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atari2600land

the official Channel F thread!

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The rf plug on the unit can easily come unsoldered on the inside and give little or no connection. I would check thst first.

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It looks intact; I just took a quick peek inside.  Instead, it seems the system is not "tuned" correctly.  I have it on channel 4 now and it is scrambled but you can tell it's trying to display something  Is there a "tuner" somewhere on this??

 

(And yes, I have played with the channel selector. It's almost like it's trying to broadcast between both channels.)

Edited by Yosikuma

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It could be your tv is having trouble dialing it in?

 

There is probably a pot somewhere inside for tuning the video rf signal but im not sure. 

Probably wait for somebody with more knowledge like e5frog to reply.

 

Rf cord is a known good 1 too?

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Sounds like a TV problem. What kind are you using? 

 

There are adjustments inside the console you could try, if you're uncertain you might mess it up though and de-tune sound for example. 

If you need to adjust the ferrite in the coils you must not use a metal screwdriver - it may crack the ferrite and you're scre*.

 

But start trying to adjust the TV, turn off autoadjust or use/activate manual adjustment.

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48 minutes ago, Yosikuma said:

 

 

I'm sorry, how much???

Checkers, #19, is the rarest Channel F title sans the democarts. But still even this price is too much.

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4 hours ago, Yosikuma said:

It looks intact; I just took a quick peek inside.  Instead, it seems the system is not "tuned" correctly.  I have it on channel 4 now and it is scrambled but you can tell it's trying to display something  Is there a "tuner" somewhere on this??

 

(And yes, I have played with the channel selector. It's almost like it's trying to broadcast between both channels.)

Is it coming up in colour or just black and white/grey? Also have you tried something like a VCR and tried to tune it through that instead? 

 

My other guess is it might be using a different encoding signal to your TV. My TV can take SECAM for example but my VCR which in the past I used for recording didn't, and just "jumped" over on the scanning like you described. If you have a USB TV tuner around you could give that a go too and see if it locks onto a signal, they scan the entire range rather than cherrypicking like tvs do. 

 

If that doesn't work, looks like you are going inside the box, good luck! 

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15 minutes ago, atari2600land said:

Checkers, #19, is the rarest Channel F title sans the democarts. But still even this price is too much.

I offered $200, which was a good price when prices was sensible for a loose copy, but it was instantly rejected. Maybe we are now seeing the end of silly fairchild prices. 

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11 hours ago, e5frog said:

Not worth it, not even boxed.

   PMed the seller on Facebook. He told me about the latest prices and that eBay takes 13% off him.

 

   I told him the last one had TWO boxes. He dismissed it and set the auction.

 

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5 minutes ago, Mikebloke said:

Importing to the UK would cost me an additional $1,100 according to eBay. 

To Brazil taxes are 102%.

 

Shipment included.

 

So probably an extra $2,150!
 

(no, I’m serious!)

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4 minutes ago, lazzeri said:

To Brazil taxes are 102%.

 

Shipment included.

 

So probably an extra $2,150!
 

(no, I’m serious!)

I believe it! UK import tax includes shipping too, but it usually caps at 50%. 102% is insane!

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So great and unexpected news! Finally, finally, FINALLY, I can play a Channel F! It took some doing -- I have an old CRT with a fine tuning mode. It seems that the console is -- for some reason -- broadcasting the video almost between channels 3 and 4, as I thought (as it was looking like scrambled pay TV if you are old enough to remember that!).  With it fine tuned, the image is great (even if, upon powering up, it takes a bit to get colour). But, the sound is very "snowy" but hey, the thing works.  So question: do I leave well enough alone, and only play it on this TV, or do I try to resolve this issue? I would be interested in your feedback.

 

Also, this means I still have the dead System II chilling here. At least using the system for the first time has given me a bit of insight on the broken model, as the garbage displayed is briefly visible on the functioning model, before a program clears memory and does what it's supposed to be doing. Amusingly, there is NO display issue on this dead System II, even on an HDTV.  Soooooo suggestions on where to go from here with the dead system?

unnamed (63).jpg

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I would probably keep what you got working and try and fix the other one first! Unfortunately I'm not technical enough at this point, I'm a gamer not an engineer but hopefully one of the others can help! 

 

Also, checkers has gone down in price (must be a black Friday thing?) now it's 1,900 dollars. I upped my offer to 201 but got no luck. 

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15 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

I would probably keep what you got working and try and fix the other one first! Unfortunately I'm not technical enough at this point, I'm a gamer not an engineer but hopefully one of the others can help! 

 

Also, checkers has gone down in price (must be a black Friday thing?) now it's 1,900 dollars. I upped my offer to 201 but got no luck. 

