The Atari XEP80 interface connects to joystick port 1 or 2 on the Atari
computer and provides the system with:
- An 80-column Video Display Controller with phono output jack, carrying a
monochrome composite video signal which can be either 60Hz (NTSC compatible)
or 50Hz (PAL/SECAM compatible), selectable in software.
- A Parallel Printer Port (Centronics output interface)
Note that the XEP80 does not include provision for audio.
VIDEO DISPLAY CONTROLLER
The XEP80 video hardware generates an 80 column by 25 line text display
through a video connector/cable plugged into a separately purchased monitor.
The monitor can be any Composite Video input type, although for the best
display a monochrome is strongly advised.
Internally, the XEP80 is a 256 character wide by 25 line high storage device
with an 80 column wide display window. Characters may be placed anywhere
within the device independent of the window location. The window may be
scrolled across the 256 column wide field.
Optionally, the XEP80 may be placed into Pixel Graphics mode. This mode
supports a bit mapped (pixel) screen of 320 dots (40 bytes) horizontal by 200
dots (lines) vertical. The output window displayed is approximately half the
size of the text window.
The XEP80's composite video signal contains more horizontal scan lines per
field than are used in NTSC or PAL/SECAM color broadcast, composite video, or
Y/C video (S-video) signals. The XEP80 outputs 250 scan lines of video per
field for the 60Hz signal compared to the NTSC standard of 243, or 300 scan
lines of video for the 50Hz signal compared to the PAL standard of 288. Thus
the XEP80's output was ideal for high-resolution CRT-based monochrome
composite video monitors of the time, but settings on color televisions and
monitors must typically be adjusted, if possible, in order for the entire
video output signal to be viewable on the screen.
The XEP80 supports a functional subset of the Centronics or PC parallel
printer interface (standards introduced elsewhere in this FAQ list), using the
IBM PC standard (1981) connector. Note that the Atari Operating System
resident P: device handler does not support a printer attached via joystick
port, so a substitute P: handler must be installed in RAM in order for Atari
software to recognize the XEP80 parallel port for printing.
o o o o o o o o o o o o o DB-25 Socket - female
o o o o o o o o o o o o
1. /Strobe 11. Busy
2-9. Parallel Data 12-17. Not Used
10. Not Used 18-25. Ground
The XEP80 Handler and Relocator is provided on diskette in the form of a DOS
binary file named AUTORUN.SYS. This file is automatically loaded into memory
and initialized by the DOS at boot (power on) time.
Contents of the XEP80 Boot Disk: (DX5087)
DOS.SYS DOS 2.5 File Management Subsystem (FMS)
DUP.SYS DOS 2.5 Disk Utility Package (DUP)
AUTORUN.SYS XEP80 Handler and Relocator.
Substitute versions for three OS-resident device handlers:
- S: Display Handler
- E: Screen Editor
Designed to be compatible with the standard E: device but
for the XEP80 80-column screen display.
- P: Printer.
Default configuration supports 8 different printer devices:
P1: XEP80 parallel port
P2: 850 Interface Module parallel port (e.g., Atari 825)
P3: 1025 Printer
P4: 1020 Color Plotter
P5: 1027 Printer
P6: 1029 Printer
P7: XMM801 Printer
P8: XDM121 Printer
The handler interprets P: (no device number) to mean, P1:
RELOC.SRC Relocater in assembly source
XEP80HAN.SRC Handler in assembly source
DEMO80.BAS Demonstrates overall XEP80 features
MAKER.BAS Program to generate an AUTORUN.SYS from a custom-made Handler
ATRIBUTE.BAS Demonstrates special text features
WINDOW.BAS Demonstrates the 256-character wide window
EIGHTY.BAS Displays a spreadsheet-like grid using the full XEP80 display
GRAPHICS.BAS Demonstrates graphics capability by drawing a sphere on screen
PRINTER.BAS Program to revise the default printer port configuration
XEP80.DOC Product Specification For XEP80 hardware and software
Hold down [Shift] while loading the XEP80 Handler and Relocator (AUTORUN.SYS)
to load the P: handler but not the S: and E: handlers (use the XEP80 for its
parallel printer port only).
The key engineer/designer of the XEP80 was Jose Valdes at Atari.
Lane Winner was software developer for the XEP80 at Atari.
The XEP80 was made in Taiwan.
The XEP80 draws 400mA of current from an external power supply. Use a power
supply that delivers 500mA 9V DC (center positive). Shipped with Atari
C016353 or C018084.