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Is there 80col. only hardware available right now?


Bikerbob
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There are a number of dos' (would love to view disk directories in 80col ) word processors,.. terminals, etc.. that would be great to use in 80col.

 

I see lots of new hardware projects, but except for VBXE nothing that hardware fixes 80col output.. OR is that the point? you have to go to the VBXE lengths to get it working.

 

This is a question for the hardware people,

 

Can 80col be manipulated through the PBI or Cartridge? I assume it would required hardware manipulation otherwise we would have had an 80col cartridge written by now.

 

There seems to be much interest in 80col output.. with what we know today could this not be done in cartridge form? maybe with a pass through?

 

The Bit 3 unit that is up for sale seems pretty well documented, is there anything in that that would all a re-engineer?

 

James

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Yes, but almost impossible to find now, and through looking through several sites I found fixes to the drivers and the hardware of the XEP80.. just wondered when we have all the projects going on, has there not been a new 80col. project.. is it very difficult?

 

James

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There are a number of dos' (would love to view disk directories in 80col ) word processors,.. terminals, etc.. that would be great to use in 80col.

 

I see lots of new hardware projects, but except for VBXE nothing that hardware fixes 80col output.. OR is that the point? you have to go to the VBXE lengths to get it working.

 

This is a question for the hardware people,

 

Can 80col be manipulated through the PBI or Cartridge? I assume it would required hardware manipulation otherwise we would have had an 80col cartridge written by now.

 

There seems to be much interest in 80col output.. with what we know today could this not be done in cartridge form? maybe with a pass through?

 

The Bit 3 unit that is up for sale seems pretty well documented, is there anything in that that would all a re-engineer?

 

James

 

There must be a way to do so through the PBI because ICD had already been laying the groundwork for a video connection in the MIO, which connects through the PBI.

 

Any solution that was to be developed wouldn't even have to serve as a primary display; that could be left to ANTIC, GTIA, etc., with the PBI-driven display acting as a secondary display much like an XEP-80 or Bit3. And given Dropcheck's 1090 project, we could even go so far as to see the development of a drop-in card that allows us to connect an 80-column monitor that route.

 

At least that's how I imagine it.

 

--Tim

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I was kind of hoping she would respond to the thread ;) Dropcheck has done many a project for the 8-bit even though some might argue the "need" ..

 

These are usually done as a separate device I think because the video output of the atari chips cant do 80col well.. I think I have a software somewhere around I tried. think LW80 does it but the output is hard to read, Using SDX in 80col would be great.

 

Never heard of the ACE 80 - but found this.. looks promising http://atariage.com/forums/topic/99666-ace80-xl

 

Read that thread, I have contacted the author, see where that's at - SO for me .. could this project be put into cartridge "slots" on the U1mb and Incognito? there was also a little drawing about converting a basic cartridge to use it.. I have 4-6 of those around I will never use. - Since I am waiting for Bryan's UAV upgrade.. this outputs through the regular paths. so the upgrade should make this look very nice.

 

Now.. if anyone who knows better can look at the ACE80 - would other software use this? Like ICET? and LW? and SDX?

 

James

Edited by Bikerbob
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ACE80 was written to run from an OSS cart but someone adapted it to run on a more modern flashcart as posted in the thread you linked above.

 

It doesn't use extra hardware to generate the 80 column display so it won't be any easier to read than TLW, except that it lets you change the background color to improve readability (I don't know whether TLW does that too).

 

I see no reason why ACE80 should not be compatible with U1MB or Incgnito.

 

A few original carts were available on eBay some years ago.

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Yes, TLW allows you to change the background colour and foreground luminance. Software 3 bit characters are not something I particularly enjoy viewing via unmodified s-video or composite output, but things can be greatly improved by fixing up the video circuit and choosing the right monitor. An 80 column display fares much better when delivered via RGB, though, and the fact the Atari doesn't use RGB is probably one reason they didn't worry too much about adding an 80 column text mode. VBXE brings the RGB display required for readable 3 bit software modes, but also provides hardware 80 column text, so you get the best of both worlds.

