I have acquired an Atari 130XE (no manual). It has a power cord and it powers up!

However, there is no monitor/TV cable provided.Back of Atari 130XE

Hopefully you can see the image I tried to attach. Where can I get a monitor/TV cable or failing that, how do I build one? As you can hopefully see from the picture, there are two slots, one marked "Monitor", the other marked "Television". I'm guessing the "Television" would be easier to deal with but whatever gets me up and running is fine with me. With the Atari 800 there is a cable already attached that leads to a little converter box that then goes into the coax connector on a TV. But in the 130XE case, the cable much be attached.


Update. I'm suddenly much more concerned with the output to monitor as my wife is kicking me and my toys out of the house (where there is a TV) and into the garage (where I could use an existing monitor rather than buying a new TV). Is there a name for the type of output I show in my photo?

Update #2. Still having trouble finding correct cables. In fact my monitor (I suppose I could get another monitor!) supports only VGA input. So I was looking for 5 pin DIN (180 degrees) to VGA. No luck. Did find 5 pin DIN to Composite and thought I had a composite to VGA cable, but in fact, it was VGA to Composite and I haven't had any luck finding composite to VGA.

  • 1
    The good news is that the original 800 also has the same monitor port and supports S-video. So the right cable & monitor setup (S-video is BEST) will work for both those machines.
    – Brian H
    Sep 1, 2018 at 23:09
  • The RF output from the "Television" connector will give you a noisy, fuzzy picture so I would avoid that. The "Monitor" connector gives either S-Video a.k.a. Y/C (preferred) or composite video (not as sharp but still much better than RF). Sep 2, 2018 at 19:00
  • The Atari 8-bit computer monitor cable is the same as the Commodore VIC-20 monitor cable, but it only gives composite, not S-Video or Y/C. Both types of cables are available on eBay.
    – Tim Locke
    Sep 2, 2018 at 23:39
  • 1
    "my monitor... supports only VGA input" - then you need a composite to VGA converter which upscales from PAL/NTSC to VGA, eg. ebay.com/itm/… Sep 10, 2018 at 23:55
  • 1
    "Looks like that only supports video, not sound?" - you will also need a cable to connect the computer to the converter, and the sound can be taken off that. Sep 12, 2018 at 5:13

1 Answer 1


Well, 'Television' is just a modulated TV signal on chanel 2 or 3 (see switch) which can be decoded by any analogue TV. A cinch (coaxial) cable to connect the computer to the antena input of the TV is all that's needed.

The DIN connector carries more detailed signals like:

(clockwise starting from the right)
Composite Video

(Here's a nice description)

Depending on what your TV needs a cable can be made for composite, compont or even S-Video with low effort

It might be useful to do a short Ebay search, as there are manyoffers for cables in any combination for less than 20 USD - so not realy worth to pull out the soldering iron. Just make sure to look for an XE cable, as above full signaly are only found on XE models - earlyer XL machines miss for whatever reason the Chroma signal (*1). There are also some small companies still offering (new) cables.

Here is an informative thread about cabeling the Ataris. It contains a lot of details and even a link showing in detailhow someone did build a cable for the 800XL (only composite, not S-Video)

You also might want to take a look at this Question about What Monitor did Atari Recommend for its 8 Bit Product Line, as it contains some helpful further information.

*1- The 600 XL seams also to miss the Luminace signal - at least on all I've seen.

  • Excuse my ignorance Raffzahn but I didn't fully understand your answer. Is "Chinch" the name of the type of cable? Or are you saying both ends (computer and tv) are coaxial? Is "DIN" the name of the connection I see on the back of the Atari 130XE (as shown in my picture)? Is the monitor connection type specific to the Atari or a general connection type? Thanks
    – Dave
    Sep 2, 2018 at 2:07
  • @Dave Cinch (sorry for the typo) is the connector type marked television on your Atari. DIN is not realy the name of the other, but the abrevation most used. Exactly it's a 5 pin 180 degree connector according to DIN 45321 and IEC 60130-9.
    – Raffzahn
    Sep 2, 2018 at 2:48
  • @Dave Since it's policy on RC not to mention specific vendors or sources (unless unique), I won't add any links, but as I said, just do a quick google search - it'll turn up several hits for according cable you may select from. Ofc, you need to check your monitor/TV side to select the right one.
    – Raffzahn
    Sep 2, 2018 at 2:50
  • 3
    Note Europe often uses the name Cinch for what US people would simply call an RCA connector.
    – tofro
    Sep 2, 2018 at 10:29
  • 1
    I've built a couple of s-video cables for my XL machines. It's not too hard and the results are definitely worth it!
    – Matt Lacey
    Sep 3, 2018 at 5:54

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