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View Full Version : Atari STf (1040 or 520) Display Questions



Smack2k
March 14th, 2013, 04:46 PM
If you dont own an Atari ST Monitor, is there any other way to display an Atari STf on a TV or other monitor?

Or is the STfm the only option at that point?

vwestlife
March 14th, 2013, 07:50 PM
With an adapter you can connect your Atari to a VGA monitor to get hi-res 640x400 monochrome graphics mode. The horizontal scan rate is 31.5 kHz, the same as VGA, while the vertical refresh rate in this mode is 72 Hz, so if you're using a CRT monitor it may need to be Super VGA capable in order to display that refresh rate, but it should work fine with flat-panel LCD monitors.

You can make your own cable, but finding the 13-pin DIN connector (and soldering to it) is a pain. If you're prepared to spend about $30 you can get a pre-made cable from the U.K.:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/320526274539

Some Atari ST games support (or were specifically designed for) 640x400 monochrome mode, but most require a color monitor. The hi-res monochrome mode was mostly used for productivity software and things like MIDI sequencers.

Smack2k
March 15th, 2013, 06:35 AM
So for full gaming graphics, I need the STfm without the ST monitor so I can use the RF Modulator.

That is what I shall search for then!

vwestlife
March 15th, 2013, 07:09 AM
Have you checked to see if yours has composite video on pin 2 of the monitor output? Supposedly only models with the RF modulator have composite output, but it's still worth checking anyway.

http://old.pinouts.ru/Video/AtariStMonitor_pinout.shtml

krebizfan
March 15th, 2013, 07:13 AM
I suggest you look at these web pages which explain various connections possible with the ST. Yes, get the STfm if you can, but remember you can purchasers adapters in case the STf is a lot cheaper or more available. I think most of the STs sold in the US had the modulator but that may not reflect current Ebay quantities.

http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/interfaces.php
http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/video.php#connect_monitors

Old Thrashbarg
March 15th, 2013, 08:27 AM
So for full gaming graphics, I need the STfm without the ST monitor so I can use the RF Modulator.

Actually, you may want to consider holding off on both the STf and STfm, and look for an STe instead. There's nothing really wrong with the original models (and those sell a bit cheaper), but a lot of games can take advantage of the enhancements of the STe, plus there are some other hardware changes here and there that make them overall a bit easier to deal with.

As for the DIN13 connectors, they're still used in some of the Kenwood HAM radio equipment, so see if you can find any places in your area that deal with amateur radio parts/cables. A lot of such places carry them (for pretty cheap, too), but the smaller vendors often don't have much of an online presence so the telephone is your friend here. VWestlife is right, though... those things are a right bastid to solder together.

And if you're going to get into old home computer systems like this, I'd recommend getting something like the GBS-8220 scan converter board (http://www.ebay.com/itm/GBS-8220-Video-Converter-CGA-EGA-YUV-RGB-TO-VGA-Arcade-Jamma-Game-Monitor-to-LCD-/261153377967?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ccdf44eaf) to hook up to a 'modern' VGA monitor... those converter boards do have some shortcomings, but they're still far better than using the crappy composite/RF outputs on these old systems, and it's pretty much a universal solution. It'll work with Atari, Amiga, even things like the Sega Genesis, and you can hook up to any VGA-capable monitor you want to use.

vwestlife
March 15th, 2013, 09:22 AM
I think most of the STs sold in the US had the modulator but that may not reflect current Ebay quantities.

When I was looking on eBay a while back I found that most 520ST's have the modulator while most 1040ST's do not. I ultimately got a 520STfm (floppy + modulator) to replace my original 520ST (modulator but no built-in floppy), because I wanted to do away with the clutter of the external floppy drives and power supplies.

The downside of having the built-in floppy drive (on both the ST and STe) is that the mouse and joystick ports are hidden underneath the keyboard, but I can live with that. (The Falcon030 finally moved the mouse & joystick ports to the side of the case, and that is my dream Atari if I can ever find one I can afford!)

Smack2k
March 15th, 2013, 04:22 PM
Thanks, will be going through all those links sent to help me out...

