At Revision in April 2015, Heaven gave me his Atari 130 XE and his Atari 65 XE with VBXE 2.0 installed. The first one had broken down at the party. The second one has a VBXE built-in but not an adapter cable to connect it to a TV. While the Atari 130 XE worked fine after cleaning and re-soldering, the VBXE machine had an Atari ST monitor connector and a complex switch built in. I sat down for hours and traced the different signals through the wires, buttons, and connectors. I found that the way the wiring was, the connector could simultaneously serve as FBAS-SCART and RGB- SCART, depending on the switch position. But I didn't have a proper plug for the connector, so I had to order one. I had to learn that there are different types of 8-pin DIN plug with slightly different pin arrangement. None fully matches the Atari ST monitor connector.

Months went by, and finally, I got a working plug. Still, I was frightened by the thought of soldering SCART cables with 21 pins into the damn tiny DIN plug, not knowing where color meant what and which pin is actually which (plug vs. connector, front-view vs. rear-view, ST plug vs. VBXE pinout, before the switch vs. after the button....). And guess what: How right I was.

Today I was in the mood and decided to give it a try. After Three hours of soldering, measuring, desoldering, measuring, re-soldering, and dozens of mapping lists and diagrams, I finally made it. And then, when the cable was complete, I tested it. And it didn't work at all with my SABA CRT. So I started measuring, desoldering, and re-soldering and checked the diagrams repeatedly. Then I tried the 2nd CRT (Goldstar). It gave a very dark b/w picture and no VBXE picture at all. The 3rd CRT (Grundig) showed the same result. Meanwhile, I was 100% sure that the wiring was OK.

CRT number 4 (Schneider) then gave a clear picture with greyscales - in red. IN RED ?!?! Back to the board, did I swap luma with red - no, I'm not that stupid. Phew, no, I'm not. The 5th CRT (Sony Triniton) presented a distorted picture as it didn't detect that the input was on RGB, not FBAS. Finally, I grabbed my (almost) last available CRT: The Phillips that had just left my living room before Xmas. I plugged it in, and WHOA - it f-cking worked. It just worked and looked perfect. The cable had been correct from the start, but it took 2 hours to find the TV that could handle RGB via SCART. Priceless. Merry Christmas, Heaven, you'll get your present soon! Here's what the CRT battlefield looked like.

Parnorama view of the CRT battlefield