 

Software 80 column display drivers tend to rely on software using OS vectors for printing and not writing directly to the screen RAM. If the intention is to make SDX use a software 80 column display, note that SDX already provides drivers for just that purpose. TLW, meanwhile, requires no drivers for its display, and nor does ICE-T.

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ACE80 was written to run from an OSS cart but someone adapted it to run on a more modern flashcart as posted in the thread you linked above.

 

It doesn't use extra hardware to generate the 80 column display so it won't be any easier to read than TLW, except that it lets you change the background color to improve readability (I don't know whether TLW does that too).

 

I see no reason why ACE80 should not be compatible with U1MB or Incgnito.

 

A few original carts were available on eBay some years ago.

Ok so if I was able to take your .bin file or eprom file and convert it to a .ROM file I should be able to put it into the cart "slot" and it will boot? The U1mb and Incog are hardware before the cart.. so that part should work.

 

Hardware 80col would be better, but as I see FJC note, maybe even with UAV and S-video hardware 80col is not worth the effort?

 

James

Edited by Bikerbob
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Hardware 80col would be better, but as I see FJC note, maybe even with UAV and S-video hardware 80col is not worth the effort?

Here's a shot of TLW through more or less stock Y/C video output on an LG M227WD LCD TV/Monitor from a few years back when I was trying out diodes to get rid of vertical banding:

 

post-21964-0-84778500-1480630851_thumb.jpg

 

Very readable, and if VBXE didn't exist, this is the set up I'd be using on a daily basis.

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Here's a shot of TLW through more or less stock Y/C video output on an LG M227WD LCD TV/Monitor from a few years back when I was trying out diodes to get rid of vertical banding:

 

attachicon.gifpost-21964-1244229740.jpg

 

Very readable, and if VBXE didn't exist, this is the set up I'd be using on a daily basis.

 

Could you do the same with a screenshot under VBXE, just for comparison?

 

Thanks, in advance!

--Tim

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Hello guys

 

the IC used in the XEP 80 is still available on ebay.

 

shouldn' t be too hard to reproduce the XEP80 :D

 

 

That's like strapping a Ferrari engine into a Reliant Robin and welding a piece of metal to the gearbox so you can only use first and second gear.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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I did an internal 80 column card using a 6545 video chip (long time ago). It is pretty simple since the 6545 is designed to be used in a 6502 system. It worked OK, but it needs s/w to be truly useful.

 

You can certainly do one on the PBI.

 

A cartridge based 6545 would be a little tougher and probably have compatibility issues.

 

Claus had a method of doing 80 columns in a cart that looked pretty slick.

 

I still think the best way to enhance Atari video is to merge two screens into one display. You don't have to do a lot of processing, just point ANTIC at one DLIST and CHBASE in alternating frames. Output the merged video in every frame so you still get a 60hz refresh with a 30hz frame rate.

 

Bob

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https://www.atarimax.com/freenet/freenet_material/5.8-BitComputersSupportArea/3.AtariReferenceArea/35AtariUpgrade,ModificationandAdd-OnFAQ.php

 

 

* 80 column devices

Since the 400/800 were released in 1979, people have been clamouring for
better text displays than the default 40x24. Two products were released for
the 800: The Austin-Franklin 80 column board and the Bit 3 80 column board
were both for use in the Atari 800. They replaced the third memory module.
The Austin-Franklin board came with a "Right Cartridge" which provided the
drivers. Removing the cartridge disabled the board. Some software would not
run with an 80-column board installed.

Ace 80/80xl was a cartridge released which provided 80 columns by using
bitmapped graphics on an 80 column screen. A similar technique was used in
the Newell Omniview, an add-on for their Omnimon.