What REALLY Sucks is that I bought a 520STfm (with the dual floppy AND the RAM upgrade) for a great price on Ebay about a month ago. But issues with the seller and the product not getting here have happened and I am just starting the refund process with the seller now. They said for THIS deal, the paid CASH at the Post Office, didnt get Delivery Confirmation, and didnt get the receipt to have any proof, so if I wanted a refund (this was after 5 emails and finally saying I was gonna go to paypal and leave some negative feedback, they suddenly "found" all my emails in their spam folder...funny it showed up finally with the email saying I was do something..)

So needless to say, that isnt coming, but I have the cash to buy one...so my want is even higher as I had it (holding out up (stupidl) that it arrives this weekend and was lost in the mail somehow (it wasnt!)) so I REALLY want one now. Its the last machine in my "first round" of vintage computer collecting...so that is that (if you cared!!)

Chuck(G)
March 15th, 2013, 06:29 PM
For that oddball 13-pin connector I used a piece of 0.100" grid perfboard and some D-sub crimp pins. make the connections, stick the pins through the right holes and apply epoxy or polyurethane glue to hold them in place. It worked for all the years I had my 520ST.

Smack2k
March 17th, 2013, 04:25 PM
Chuck,

You had full color screen with that setup?

Have my eye on an STF right now, but need to know a way to get good color video without the Atari monitor..

Any adapters work?

Those sites are cool, but I dont know enough about the pins and how to connect them to figure it out!

Chuck(G)
March 17th, 2013, 06:43 PM
No--I had the original monochrome ST. I used it to drive a Mitsubishi Diamondscan "works with everything" monitor.

Smack2k
March 18th, 2013, 06:58 AM
I scored a nice 1040STf today, so will have to find out what I need to do to TRY and get color working on it without having to buy a ST Monitor...

Here's to hoping!

g4ugm
March 18th, 2013, 01:30 PM
Pity you live in the US. In Europe we have SCART connectors on our TVs which support RGB input so you can just plug the RGB from the ST straight in. I am told that some of the Flat Panel TVs support 50/60Hz video via the VGA input. Might be worth checking this out. For example this one:-

http://www.nec-display.com/ap/en_display/lcd5710/index.html

seems to support 60hz via the VGA socket......

Smack2k
March 18th, 2013, 04:29 PM
What about this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/15Khz-RGB-RGsB-RGBS-to-VGA-Converter-For-LCD-Monitor-/230754149562?pt=US_Vintage_Computers_Mainframes&hash=item35ba04e4ba

This would convert RGB to VGA - would it do the trick?

It would convert the signal, but that is a different RGB Input than the Atari one....anyway to convert the 15-pin RGB cable to work with this?

Also looking into this -http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/video.php#atari_without_rf_modulator

g4ugm
March 19th, 2013, 01:37 AM
I think that device would work fine, but its a very expensive solution.

Smack2k
March 19th, 2013, 03:46 AM
Wouild it work to go RGB to SCART cable adapter..then SCART cable to VGA through adapter...would that get color Atari ST or no?

vwestlife
March 19th, 2013, 04:23 AM
Wouild it work to go RGB to SCART cable adapter..then SCART cable to VGA through adapter...would that get color Atari ST or no?

Only if your monitor supports 15 kHz video.

Smack2k
March 19th, 2013, 05:25 AM
Is there a good online list of monitors that support 15 khz (VGA or RGB monitors)

vwestlife
March 19th, 2013, 07:55 AM
Is there a good online list of monitors that support 15 khz (VGA or RGB monitors)

I guess you don't have time for it, but a quick Google search for "atari 15 kHz monitors" would've turned up this web site:

http://www.best-electronics-ca.com/monadapt.htm

Look about halfway down the page. :)

Smack2k
March 19th, 2013, 09:22 AM
I didnt search that way....looked for 15khz monitors only, not hte Atari part..

Thanks though!

Smack2k
March 19th, 2013, 12:19 PM
Outside finding one of those monitors....

I can take DIN 15 cable (ST Monitor Cable) and use a DIN 15 to DB 9 RGB Converter cable. Then use a DB 9 RGB cable to VGA converter.

