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82-T/A

I can't get even halfway decent reception on any TV in my house...

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Hey guys,

 

For these older systems that don't have the auto-switch box (like the 8-bit Nintendo has), what can I do to improve reception?

 

I tried buying some RCA pinout upgrade board for one of my 2600s a couple of years ago from some online place, but the guy NEVER shipped it out, and I ended up asking for my money back like 4 months later (was pretty bummed to say the least).

 

I'd really like to play some of these older games, but just have no way to play them. I have a 52" rear projection, and then another TV, just a smallish 22" flat-screen TV that I bought just for games like this, but the reception is horrible.

 

I have the coax-to-composite adaptor (instead of the TV/GAME switch thing from back in the day), but it doesn't seem to make much difference.

 

 

What are my options? Anyone know???

 

 

Thanks!

Edited by 82-T/A

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One thing to check if you have a bad picture in RF. On both of my TV's, I have to set the TV/Cable setting to TV to get a good RF picture. I believe the tuner treats cable mode differently (altered tuning profile or maybe less bandwidth for each channel). Anyway, it helps clear mine up and I thought it was strange when I ran across it.

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I had a fuzzy 4-switch 2600, and ordered and installed longhorn engineer's video mod. I am very pleased with the results. Build quality is excellent, and the screen looks great to me even through the composite output. (It has s-video as well) As a bonus, you get stereo sound output too.

 

As for general advice, supposedly cleaning the connectors and/or replacing the RF cable with a heavier one helps.

 

Doing that didn't have much effect on my 4-switcher, but I have a feeling it may have had a problem with the internal RF modulator.

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(This is probably in more than a few FAQs, but whatever.)

 

For these older systems that don't have the auto-switch box (like the 8-bit Nintendo has), what can I do to improve reception?

First thing is don't use an auto-switch box on a system that doesn't support it. I'm serious. Whether you know better or not, it has to be said. It's too easy for people in general to not understand this, because they don't understand why it works in the first place. It works because the console sends power to the switch to make it switch. For what it's worth, the necessary circuit can be added to older systems with various levels of difficulty.

 

So with that aside, the best way (without getting a video-out mod) is to get an F-to-RCA plug adapter. The gender you needs depends on whether your system has a wired-in cable or not. For systems like the (non-Jr.) 2600 that have a built-in cable, you need a female RCA/male F connector to plug it into the back of the TV. For all the rest that have an RCA connector, get a male RCA/female F connector and use TV coax. If you don't need to watch actual TV on the set (now that only cable broadcasts analog signals), the lack of a switch is even better than an automatic switch. (But don't do this with a system that does use an automatic switch, to avoid having the switch power go into your TV set.)

 

If you do need a switch to hook up multiple systems, get a "Cable A/B switch". They are much higher quality than the slider switches that came with video games back in the day. They used to make multi-device switches, but that was so long ago that you aren't even likely to find them in thrift stores anymore.

 

(I should mention that the 2600 internally uses an RCA plug to connect the RF cable. You could probably replace it with a TV cable, but the thickness of the cable -- which is what makes it so much better -- would make it difficult to use as a substitute.)

Edited by Bruce Tomlin

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