Atari Forum Falcon FAQ

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Here are some answers to question asked by the forum users.
The answers links back to the postings on the Atari Forum.

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Video Graphics subsystem

How to get more colour & higher Rez on a Falcon?

  • With programs like Videlity, Videl Inside, Blow Up, you can get a resolution of 800*592*256 colours easily.
  • For better resolutions with better colour depths, harware mods are needed.
  • You can get normally in 16 bit:
    • RGB/TV: 640*400 (768*480 in overscan)
    • VGA: 320*480 (with tools like "videlity" you get a little bit more)
  • For Mint/Xaaes:
    • 640x480x256 is video=27
    • If you set video to 15 you can choose resolutions from the Screenblaster software.
  • Screen Blaster III drivers here.
  • Modified Nova drivers for the Falcon

Why does the Falcon slowdown in higher video Modes?
Bottleneck is the bus to ST RAM. This bus is more occupied by the video chip. The processor sometimes has to wait to get to the data in ST RAM. Slowdown is high when moving big chunks of data in ST RAM (lot of bus time needed). Slowdown is almost zero when heavy computing is done in tight loops that fit in the 68030's processor cache (not much bus access needed).
Chart on Videl's memory consumption is in the thread above.

Can my Falcon use a LCD panel?
LCD works just fine with every resolution, including ST modes, as well as standard Falcy VGA and extended Centscreen modes. The only reservation with an LCD display is with the frequency. You have to treat an LCD/SVGA as if it were an old fixed-frequency 60hz screen, which is fine for the majority of stuff, but some games and demos like to use weird screen-busting 100hz modes, which an LCD cannot display.

How to connect a Falcon to a VGA monitor

Connection layout

Photos and discussion

What Screen grabber are available for the Falcon?
The 'Reservoir Ripper' can be use to grab screens. CT60 version available for downloading.



Falcon Motherboard Revisions

Table of Falcon motherboard revisions

Falcon PSU

240v Version

110v Version

What is a Clock Patch / SCSI / SDMA Patch ?

Examples of SDMA patch.

How do I restore the Falcon PSU & TV output fix?
Detailed description of repairing are given in the thread above.

What are the keyboard pins on the Falcon motherboard?

Pin 1 - gnd 
Pin 2 - n/c 
Pin 3 - ide/floppy led 
pin 4 - vcc 
pin 5 - rxd 
pin 6 - txd 
pin 7 - reset 
pin 8 - gnd 
pin 9 - KTOX (Could be KTDX) 
pin 10 - KROX (Could be KRDX) 

These first 8 pins are equivalent to the keyboard connector in any ST/STE.

this signal is connected U52 pin7 and supplys an irq. High pulse when the keyboard interface chip is requesting service to let the keyboard controller chip know there is an operation in progress and to buffer data instead

This is an input pin i think used to say im ready {buffer empty etc} pin 150 TOK combel{maybe transmited ok flag or something}

How to fix dead battery / NVram in falcon?
The thread above and the sticky documents various method of fixing the dead battery.

How to reset NVRAM of Falcon??
When you change the NV RAM chip, do a HARDWARE RESET of the NV RAM (Alt+Ctrl+right Shift+Undo) during bootup screen (Atari logo) because otherwise the system does not accept new settings, besides date/time.

How to fix "Coprocessor protocol violation" issues?
I was getting some problems with booting, that I narrowed down to the FPU. I'm not sure why, but I do have quite a bit of hardware hanging off the motherboard (Nemesis and MightySonic32). On bootup, it was hanging around the point it loads the ext2 filesystem driver. Removed FPU, all was fine.

What is the Revisions of Falcon motherboard?
A = Alpha version inhouse developement
B = Beta version sent to the gimps who then bum on about it shows and exibitions
C = Main release version
D = revised to fix major errors
E = revised to fix minor errors left over....
a new revision is made each time the factory/factories plan to make and build another release of machines

How to make the Falcon CTR14 memory board work?
It has some short circuits, on top side you have to cut 2 tracks, on the bottom 3 tracks.
Photo in thread above shows where to cut.

