Jump to content
IGNORED

Never used an ST - best option?


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! I did a search for this topic, but couldn't find anything that answered my question. Sorry if this has been covered before - if it has, a link to the appropriate post would be appreciated.

 

Anyway, my first computer was an 8-bit Atari, an 800XL to be exact. Loved it, learned to program on it, etc. Had a 2600 as a kid. Now that I'm grown, I built up a pretty decent-sized collection of Atari consoles and computers. In fact, the only Atari-related thing I don't have (and have no clue about, really) is a computer from the ST line.

 

From what little I've read, I've become interested in purchasing one to play around with. But again, I never had one, and there seems to be so many different models and configurations. Can someone recommend the best option for me? Something that is compatible with the widest variety of software and hardware? Also not terribly rare and expensive?

 

Is there an option to connect a modern laptop or PC to an ST and run disk images from that? Something like SIO2PC and APE for the 8-bits?

 

The TT/Falcon lines seem like overkill for general gaming/application use (and expensive, and not compatible with many things - accurate?) Is a 1040 a good bet? Which configuration would you recommend?

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello everyone! I did a search for this topic, but couldn't find anything that answered my question. Sorry if this has been covered before - if it has, a link to the appropriate post would be appreciated.

 

Anyway, my first computer was an 8-bit Atari, an 800XL to be exact. Loved it, learned to program on it, etc. Had a 2600 as a kid. Now that I'm grown, I built up a pretty decent-sized collection of Atari consoles and computers. In fact, the only Atari-related thing I don't have (and have no clue about, really) is a computer from the ST line.

 

From what little I've read, I've become interested in purchasing one to play around with. But again, I never had one, and there seems to be so many different models and configurations. Can someone recommend the best option for me? Something that is compatible with the widest variety of software and hardware? Also not terribly rare and expensive?

 

Is there an option to connect a modern laptop or PC to an ST and run disk images from that? Something like SIO2PC and APE for the 8-bits?

 

The TT/Falcon lines seem like overkill for general gaming/application use (and expensive, and not compatible with many things - accurate?) Is a 1040 a good bet? Which configuration would you recommend?

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

I'll to simplify ST model numbering. The number relates to how much memory it came with shipped (it could have later been upgraded). 520ST = 512kb RAM 1040ST = 1mb

 

The letters after the name (1040STfm 1040STe)

 

f = internal floppy. The original STs had external floppies.

m = Modulator as in RF modulator - so these models can be used with a television, and not just a monitor.

e = STe - enhanced graphics/sound, closer to an Amiga. STe's also have internal floppies and can be used with Televisions.

 

Mega STs - these were more professional models, look like a traditional desktop computer with nicer detachable keyboard.

 

If you can find an STe that's not terribly expensive, go with that. Otherwise the rest of the models should be able to use most software (except the STe enhanced ones, but that is a small minority of software). The more memory the better.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also might be worth noting that the STFM and STE models have composite video SYNC signals that allow you to output gorgeous RGB video. This can be used in conjunction with a professional RGB monitor like the Sony PVM or BVM (expensive).

 

Do the STm (not STfm) models have this as well? I just got a 520STm, and am trying to figure out the best thing I can do as far as a monitor goes (without buying an actual matching monitor).

 

Not to threadjack, but I figure this is good info to determine options for someone making a future purchase too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Do the STm (not STfm) models have this as well? I just got a 520STm, and am trying to figure out the best thing I can do as far as a monitor goes (without buying an actual matching monitor).

 

Not to threadjack, but I figure this is good info to determine options for someone making a future purchase too.

 

I have never owned a 520, but I believe you are correct. The M should indicate the unit has Composite out capabilities, and therefore should provide composite sync circuit on the video out line..

Edited by CarpetSoldier
Link to comment
Share on other sites

not sure if you know but the Atari ST series is the EASIEST to covert disk images to real floppy disks unlike other platforms! (C64, Amiga, Atari 800 XL XE, etc) because the ST uses FAT12 format for disks. (PC format) If you have an older PC with built in Floppy drive (Not external USB, though you can use that to format the disk and drag files to it for reading on the ST....) you can write ST/MSA disk images to a real disk.

