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Help with Composite Mod


KEWROCK
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Hi guys.

I got a composite mod (red, white Yellow) from VintageGamingAndMore.com. on ebay. I installed it in a 2600 I got at at a flea market last week. I actually ordered it for my 7800, but figured I'd risk a $30 2600 first. If it worked I'd get a second for the 7800.

 

It was a pretty easy job, so I don't think I did anything wrong. But I'm disappointed in the results. I'm comparing quality from the modded 2600 and a 7800 with a 75ohm plug and a cleaned and lubed TV/Comp switchbox. The modded unit is dark, has color bleed and looks out of focus. Compared to the 7800 with 35 year old connection which aside from a little fuzzyness at the bottom of the screen looks fine. The unaltered 7800 has brighter, sharper colors, minimal bleed, and the sprites are more defined.

 

There is another Modder called Brighty83 that has a DIY tutorial online. He recommends removing a few resistors that my kit doesn't mention cutting. My kit just says to cut out the 3-legged transistor.

 

To the guys that have done this mod, what was your result?

 

Thanks.

 

Oh, BTW I finally got the cx40 rebuild kits from Brad at Best Elect. He had no more upgraded inner handles so I got the standard ones. But the PCB is really nice. It has a positive click to it that feels like microswitches instead of foil contacts. Really nice.

Edited by KEWROCK
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You can check for videos on Youtube which will corroborate your observations: Composite video is potentially only a baby step above RF. (It depends; if your RF signal is really bad and bleeds colors massively, as it does on my light-sixer, it could be a noteworthy improvement). You will still have crosstalk between chroma and luma (dot-crawl).

 

You would be very well-advised to abandon composite and shoot directly for svideo, which is the best you're going to get out of the 2600. It is just fine. The improvements svideo offers over composite are surely the most dramatic in the entire upgrade chain; RF to composite can be minimal, and svideo to component can be even more minimal (the true benefit of component is the potential for progressive video), but in jumping to svideo you get to ditch almost every major issue with analog video in one fell swoop. Personally, the only capacity in which I would ever consider composite video might have been if, say, a version of the 2600 had been released which came with composite-out. (I was disappointed to discover that nobody had bothered.)

 

If I had a heavy sixer, I would order the svideo mod this moment and prepare to crack out the soldering iron. But I'm not going to waste the resources on what I have.

 

Edit: I just noticed that somebody on these forums has put together an RGB mod. It's an interesting development - I'm not certain, but I suppose the video passed is progressive, making it a theoretically superior option to svideo (not just on paper). These days, it feels slightly more probable for a given TV to have RGB-in than svideo-in, unless the TV is 5+ years old. In any event, the mod includes svideo and composite.

Edited by Colmino
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I modded a Junior, only so it would be easier to hook up to my Sony Bravia in the living room. But the picture is not better. I bought another kit for my 7800. I did not do the install because the picture out of my 7800 (RF signal) on my CRT is outstanding. I got one of the last CRT TVs made (Samsung) and its picture is bright and wonderful as is. No need to modify. I like soldering irons as much as the next guy (gal), but sometimes it is good to leave well enough alone. If it ain't broke, put the freaking iron down!

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I was planning on doing a Composite mod this weekend to my 4-switch. I also got it from the bay - frompags35 though.
There is also one from retrofixes that i was looking at too.....but now I wonder if I should not do the upgrade.
So what is a good S-Video mod to get?

 

They all use the same two resistosrs and one transistor. The guy i got it from actually had his own board manufactured with his name on it.

Like I said, one guy that posted a tutorial had chopped out some stuff. And he was still the same three parts I got. And I read someplace else that if you don't cut some stuff out, the mod doesn't make a difference. So I don't know. My seller has not responded, and not really getting any answers here. So far I've wasted $30 on a console, $25 on the mod. $40 on two joystic rebuild kits, and I was going to get a Harmony Encore Cart. But if this is the end result, I'd rather just keep playing the emulator on my PC.

