1).

Dumping resistors??

My terminology might be wrong (actually not used in the doc) what about pass-through resistors.
When connected (potentially in bridge) to the ground the terminology should probably be load / shunt resistor.

Code: Select all

--/\/\/\---------
pass-through |
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             \
             /
             \
             /  load res
             \
             /
             |
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Some older computers (e.g. spectrum) have TTL level voltage outputs (5v peak-peak) on their video for connection to RGB monitors. SCART requires inputs to have lower voltage levels as you know (0.7v rms) so these computers need in-series resistors. I was pretty sure that all Atari ST video outputs including sync were the correct voltage levels for SCART. But if in doubt we should measure them with a scope. Any volunteers?

You recommend putting a 75 ohm resistor in series to pin 16 on SCART. This would only be necessary if Atari VSYNC output was not below 3v?

v-sync is directly output from glue/mcu chip and has a 33 Ohms resistor. Spec for SCART blanking is 1-3V for RGB input. As direct TTL output 33 might not be enough (but actually work fine on my test cable).

What is an absolute must is an in-series current limiting resistor (i.e. 1K ohm) on the 12v line going to pin 8. Without one, if you get a short to ground you're likely to melt something.

Did not though about that but seems like a good idea even if not required functionally.
Note +12 is not mandatory in SCART. Just nice to switch you TV automatically but remote control can be used (STF do not provide + 12v anyway)

Mak did some measurement on signals see http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.ph ... 50#p162966
The measurements where done using a 75 pass-through for v-sync and 3x 150 Ohms for RGB and nothing for composite
Note that on n STE RGB signals are output already through a 75 Ohms resistors. V-sync is through a 33 Ohms
Composite video (Atari with RF modulator) through a 75 resistor (in series with capacitor) and composite sync (Atari without RF mod) through a 100 Ohms resistor.

What is shown on composite seems below 0.8 well in range 1V SCART spec
RGB seems to go up to 0.8V slightly above 0.7v SCART SPEC
Sync not measured
Would be interesting to see measurements before 150 pass-through resistors.

SCART Expert: wiki spec http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCART mention 0.4V for blanking signal (pin 16) when used for composite video. This is way below voltage delivered by Atari. Anybody tried composite video on pin 2 of Atari DIN with blanking? (I do not have access on Atari with RF modulator installed).
Also I thought composite contained blanking and v-sync and therefore do we need SCART 16 in this case?

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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby wongck » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:00 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:Here is a new version of the document.

Next to come FD... stay tuned :)


Great work... :thumbs:
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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:08 am

A question is often asked, can I connect my Atari to a TV that does not have a SCART connector?
Or another way of asking the question: can I get a composite video signal from my Atari? / or can I get a S-Video signal from my Atari?

Atari machines have an output on pin 2 of the monitor connector. This can be either a composite video output or a composite sync signal depending on your Atari model.

You can only get a colour composite video output (from pin 2) if the machine is fitted with a MC1377 chip. This chip encodes the "baseband" (or raw) red, green and blue video signals (RGB) along with the vertical and horizontal sync signals to produce the composite video signal (hence the name - composite - made up of distinct parts or elements). It is this signal that the modulator needs in order to produce a UHF TV signal that can be connected to the aerial input on the TV.
Normally you only get a MC1377 chip if the machine comes with a modulator :mrgreen: .
No modulator, no MC1377 chip, therefore no composite video signal :(. On these machines pin 2 is just a composite sync signal (a mix of the vertical and horizontal sync signals only).

If you have a machine without a modulator, the simplest solution is to use a display that can take analog RGB signals.

It is possible to build a colour encoder that does the same job as the MC1377 chip, but you do need to be able to produce your own circuit board (PCB) and design and build the circuit (which is beyond most people).
The next best thing is to find a piece of equipment that has such a circuit, carefully saw the circuit board so that you end up with only the colour encoder circuit, then wire it up. However finding a donor device / machine is easier said than done (unless you are happy to hack another Atari up.... :twisted: ). You also need to work out the connections - again easier said than done (but the data sheet for the chip helps :mrgreen: ).

