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Video Cable Specs?


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I'm trying to repair an Atari 2600 for a friend. It's a 6 switch woodie, date inside is 1980, no clue if heavy version or not. I don't know much about these, don't think I've played with one in 20 years, and never before opened one up.


Found couple problems so far. First was power, which a couple spots of solder on the power jack terminals took care of. Now I was able play it a bit but the video's awful.


I don't have good continuity through the video cable shielding, cable's been crunched. Moving the bad spot around makes the picture come and go, but it's very difficult to get a decent picture that way. No picture at all using an audio cable with RCA plugs on both ends, it is either wrong impedance, the signal does need the shielding, or both.


I'd rather not splice it if I can make or find a replacement. Any suggestions for building a new cable? What's the cable impedance? Something I could pick up at radio shack would be great.


Thank you

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I never did find out the cable specs, but will post what I did in case anyone else can use the info. Best Electronics did sell it, but they have a $20 minimum order and I only needed a $5 part.


I ended up using Radio Shack 24 ft Audio/Video Cable - low loss coax with RCA type phono connectors. Part number is 15-1539, 24' is $6.99. Available in 6' and 24', no 12' at least at the store I was at. Salesman was not willing to look it up for me, just told me it was not available, and this not on their site that I could find.


This cord has rather large molded plugs. I had trouble getting a solid connection on the circuit board end, so I ended up tie wrapping it to the flange where the shielded box attaches. I had to bend part of the plug strain relief to get the contact right for a good picture, I think the center contact might not be quite right for this, possibly why I've seen references to "long plug". The tie wraps are holding that in position too. That thing's not going anywhere now.


The hardest part was actually getting the other plug through the bottom of the case, the plug is ever so slightly larger than the hole. I did have a spare RCA plug if I couldn't do it, but finally was able to get it. The only way I could get it was I first pulled a loop of coax through from the inside, then kind of nudged it off to the side into a notch on the case hole. I was then able to pull the plug through backwards by grabbing the molded, strain-relief part of the plug with pliers and wiggled it through. If the bottom case is in bad shape and brittle, I can imagine this might possibly crack it, but the one I have here is in excellent condition and held up fine. If you try this, having a spare plug just in case is a good idea in case you give up and need to cut off the plug or it gets damaged. I don't think that strain relief is built for this kind of force, it does look a bit battered now.


I know it sounds a bit micky mouse, but it worked for me. The thing is fixed and working well, I now have one more christmas present ready!

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