 

There is a component RGB mod, but it's a lot of work and very expensive. And I haven't seen much about S-video. I've seen some articles, but don't now where to buy a kit.

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I was planning on doing a Composite mod this weekend to my 4-switch. I also got it from the bay - frompags35 though.
There is also one from retrofixes that i was looking at too.....but now I wonder if I should not do the upgrade.

 

I'll just say that I personally wouldn't bother.

 

So what is a good S-Video mod to get?

 

As far as I had originally known, there was only ony svideo mod available. The name escapes me but Google leads you right to it. It includes the option to split the 2600's two channels into a simulated stereo, which I must say is very tempting because it really does add something to certain games, and it's easy enough to go back to mono with some simple rca wiring.

 

But now I know that there are apparently several options, including the one that's built into the RGB mod. And knowing what I now know, I'd probably opt for that. In fact I am sorely tempted. I suppose it depends on whether or not there would remain any possible benefit in getting one's hands on a heavy sixer, which I currently don't own.

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So far I've wasted $30 on a console, $25 on the mod. $40 on two joystic rebuild kits, and I was going to get a Harmony Encore Cart. But if this is the end result, I'd rather just keep playing the emulator on my PC.

 

There is a component RGB mod, but it's a lot of work and very expensive. And I haven't seen much about S-video. I've seen some articles, but don't now where to buy a kit.

 

Here is the svideo mod I had originally been looking at. It was easy enough to find with Google.

 

It's a shame you are only just now discovering how inadequate composite video truly is - better if you'd known in advance and hadn't pinned any hopes on it. Svideo can be plenty good, though, so don't give up on the physical 2600. I'm going through the same expenses you are, just because 2600 emulation is clearly never going to be finished. That's the trouble when only one entity is working on an emulator: Everyone else who might have worked on their own emulator decides not to bother, and if the extant emulator has shortcomings that never get fixed (like incomplete audio emulation), that's just the way it crumbles. Shrug. That's not good enough for me.

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Here is the svideo mod I had originally been looking at. It was easy enough to find with Google.

 

It's a shame you are only just now discovering how inadequate composite video truly is - better if you'd known in advance and hadn't pinned any hopes on it. Svideo can be plenty good, though, so don't give up on the physical 2600. I'm going through the same expenses you are, just because 2600 emulation is clearly never going to be finished. That's the trouble when only one entity is working on an emulator: Everyone else who might have worked on their own emulator decides not to bother, and if the extant emulator has shortcomings that never get fixed (like incomplete audio emulation), that's just the way it crumbles. Shrug. That's not good enough for me.

 

Yes, I've seen that one too. I decided to start with the A/V mod on my first upgrade. I like doing the mods - it's fun doing the tinkering and all, so i'm going to do it anyway. The cost is not too much. I'm in for $18 on the console, $50 for the upgrades (A/V and pause), and I had an LED handing around, so not too bad. Plus I'm going in a bit of a different direction with the external look. Some of the purists will hate me, but that's OK :P

It will be fun.

Then I will probably pick up another console and do the SVideo upgrade and compare all of them.

Edited by spawnshop
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Here is the svideo mod I had originally been looking at. It was easy enough to find with Google.

 

It's a shame you are only just now discovering how inadequate composite video truly is - better if you'd known in advance and hadn't pinned any hopes on it. Svideo can be plenty good, though, so don't give up on the physical 2600. I'm going through the same expenses you are, just because 2600 emulation is clearly never going to be finished. That's the trouble when only one entity is working on an emulator: Everyone else who might have worked on their own emulator decides not to bother, and if the extant emulator has shortcomings that never get fixed (like incomplete audio emulation), that's just the way it crumbles. Shrug. That's not good enough for me.

Actually, component video is usually completely adequate. If you still have any VCRs around. RF is terrible on a big screen. But if you use composite or S-Video, there is nearly no difference. And either is a huge improvement. That's why I don't really understand what went wrong. Could I have overheated any of the components during soldering? Should I have left the metal covers off, lie some people? Is there other resistors that should be chopped out? IDK, I wish the guy I bought it from answered my email.