Why does the falcon sometime crashes with graphics error?
Graphics errors could be related to RAM problems. Removing the Memory card and putting it back into the falcon may solve the issue.

How to revive an Falcon with clicking sound from HDD?
This is probably due to a dry battery in the NVram. Replace the NVRam is the solution.

Falcon White Screen troubleshooting

Falcon Black Screen troubleshooting

Can I use a ATX PSU on the Falcon?
You basically only need the +5v / +12v and GND for an atari.
On an ATX PSU these will be
RED = +5v
YELLOW = +12v
BLACK = Ground
So, the Blue wire on an ST is +12v so you can substitute the BLUE on the ST with the YELLOW on the PSU. However, the BLUE on a PC PSU is actually -12v so dont mistake them.
Also, in order to force an ATX PSU to ON, you will need to ground the GREEN wire too! When I did this withe the Mega, I used the GREEN-BLACK shorting with a simple PTM-PTB Switch and this worked a treat.

What are CLab customisation ?
CLab MK-X customization noticed are

  • Internal SCSI (this has been done by C-Lab, but I think it has been modified somehow)
  • Line out (2x 6.3 mm bus)
  • Line in (2x 6.3 mm bus)
  • Volume control
  • SCSI clock mod



Can the Falcon be put into a Rack?

2U rack :
A Falcon with CT60 can be stuffed into a 19" 2U rack. Photos in the thread above.

Case :
Various standard PC tower can be used to house the bird. Photos in the thread above.



How to setup Internet access on the Atari?


Can Internet Radio be used on the Falcon?
Yes with a combination of Cab Browser,Falcamp, and 56k modem / network.


Storage subsystem

Can I have a IDE cd-rom or CD Burner on the Falcon?

  1. I have a 3.5 IDE CD writer connected to my Falcon. I use the Wizztronics 2.5 to 3.5 adapter on the internal IDE port. It gives 2 IDE 3.5 connections. I use SPIN as a driver for the CD writer, but I never tried to burn a CD with it, I use it only as a CD-Rom player. For power, I just connected it to the ATX psu needed by my CT60.
  2. I tried a yamaha cd-writer on my falcon. I store CD images on the IDE HD and had the writer on SCSI. This gave me 4x speed. I burned about 150 CDR's without a single error using CD-LAB by Francois Galea. When reading from CDR to HDD I got about 4.2x speed *g*
  3. HDDriver will pick the drive up, but you still need some other program (like spin, exntedos) to be able to read CDs. CDs have different types of filing system, and AFAIK it's never been added to HDDriver.
  4. You just need a 3-way 44pin IDE cable, one end plug into the motherboard while the 2 other sockets into your IDE devices. A 44pin to 40pin adapter may be needed if your CD drive is 40pin IDE.

Can I have Compact Flash/SD card/SSD on the Falcon?

  1. yes you can use 2 ide device on the f030
  2. A friend has an IDE CF reader in his Falcon and it works pretty well with the last version of HDDriver. If you want to read DOS-formated CFs, you can use BigDos, Mint or Magic.
  3. I just wanted to let everyone know that I was successful in installing and booting my Falcon from a Compact Flash (CF) card. I tried both 512mb and 1gb cards. I was originally not successful since I was using HDDriver 7.61 (for compatibility with the CT60) This locks up when attempting to boot or ID the CF card. I ended up using ICD Pro Utilities 6.5.5 (I think) and it works fine.
  4. I have been using a CF Adapter and card for yonks now. HD Driver v8 is required to boot from it properly, but then v8 is supposed to have issues with CuBase Audio.
  5. You just need a 3-way 44pin IDE cable, one end plug into the motherboard while the 2 other sockets into your IDE devices. A 44pin to 40pin adapter may be needed if your card reader is 40pin IDE.

What is the speed of a CF on the Falcon?
On a hard drive I would normally expect 3-5 files per second but on the Compact Flash card it took 10-15 seconds for 1 file.

What Hard disk defragment tools are there?

  1. Diamond Edge.
  2. HPOptimizer 2.9
  3. HPOptimizer 2.9X - MiNT only

What is the HDD size limit of the Falcon ?