 

Use Floppy Image to do it.

 

http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can find a 1040STE that will be the best option as a base for games. No commercial games that I'm aware of required more than 1MB RAM which the 1040 STE has as standard. All STE machines (520 / 1040 / Mega STE) are very easy to upgrade to 2MB or 4MB RAM if you can find the SIMM modules.

 

There are a few early ST games than don't run on STEs but they are better machines all round.

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also might be worth noting that the STFM and STE models have composite video SYNC signals that allow you to output gorgeous RGB video. This can be used in conjunction with a professional RGB monitor like the Sony PVM or BVM (expensive).

 

All machines have an RGB output and will work with the larger Sony BVM/PVM models (with component RGB input as three BNC jacks, some models here in Germany even came with SCART connectors, e.g. the PVM-2130QM and PVM-2950QM). Only the models with an RF modulator will also output composite and can be connected to the ubiquitous yellow composite RCA jack on TV sets, albeit with a lower picture quality (still better than RF, but far worse than RGB).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

If you can find a 1040STE that will be the best option as a base for games. No commercial games that I'm aware of required more than 1MB RAM which the 1040 STE has as standard. All STE machines (520 / 1040 / Mega STE) are very easy to upgrade to 2MB or 4MB RAM if you can find the SIMM modules.

 

There are a few early ST games than don't run on STEs but they are better machines all round.

 

Good luck.

Great thread. I had the same question.

 

I have a 1040STE that I need to do a mouse port repair on (mouse doesn't work) as well as a 520STFM and a closet full of 1040STF systems. So, specifically, do I NOT need a 4meg module upgrade such as the Marpet with the STE? I want to put all of my upgrades into one of my systems, which will include a RAM upgrade for my purposes and was having trouble figuring out which one to choose. All are very clean and work great with the one port exception.

 

Thanks,

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could swap the keyboard with the STFM in the short term although it is quite a simple fix if you have used a soldering iron before.

 

The STe will not need the Marpet board (just 4 x 1mb 30 pin simms) to max it out, although if you only want to play games 1mb will be plenty, which you already have in your STe. The STFM and STFs will need the Marpet board (or better Exxos's alternative), although check whether any of them have surface mounted chips as you need a special connector which fits over the top of the chip (or you can solder direct to the chip) if they do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mouse and joystick ports are prone to damage because of the awkward location and repeated plugging in and unplugging. The two faults I've come across are :

 

I) cracked solder joints on the PCB where the ports are mounted. An easy fix - if you open your ST up and remove the keyboard you can inspect the PCB and identify the cracked joints. I have no soldering skills but managed to repair mine with a cheap soldering iron.

 

2) The pins in the mouse port socket can bend and break. If bent a pair of needle nose pliers can be used to straighten them. If broken it's easier to replace the whole keyboard.

 

To avoid both I'd recommend getting some controller extension cables. They often come up on eBay and save fiddling about underneath the ST every time you want to switch mouse with joystick.

 

Zogging Hell has covered the memory question above. It's worth noting that the STEs memory is divided into 2 banks of 2 SIMMS and you can't mix and match 256K and 1024K modules in one machine (unless you have a software patch and that usually doesn't work with games anyway). I can't remember the exact layout but if you have a 520STE to upgrade to 1MB you need to buy 2 additional 256K 30 pin SIMMS to populate all four memory slots. To upgrade to 2MB you need 2 x 1024K SIMMS in the slots where the 256K SIMMS were (in alternate not consecutive slots) and scrap the old modules. To upgrade to 4MB you need 4 x 1024K SIMMS to populate all four slots. There is no 2.5MB or 3MB RAM option.

 

It might take a bit of trial and error to get the right combination but they're easy to pull and replace.

 

I hope that helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...