Atari 800XL

These computers became popular in Poland as home computers, along with Commodore 64. They had better sound and graphics than ZX Spectrum for similar price and software library size. It's successor of Atari 800 computer, with memory and chip upgrades. However not all programs from Atari 600/800 was compatible with XL computers due to ROM modifications.
Finally, in 1984 Atari released 800XLf, currently hard to get Atari 800 with Freddie memory management chip. This chip, an analogue to FC572 systems CAMMU, made memory usage faster. In its lat days, Atari tried to resurrect 800XL by making them cheaper. The new Atari 800XLRC (Reduced Cost) used mixed array chip called Keri, but it had never left prototype stage.


Manufacturer Atari

Origin U.S.A
Year of unit 1983
Year of introduction 1982
End of production 1985
CPU MOS 6502
Speed 1.77MHz
RAM 64K
ROM 24kB (Basic)
Colors: 16x16=256
Sound: 4-voice dedicated POKEY chip
OS: Atari BASIC
Display modes: Text: 20x12 - 40x24
Graphics: max 320x192
 
 

 

Media: Tape recorder
Add-on 5.25" floppy disk drive
Cartridge slot
 

Power supply:

7-pin DIN Female:

1, 4, 6 - +5V 1.5A
3,5,7 - GND
2 - Shield GND

I/O: Serial (SIO)
Parallel Bus Interface (PBI)
Video (DIN)
RF Modulator
2 Joystick ports
 
 
 
 
 
 
Possible upgrades: Can be upgraded to 128K on motherboard.
Accessories in collection:
   
Software accessibility: Easy (TOSEC, dedicated sites)

 


 Atari 65/130XE/800XE

In its parameters, it's Atari 800XL, but in futuristic Atari ST's case and without rear parallel bus. Most of 65XE units are 130XE models but with memory (and memory driver MMU C025953) stripped down. These units usually have "Expansion" additional slot, which extends cartridge bus giving possibilities of 800XL's parallel bus. 65XE was the most popular "small Atari" in Poland because it was relatively cheap and accessible easier than other computers. Memory of these can be expanded to 128K, but MMU must be installed or... some hobbyists just built their own MMU analogs using GALs, TTL logic chips or even EPROMs. If you're curious, look at De Re Atari site in Links section.
Atari 800XE was the 64kB version for eastern Europe. As some 65XEs (see below) it has 130XE mainboard with expansion connector, but has no MMU and no 2 RAM chips. This Atari is quite rare and was sold for time smaller than one year. It was one of the last models of 8-bit Ataris sold at all. If you want to find 800XE, look in Poland, Czech Republic or Slovakia, they're not much known even in Germany.


Manufacturer Atari

Origin U.S.A
Year of unit 1988
Year of introduction 1985
End of production 1992
CPU MOS 6502
Speed 1.77MHz
RAM 64K / 128K (Model 130XE)
ROM 24kB (Basic)
Colors: 16x16=256 (or 16x15)
Sound: 4-voice dedicated POKEY chip
OS: Atari BASIC
Display modes: Text: 20x12 - 40x24
Graphics: max 320x192
 
 

Atari 800XE:

 

Media: Tape recorder
Add-on 5.25" floppy disk drive
Cartridge slot
 

Power supply:

7-pin DIN Female:

1, 4, 6 - +5V 1.5A
3,5,7 - GND
2 - Shield GND

I/O: Serial (SIO)
Parallel Bus Interface (PBI)
Video (DIN)
RF Modulator
2 Joystick ports
 
 
 
 
 
 
Possible upgrades: Can be upgraded to 128K on some motherboards by adding 64kB of RAM and MMU chip or its substitute.
Accessories in collection:
   
Software accessibility: Easy (TOSEC, dedicated sites)

In fact there were 4, not 3 versions of 8-bit Atari computers in ST-style. They were:
 - 65XE with 64kB RAM - it has no expansion port.
 - 65XE with 130XE mainboard without MMU and half of RAM - it has expansion port.
 - 800XE - as above but with 800XE markings.
-  130XE - with MMU and 128kB of RAM.

Here is an exact comparison of these computers:

65XE mainboard:


Contents: Starting Image file formats Recording media Video pinout Links

Starting:

It boots directly to Atari BASIC, where you can use tape with CLOAD and CSAVE commands. After pressing a button on tape recorder you should press return to start tape motor. If you have a disk drive connected to it, you can use it as normal media or boot the software from the disk.
But remember that many disk drives used many recording formats, which means that for example disk recorded in Indus GT drive may not be readable in Atari 1050 drive.


Image file formats:

Disks:

 - ATR - standard disk image supported in many emulators and SIO2PC transfer software.
 - XFD - direct byte-by-byte dump, you can convert them to ATR with XFD2ATR HERE
- DCM - It's an Atari file format containing compressed disk image. You have to unpack it to ATR with DCM2ATR (look in files)
- SCP - Like DCM, it's Atari format used by SpartaDOS, so you need to extract them using SCOPY.
- PRO - Copy-protected disk image used by APE program.
- ATX - General format for storing copy-protected disks.
You can convert between them using Imagic

Tapes:
 - CAS - General cassette format

 - XEX - Atari executable file. It can be placed on floppy or cassette.

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Recording media

After this quite boring introduction about file formats, I'm going to explain complicated procedure of recording a cassette with software for our Atari. The first thing we should check is Atari tape recorder. Some companies modified them to make tape load faster and if we have one, we won't get our tape running without special software (cartridge) in Atari. So just look inside and check PCB if there aren't any modifications. We need a file in CAS or XEX format. You can also try to extract XEX from ATR, for example by using XDIR, but test (in emulator) these before recording - maybe it must read something from floppy?
If you have XEX, you must convert it to CAS by XEX2CAS.
Now, convert it to WAV usint CAS2WAV from the same source as XEX2CAS.
Now we can do two things:
 - Record this file using an ordinary tape recorder and hope that Atari recorder will play it.
 - Load  it directly to Atari using Atari recorder and car audio cassette adapter (a dummy cassette with jack cable and head instead of tape) and re-record it to a normal cassette. This won't work in all cases, some cassettes have complex loaders.

Turbo cassette recorder?
If you know which turbo system is it, you can try to use TURGEN program to generate CAS or WAV (as well as play live) file suitable for the system. Currently (2011) TURGEN supports Czech and Polish standards.
 

Getting disk images
You can simulate disk drive by using SIO2PC cable and software. SIO2PC is a standard cable in PC-Atari transfer, so you can also use commercial (shareware) APE program. I think there are some disk copiers, which may copy the disk from virtual (PC) one to real floppy disk drive.

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Video:

5-pin DIN female socket:

1 - Composite Luma
2 - Ground
3 - Audio output
4 -Composite video
5 - Composite chrominance*


*In some late 800XLs not connected

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Links:

http://atari.vjetnam.cz/ - Games archive
http://atariki.krap.pl - Polish Atari Wiki
http://cas-archive.pigwa.net/ - CAS library
http://atari.pigwa.net/ - Another Polish Atari site. I recommend their FTP at ftp.pigwa.net, there's much interesting stuff not only about Atari.
http://www.mushca.com/f/atari/ - More diskettes!
http://www.atariage.com/ - General about Atari, good forums.
http://hardware.atari8.info/index.php - POLISH - Atari hardware mods
http://dereatari.republika.pl/ - POLISH - Atari hardware page

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