  1. HDdriver states "Support for SCSI drives up to 8192 GByte and IDE drives up to 2048 GByte. For SCSI drives with a capacity > 1 GByte Atari ST and STE require an ICD compatible SCSI host adapter, e. g. the LINK97."
  2. OS limitation:
OS-Release              Size 
TOS 1.00 - 1.02        256 MByte 
TOS 1.04 - 3.xx        512 Mbyte 
TOS 4.0x              1024 MByte 

MagiC / BigDOS        1024 MByte 
                      2048 MByte (Compatible Dos) 

MagiC 6.1       FAT32 -> Terrabyte (not MagiC 6.01) 

FreeMiNT 1.15 / FAT16  2048 MByte (DOS/TOS comp. Partition) 
FreeMiNT      / FAT32  ->  Terrabyte 

Can I connect a ST ASCI drive to a Falcon?
Unfortunately the 19pin connector is not SCSI. It's ACSI, that connects to any atari but F030.

How many IDE devices can I put in the Falcon?

  1. You can use at least 2 devices without problem. I have 1 CD Burner and 1 HD, both are IDE devices.
  2. You can use 2 ide device on the f030. Remember to set the boot drive as Master, and PC/TOS drive as slave.
  3. You just need a 3-way 44pin IDE cable, one end plug into the motherboard while the 2 other sockets into your IDE devices.

How do I install an IDE SD card in a Falcon

There are a number of different hard drive drivers available (HDDRIVER, ICD, AHDI, PPERA)

  • Jookie's ICD Tutorial - Tutorial is for the SCSI ULTRASATAN, so at point no.7 you need to click 'partition' not 'format'

Can I connect a HDD to both a Falcon & PC?
Connecting a PC and Falcon to the same SCSI drive is supposed to be possible. Both controllers and hard disk drivers need to support SCSI Bus Arbitration, and be sure to keep in mind that the PC and Falcon's SCSI interface IDs need to be different.
Thread above details how to do this.

What is the proper way to install a driver for the Falcon SCSI-2 device?
Thread details procedure to install drivers on HDD.



Is there a tool for me to convert images from xxx to yyyy?

  1. convert TGA/BMP or other sane graphic formats into raw Truecolor data on the Falcon = Escape Paint, it can read the TGA format, but not really correctly, you have just to use Gemviem module and use the TGA Gemviem module and save in .TRP format. It's nearly a raw format.
  2. Converting .XGA or .GOD to something PC readable = Godconv by Evil/DHS.
  3. Imagecopy 4 will convert in 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 & 24 bit depths, I have tried it with JFIF95->IMG and GIF->IMG images.

Can I encode MP3 on the Falcon?
if you can find it, there suppose to be a lame encoder.

How do I connect my music stuff to the Falcon?

  1. Steinberg SMP II
    • SMPTE (Timecode for tapes) generator and reader
    • 2 ports MIDI IN
    • 4 ports MIDI OUT
    Conected to parallel port. Compatible with MROS (OS of Steinberg) software.
  2. Steinberg MIDEX +
    • Port ROM key expander, for use with software dongles (Cubase, Synthworks, ...etc)
    • SMPTE generator and reader
    • 2 ports MIDI IN
    • 4 ports MIDI OUT
    Conected to ROM port. Compatible with MROS software.
  3. Steinberg Cubase Audio Clock
    It permits to Falcon to record and play in 44 and 48 khz (frequencies of the CD and DAT respectively).
    Conected to DSP port
    Compatible with all software capable to select an external clock for the DSP.
  4. Soundpool MO4
    • 4 MIDI OUTS
    • Parallel port
    Conected to parallel port. Compatible with MROS software.
  5. Soundpool SPDIF
    It permits to Falcon record and play in 44 and 48 khz (Replaces the Cubase Audio Clock)
    • Digital audio IN and OUT SPDIF (Coaxial)
    • Digital audio IN and OUT DAT (optical)
    • DSP port
    Conected to DSP port directly or to the FDI port of the Analog 8 in case to utilize this.
  6. Soundpool Sync box
    This device can be utilized without Falcon, since converts any Midi Time Code in SMPTE/EBU
    • 1 port MIDI IN
    • 1 port MIDI THRU
    • 1 SMPTE/EBU out
    Conected to any MIDI out capable of send MTC. Compatible with any software capable of send MTC or read SMPTE/EBU
  7. Soundpool Falcon Analog8 interface
    This device delivers the eight analog outs of the eight audio channels of the falcon
    • 8 Audio OUTS
    • DSP port
    • FDIF port
    Conected to DSP port directly or to the FDI port of the ADAT interface in case to utilize this.

