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RMila75

Odyssey 2 RF switch

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Can the Odyssey 2 system be used with any RF switch other than the original?

I know that the old Odyssey 2000 pong unit has a weird RF plug that only seems to work in the original switch that came with the unit.

Does the O2 have the same goofy plug?

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Mine doesn't have the weird plug. I had it connected to a Radio Shack RF Modulator for a while, and then went coax. Worked fine.

 

BUT.. I seem to remember reading that some O2's did have the non-standard plug...

 

Kind of like some O2's have built-in joysticks (mine) and some have pluggable joysticks.

 

desiv

 

According to this site:

http://www.computercloset.org/MagnavoxOdyssey2.htm

 

The later models with the detachable joysticks were the ones with the non-standard RF plug/modulator.

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My O^2 has a normal RF plug, but a friend of mine got one with a goofy jack. I believe the "goofy jack" O^2's came with an RF switch that fit them, so if you manage to get the whole package, then there's no problem.

 

Here's how we fixed my friend's system though: if you open up the system, you'll see that the RF cord is actually just plugged into the motherboard with no soldering or anything like that. The jack on the motherboard is a standard RCA jack, so what you can do is go buy a cheap 6' RCA cable (male-male), and plug it in there instead. Since it's only loosely connected internally, you might want to wrap it around screw posts, or knot the cord so that it can't be pulled out. Worked perfectly on my friend's O^2.

 

(Incidentally, most systems with a "built-in" RF cord do the same thing with the internal jack... so if you ever break the cord on your 2600 or Atari 400, they're easily replacable.)

 

--Zero

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You can either change the cord out at the console end (this requires opening the console up, but you can then replace it with a cord that terminates in a standard RCA-type cable), or you can look up a cheapo Odyssey 300 or something; the Odyssey 100-4000 consoles all used the same non-standard RF box. So you can get a new RF box, and get some classic ball-and-paddle action for your trouble. What's not to like about this situation?

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Incidentally, most systems with a "built-in" RF cord do the same thing with the internal jack... so if you ever break the cord on your 2600 or Atari 400, they're easily replacable.

Now there's something I did not know! Thanks for the tip.

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Now there's something I did not know!  Thanks for the tip.

 

No problem... I found this out when I bought an Atari 400 whose RF cord was cut off for whatever reason. I bought it guessing that I could probably replace it somehow, and was glad to see that it was that easy.

 

...actually, I didn't really bother fixing it, since I found a 600XL shortly afterwards... much smaller, and with a MUCH better keyboard :) But at least I know that I can get the 400 working if I ever need to.

 

--Zero

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One other O2 question:

Are the joysticks reliable or are they more trouble than owning the system is worth?

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I've only ever had one joystick go wonky on me, and it was easy enough to replace because I only ever bother with the detachable-joystick console. The O2 joysticks are pretty well-designed - comfortable to hold even for extended play, nice and responsive, and pretty durable too.

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Actually, I quite like the O^2 controllers. Mine are built into the console, and they both work fine. They're somewhat large controller, but they fit my hands nicely.

 

By the way, even with the O^2's out there with so-called "built-in" controllers, you CAN replace them. The cords attach to a socket inside the system. The socket is not a standard 9-pin socket, so unless you're good with a soldering iron, you can only replace them with other "built-in O^2" controllers. This may seem like useless information, but keep in mind that if you get an O^2, and the Player 1 controller really sucks, you can open it up and swap it with the Player 2 controller (assuming it's any better).

 

--Zero

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Do the detachable versions have a standard 9 pin socket or is it something weird as well?

I assume there's no way to make a 2600 or SMS controller work?

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It's a standard 9-pin socket...

(wait for it.... )

 

...

 

That is NOT wired to the Atari standard. :) You knew that would be too easy, huh?

 

And who needs a soldering iron? A wire cutters and some electrical tape will do it!!!

 

That how I got my O2 joystick onto an old atari cable for use with my Vic-20 BACK in the day. It was ugly, but it worked. The reverse would be true.

 

Of course, a soldering iron or even a crimper would have been neater, but I had wire cutters and electrical tape handy then. (I was a software kid...)

 

desiv

 

(To be fair, the O2 was dead, and I loved those joysticks!!! So instead of buying a new joystick for my Vic-20, I got a broken Atari 2600 stick and merged the O2 stick!!)

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Both my O^2 systems have a standard RCA style plug and I use the same TV switch box the 2600 used. I've never had problems with any of the joysticks. I love the sticks myself and have often thought of stripping one of my odysseys sticks and wiring them for the 2600.

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If anyone's interested in wiring a 2600 stick for use with the O2, here are the pinouts.

 

And here is a set of simple tips for making your joysticks last longer (although I haven't tried them, since I wired my O2 to use 2600 sticks).

 

And while we're at it, here are Jay Tilton's instructions for modding the console for composite A/V. I haven't tried this one either, but it looks very simple.

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For those with the original non-standard O2 plug (1st and part of 2nd run of units), you can easily replace them with standard RCA style plugs.

I'm currently working on instructions for doing this (for those who need it - it's not that hard). You can find these instructions at

http://www.ozyr.com/o2/o2hacks.html

 

Will also be posting a how-to for putting Atari joystick jacks onto O2 units, and converting the original O2 jacks to work with Atari joysticks. Will also have tips on repairs joysticks (fixing the button/joystick mechanism) eventually.

 

Note: This is under construction - so bare with me while I complete this stuff (hopefully sooner than later... :D )

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