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RF Selector Recommendations


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Hi All,

 

I would like your advice and experience when it comes to switching between multiple RF sources without having to pull plugs each time. As of right now, I have 4 devices, all connected via RCA to coax adapters to an unwieldy network of switches such as shown. I want to add a 5th, but have been told that I need to get things under control before I do this. Experimentation has shown that using an RCA selector prior to the RCA to coax conversion is unsatisfactory, with far too much signal loss/bleed. This was also the case using a switch meant for coaxial digital selection. What other solutions (short of A/V mods, which are planed when finances allow) have you found to be satisfactory?

 

Thanks,

 

silvahaloone

post-39191-0-55870900-1435883651_thumb.jpg

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I used to have a switch box that allowed me to handle 5 items: antenna, game, vcr, cable, and extra. It could be used for anything, all I needed were a few RCA to F-type adapter and the old systems plugged right into them.

 

Old but there are switch boxes that can handle many inputs and work fine. RF were pretty simple, just 2 wires. It's not like HDMI that requires complex design just to gracefully toggle between 2 inputs.

 

PS a/v switch box will also work. Just use the same color code (say, all yellow) and put a male RCA to femals F-type on the output. Atari to yellow port of switch 1, Intellivision to yellow, switch 2. Coleco to yellow switch 3, etc and output yellow to TV. 5 switch box is fairly easy to find compared to RF box.

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I tried using a standard AV switch box prior to the RCA to F conversion initially, but perhaps because I live so close to the radio and television broadcast towers for my metro area (they are just blocks away) I would get signal but with all kinds of rolling distortion... I double checked that I had everything connected to the same color the whole way through. I also tried several different AV switch boxes that I had acquired though the years with the same result. It was hugely disappointing, because I wanted that to be the solution.

 

Do you remember the brand or anything identifying about the RF switch box that you used to have. Amazon and e-bay are filled with 2 way switches, which is where I'm at now anyway.

 

Thanks!

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The first thing I would say is...I was recently very surprised to see how much better my 7800 looked using a coaxial to RCA adapter with a good length of shielded RG6, as opposed to an RCA to coaxial adapter with ANY RCA cables. So basically this:

 

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and this:

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As opposed to this, which is what I think you are doing (forgive me if I am wrong, i sometimes mix up this terminology):

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I've always considered the 7800 one of the better RF systems I had (my other comparisons being my TG and Coleco) but this eliminated even the last little bits of fuzz/static.

 

So maybe they'd give you a better signal to start with, and then you could try doing what someone here suggested to me when I too was looking for an RF switch to run multiple systems into....just daisy chain them. Either through RF adapters that allow daisy chaining (I don't know what systems we're talking about but NES, SMS, Genesis and SNES RFs all do this) or by simply using couplers (or reversed splitters).

 

$_12.JPG

 

That's a splitter but I bought splitters at Radio Shakk and just reversed them (outs as ins, the in as the out), and they worked like combiners just fine. Might weaken the signal for sure but I imagine a switch does too.

 

This can lead to a messy setup (two of those would let you do 6 rf systems but you also need to run the outs of THOSE into ANOTHER "combiner" to get it down to one "master" cable)--but it also means you never have to hit any switch for your RF systems other than to get to that input on your TV. You just turn it on.

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I tried using a standard AV switch box prior to the RCA to F conversion initially, but perhaps because I live so close to the radio and television broadcast towers for my metro area (they are just blocks away) I would get signal but with all kinds of rolling distortion...

The tower isn't the problem really.

RF signal is well.. an ANTENNA signal. It is actually meant to radiate away by any way possible.

RCA signals are much "weaker".

Thus, most RCA switchers aren't properly shielded for carrying RF signals, because they are not meant for.

Unfortunately this is going to be true of most switch boxes.

Maybe a switchbox made of thick metal would help, but that's not even sure.

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Hey, thanks for all the responses. I figured that the issue was RF bleed and that a standard AV switch was going to give me problems, but I also did assume that the boradcast towers were not helping. I'll have to look into your advice GoldenWheels, I do have quite a bit of RG6 around here. This is what I'm looking at now:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Video-Master-Switch-Box-/181773805246?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a529026be

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Splitter/combiner can be used but you will need to make sure only 1 system is on at a time or you will get interference from 2 or more systems trying to feed signal into TV at the same time.

 

AV switch box can still be used, you could try using metal tape used for ducts (not duck tape, real metal tape) and cover the whole thing and connect the tape to common ground within the switch box. It might help shield the RF interference you get from nearby radio towers.

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Hey Atari 2008, I did have really good luck with the 2 way switch along the lines as my original post. I was able to have two of them tied to one master for the ability to have 4 systems selectable with no perceivable loss in quality... it was when I wanted to add a 5th system that complaints about how crazy it looked and how hard it was to figure out arose. If you are just wanting to switch between two devices, the two-way switch as pictured gets a high recommendation from me.

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Hey Atari 2008, I did have really good luck with the 2 way switch along the lines as my original post. I was able to have two of them tied to one master for the ability to have 4 systems selectable with no perceivable loss in quality... it was when I wanted to add a 5th system that complaints about how crazy it looked and how hard it was to figure out arose. If you are just wanting to switch between two devices, the two-way switch as pictured gets a high recommendation from me.

Hey SilvaHaloOne! Thank you for that recommendation. I see they have gold plated ones pretty cheaply on eBay. That should work perfectly for since I'm just trying to connect the antenna and the 2600. Hope your new arrangement works out for you! :)

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