My Atari 520ST Setup

I’ve mentioned in various posts on this blog that I’ve owned a couple of Atari STs over the years – a 520ST in late ’86 and a Mega ST2 in ’89. I sold them both long ago, but have particularly fond memories of that 520ST, which was a really nice setup, housed in a Micro Mate 520 STation. The last is a rather unique system stand/organizer which I’ve searched for on and off over the years, thinking it would be a great find in case I ever setup another ST system. Well, I found a 520 STation, as reported here back in February. And, as I expected (feared?), the STation lead me to setup a whole 520ST system with which to fill it.

It’s a standard, early model 520ST with 512K RAM and an integrated RF modulator. I’ve got two SF314 (double sided) floppy drives tied to it, along with a classic 15kHz SC1224 RGB monitor. I’ve replaced the keyboard and body plastic on the 520ST with brand new pieces, so it truly feels like a new machine. I’ve had fun playing with it so far, and intend to spend much more time with it in the coming months.

Click the above pic to see my full 520ST gallery.

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7 Responses to My Atari 520ST Setup

  1. Daniel says:

    That’s so fun, man.

    I have ALWAYS wanted an Atari ST (or derivative) since they first came out, but my IBM-employed father wouldn’t hear of it. (He similarly wouldn’t hear of my requests for a Macintosh.)

    I’ve thought of getting one in more recent years, but having absolutely no background with the Atari ST, considering their age I fear that documentation and support would be hard to come by. I know a lot about old Macs and NeXTs – I have a nice collection of each, and have a history with them – but I know nothing about the Atari ST. Or the Amiga, for that matter.

    What can you do with a 520ST today?

  2. blakespot says:

    Thanks for writing! Well, you can play great versions of Oids, Typhoon Thompson, Virus, Gauntlet and the best version of one of the best games ever made: Time Bandit. Not to mention the curiously satisfying Megaroids. I am not trying to do anything “serious” with this 512K machine, but it’s fun to game with. Honestly, the Amiga is a similar and much more capable machine.

    I’ve got a NeXT too, btw:

    And a HP-9000 running NEXTSTEP:

    And a Mac Pro running OPENSTEP (sometimes…):


  3. sixty4k says:

    I just got a pair of 520s, a pair of floppy drives and a monitor, just awaiting a little bit of time to set it all up and test.

    I went straight from commodores to x86 pcs, but I remember being jealous of my best friend’s 1040. Excited to see what this little box has to offer.

  4. JMan says:

    Very nice set-up! I owned a 520ST back in college and still like the style of the machine. It still looks great; the design holds up today. I recall playing some great games on it, especially Gauntlet and Dungeon Master.

    I gave my ST up for a 386SX PC in ’89 due to the difficulty of getting software for it and my University using PC software exclusively. After graduation in ’90, I switched to an Amiga 3000 for use in graduate school. Now, that was an excellent machine.

    Have you ever thought about getting an Atari Falcon? It’s a pretty neat machine. I remember being tempted to buy one in 93. I decided to save my money for an Amiga 1200, but blew it on an 486 PC instead. I did eventually buy the Amiga 1200, a little late, in 2003.

    You have an amazing collection. Keep it up!

  5. JMan, I’ve owned both 16-bit Amigas and Ataris, but I much preferred the Amiga 1200 to what I saw of the Atari Falcon. The Falcon had an ‘030 processor but it was sitting on a 16-bit bus (similar to the limited architecture of the Mac LC, a machine I did own) while the Amiga 1200 was true 32-bit with its ‘020 sitting on a 32-bit wide bus. Not to mention the fact that the 1200’s AGA chipset was far more advanced overall than what the Falcon offered.

    I’m much happier with a true oldschool Atari 520ST sitting on my desk, just as it did back in 1986.

    Also, Gauntlet on the ST was an amazing port. All my friends were jaw-dropped at seeing it.

    Never owned an Amiga 3000. My most powerful Amiga is one I currently own, an A1200 I’ve towered with a 66MHz 68060 accelerator and 64MB of FAST RAM. It’s equipped with a flicker-fixer/scan-doubler and a PC-style PS/2 keyboard adapter. A great machine I use mainly for demos and the occasional game. I actually game more on my unaccelerated Amiga 2000.

    Thanks for stopping in!

  6. Mike Faiaz says:

    I need to find someone who can do memmory upgrades (soldering) on my STs!

    Any ideas?



  7. Pingback: Got My Micro Mate 520 STation for Atari ST! | Byte Cellar

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