Edited by KEWROCK
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Here is the svideo mod I had originally been looking at. It was easy enough to find with Google.

 

It's a shame you are only just now discovering how inadequate composite video truly is - better if you'd known in advance and hadn't pinned any hopes on it. Svideo can be plenty good, though, so don't give up on the physical 2600. I'm going through the same expenses you are, just because 2600 emulation is clearly never going to be finished. That's the trouble when only one entity is working on an emulator: Everyone else who might have worked on their own emulator decides not to bother, and if the extant emulator has shortcomings that never get fixed (like incomplete audio emulation), that's just the way it crumbles. Shrug. That's not good enough for me.

Yeah, that mod looks great, Stereo and brightness and contrast adjustments. That's my complaints with the mod I got. the picture is too dark

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Actually, component video is usually completely adequate. If you still have any VCRs around. RF is terrible on a big screen. But if you use composite or S-Video, there is nearly no difference. And either is a huge improvement.

 

In my experience as a semi-professional video editor and compositor, I have to offer a differing opinion. I stand by what I said. The upgrade from RF to composite can be noteworthy if your RF is unusually poor, but don't be surprised if it ends up being very minimal indeed. Moving from composite to svideo nets you a dramatic improvement - moreso than upgrading from svideo to RGB, in fact. These comparison screenshots should be plenty convincing.

 

I will add, however, that at least the upgrade to composite does free up the audio, so that much at least is improved.

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In my experience as a semi-professional video editor and compositor, I have to offer a differing opinion. I stand by what I said. The upgrade from RF to composite can be noteworthy if your RF is unusually poor, but don't be surprised if it ends up being very minimal indeed. Moving from composite to svideo nets you a dramatic improvement - moreso than upgrading from svideo to RGB, in fact. These comparison screenshots should be plenty convincing.

 

I will add, however, that at least the upgrade to composite does free up the audio, so that much at least is improved.

got that right. the sound is much better. Maybe you're right and I'm remembering wrong. Maybe it was RF and composit were close, and S-video was the big step up. It's been a few years since I've handled anything other than HDMI. I'm not into any other consoles. I play a few emulators when the mood hits me.

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Hey guys, i got my AV Mod from vintagegamingandmore.com together (well, just the board anyway,) and I do notice a difference. The picture is a bit sharper (but not a ton), and the sound is MUCH better.

Here is a side by side of the 2 screens (sorry, taken with my phone, but you get the idea). You can definitely see how the AV on the left is more crisp than the RF on the right.

it's not a huge difference in image, but I'm glad i did the mod. I'm really digging the better sound. Now for the pause install, and back into the casing!

 

gallery_43348_1481_1951957.jpg

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OK, so now I'm having an issue with the mod. It seems that the audio and video come through just fine, but when the audio goes on, the screen jitters and shutters. It gets really dark too, but only when audio plays.

It's really odd. When audio isn't coming through the system, the picture looks great. But when the audio goes through, the picture gets all screwy.
Any ideas? Bad mod chip?

I triple checked all of the solder joints, and everything seems OK on that end.

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Hmmm...a little more fooling around, and same issue.

This time I completely removed the Mod chip and hooked up the RF again. It seems to be ok, but had a bit of interference. Not the sound causing jitter though.

Then i reattached the mod chip and checked all the solder joints again, and I still get the weird jitter when the sound goes. Again, the video looks good when the game is silent, and the sound sounds OK. But when together, the image shutters/jitters.

Any suggestions?

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I just looked at the guide from the VintageGamingAndMore guide and I see it doesn't mention removing the R209 resistor. R209 also connects the audio video signals together.

 

OK< cool. I will try this as well.

I've double checked the TIA chips compared to a working non-modded system, and they seem to be OK.

If not this, I think I'll put this project on the backburner....LOL

 

(On a good side note - i did get my other Light sixer working! I diagnosed is was a bad A202 chip when i was verifying if the chips were bad or not)

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