Jump to content

Photo

NES Top Loader A/V


22 replies to this topic

#1 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

Great Hierophant

    Dragonstomper

  • 714 posts

Posted Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:24 AM

I am sure some people saw these videos, but I came upon them yesterday.




I read that some people thought that his system was a hoax or a pirate version. I would like to firmly debunk that nonsense, but first some background:

When Nintendo redesigned the NES in 1993, they sought to address the various issues of the original box. First, the hated front loading, push down cartridge mechanism had to go. The solution was to use a top loading mechanism, which most other consoles used. This greatly improved reliability with the cartridges. Second, they needed to make the design cost cheaper if it were to reach a low price point, in this case $50. To do this, the NES Top Loader does not have the unused expansion port, a lockout chip or composite AV outputs. They simplified the board (based on the original Famicom), eliminated metal shielding and simplified the case shell design. They included an internal RF modulator and external switch only for audio and video output.

Nintendo's research showed that very, very few people connected the front loader NES with the AV outputs, so they decided to forgo the AV outputs in the Top Loader. Everybody could use an RF switch on their TVs back then, so they went with that. However, many users observed visible vertical lines on the screen. These lines are much more noticeable than they are on the front loader. Some users complained and Nintendo repaired their systems by sending them a replacement motherboard. This motherboard had a NES Multi-out (as seen on the SNES, N64 and Gamecube) instead of an RF modulator. This improved the video quality and the lines were a lot less noticeable.

Back in Japan, the original Famicom began showing its age. It only had an RF modulator and non-detachable joystick controllers. Nintendo decided to use the NES Top Loader as its model for creating a revised Famicom. In 1994, they released the Famicom AV. Instead of an internal RF modulator, it had a Multi-out. It also had detachable joystick ports using the NES design (but are not compatible with the Zapper and some other peripherals without modifying them). The case styling based off the NES Top Loader. The video output is the best quality available outside the RGB NES variants (Playchoice 10, VS. System, Famicom Titler).

The NES and Famicom's PPU outputs a composite video signal, so it cannot be coaxed to do better (S-Video or RGB). Its audio mixing circuit outputs only mono sound, so in order to get stereo sound, you have to split the sound channels directly from the CPU. Officially, regardless of output jack, the NES is mono.

Watching this individual's videos, I am convinced that those users who reported that Nintendo repaired their Top Loaders by switching the board to an AV output gave an accurate recollection of events. The motherboard shown is clearly a Nintendo manufactured board. No pirate board is as cleany designed or silkscreened with © Nintendo. The board also looks virtually identical to my Famicom AV's board, except for the cartridge slot and expansion port. It also has the RF shielding covering the main chips found in a Famicom AV but lacking in the NES Top Loader. It also has the same chips contained in the Famicom AV.

Next to the Multi-out on his system, the port for the power adapter says "DC IN". This is definitely a Famicom AV design influence. The Famicom AV also uses a DC IN port. Specifically, the ratings on the power supply are 10VDC, 850mA, center negative. (Actually, the Famicom AV did not come with a power supply, you were supposed to use your original Famicom power supply.) Interestingly, in video 1, the sticker on the bottom tells the user to use the AC brick that powered the NES front and top loaders. This is not adviseable when the board expects DC input. This lends more credence to those old reports that the motherboard was a drop in replacment to the original Top Loader shell.

One disagreement I have with the gentleman who made the video is that I do not believe his Top Loader AV came like that in the original box. I believe that original purchaser complained about the video output and sent his RF Top Loader to Nintendo for repair. Nintendo replaced his motherboard and sent him a Nintendo mono-AV cable (so he could actually connect it) and a replacement power supply. He does not claim to be the original owner, and while he has an original box, he does not claim to have purchased it sealed. I would think that it is extremely unlikely that Nintendo would have replaced the advertised contents of the box without some kind of sticker marking the change at least. On the other hand, he does show a NES Dogbone controller that seems to be in its original wrapping and twisty tie.

Edited by Great Hierophant, Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:25 AM.


#2 ninermaniac OFFLINE  

ninermaniac

    River Patroller

  • 2,151 posts
  • ATARI NUT
  • Location:Somewhere..Way Out There

Posted Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:28 AM

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I wouldn't have believed it unless I saw it. Now I have. :)

#3 Shawn Sr. OFFLINE  

Shawn Sr.