This looks kind of pricy (the DB9 to VGA converter is like 90 bones, the rest isnt that bad) but it is an option if I dont find a monitor in teh next year or so...

What do you think?

Stone
March 19th, 2013, 12:30 PM
I've still got an extra multisync ... it would work on just about anything you've got. It's what I use in my lab so I don't need four monitors on the bench. One monitor for everything, e.g., MDA, CGA, EGA, VGA and even that Atari.

Old Thrashbarg
March 19th, 2013, 12:46 PM
A multisync monitor would definitely be the best way to go if you can get a working one for a reasonable price. But the cost of shipping usually rules out the 'reasonable price' part of it.

If you're going to use a converter... I mentioned it in a previous post but I think it got overlooked: $33-ish for a GBS-8220 converter board is a lot better than $90 for something that does the same thing. The $90 one is a bit smaller and has a nice enclosure (versus a bare board)... IMO that's not really a big enough deal to justify the $60 price difference, and there's no real difference in functionality or video quality between the two.

The GBS board doesn't have a DB9 input, just HD15 or bare terminals. So you'd need to either use one of the DIN13->VGA-multisync cables (like the ones from Best Electronics), or make your own. Either way it won't be particularly expensive, and it'll almost certainly be cheaper than getting a functional Atari monitor.

Stone
March 19th, 2013, 01:47 PM
A multisync monitor would definitely be the best way to go if you can get a working one for a reasonable price. But the cost of shipping usually rules out the 'reasonable price' part of it.I've already shipped six of them to nearly every part of the country. Depending on where you are shipping runs from $40 to $100. These beasts weigh nearly 40 pounds! But since he's in Pittsburgh I would guess shipping would be about $50.

vwestlife
March 19th, 2013, 05:31 PM
If you have a multisync-type monitor which supports 15 kHz video and has a DE9 9-pin RGB input, you can use one of these cables:

http://cgi.ebay.com/130866413206

Also works through a 15-pin VGA input if you have a 9-pin to 15-pin adapter, which may be harder to find than this cable!

Stone
March 19th, 2013, 06:06 PM
If you have a multisync-type monitor which supports 15 kHz video and has a DE9 9-pin RGB input, you can use one of these cables:

http://www.ebay.com/130866413206

Also works through a 15-pin VGA input if you have a 9-pin to 15-pin adapter, which may be harder to find than this cable!That link is dead.

All my multisyncs have the 9 pin to 15 pin adapters. Otherwise they'd be useless with VGA cards, wouldn't they? :-)

vwestlife
March 19th, 2013, 07:26 PM
That link is dead.

All my multisyncs have the 9 pin to 15 pin adapters. Otherwise they'd be useless with VGA cards, wouldn't they? :-)

Fixed: http://cgi.ebay.com/130866413206

Smack2k
March 20th, 2013, 10:20 AM
Thanks for the help guys...couple of avenues to investigate here...good stuff!

Smack2k
March 27th, 2013, 05:17 PM
OK...check this out..

I have (completely forgot I had it) a Samsung SV-5000W VCR (Worldwide VCR). There is a SCART input on the back..

Can I use the VCR to get my Atari 1040 (and my Amiga 500) outputting in color? If so, what cables do I need?

Is it worth it? Hoping to hear YES!!

vwestlife
March 27th, 2013, 06:29 PM
OK...check this out..

I have (completely forgot I had it) a Samsung SV-5000W VCR (Worldwide VCR). There is a SCART input on the back..

Can I use the VCR to get my Atari 1040 (and my Amiga 500) outputting in color? If so, what cables do I need?

You can use one of these Atari ST-to-SCART cables from eBay (purchased from the U.K.):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110763343401

Smack2k
March 28th, 2013, 10:37 AM
Perfect...ordered that....

Al Hartman
August 24th, 2013, 02:52 PM
I use my ST with a Composite Monitor (An Amiga Monitor) using a Composite cable. I have a bunch of them I had made up that I'm selling for $14.95 which includes shipping. I have 5 or 6 left.