Hello fellow nerds!

So I was having a smoke outside work in the alley, when all of the sudden, coming back from the break, my most amazing girlfriend goes "hey look at that old thing" and I went "OMFG@#$$^"

There it was, leaning on the side of a wall, a lone Atari 520STFM. I thought "Fuck's sake! My girlfriend is totally ace at spotting random old computers in weird places". Needless to say I now have to marry her.

But anyways. I plugged it and turned it on. It powers just fine, disk drive lights up and seems to be booting up. Unfortunately the guy who threw it out didn't include a monitor, or mouse, or any software so I'm kind of stuck.

I was wondering if any of you guys had any good resources to acquire a mouse and monitor for it? In fact, anything that could help me get this baby up and running would be super appreciated. Software, hardware, anything. Popular mods? Or aftermarket made-by-nerds adapter-a-ma-jigs to hook it up to newer hardware? Throw it all at me! I want to get this beast screaming mad chiptunes!!!

I still can't get over finds like this... how do people just stumble across things and why can't this happen to me?!

n00bstar wrote:

Unfortunately the guy who threw it out didn't include a monitor, or mouse, or any software so I'm kind of stuck.

Damn, how inconsiderate of that guy wink haha

In terms of monitors, as it's an FM it should have an RF modulator built in, so it will work with any TV that has an RF in, although you have to buy an adapter from RCA to RF which is like a dollar at your nearest electronics store. You should be able to buy a mouse off ebay? Or maybe even a PS/2 adapter!

As for software, there's some good information here to get software onto the thing. In terms of software to use, there is MaxYMiser, which is very in depth and great although a little intimidating at first, and there is also MusicMon which is a lot simpler to use, but has a few limitations.

Best of luck with your Atari adventures!!

For video, the FM has a RF output. Otherwise you need an RGB monitor or some kind of device that can take RGB inputs like the Framemeister. Aside from that, LGR on youtube has a pretty good overview:

if you put a disc in there it will boot *much* faster. but even if you don't just leave it for some minutes and the desktop should eventually appear.

Panda Chan wrote:

I still can't get over finds like this... how do people just stumble across things and why can't this happen to me?!

Haha yeah I know it's super annoying when it happens to others. I'm always like "you found a tb303 in the trash? how about fucking right off?"

Strangely enough, even though it has the FM tag right on it, it doesn't have the RF output. Maybe it's some super early (or late?) version of it? Or maybe it's a frankentari and has been put together from the carcasses of other ataris. I found some cables online that will convert the monitor output to VGA + Sound. That seems to be my best option, because I also noticed there's not a single sound output on the back of it. My guess is that the cover was damaged at some point and got replaced by an STFM cover. It's probably 520STF undeneath the hood.

When I get back from work tonight I'm going to open it up and start cleaning it, I'll get a better idea of what it is exactly when I see the innards.

Still haven't left for work. Googling the shit out of this.. I am going to be so late. Tsk. Damn nerdiness.

So... It seems there's a slew of MonitorPort-to-VGA connectors available for cheap, but from what I read you need a monitor/tv that will sync down to 15khz if you want to use the low/med colour mode. Seems that the 30khz hi-res mono mode works find on just about any monitor.

Now, from my brief experience with the Atari, ages ago, I seem to remember being unable to run most music software in hires mode. Am I correct?

n00bstar wrote:

Haha yeah I know it's super annoying when it happens to others. I'm always like "you found a tb303 in the trash? how about fucking right off?"

Yeah, synthtopia posted about some guy finding a korg ms20 in a dumpster and I was like nope... no way.

n00bstar wrote:

Now, from my brief experience with the Atari, ages ago, I seem to remember being unable to run most music software in hires mode. Am I correct?

You can run most of the MIDI sequencing software like Cubase, Creator and Notator, but the fun stuff like MaxYMiser and Protracker don't work in the hi-res mode (which is sad because I only have a hi-res monitor and I have to use a 4" reversing camera monitor for colour, but it's worth it for MaxYMiser).

Alright. Got it opened up!

Damn there's a LOT of dust in there. Literally years of it. Anyways.. got it opened and I think my guess of it being a frankentari might be correct after all.

The motherboard revision is C070523-001 D. After some digging around on the webternet, it could either a 1040 STF or a 520 STFM. While the label on the keyboard says 520 STFM, there's no monitor output either on the case, or on the motherboard. The metal shield however does have the holes for them, but I'm guessing every atari has those since it would make no sense to produce two different metal shields.

The ram is also fully populated, which leads me to think it's a 1mb model?

So... no monitor out, and apparently 1mb of ram. I think my 520STFM might be a 1040STF. Am I wrong?

Damn I can't wait to get this beast running so I can know for sure what I have!

HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHA

I'm a god damn idiot.

