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Norannyo

Question about switchbox RF - Coax adapter

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Hi guys,

 

My question is about video quality on my Atari 7800. I bought my 7800 from the flea market for $35, came with original power adapter and 1 controller.

Turns on works fine, but there is a little noise on the screen, and it's not unplayable, but it's fuzzy enough that I feel it can be improved.

 

I'm wondering about that adapter I've seen, locally there is no place, as in Canada we no longer have Radio shacks, they are called The Source now, and my local one doesn't carry this adapter at all. So I'll go on ebay I guess.

 

But is this adapter going to improve that quality..

Also I should mention how I have it setup right now. I got the 7800 home and started to hook it all up, and realized quickly that I didn't have the tv box thing it originally came with way back.

 

So I searched around my cord collection (we all probably have one.) I found my old Panasonic 3DO cord, that is rca on one side, and coax on the other, and the image came up and I was able to play around and have some great memories. But could this older style 3DO adapter be causing the noise? and should this new adapter help with that? man I'm bad at summing up questions, look how long this beast is.

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There is no TV box thing, just a cable. And possibly a little adapter, if necessary. Sounds like it is, in your case.

If you have some NES-style RF adapter box between your 7800 and your TV, that's probably the problem.

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How is it connected right now?

Do you have a modern flat screen tv or an older tube style set?

Are you just running the RCA looking cord from the atari direct to your tv? You can get picture like that but you won't have sound.

The old switch box connector is not necessary and will probably make the image worse on a newer tv.

The little RCA to coax/cable adapter is what you need. You can run it in direct to your tv with that, but surprisingly I get better image running it through an old vcr with that adapter and then running RCA to the television.

Let me know if pics will help.

 

There are lots of cool things you can do to upgrade your 7800 play experience from video upgrades to controllers. One of our regulars here does an amazing job converting NES pads to Atari pads.

 

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hi, thanks for the replies.

 

The TV is a tube tv, big and it's nice for it's age good color and perfect for retro gaming.

 

the cable I'm using from the 7800 to the TV looks sort of like this:

http://www.knightdiscounts.com/VideoGames/16bitrfports.jpg

Except it has a box on it where the coax side is. but same thing really.

Believe it or not, I don't have a cell phone or camera lol.. otherwise i'd just quickly take a picture and upload it. I can probably use one later perhaps.

 

I'm just hoping that if I get this:

http://tinyurl.com/cqu4axs

 

the picture quality will improve. The cable I'm using is kind of old and I assume that is what is causing the issue.

I love doing projects, I just want to make sure I have a quality adapter and cord so that I can get the best picture on something that is what? 30 years old.

I guess I could hook it up with JUST a yellow rca video cable to video in on the tv and see if I get an improved picture? i know I won't get any sound that way though.

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I'll take pictures later.. I know you guys follow me, but it might make it more fun to have pictures of the exact setup.

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Yes! The ebay link is what you need. What you have is an auto switcher, probably from a NES or Sega console. The Ataris don't fare well through those. The little doodad on ebay there is exactly what you need. Good luck and good gaming to you!

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I guess I could hook it up with JUST a yellow rca video cable to video in on the tv and see if I get an improved picture? i know I won't get any sound that way though.

 

I doubt that would work at all, and could possibly damage the TV. I've had good experience with using heavy-duty (RG6) TV coax cable with a male RCA to female coax adapter, like below:XLS-RCA-2-F-COAX.jpg

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Great.. I'll just get it from the AtariAge store then.

By the way guys, I just hooked up the Atari based on GorfCadet's post. Through the VCR using composite cables to go out, not sure why I didn't really think of that.

The quality got better for sure, but it's still got some noise on the screen.. and this is likely because of the old 3DO auto switcher that is still in the hookup scenario. As I used that to go into the vcr then composite out to tv. So, I have confidence that the adapter will solve the problem thank you guys.

 

Also one other thing, when I get this adapter, plugging just one RCA end for examplle yellow, from the Atari, into the female-coax adapter should be ok? or do i need a specific cable?

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That will work, just make sure to use the best-quality cable you can find. Those throwaway red/yellow/white cables that come with everything aren't shielded well.

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That will work, just make sure to use the best-quality cable you can find. Those throwaway red/yellow/white cables that come with everything aren't shielded well.

 

Yes, good advice. Are there specific types I should look for? or ask for? I mean I have a few of those yellow/white/red cables. But I certainly want to have the best. Where can I find these?

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I guess you could look on monoprice.com, they're dirt cheap, but I dunno about shipping to Canada.

I was lucky to have an old digital audio cable laying around, it's just a fat cord with RCA plugs on both ends & works well.

You could also check out goodwill & resale shops, who knows what they've got for $2.

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yes good point, i'm braid dead today.. I thrift shop quite a bit.. one store has a plethora of cords, wires and adapters. Side note (any time you get a chance to use the word plethora, you use it).

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when I had a 7800 I used a nintendo rf adapter and it worked fine.

 

It's works fine if you don't mind a picture with a lot of RF interference. Not really recomended.

 

Mitch

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when I had a 7800 I used a nintendo rf adapter and it worked fine.

 

Either your remembering incorrectly or your definition of OK is far below most peoples. The RF adapter on the NES / Genesis etc with it's autos switching did not work well at all on previous generation consoles as they lacked the signal output required to properly and fully switch over the signal and had a lot of interference with a very snowy picture. Sounds more like your going on assumption than anything please don't give such bad advice. If it were so simple everyone would be using the Nintendo / Sega type auto RF swthcboxes on classic consoles, obviously there is a reason we cannot.

Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer

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I believe the NES and Genesis have a DC offset that they provide through the cable. The DC current activates a circuit inside the switchbox which electrically disconnects the signal from the CABLE/ANT hookup and transmits the RF signal from the Nintendo/Sega instead. The Atari just puts out an RF signal with no DC offset, which is why the switch won't operate properly. You'll likely get a trace amount of signal bleed from the connector which will show up on your TV as very bad reception. Just go out and buy a generic 2-way manual A/B switch for the Atari if you also want your TV connected up to the cable box, etc and don't want to bother reconnecting the cables.

 

If you connected an NES or Sega to the TV set using am RCA-coax adapter, it would probably work just fine, and the TV would probably ignore the DC component. Satellite dishes also employ a DC offset in the coax lines, usually they operate on 12V which is provided by a power adapter, so if you hooked your NES up to the satellite dish, you'd likely be in trouble! I'm assuming TVs have "idiot proof" filters built in to remove any DC offset if one is present to prevent interferance issues.

Edited by stardust4ever
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The only way you're going to completely eliminate the RF noise on the picture is to do a video mod on the 7800 to use composite out. If you feel like you're handy with basic electronics and a soldering iron, search for the "easier 7800 composite video mod" thread in this forum and follow the instructions in it. There are plenty of folks here willing to help you out.

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The only way you're going to completely eliminate the RF noise on the picture is to do a video mod on the 7800 to use composite out. If you feel like you're handy with basic electronics and a soldering iron, search for the "easier 7800 composite video mod" thread in this forum and follow the instructions in it. There are plenty of folks here willing to help you out.

 

I've done this to two 7800s and it's beautiful.

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