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2600 jr video quality issue

Chris S

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I recently picked up a 2600 Jr (large rainbow) to complement my light sixer. However upon hooking up the Jr I noticed the video output was considerably more fuzzy and grainy than my sixer. I’m using a standard RCA audio cable and tried both sides of it (red and white) with the same result. I’m feeding to my flat screen via RF to coaxial adapter the same way I did with the sixer but the sixer output is crystal clear. I’m wondering if I need to try a different cable or is this just a trait with the Jr. 

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Junior models don't have anything different than the sixer you mention other than the difference in switches and a smaller overall size.  You might try a few things to make sure it is in fact your Junior model.

  1. Try an actual 2600 RF cable.  These have a thick shielding that RCA audio cables don't have.
  2. If you have a LOT of electronics, especially a desktop or laptop computer, on the same circuit that the Junior model is sharing a power outlet with move the Junior to it's own power outlet with little to no electronics on that circuit.  Seriously, use a different power outlet other than one used by a computer.  PCs and laptops cause most major interference with Atari consoles.
  3. Keep the 2600/Junior models away from any kind of computer equipment.  These WILL cause undesired interference.  
  4. Try Junior on a different RF channel (2 or 3).

Older game and computer consoles using RF modulation are getting more and more where interference is common.  The cause of most of it is due to the modern technology we have now that was not present when the 2600 was designed.  Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, modern console wireless controllers, modern consoles in general (360 and above) all play a part in those interference problems.  As stated by Atari once in the past the device (meaning the 2600 in this case) transmits RF signals and must be able to transmit and receive signals that can cause undesired operation in either a nearby device or the 2600 itself as set by FCC rules and regulations.  Even those rules state to try to relocate either the cause of the signal or the 2600 itself. 

It makes sense that the Junior model is detecting interference that your sixer is not.  Junior models lack the extra layer of shielding that your sixer does so I would bet that it is something in your house close by causing the problem.  Try it in a different room where there are no other electronics running besides the Junior model and TV of some sort if you can.  

Worst case scenario may be your Junior model has a faulty capacitor designed to absorb most of that interference.  But I would save that as a last ditch effort if nothing else solves the problem.   Hope this helps.  Post pics of the screen if you can if nothing I've mentioned here works.

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I second what kamakazi20012 has said.  One addition.  Try a different power adapter.  You can use the one your sixer uses. 

With a fuzzy RF signal, I've found many times it's an old or bad RF adapter that was giving off the interference. 

Good luck, and let us know what you find!



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I switched the video channel selector from 2 to 3 and it improved slightly so I think I might have a dirty switch. I also ordered a RF specific video cable so I’m hoping that clears things up. There are other devices around it so it may be picking up interference from those. Thanks for your help. 

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I agree with RickR.  Standard RCA cables of most kinds lack any kind of shielding because they don't really need it.  Clean the switch, try a different AC Adapter, use an actual RF cable (not an RCA cable), relocate either the equipment around your 2600 or relocate the 2600 itself.  I'd use those steps in a process of elimination.  If the problem still exists try eliminating small desk lamps, fans (like box fans), or anything with an electrical motor simply by turning them off for a second to see if the 2600 has any changes.  Also, some kitchen appliances can also cause interference especially microwaves.  I know my laptop causes interference with my 2600 four-switcher.  Once I turn the laptop off the interference goes away.  But, these machines are old and we have tech now we didn't have before as I mentioned earlier.  Just trying to give you a list of ideas to try that are based on my experiences.  Keep them in mind when everything else fails.    

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