How to Make an RF Adapter

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Introduction: How to Make an RF Adapter

About: I'm a mechanic mostly working with small engines, but I also fix larger cars and trucks. I'm only really interested in practical projects that benefit people, and have a useful function in life.

This is A simple RF adapter. It can be used for old video game systems and, basically anything that has an RF output. If its made properly you can get no interference on the channel. It can also be made out of stuff you and everyone else probably already has in there junk drawer! For novice makers, it should take about 7 minutes. This adapter turns an RF output into a coax output, just so you may know. Let's get started.

Step 1: About RF.

If you were born after 1990, you probably don't even know what RF is. RF is basically an old-fashioned way of connecting your video game console and/or VCR to A TV, if you know what A VCR is. Above is a picture of A RF output on the Atari 2600 Jr. There is not much more to say about it besides that. Let's get making!

Step 2: What You Will Need

To make this RF adapter, you will need the following: 1. An RCA cable. The length is up to you. 2. A coaxial cable. 3. A female to female RCA adapter, which is 75¢ on eBay. 4. electrical tape. 5. A knife. 6. Needle nose pliers. That's about it on our shopping list. Let get to it!

Step 3: Time to Assemble

Repeat the following steps.

1. Take coaxial cable and cut at least 3" away from the screw on connector.

2. Take RCA cable (There all the same on the inside) and do the same as on the coaxial cable. You can make this as long as you want to.

3. Strip both wires 1" from the cut point. On both cables under the first layer of plastic, there are usually silver wires although colors may vary. these are the negative wires. the wire which is usually under a white coating of plastic (This is the positive wire and the plastic is to keep the positive and negative wires separate) strip off that plastic between the two wires and keep the wires separate. For more details on these wires, feel free to ask any questions or use A search engine.

4. Use the needle nose pliers to make A u in the coaxial cable positive wire. (picture 6).

5. twist the positive wires of both cables together. (picture 7).

6. Pull the negative wires back so that they do not come in contact with the positive wires. Afterwards, take about 2" of electrical tape and tape around the positive wires. (pictures 8 and 9).

7. Now once the positive wires are taped up, pull the negative wires over the electrical tape covering the positive wires so that the negative wires of both cables are touching. Afterwards tape around the negative wires like you did for the positive wires an tape around these until you think this cable you just made won't pull apart any time soon. (pictures 10, 11 and 12).

Step 4: Your Done!

All you need to do is use that female to female RCA adapter when your playing Atari, and just take it off if you want to play the NES. Now you can feel free to play Space Invaders (I am not referring to siblings) without some huge box hanging out of the back of your TV. I mean it! Space Invaders with no siblings...er strings attached!

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16 Comments

0
mortenlc
mortenlc

5 years ago

Hi. Thanx for sharing...

Forgive me for being a noob, but how can this work? Isn't the RF signal is based on modulation. how does it know how to get the right frequency....?

oh, and how about sound. Do you just play without?

best Regards

Morten

0
gaston3000gt1
gaston3000gt1

Reply 3 months ago

Your TV's antenna coaxial "in" circuits inside the tv processes and separates the signal coming in from the RF cable that only has two wires that carries both signals together which are sent by the game console. So basically your TV does the work to process the signals.

0
gaston3000gt1
gaston3000gt1

Reply 3 months ago

By signals I mean video and sound at the same time. They both will work on your TV after it processes them.

0
DerStu
DerStu

Reply 5 years ago

as a person who also owns a 2600 the sound and video are both carried by the same cable, on an NES you would need to rig something else for sound

0
Darzen
Darzen

Reply 5 years ago

That's OK :)

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mortenlc
mortenlc

Reply 5 years ago

oh sorry... my bad.... misread the type of connector in the opposite end of the RF... of course this works. *facepalm to self*.

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ThatStreamerGuy
ThatStreamerGuy

1 year ago

Yo, so I have a NES Family Computer (AKA Famicom). I have it rigged to my tv with a RF Swtich. Works Fine. I am trying to make the RF analogue signal a Digital signal (Coaxial) to be recorded by a capture card. This would work for my console, correct? What would be ten times better is if one of you could explain how to make it become a component cord (easier to find capture cards).

1
alex.s.bassett
alex.s.bassett

Question 1 year ago

Would this work for the rf out on a Sega genesis?

0
Darzen
Darzen

Answer 1 year ago

I see no reason for it to not work.

0
AnthonyV68
AnthonyV68

4 years ago

Just made this worked the first time without problems still works :D.

0
mikemmcmeans
mikemmcmeans

5 years ago

i remember taking apart my stock atari cable and seeing an impedance matching transformer and capacitors, similar to a 75-300 ohm baulin for tv antennas.

how well does your setup function without this???

0
Darzen
Darzen

Reply 4 years ago

Sorry for taking so long. I don't know much about how this works. I do know that the Atari 2600 outputs on channels 2 or 3 and if amplified you can actually send the audio and video signals wirelessly to the TV. (You can read more about this in another Instructable) So I imagine that the transformer is somehow built-in to the Atari or the TV. This homemade cable works well if not better than the stock Atari transformer with no interference.

0
Darzen
Darzen

Reply 5 years ago

This is the adapter I got the idea from.

temp_42117686.jpg
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Darzen
Darzen

Reply 5 years ago

I do not really know how this works but where I got my idea was from classic game room on YouTube. The episode was How to buy and hook up an Atari. He showed an old fashioned RF adapter for the Atari 2600, and then showed A modern RF adapter which basically goes from straight from coax to RCA. In step 4/5 is A pure, unedited picture of me using the adapter I made to play space invaders. All I can tell you is that it works really well! : )

0
Darzen
Darzen

5 years ago

From all of my knowledge of electronics, even though A coaxial cable is considered to only be one cable, there are actually 2 sets of wires on the inside. 1 for video and 1 for audio. Its the same for RCA. This is why I love coax connection so much. RCA and coax cables are basically all the same on the inside. So this is simply showing how to connect the positive wires to the positive wires, and the negative to negative. Thanks for reading!

0
mikemmcmeans
mikemmcmeans

Reply 5 years ago

coax is still only a 2 conductor cable. it carries both audio and video on the same conductors just at different frequencies, or different modulations. the same way TV is broad cast