    Atardid

  • 13,244 posts

Posted Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:42 AM

It's real. This is not the first one found like this. What the actual story behind them is I have no clue but just looking at the PCB alone tells that it's legit.

#4 STICH666 OFFLINE  

STICH666

    Stargunner

  • 1,860 posts
  • Location:Long Island, NY

Posted Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:36 PM

There was one on ebay a couple months back for around $300.

#5 Video OFFLINE  

Video

    Quadrunner

  • 7,205 posts
  • Location:Here

Posted Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:02 PM

I do know at least some toploaders shipped with the multi out built in, as the one I bought in 95 had just that on it....and I was always like "?" whenever people bitched cause you couldn't get AV out of it, as that's the only way I had ever hooked it up :P

In fact, I don't actually recall ever seeing one with just an RF port on the back....maybe some are more common in some places?

Of course, it could be (as it appears that it was released earlier than I thought it was) that all later revisions have the av port? Could be wrong though.

Edited by Video, Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:05 PM.


#6 Shawn Sr. OFFLINE  

Shawn Sr.

    Atardid

  • 13,244 posts

Posted Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:55 PM

I do know at least some toploaders shipped with the multi out built in, as the one I bought in 95 had just that on it....and I was always like "?" whenever people bitched cause you couldn't get AV out of it, as that's the only way I had ever hooked it up :P

In fact, I don't actually recall ever seeing one with just an RF port on the back....maybe some are more common in some places?

Of course, it could be (as it appears that it was released earlier than I thought it was) that all later revisions have the av port? Could be wrong though.



It's actually quite rare to have the AV port. 99 percent of the toploaders from NTSC regions have only RF so color yourself lucky :)

#7 Koopa64 OFFLINE  

Koopa64

    Stargunner

  • 1,176 posts
  • Love havin' an Apple //e again!
  • Location:Canada

Posted Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:15 PM

Thanks for giving your insight on the matter Shawn Sr. I've been following this situation very closely from when that user started telling people on GameFAQs about his find. If I recall correctly he bought it off eBay for a hefty sum, though you could ask him yourself if you want. I always believed this unit was completely legit but I never thought these US AV NES Top Loaders were "repaired" units. I thank you again for voicing your opinion. :)

#8 jeremysart OFFLINE  

jeremysart

    Stargunner

  • 1,054 posts
  • Life is Art
  • Location:Detroit

Posted Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:49 PM

No hoax, I remember towards the end of its life they had these at Meijers up here.
I never did like the dog bone controllers :|
AV is the best way to go!

#9 Jibbajaba OFFLINE  

Jibbajaba

    River Patroller

  • 4,009 posts
  • Editor - Classic Gaming Quarterly
  • Location:Northern California

Posted Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:56 PM

No hoax, I remember towards the end of its life they had these at Meijers up here.
I never did like the dog bone controllers :|
AV is the best way to go!


Really? I use a toaster because it is RGB modded, but I use a dogbone controller with it instead of the original design because I find it more comfortable to hold. Feels more like a SNES controller.

Chris

#10 Video OFFLINE  

Video

    Quadrunner

  • 7,205 posts
  • Location:Here

Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:02 PM


I do know at least some toploaders shipped with the multi out built in, as the one I bought in 95 had just that on it....and I was always like "?" whenever people bitched cause you couldn't get AV out of it, as that's the only way I had ever hooked it up :P

In fact, I don't actually recall ever seeing one with just an RF port on the back....maybe some are more common in some places?

Of course, it could be (as it appears that it was released earlier than I thought it was) that all later revisions have the av port? Could be wrong though.



It's actually quite rare to have the AV port. 99 percent of the toploaders from NTSC regions have only RF so color yourself lucky :)


Really? Like 3 of my friends got the things too, and they all had AV....Maybe I should see if they still have them and offer to buy them (most of them aren't gamers and it would probably be pretty easy to get them :P )


No hoax, I remember towards the end of its life they had these at Meijers up here.
I never did like the dog bone controllers :|
AV is the best way to go!


Really? I use a toaster because it is RGB modded, but I use a dogbone controller with it instead of the original design because I find it more comfortable to hold. Feels more like a SNES controller.

Chris


I personally like the shape of the dogbone over the original box, but I use the box, as it's bigger, IMO the dogbone is just to small....Of course, the upside is, I have perfect dogbones with my system as I never really used them :P

Oh yeah, as for our AV systems....I got mine at Radioshack, and many of my friends did to....perhaps different retailers got different systems?