MC1377 data sheet: http://www.datasheetarchive.com/pdf-dat ... 81104.html

Other colour encoders (there may be more than I list here, this is just a selection)
AD725 data sheet: http://www.analog.com/static/imported-f ... /AD725.pdf
AD722 data sheet: http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~tm3/ad722.pdf (note that this chip is listed as obsolete)
Video-Standard Selection Circuit for the AD722 Using Low Cost Crystals: http://www.analog.com/static/imported-f ... AN-412.pdf
Example circuit, VGA to PAL and NTSC converter: http://www.epanorama.net/circuits/vga2t ... lntsc.html <<<well worth having a look at this
see also http://www.analog.com/en/audiovideo-pro ... index.html

MC13077 data sheet: http://www.classiccmp.org/rtellason/chi ... c13077.pdf or http://www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-p ... 13077.html
TDA8501 data sheet: http://www.nxp.com/acrobat_download2/da ... _CNV_2.pdf
NTE879 data sheet: http://www.nteinc.com/specs/800to899/pdf/nte879.pdf
TEA2000 data sheet: http://www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-p ... A2000.html
Example circuit: http://www.next.gr/inside-circuits/PAL- ... l5859.html

More info on video circuits and chips: http://www.epanorama.net/links/videochips.html

If you have a machine that does have a modulator, are happy desoldering components, and want an s-video output in place of the composite video signal (and UHF TV signal) see viewtopic.php?f=74&t=15728.
Note also that if you do not wish to modify your Atari, the signals needed for an external colour encoder are R, G and B video signals plus, H sync and V sync all of which are already available on the Atari monitor connector (see Example circuit, VGA to PAL and NTSC converter in this post just above).

Hopefully I have explained this well :mrgreen:
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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby AtariSince1989 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:51 am

On my FTP Server there is this document: Atari ST - Interfaces and Cables v0.3 by Jean Louis-Guerin.pdf. It may help you.
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- Acorn A3010 4MB RAM + 40MB IDE HDD

Atari ST Essential software (The List)
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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:33 pm

1024Mak
As usual very interesting information !!!
It seems that creating composite video from Atari signals is not an esay task. There is a project going on (unfortunately slowly) to build such adaptater. The information is here:
http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/14 ... t-systems/
Looks like getting the adapter to work for all Atari models is difficult.
To find out about the status of the adaptor you need to go to another site: http://atari-sales.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=25.
Note that you first need to create an account at http://www.atarian.info .This site soes not seems to work with IE8! but works well with Chrome

AtariSince1989
Regarding the information I provided (the Jean Louis-Guerin doc :wink: ) I have an updated version of both Atari interfaces and Video information (it includes info taken from 1024Mak!). You can access the information at http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/interfaces.php and http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/video.php

But a word of caution. I did not want to give reference to my new site because it is not yet ready. Most likely the structure of the site will change as I am in relatively early design phases. However there are useful info about the cables and adapters in the "interfaces" page, as well as information about several boxes (Supera Color HD & Gonbes 8220/8200) ... in the "video" pages.
I will add some of the links provided by 1024Mak on the page.

Jean

For info I still have to finish the test on the GBS 8220. It still does not work for me but it seems to work for Anemos

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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby AtariSince1989 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:51 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:AtariSince1989
Regarding the information I provided (the Jean Louis-Guerin doc :wink: ) I have an updated version of both Atari interfaces and Video information (it includes info taken from 1024Mak!). You can access the information at http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/interfaces.php and http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/video.php

Awesome website. Very well done :thumbs:
- Atari 520 STe 4MB RAM + TOS 2.06 + UltraSatan
- Atari Falcon030 14MB RAM + TOS 4.04 + IDE-SD card HDD + NVRAM mod + SCSI buffer clock mod + EtherNEC
- Amstrad CPC 6128 + HxC USB Floppy Emulator
- Acorn A3010 4MB RAM + 40MB IDE HDD

Atari ST Essential software (The List)
My FTP Server: http://www.datavase.info/FTPserver (only from Midnight to 8am UK Time)
My music at http://soundcloud.com/datavase/

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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby wongck » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:50 pm



Very very nice indeed. :thumbs:
Whoa... luckily Chrome can auto translate some pages for me. :lol:

So Doctor... any chance of you putting some Falc stuff... especially on SCSI-Clock patch?? :wink:
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Re: Atari Connectors and Cables

Postby Shredder11 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:07 pm

Now that is a nice website!


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