Atari's entry into the 80 column field was the much maligned XEP80. For
maximum compatibility, the XEP80 attaches to the computer via a joystick
port. It includes three character sets, 8k internally, and a parallel
printer port. The software provided by Atari supports a 320x200 graphics
mode. This mode only supports direct bit images. Hacks have been released
which hook the XEP80 on via the parallel bus.

Recent terminal programs have added two other display techniques. ICE-T uses
a graphics 8 screen and fine scrolling for its display. FlickerTerm uses two
graphics 0 screens a half-character apart, each displayed during alternate
vertical blanks.

In a series of articles in the SLCC newsletter, Bob Woolley gave hardware
plans for installing an 80-column TTL output inside an XL.

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Here's a shot of TLW through more or less stock Y/C video output on an LG M227WD LCD TV/Monitor from a few years back when I was trying out diodes to get rid of vertical banding:

 

attachicon.gifpost-21964-1244229740.jpg

 

Very readable, and if VBXE didn't exist, this is the set up I'd be using on a daily basis.

 

But if I understand FJC this screen driver you use for the TLW is just for TLW??? we cant use it else where? I tried last night to use the SDX gr8 driver and the con.sys.. and with standard screen colours I was not able to read anything.. if I let it timeout and screen colours rotated then I could see combo's of colour that would work.. but as far as I can see no way to do that.. or use TLW 80col in my regular CLI?

 

James

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But if I understand FJC this screen driver you use for the TLW is just for TLW??? we cant use it else where? I tried last night to use the SDX gr8 driver and the con.sys.. and with standard screen colours I was not able to read anything.. if I let it timeout and screen colours rotated then I could see combo's of colour that would work.. but as far as I can see no way to do that.. or use TLW 80col in my regular CLI?

You'll need to read the release notes for RC_GR8.SYS and check out the SDX manual: it is possible to change the screen colours. Aside from that, apart from a few different strokes on the 3-bit fonts, the SDX driver's method of displaying 80 columns is exactly the same as that used by TLW. The purpose of the video here is to show that 3-bit soft 80-column characters are clearly legible on a 15KHz RGB display, even when upscaled to VGA.

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Cost/benefit ratio is pretty low. Figure if you go with older chips like the 6545 or 6845 ... you will probably be into it for $10 before you even add the RAM. All of those old chips used their own ram so you have to use at least one RAM 80x24 or 2k. You are also, if it isn't included on the chip, going to need at least 2k of ROM for the character set. The video chip + a couple of memory chips and you are already at 88 pins w/o any interface chips.

 

It would probably be better to just grab a hunk of ARM hardware with video out and do it like the current efforts at wiring it into the cartridge space. Low end Raspberry Pi kind of thing.

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Hello guys

 

If you're planning to use the 6545, you might also want to look into it's successor. Not sure about it's "name" but it was used in the C128. It was used with either 16kB or 64kB of RAM, which was only used by the videochip. With 64kB or RAM, you could do wonderful things. I tried to get it to work with the Atari via the PBI (put some hardware on a PCB that only had holes when I found it) but never got it to work. Mainly because when I do program, I use TurboBASIC and this job needed assembler. And because I'm not a hardware designer. But the chip could do 640 x 480 in multiple colors.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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You'll need to read the release notes for RC_GR8.SYS and check out the SDX manual: it is possible to change the screen colours. Aside from that, apart from a few different strokes on the 3-bit fonts, the SDX driver's method of displaying 80 columns is exactly the same as that used by TLW. The purpose of the video here is to show that 3-bit soft 80-column characters are clearly legible on a 15KHz RGB display, even when upscaled to VGA.

 

Sorry if I am thick FJC, I have read the very little about RC_gr8.sys in the manual, no mention of the colour changes, also with con.sys all I can find is the switch to turn it on /e I cant find anyway to turn it off. You say release notes... is that in an old edition of SDX? I have no idea where to find this information I spent a while last night reading.. found nothing.

 

James

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