Heh, as much as I would like the system to broadcast correctly (and I do!), I also am not comfortable nor knowledgeable as to how to achieve that, and given my personal history of just making things work? Yeah, let's not do that. : laugh :

 

Wow, $1,900?!?! What a bargain! :: hard eyeroll :: Even in my attempts to collect things like all of the silver foil Imagic titles (which has gone just as well as you can imagine), I have not seen four digit price tags on anything.

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Wow. I came on to see if there were responses and apparently I was only half paying attention when I wrote this. Lemme try this again:

 

"I am also not comfortable or knowledgeable as to how to achieve that, given my personal history of making things worse."  There, that makes tons more sense.

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Not accusing anyone, just tought it's worth mentioning as not every Channel F collector is as old that they have had a black and white TV growing up... or one without a remote control.

 

I have a friend who thought selecting channel memory position 3 (or 4) was the same as selecting channel 3 (or 4). 


"Channel 3" means video is (in the US) at a frequency of about 61.25MHz and "channel 4" is 65.75MHz, you can then save that frequency setting on your TV at any memory position 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6... 99...999 by tuning it via TV menus - or via knobs on old TV:s. Don't know if the older TV:s had fixed channel settings and a fine tune, it's quite possible. 

 

TV-makers who has some faith in humanity will display either option or both when searching, some just have an anonymous bar, maybe with "VHF"/"UHF" over it.
Modern TV:s often have more than one channel search option, digital, cable... where you'd find nothing if searching for a digital channel. 

If frequency of "channel 3" happens to be on channel memory position 3 - well that's either a default or pure luck. 

 

Anyway, after 45 years it's expected that components will drift a little, there's adjustments that can be made if you feel you can at least not make it worse. If the image is good and sound is bad there's an adjustment for the sound that can be made - or you adjust the image until you reach the "channel 3" frequency and then adjust the sound there as well, perhaps it's already in the right position. Just don't use metal tools on the ferrite screws inside the metal covered coils.
I usually turn until it goes bad, then opposite way until it goes bad an then use the setting in between these end points. It's a good idea to mark or remember the original setting so you can return to that if you're not getting any improvement. 

Antenna cable or connectors could be bad, if you get a good image the cable is fine, swapping it will not help with the sound. 

 

 

Then there's composite modding - which means you'll get composite video straight out as well as sound and you don't need to be bothered with those things.   ;-)

I tried adding enough information about it here:
http://channelf.se/veswiki/index.php?title=Modding
You'll loose some authentic feel but it may help with a modern TV with those inputs. An old small TV often has super duper image - on a 50+ inch TV it might look like crap.


 

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I have to admit that I'm probably privileged in that all my tvs here in the UK had fine tuning in the sense of scanning (though manual tuning seems to not be a thing anymore), regardless of whether they are B&W, windup, goldfish bowl or flatscreen! This is probably due to regional TV and the struggle to get signals in many parts of our tiny country depending on elevation. I've always lived on frequencies and modifyable channels. The number of times I've had to Google what frequency "channel 3" is you'd think I'd know it by heart by now... 

 

I used to have a cracking good TV for coaxial with a rotary dial more like a microwave and I think it had something like 5 possible channels and an off position. I weirdly miss that TV. 

 

I've never used a TV for connections like the original odyssey though where you screw in wires - I got a coax cable for mine! 

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4 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

...what frequency "channel 3" is you'd think I'd know it by heart by now... 

Doesn't help it's different for different countries.   ;-)

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On 11/25/2020 at 3:36 PM, Atari_Bill said:

Not by a long shot. 

 

   Ebay told me it sold for 1k1.

sshot.jpg

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On 11/30/2020 at 5:12 PM, e5frog said:

"Channel 3" means video is (in the US) at a frequency of about 61.25MHz and "channel 4" is 65.75MHz,

Close. VHF channel 4 (North America) is on 67.25 MHz. The figure 65.75 MHz is the audio carrier for channel 3.

 

It is true though that the frequencies are different for every TV system.

 

VHF_Usage.svg

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_channel_frequencies

 

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20 minutes ago, carlsson said:

Close. VHF channel 4 (North America) is on 67.25 MHz. The figure 65.75 MHz is the audio carrier for channel 3.

:)
Sorry, you're right, I should check my data. ;-) 

 

Channel Lower edge ATSC pilot Video carrier ISDB-T/Tb center Audio carrier Upper edge
1 44 44.31 45.25 47.142857 49.75 50
2 54 54.31 55.25 57.142857 59.75 60
3 60 60.31 61.25 63.142857 65.75 66
4 66 66.31 67.25 69.142857 71.75 72
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