Jump to content

Using a composite switchbox for RF systems


Recommended Posts

Just thought I'd share.

I want to have all of my classic systems out and available to play.  But I'm not sure about an RF switchbox.  My 7800, Intellivision, and Colecovision all use RF (not composite). 


My theory was that I could use a good-old plentiful composite switchbox (the kind with yellow/white/red connections).  Just hook the RF cables into the yellow connectors, then yellow out to an RF adapter. 


But alas, it does not work.  I tried several different switchboxes and an RF amplifier.  The switch boxes just add too much interference.  The pictures is fuzzy even with the highest quality cables. 


Sharing so that no one else has to bother with this experiment.  It does not work.


So I'm now using two 2-position antenna sliders.  It works, but it's a little cumbersome.  They look like this:




What solutions are you guys using for this? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an "ARCHER Amplified Video Selector"  like this radio-shack-archer-amplified-video-selec


5 inputs, 3 outputs , on one of the outputs you can only view 4 of the inputs


there's a push button one on e-bay at this post that might go cheap http://www.ebay.com/itm/archer-amplified-video-selector-/112581209503?hash=item1a365ced9f:g:V9oAAOSwe1BZzScv


good to know other thing don't work

Edited by chas10e
Link to comment
Share on other sites

More experimentation.  I've found an interesting solution.  I can't believe it works, but it does.  I took a standard cable splitter and installed it backwards.  Three "outputs" become "inputs" for my systems.  I attached an RF adapter to each one.  Then the original "input" becomes an "output" to the TV antenna-in. 


The picture quality is shockingly good.  You just have to make sure only one system is on at a time or the picture gets very scrambled. 


I'm not sure if there's any downside to this.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

That looks like it works to me!  If there is any downside to that it would have to be one of the game consoles sending a signal to the others not in use.  You could also almost double your inputs by placing a second splitter on one of the three outs of the first splitter, thus giving you three more inputs should you need them.  


Not for RF uses but I use an RCA switchbox for composite and s-video stuff.  The nice features it has are any composite signals (yellow) are also sent out the s-video out.  It also has an headphone jack for sending out audio signals which I use to capture game sounds in videos I make.  SECRET:  For converting RF signals to composite I use a Hi-Fi VCR with a single RF in cable with a direct-connect piece so I can connect any RF console or computer to it at will.  I use the VCR for the conversion and have it patched into the RCA switchbox.  It may seem like overkill but it gets the job done for when signals are getting interference.  Otherwise I will just direct-connect them to the RF in on my 20" Sanyo CRT Flatscreen.  It some how can strengthen the signal so there is little to no interference.  It's been a great investment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing Rick! I'm going to be facing this dilemma myself as I'm going to have my 7800 and Intellivision both connected to my CRT in my downstairs living room soon, and it would be nice to have them both connected and usable.


Luckily our CV is modded for composite so I won't face that scenario with it.


Slightly off topic but somewhat relevant: What do you guys do about power transformers for all the systems? Do you just have them plugged into a power strip, then switch the strip on/off when done using? I want to have everything plugged in so I don't have to plug/unplug systems all the time, but I don't want them all receiving constant power as I want to save wear and tear on the transformers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I do the power strip (with surge suppression) and switch it off when done playing.  I get the kind that has a lighted power switch, which makes it easier to remember to turn it off.   The downside is that you have to leave the power strip somewhat visible, and that's kind of an ugly looking thing.  But better to be safe than sorry I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use rca splitters only one has a rca to coax going to the tv, the rest just have the rf cable going into an rca.  I have at least 6 systems hooked up at once to the single coax input. 

So just plain old splitters, not switchboxes, right?  Post a picture if you can, please!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ended up buying the Archer unit from Ebay from chas10e's link (Thank you very much!)

It works very nicely.  And it's HEAVY.  5 inputs.  Perfectly clear picture and sound with an amplifier built right in. 


By the way, I bought a 10 pack of the little screw-in RF adapters for a cheap price from a Chinese seller on ebay...and they shipped from California!  I had them in just a few days. 


The plain splitter worked, but I think I feel better using a real switchbox -- to avoid any potential feedback to the other systems that are connected. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...