Edited by Video, Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:03 PM.


#11 STICH666 OFFLINE  

STICH666

    Stargunner

  • 1,860 posts
  • Location:Long Island, NY

Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:44 PM



I do know at least some toploaders shipped with the multi out built in, as the one I bought in 95 had just that on it....and I was always like "?" whenever people bitched cause you couldn't get AV out of it, as that's the only way I had ever hooked it up :P

In fact, I don't actually recall ever seeing one with just an RF port on the back....maybe some are more common in some places?

Of course, it could be (as it appears that it was released earlier than I thought it was) that all later revisions have the av port? Could be wrong though.



It's actually quite rare to have the AV port. 99 percent of the toploaders from NTSC regions have only RF so color yourself lucky :)


Really? Like 3 of my friends got the things too, and they all had AV....Maybe I should see if they still have them and offer to buy them (most of them aren't gamers and it would probably be pretty easy to get them :P )


No hoax, I remember towards the end of its life they had these at Meijers up here.
I never did like the dog bone controllers :|
AV is the best way to go!


Really? I use a toaster because it is RGB modded, but I use a dogbone controller with it instead of the original design because I find it more comfortable to hold. Feels more like a SNES controller.

Chris


I personally like the shape of the dogbone over the original box, but I use the box, as it's bigger, IMO the dogbone is just to small....Of course, the upside is, I have perfect dogbones with my system as I never really used them :P

Oh yeah, as for our AV systems....I got mine at Radioshack, and many of my friends did to....perhaps different retailers got different systems?

Hey if you want to sell one, let me know. ;)

#12 MagitekAngel OFFLINE  

MagitekAngel

    River Patroller

  • 2,152 posts
  • Location:Ottawa

Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:02 PM

I would LOVE to get my hands on one of these. I have two finicky Toasters (I've chip-clipped one but it needs a replacement 72 pin anyway) and an FC Twin, so I'm not hurting for hardware, but the A/V would be very, very cool to have.

#13 STICH666 OFFLINE  

STICH666

    Stargunner

  • 1,860 posts
  • Location:Long Island, NY

Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:37 AM

I would LOVE to get my hands on one of these. I have two finicky Toasters (I've chip-clipped one but it needs a replacement 72 pin anyway) and an FC Twin, so I'm not hurting for hardware, but the A/V would be very, very cool to have.

Don't buy a new 72 pin connector. They're more unreliable than the original. just clean it and the games very thoroughly . I don't mean a couple of swipes with a qtip, I mean pretty much scrub it.

#14 godslabrat OFFLINE  

godslabrat

    River Patroller

  • 2,972 posts
  • I took the midnight train going a-ny-where...
  • Location:Oklahoma City

Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:45 PM


I would LOVE to get my hands on one of these. I have two finicky Toasters (I've chip-clipped one but it needs a replacement 72 pin anyway) and an FC Twin, so I'm not hurting for hardware, but the A/V would be very, very cool to have.

Don't buy a new 72 pin connector. They're more unreliable than the original. just clean it and the games very thoroughly . I don't mean a couple of swipes with a qtip, I mean pretty much scrub it.


There's a certain point at which you're going to need a new connector, especially if whoever owned your system previously was a heavy Game Genie user.

#15 MagitekAngel OFFLINE  

MagitekAngel

    River Patroller

  • 2,152 posts
  • Location:Ottawa

Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:44 PM

Seems I've derailed the thread and made it into an NES DIY repair hotline :P
I will admit both units are probably hurting for a deep internal clean. I tried the bend-pins-up trick with one of the units, but all it really did for me was make the games harder to get in and out of the damn thing. Perhaps I'll set some time aside this weekend and run one of my toasters through the dishwasher. :D

#16 STICH666 OFFLINE  

STICH666

    Stargunner

  • 1,860 posts
  • Location:Long Island, NY

Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:38 PM

Seems I've derailed the thread and made it into an NES DIY repair hotline :P
I will admit both units are probably hurting for a deep internal clean. I tried the bend-pins-up trick with one of the units, but all it really did for me was make the games harder to get in and out of the damn thing. Perhaps I'll set some time aside this weekend and run one of my toasters through the dishwasher. :D

Actually that's not a bad idea. I never thought to try that. Not the whole console of course but just the connector should work wonders.