I just looked UNDER the case. Y'know.. where you have all the information written?

So yeah, it's a 1040STF smile  While the lack of a monitor output makes it a tad more complicated for me, I think I'd rather have a 1040 in the end.

Yeah I was going to say that sounds a lot like a 1040STF! And yeah it might make a monitor situation a tad more complicated, but sound-wise they're the same, and the extra RAM is definitely a nice feature to have!

Have to say that the composite video of a (mine) STFM is not so great. Maybe on a CRT/TV it is better but on the LCDs I have on hand with composite in, spending more then 15 mins on it would give me a headache. Been on the lookout for a multi sync that will do low res but to no luck. Found one that does Hi Res, (beware not every multi-sync LCD will do HI Res). Ended up with a scan converter from Ebay, GSB-8220 I think, fingers crossed for Lo/Med Res. Yet to get it all hooked up but heard OK reports. 
Point being: not having composite out isn't too great of a loss, as most will end up wanting a better display sooner or later wink
Yogi
P.S. Great score by your GF, she's a keeper!

Last edited by yogi (June 16, 2016 3:18 am)

It's a little bit hard to get a Low/Med res monitor in Quebec (took me something like 6 years to get my hands on a SC1224 when I have 2-3 unused SM124 in my attic)
Sucks only Musicmon 1.0 and XLR8 works on Hi-Res because these monitors are neat !
I think I have 1 mouse that I don't use somewhere in my boxes ! I will totally give it to you next time I will go to Montreal (when I will find it ! tongue )

@yogi. Yeah she's a keeper. She got all excited when I told her what I planned to do with the machine. I told her I missed my old A1200 and she wrote the name down and promised she'd try to get me one. If she scores me an old 1200, I will marry her ON THE SPOT. smile

@xyno. SIX YEARS? Dammit sad I looked around the interweb and there's a couple SC1224 for sale, mostly packaged with an ST, but they cost a fucking arm and a leg. I hate myself now because I threw an SC1224 out in the trash a few years ago when my old ST died just a week after getting it. I would totally take you up on the mouse offer though! And if you have too many SM124's laying about, I could buy one off of you if you're not using them. That would at least get me up and running to see if the computer works properly and check if the disk drive is still good and all that jazz before I start investing in replacing the TOS chips and getting an SD card drive and all that jazz.

I've started cleaning it up. There were a couple of scratches on it that I thought I wouldn't be able to get rid of, but they came riiiiight off. It's a fucking beauty now. I SO VERY MUCH WANT TO USE IT DAMMIT.

n00bstar wrote:

@xyno. SIX YEARS? Dammit sad I looked around the interweb and there's a couple SC1224 for sale, mostly packaged with an ST, but they cost a fucking arm and a leg. I hate myself now because I threw an SC1224 out in the trash a few years ago when my old ST died just a week after getting it. I would totally take you up on the mouse offer though! And if you have too many SM124's laying about, I could buy one off of you if you're not using them. That would at least get me up and running to see if the computer works properly and check if the disk drive is still good and all that jazz before I start investing in replacing the TOS chips and getting an SD card drive and all that jazz.

It is because it cost an arm and a leg that I didn't bought one until I had the chance to bought a mega st (without the cord for the keyboard sad )and I got it with it !
I will test my SM124s and I will throw you the best one for sure !
For the mouse and the screen I will just ask you something like 20$ + the money for my bus (another 20) because I will not try to ship that (kinda heavy !)
You're cool with that ? I can throw you disks with Musicmon 1.0 and XLR8 if you want so you will be able to do some stuffs with your ST (no sid, buzz, digis in musicmon 1.0, pure YM)

w00t. Price is just fine, no worries there. Shipping this would be a pain in the ass anyways. I once had an amiga shipped to me with the screen. Damn thing ended up costing me more in shipping fees than what I paid for the machine. Never again big_smile

And yes, a disk or two to get me going would totally rock. I've been looking at XLR8 and it looks petty decent. I really hope I can get the low res thing worked out soon so I can try Musicmon 2.5. It really looks kick ass.

Let me know when you're planning to come to Montreal and we'll get this set up!

Best will be to buy:
Ultra Satan SD card adapter...
Or FDD SD card emulator...
www.lotharek.pl
Also Atari PS/2 adapter is good choice...
http://www.vesalia.de/e_micromysv4.htm
Look at maxYMizer Tracker:
http://www.preromanbritain.com/maxymiser/
There is also DJ tool by GWEM...
You should also upgrade 520 to 1mb:
http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/store.htm
And look at STfreakz at ebay...

I wish I will see Atari on street too. I have seen only Amiga 500 but was broken and PCB in very bad shape...

Last edited by Matej (June 20, 2016 5:22 pm)