Why does Cubase refuse to read/write on scsi HD?
Cubase refused to record anything if the partition size is over 1G. Re-partition to something smaller.

How to play movies on Falcon under GEM??

  1. Aniplay -
  2. Mplayer -

How to remove the bass from the falcons audio output ?
Hardware modifications for getting standard line levels in/out (-10dB), instead of the original microphone in/headphone out. These modifications are described in your Cubase Audio handbook as well, but there is a slight change from that to get the true line levels. All the components are surface mounted resistors and capacitors, so you should NOT do the modifications if you're not absolutely certain that you are able to do it.


  • Change C58, C59 from 100pF to 1000pF
  • Change R123, R130 from 10kohm to 15kohm
  • Change R59, R68 from 100kohm to 4.7kohm
  • Change C95, C90 from 0.033uF to 1kohm resistor


  • Put a 10kohm resistor between pin 2 of U21 (@ R119) and AGND (@ R111).


  • Remove R56, R57, R90, R92, C21, C81
  • Change R66, R87 from 100kohm to 1.8kohm
  • Put a 470pF capacitor in parallel with R67, R88
  • Put a 100pF capacitor in parallel with R66, R87

How to correct sound system failures in falcon?
Detailed information on hardware debugging described in the thread above.


Floppy Drive subsystem

What floppy drives can you use with a Falcon?
You can connect any pc floppy to F030. Although not everyone will work 100% right out of the box. The problem is HD-floppy detect signal. Without it the floppy will always work as a 720kb driver, or 1.44mb drive. F030 expects it on pin 2 I believe, and most floppys doesn't provide that signal on pin 2, (some provide it on pin 4, or pin 6) if they provide it at all...

Modern floppys often lacks jumpers, atleast visible ones. Sometimes they are hardwired from the factory, sometimes they are hidden under the shielding, so you have to take the floppy apart to move the jumpers around.

Is the Falcon floppy compatible with the ST?
If it's a double-density floppy, or a high-density floppy that you've deliberately formatted at double density, then it should read OK - but bear in mind that you're limited by the quality of the disk and the gunk in the drive. If you format to 9 sectors / 80 tracks, a Windows PC should read the disk OK too, and a Linux PC will read most undamaged disks just fine.

How to set the External drive to High Density FDD?


Operating Systems

Can I dual boot MINT/MAGIC on the Falcon?
Of course you can! And the only thing needed is a boot manager, like xboot or stoop. You just select which files to run at the bootstrap, and you are done. Of course, you need to know which files are required to boot each system.

How do make MINT output to the RF TV?
Set XaAES video mode to 300, and get output on TV.

How to capture output from the LPT port into a file?
You need to choose the printer (a PCL one) and then "print to file"



What CPU accelerators are there for Falcon?

A list of Falcon Accelerators can be found here

Forum topics

Why does EtherNAT hang on bootup?
On reboot CT60 freezes at the MiNTNet message "Loading interface [mac-address]" if the network is not plugged in. It looked for an active connection during startup. With a network plugged in, it will boot up correctly.

Why do I get bad data when I run 800x600x256 on my CT63?
When I put the machine in 800/608-256 colours, when I copy files between ide and SCSI hd, the machine hangs. Lesson learnt: too much stuff into screen=bus clogging somewhere (and DSP getting hot).
Everything will be fixed with SuperVidel or CTPCI

Some tips on getting cuBase working on Falcon CT60.
Some hints:

  1. The EXEP060.PRG - must use the Cubase one.
  2. MROS Driver - had to mix and match in order to get the MIDI-8 to accept midi data, and coupled with the MROS from the original Friend Chip Floppy, and the DRV from the CuBase Folder in the CT Archive... Everythign else seems to crash.