#17 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

SoulBlazer

    River Patroller

  • 4,088 posts
  • Location:Providence RI

Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:09 PM

What's this about a Game Genie? I used one heavily back in the day, for about three years, and never had a issue with it. But my toaster didn't blink that much either....

#18 Herbarius OFFLINE  

Herbarius

    Dragonstomper

  • 757 posts
  • Location:~50 N, ~7.5E (PAL)

Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:20 PM

What's this about a Game Genie? I used one heavily back in the day, for about three years, and never had a issue with it. But my toaster didn't blink that much either....

I think that only really applies to the front-loading NES, as using the Game Genie bends the connectors.

#19 shadow460 OFFLINE  

shadow460

    Gunslinger

  • 16,573 posts
  • *bink* Good Shot
  • Location:The Blue Zone

Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:44 PM

Hmm. Most of my NES gaming throughout my life has been done via the AV connection. That's how mine is hooked up now anyway.
Mine didn't get used for a while due to the 72 pin port, even after the listed repairs. I installed a new one and while it's not perfect, it usually loads by the second try if not on the first.

#20 STICH666 OFFLINE  

STICH666

    Stargunner

  • 1,860 posts
  • Location:Long Island, NY

Posted Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:09 AM

Hmm. Most of my NES gaming throughout my life has been done via the AV connection. That's how mine is hooked up now anyway.
Mine didn't get used for a while due to the 72 pin port, even after the listed repairs. I installed a new one and while it's not perfect, it usually loads by the second try if not on the first.

Usually it's the games then. No matter how clean you think they are. They can still be very dirty.

#21 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

SoulBlazer

    River Patroller

  • 4,088 posts
  • Location:Providence RI

Posted Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:35 AM

That's what I had -- a front loading NES. From 1987. And I never heard it bends the connectors. :?

Like I said, I used mine a ton for over three years and never had a issue with it.


What's this about a Game Genie? I used one heavily back in the day, for about three years, and never had a issue with it. But my toaster didn't blink that much either....

I think that only really applies to the front-loading NES, as using the Game Genie bends the connectors.



#22 Herbarius OFFLINE  

Herbarius

    Dragonstomper

  • 757 posts
  • Location:~50 N, ~7.5E (PAL)

Posted Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:48 PM

That's what I had -- a front loading NES. From 1987. And I never heard it bends the connectors. :?

Like I said, I used mine a ton for over three years and never had a issue with it.



What's this about a Game Genie? I used one heavily back in the day, for about three years, and never had a issue with it. But my toaster didn't blink that much either....

I think that only really applies to the front-loading NES, as using the Game Genie bends the connectors.


I think it's quite obviouse how it bends the connectors. I've made some crappy drawing in MS Paint to illustrate my point:
gamegeniemockup.png

That's supposed to be a side view of how the NES cartridge connects, on the top using it normally, without a game genie, and on the bottom while using a game genie. Normally it goes straight, but with the game genie it is tilted upwards because it has to go through the opening of the console, so that you can plug your game in. The little blue arrow indicates the direction of force/stress applied to the cartridge connector.

#23 Video OFFLINE  

Video

    Quadrunner

  • 7,205 posts
  • Location:Here

Posted Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:55 PM


That's what I had -- a front loading NES. From 1987. And I never heard it bends the connectors. :?

Like I said, I used mine a ton for over three years and never had a issue with it.



What's this about a Game Genie? I used one heavily back in the day, for about three years, and never had a issue with it. But my toaster didn't blink that much either....

I think that only really applies to the front-loading NES, as using the Game Genie bends the connectors.


I think it's quite obviouse how it bends the connectors. I've made some crappy drawing in MS Paint to illustrate my point:
gamegeniemockup.png

That's supposed to be a side view of how the NES cartridge connects, on the top using it normally, without a game genie, and on the bottom while using a game genie. Normally it goes straight, but with the game genie it is tilted upwards because it has to go through the opening of the console, so that you can plug your game in. The little blue arrow indicates the direction of force/stress applied to the cartridge connector.


There is one problem with that though, and that's the fact that the NES carts themselves slot in the same way, the GG is just using a thicker PCB to allow it to make contact even though it's not pushed down. As a result, it's not healthy for your toploaders either.

I'lltell you what's messed up, for years I wondered why the hell the carts fit in the NES at such an awkward angle....Before you start putting them in right, you can actually just push the cart in, not push it down and it would work. Even after I found out about it, I useually only did it if the game didn't work right after a try or two (and it went downhill from there)




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users