Atari Falcon 030
The last computer Atari built

By August 12, 2013 Heros

The Atari Falcon030 Computer System was Atari Corporation‘s final computer product. Codenamed Sparrow, the machine was based on a Motorola 68030 main CPU, and had a Motorola 56000 digital signal processor, a feature which distinguished it from most other microcomputers of the era.

The Falcon was released in late 1992 and subsequently cancelled in late 1993 as Atari Corp restructured itself to focus completely on the release and support of its newest product, the Atari Jaguar video game console.

Specifications (Falcon030)

  • Processor: Motorola 68030 at 16 MHz with MMU and 256 byte instruction and data caches.
  • FPU: optional Motorola 68881 or Motorola 68882, PLCC socket
  • DSP: Motorola 56001 DSP chip at 32 MHz (16 MIPS).
  • Graphics: “VIDEL” fully programmable video controller.
    • Palette of 262,144 possible colours (18 bit), 256 new color registers
    • Bitplane modes of 2, 16 or 256 colors (1 .. 8 bit)
    • Chunky 16-bit truecolor mode
    • RGB output can feed either 15 kHz RGB monitor or TV, old Atari SM124 monitor or a VGA monitor
    • Despite the capabilities of the Videl, the plain TOS allows the user the choice of only a few resolutions up to 640×480 (or even less in the case of 16-bit mode and VGA). In order to achieve the full potential of the Videl one have to use one of the numerous existing alternative utilities, such as “Videlity”, “Videl Inside”, “Blow UP” etc..
    • BLiTTER graphics co-processor at 16 MHz (mainly for the backward compatibility with STE)
    • Backwards compatible with all ST resolutions.
  • Audio:
    • 16-bit audio input and output up to 50 kHz – 8 stereo channels
    • SDMA sound/DMA Co-processor
    • Yamaha Y3439-F 3 Channel PSG (for the backward compatibility with ST)
  • Memory: 1, 4, or 14 MB of RAM with 512 kB ROM.
  • Bus Speed: 16 MHz, Bus width: 16 bit
  • Drives and I/O
    • 2.5 inch IDE – internal
    • 1.44 MB 3.5 inch PC compatible Floppy disk – internal
    • External SCSI-II connector
    • MIDI IN and OUT
    • 2x serial ports
    • Bidirectional LPT port
    • DSP port with I²S buses for external expansions as ADCs/DACs, S/PDIF or ADAT interfaces
    • 2× 9-pin mouse/joystick ports
    • 2× analog joystick (compatible with STE and Jaguar)
    • ROM/Cartridge port used mainly by dongles and some expansion cards
    • LocalTalk compatible Local area network port

Update 30-07-13

All in the hope of seeing if my Falcon 030 works, I have to start with the Monitor output:

I’m purchasing a 19pin piece and solder it to a 15pin VGA connection.
This may be the only way to connect to my digital monitor.

Here’s the schematic it will be using:
Falcon to SVGA

Next I’ll youtube the soldering process.

Update 12-08-13

Here’s the youtube video to the process of soldering the VGA cable to the Atari Falcon 030.

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