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Awesomepants

Help getting my new atari to work

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Okay, so I just bought my first atari 2600 to get my gaming collection started. It was $30 on eBay with 50 games, I thought it was a steal. My set up here could be the problem though. The RF cord is attatched to an NES video cable and then into my antenna jack. I connected them with a double female thingy. So my problems are as follows:

 

1) Some games scroll

2) Games that scroll have no sound at all and have slight snow as well

3) Most games just have all static, which is a darker static that has some purple colors in it

4) some games have snow and squiggly white scrolling bars

 

I dont know if the NES antenna adapter cord thing would be compatable, but I'm looking for a solution that doesnt cost me any moneys.

 

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

 

BTW, I can take pictures if that helps at all, so you can see whats going on and how im set up

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Nop, the NES RF adapter will not work that well with the A2600 (I know because I tried it) Your best bet is to buy a F connector, and skip the whole RF box all together.

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Nop, the NES RF adapter will not work that well with the A2600 (I know because I tried it) Your best bet is to buy a F connector, and skip the whole RF box all together.

 

To expand on the correct answer that Osbo gave, the problem with the NES RF adapter is that it's automatic. RF switches used to come in two types -- manual and automatic. The manual ones have a weaker signal strength and require one to go around to it and flip a switch from GAME to TV for what they want to use. This was used for almost all the early 'classic' video game systems of the 70's and early 80's. (I think some versions of the Atari 5200 had a automatic)

 

Starting with the NES, they started shipping with automatic RF switchs and all systems since have come with one. The signal strength on these are stronger, so there's no need to manualy flip them back and forth -- when the game system is turned on, it does it automaticaly.

 

Bottom line, any automatic RF switch like the one for the NES won't work with a 2600 (or any other game system that required a manual RF device) cause the signal strength is not strong enough.

 

Last time I checked, Radio Shack still sold a manual RF switch box.

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Honestly im thinking of just opening up the cord and replacing the tip, how hard could that be? even if it doesnt work i can just fix it

 

Edit:

 

Nop, he/she needs this

I am a he thank you very much!

Edited by Awesomepants

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Honestly im thinking of just opening up the cord and replacing the tip, how hard could that be? even if it doesnt work i can just fix it

 

Edit:

 

Nop, he/she needs this

I am a he thank you very much!

 

I wouldn't do that with RF cables and similar things (bascially everything which does analog signal transmission, but especially things like RF which requires quite some shielding)... You might end up with a sharp quality drop...

 

Then again, maybe it's just my paranoia, so if you know what you're doing, maybe have done similar things before, go ahead, do it. But don't forget to post your results here, to let this thread come to a conclusion.

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Honestly im thinking of just opening up the cord and replacing the tip, how hard could that be? even if it doesnt work i can just fix it

 

Edit:

 

Nop, he/she needs this

I am a he thank you very much!

 

No problem, I didn't know and I was trying to be gender/politically correct.

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Honestly im thinking of just opening up the cord and replacing the tip, how hard could that be? even if it doesnt work i can just fix it

 

Edit:

 

Nop, he/she needs this

I am a he thank you very much!

 

No problem, I didn't know and I was trying to be gender/politically correct.

I was just joking anyway.

 

 

I just picked up the adapter at radioshack. I still have scroll and all of my games just show up as a jumbled mess, though I can recognise sprites and on a few i can actually move the carachter. any solutions?

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Honestly im thinking of just opening up the cord and replacing the tip, how hard could that be? even if it doesnt work i can just fix it

 

Edit:

 

Nop, he/she needs this

I am a he thank you very much!

 

No problem, I didn't know and I was trying to be gender/politically correct.

I was just joking anyway.

 

 

I just picked up the adapter at radioshack. I still have scroll and all of my games just show up as a jumbled mess, though I can recognise sprites and on a few i can actually move the carachter. any solutions?

 

Is the console or the games in the PAL format? Are you in the US? Maybe someone with more experience can chip in?

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Clean all the game carts thoroughly with fine grain sandpaper (use it lightly) and isopropyl alcohol. The games that have the trap door over the contacts can be pried open by inserting a jeweler's screwdriver into one of the two side slots in the door. Then push in on the door and you should have full access to the contact pins.

 

After cleaning all the carts, use an old credit card covered with a lint-free cloth, soaked in alcohol to get down into the system's cartridge slot contact pins (alternate method is to use a toothbrush soaked in alcohol to get down into the pins). Repeat at least five to six times until no more black residue comes off on the cloth. You can also insert a folded sheet of fine grain sandpaper a time or two to polish the oxidation from the pins.

 

This treatment should make the system play the games like it was new.

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Clean all the game carts thoroughly with fine grain sandpaper (use it lightly) and isopropyl alcohol. The games that have the trap door over the contacts can be pried open by inserting a jeweler's screwdriver into one of the two side slots in the door. Then push in on the door and you should have full access to the contact pins.

 

After cleaning all the carts, use an old credit card covered with a lint-free cloth, soaked in alcohol to get down into the system's cartridge slot contact pins (alternate method is to use a toothbrush soaked in alcohol to get down into the pins). Repeat at least five to six times until no more black residue comes off on the cloth. You can also insert a folded sheet of fine grain sandpaper a time or two to polish the oxidation from the pins.

 

This treatment should make the system play the games like it was new.

 

Awesome! thank you so much! Im gonna try that soon and ill let you guys know how it goes.

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If the above does not cure it, the next step would be to start swapping IC chips.

 

You Pennsylvanians and your chips.

- UTZ

- Wise

- Middlesworth

- Herr's

- Good's

- Martin's

- Pennsylvania Dutch

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If the above does not cure it, the next step would be to start swapping IC chips.

