Request Help with LCD Monitor & BlowUp Hard 1

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ScottChi
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:10 pm

Request Help with LCD Monitor & BlowUp Hard 1

Postby ScottChi » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:57 am

Hi All,

I'm hoping that someone more knowledgeable about scanning frequencies can help me get an LCD Monitor to work with my Falcon 030 and BlowUp Hard 1.

I have two BenQ 19" LCD monitors that are several years old. They both support the same display modes, which are shown in the table below.
The only one of these modes that I've been able to display with BlowUp H1 on one of these monitors so far is 640x480.

benq supported modes.jpg


I can select from several higher resolution modes using BLOWCONF.PRG, for example 800x600, but when I try to display them the monitor shows the message "Unsupported Mode!" and remains blank.

I believe that the problem is that the clock frequency that BlowUp Hard 1 provides (using the "old" joystick port) is not sufficient for these BenQ monitors. According to the manual that came with BlowUp, they also made a BlowUp Hard 2 for the Falcon that connected to the newer controller port. This provided a higher clock frequency and allowed larger screen resolutions, if I understand correctly.

I would like to use one of these BenQ monitors if possible. Is there a product available today that I can use to get 800x600 or better resolution on one of these BenQ LCD monitors? Or should I give up the idea of using these monitors, and find one that provides higher res modes that accept lower frequencies?

I appreciate the help.

Scott C.

Cary, NC USA
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ScottChi
Retro freak
Retro freak
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: Request Help with LCD Monitor & BlowUp Hard 1

Postby ScottChi » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:21 pm

If anyone has a similar problem, what I have found so far (thanks to email from a very helpful Atari fan and hardware developer) is that the BenQ FP931 and FP91G+ that I am trying to use are too restrictive on the vertical refresh frequencies for the display modes that they accept.

Even if I drop the number of colors down to 16 or lower on my unmodified Falcon with BlowUp Hard 1, the highest permitted resolution is 640x480. I say "permitted" instead of supported because monitors will often display modes that are not in their supported modes list. They will sometimes display the message "Unsupported mode!" for a few seconds, but will continue to display it. It seems silly to show that, unless the monitor will catch fire or self destruct.

It's been pointed out to me that a Falcon can drive a more modern LCD monitor with higher resolution and correspondingly high vertical frequencies, but an accelerator upgrade is required. Even if a VGA adapter with a sufficiently fast clock is used, the base model Falcon would need to use too much of its processor power driving the display to make it practical.

As I write this it is still possible to order a new BenQ BL702A, a 17" LCD monitor which according to various sources accepts a broad range of vertical frequencies including the low and medium resolution modes of the Atari ST computer. For now I'm going to get one of these and sell off one of my 19"s.

Hopefully helpful,

Scott C.


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