Amiga Hardware Database Expansion cards



Merlin Photo Software
Company
X-Pert Computer Services / Prodev, Germany
 Date
1993
 Amiga
A2000
A3000, A4000
 
-
-
Interface
Zorro II
Zorro III
 Autoconfig ID
2117 / 3,4,201
    RTG graphics card
  • Tseng Labs ET4000W32
    • 85 MHz dot clock in 8 bit modes
  • Brooktree Bt482 RAMDAC with hardware cursor
  • 2 or 4 MB DRAM
    • although the Merlin was advertised to support 8 or 16 MB, that would be possible with ET4000W32i or ET4000W32p chips only
    • only 2 MB is possible in Zorro II mode
  • two SIMM sockets for custom made SIMMs
    • 1× 2 MB, 32 bit (labeled as "2 MB 32 Bit")
    • 2× 2 MB, 16 bit (labeled as "2 MB")
    • 1× 4 MB, 32 bit, 60 ns
  • the clock speed of the blitter and memory can be selected with jumpers between 50-65 MHz (55 MHz is the default setting)
    optional video module, X-Calibur (Photo)
  • activates the S-VHS and Composite output connectors
  • provides RGB, S-VHS and Composite inputs on a separate slot cover
    • the RGB input is fake - the signal is converted to NTSC Y/C and then digitized
    • the ProDev digitizing software supports the Composite input only
  • provides up to 800×600 @ 16 bit
  • works only in Zorro II mode because the ET4000W32 does not support digitizing in its 32 bit mode
  • a switch is provided for easy switching between Z2 and Z3 modes (connects to the Z2/Z3 jumper)
    notes
  • a genlock module was developed but never sold
  • the design of Merlin was not finished when the card went into production, leading to many problems
    • compatibility problems with other Zorro cards
    • incompatibility with 060 processors
    • incompatibility with all GVP processor cards
    • reset problems
    • the small registers of the ET4000 chip led to problems with 24 bit screens larger than 680×576 (8 and bit screens have no problems)
  • X-Pert and ProDev both offered fixes but only ProDev's methods could cure all problems
  • Ingenieurbüro Riedel still offers fixing of problematic Merlin cards
  • HD15 VGA connector
  • S-VHS, RGB, F-BAS output connectors
  • automatic monitor switch and video pass through
  • every Amiga graphics function is supported except the Copper
  • if more than one screen is opened the next one can be seen through a window on the foremost screen
  • Picasso96, EGS and ProBench drivers
  • supported by NetBSD and OpenBSD

    Photo
    X-Pert Computer Services / Prodev Merlin - with RAM installed front side
    with RAM installed, front side

    X-Pert Computer Services / Prodev Merlin - Analogue Video Converter module front side
    Analogue Video Converter module, front side

    X-Pert Computer Services / Prodev Merlin -  back side
    back side

    X-Pert Computer Services / Prodev Merlin - no RAM installed front side
    no RAM installed, front side




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