 

You Pennsylvanians and your chips.

- UTZ

- Wise

- Middlesworth

- Herr's

- Good's

- Martin's

- Pennsylvania Dutch

I laughed! (What about Snyder's? (Both of them))

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If the above does not cure it, the next step would be to start swapping IC chips.

 

You Pennsylvanians and your chips.

- UTZ

- Wise

- Middlesworth

- Herr's

- Good's

- Martin's

- Pennsylvania Dutch

I laughed! (What about Snyder's? (Both of them))

 

Yes, of course. They all go great with your Yuengling.

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If the above does not cure it, the next step would be to start swapping IC chips.

 

You Pennsylvanians and your chips.

- UTZ

- Wise

- Middlesworth

- Herr's

- Good's

- Martin's

- Pennsylvania Dutch

I laughed! (What about Snyder's? (Both of them))

 

Yes, of course. They all go great with your Yuengling.

Not a big fan, just recently been trying Straub Dark, great with Pennsylvania pretzels! (My dad said that in his youth Yuengling cheap stuff, it was what they bought when then didn't have enough money for real beer! I like the lager, but not the others.

 

Anyway as for the Atari. I'd try a kinetic adjustment. (A good whack never hurts, might reseat a connection)

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Clean all the game carts thoroughly with fine grain sandpaper (use it lightly) and isopropyl alcohol.

HOLD IT!

 

Please do yourself and any future owners of your collection a big favor, and do not use sandpaper except as a last resort for a game that doesn't work after several attempts at cleaning with gentler methods. Start with a lint-free swab (chamois or foam rubber ones are available), or use a cotton swab if you must, but be aware that fibers will snag and get caught on the contacts and need to be picked out afterward. Sandpaper will remove metal from the contact fingers, which are gold-plated. If you sand through the gold, the game will need to be cleaned far more often, because gold does not corrode but the copper underneath certainly will.

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To expand on the correct answer that Osbo gave, the problem with the NES RF adapter is that it's automatic. RF switches used to come in two types -- manual and automatic. The manual ones have a weaker signal strength and require one to go around to it and flip a switch from GAME to TV for what they want to use. This was used for almost all the early 'classic' video game systems of the 70's and early 80's. (I think some versions of the Atari 5200 had a automatic)

 

Starting with the NES, they started shipping with automatic RF switchs and all systems since have come with one. The signal strength on these are stronger, so there's no need to manualy flip them back and forth -- when the game system is turned on, it does it automaticaly.

 

Bottom line, any automatic RF switch like the one for the NES won't work with a 2600 (or any other game system that required a manual RF device) cause the signal strength is not strong enough.

You're partly right, in that there is an electronic basis for the reason that automatic switchboxes don't work with systems that came with manual switchboxes.

 

However, contrary to what a certain webpage has been misinforming the gaming community with for years, it has nothing to do with RF signal strength. The way automatic switchboxes work is that, their consoles supply DC power through the cable along with the RF signal. The switchbox picks up the DC power, which makes it switch the signal source. The switchbox also separates out the DC and RF components, and sends on only the RF to the TV. Since consoles that came with manual switchboxes do not provide DC power through their RF cables, an automatic switchbox will not switch. Therefore, using an automatic switchbox with an older console is equivalent to using a manual switchbox but forgetting to flip it -- trying to play a game with the box in the "antenna" position.

Edited by A.J. Franzman

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To expand on the correct answer that Osbo gave, the problem with the NES RF adapter is that it's automatic. RF switches used to come in two types -- manual and automatic. The manual ones have a weaker signal strength and require one to go around to it and flip a switch from GAME to TV for what they want to use. This was used for almost all the early 'classic' video game systems of the 70's and early 80's. (I think some versions of the Atari 5200 had a automatic)

 

Starting with the NES, they started shipping with automatic RF switchs and all systems since have come with one. The signal strength on these are stronger, so there's no need to manualy flip them back and forth -- when the game system is turned on, it does it automaticaly.

 

Bottom line, any automatic RF switch like the one for the NES won't work with a 2600 (or any other game system that required a manual RF device) cause the signal strength is not strong enough.

You're partly right, in that there is an electronic basis for the reason that automatic switchboxes don't work with systems that came with manual switchboxes.

 

However, contrary to what a certain webpage has been misinforming the gaming community with for years, it has nothing to do with RF signal strength. The way automatic switchboxes work is that, their consoles supply DC power through the cable along with the RF signal. The switchbox picks up the DC power, which makes it switch the signal source. The switchbox also separates out the DC and RF components, and sends on only the RF to the TV. Since consoles that came with manual switchboxes do not provide DC power through their RF cables, an automatic switchbox will not switch. Therefore, using an automatic switchbox with an older console is equivalent to using a manual switchbox but forgetting to flip it -- trying to play a game with the box in the "antenna" position.

 

I stand corrected then, Sir. :) Thank you for the correct knowledge on this problem, I can say I learned something today. ;)

 

I believe where I saw the 'RF signal strength' reason was the Atari 2600 FAQ that is all over the net.

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Okay, its still not working correctly and if what A.J. says is correct, i dont want to use sandpaper. I'm going to take it to my local gamer doc later on and test out the carts on theirs just to make sure the problems with my atari. i may have to end up buying a new console though, in which case ill just get a bundle with more games. Thank you everyone for your help, it is all greatly appreciated.

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Okay, I've tried everything and none of it works. whats this about swapping IC chips? And btw the problem is definetally with the console, since ive tested about 15 carts already and they all do pretty much the exact same thing.

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