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I got my C64!
And my TV!
And the power supply for the C64!

But one of these things (or possibly more than one of them) is not working, and I have no way to figure out which, because I only have one thing with RF out, and only one thing with BNC/coax/RF in, and one power supply for the commodore.

So, tomorrow I’ll hit up some thrift stores and buy some extra gizmos for testing (assuming local thrift stores have anything I can use for testing.)

Andrew Roach @ajroach42

Ideally I’ll find a TV and a VCR. I can use the TV to test the commodore and the VCR to test the other TV.

Plus the VCR will have RCA outputs, so I can use it to capture RF signals with my capture card.

Of course, that will only help me narrow things down. It is still possible that my power supply for the c64 is bad (it’s a new aftermarket part from c64 forever) or that there’s something wrong with the cable setup I’m trying to use.

But I won’t know anything without more inputs.

@ajroach42 You just need something with a composite output, right? Don't older RPis have a composite output?

Yes. Newer ones also have 2 unpopulated pins for adding one. The CHIP also has composite out.

@kelbot @freakazoid The new ones have composite out too, if you've got the right adapter.

I might have the right adapter. Let me check :-)

@freakazoid is BNC just composite? I thought it was RF. If it's composite, then that explains the problem.

@ajroach42 What device has a BNC connector on it? The typical composite connector is just a slip-on style. RF is usually either two screws or whatever that screw-on 75 ohm connector is. I've mostly seen BNC used for component video.

@freakazoid The TV has BNC input.

The C64 has RF output over RCA.

So I stuck an RCA to BNC adapter on the end and got no result, leading me to believe that something in the chain is busted.

GOing to hit the thrift store after this all hands and see what I can find.

@ajroach42 Oh, right, the composite output requires the DIN cable. The RF output needs to be hooked up to the cable or antenna connector on the TV, which will probably either be screws (easy to just cut a cable to connect to those) or an "F" connector.

@freakazoid Right. So I have the RF output + an RCA>coax adapter, like I used for my Atari 2600.

But the TV I got only has BNC inputs, and appears to be non-functional.

So I'm going to get a different TV and try that.

@freakazoid It's a little sony Triniton PVM. Originally part of a mobile broadcast rig.

I thought it had Coax and BNC inputs when I bought it, or I wouldn't have bothered with it.

I was mistaken.

@ajroach42 From looking at units with that name and usage on eBay, that looks like it's an NTSC monitor, which is what the "high end" monitor for the C64 was. I'd suggest sticking with that and making or buying a cable to plug into the Commodore's A/V port, since that'll give you composite out as well as the separate chroma & luma outputs used by the C64 monitor (which might even be supported by the Sony?)

@freakazoid So the TV does work, and is composite.

So I don't need another TV, I just need a tuner or a VCR until I can get a composite out for the C64.

@ajroach42 Aah! I'd forgotten that VCRs have built-in tuners! I remember engaging in all kinds of hacks like that back when I was in middle school.

I see a bunch of stories of people disabling their RF modulators, even to get composite out, but I wouldn't think that would be necessary. Seems like it might be a video quality hack.

@freakazoid Yeah, that's probably just about reducing interference.

@ajroach42 I'm pretty sure I just assumed that jack was composite out, since my mom got me a monitor with my C64 so I never had to use it. I still have the C64 but I lost, broke, or discarded the monitor at some point.

@ajroach42 This has convinced me to get a new monitor and I found one for <$200 with free shipping on ebay so I bought it ;-)

@freakazoid @ajroach42
I picked up this little battery-powered TV at a local electronics shop for ~$15. It has composite and RF in. It's perfect for this kind of thing.

@paradroyd @ajroach42 Cute! I've never seen that before. I didn't even realize they made battery powered CRTs that large, though I'm guessing that entire base is the battery? Gel cell or something?

@freakazoid @ajroach42 @paradroyd Those were a pretty common thing, they basically all took eight D cells... never wanted to run them on alkalines unless you had to, though, I mean, who wants to burn EIGHT D CELLS (and IIRC it didn't last long either) on a 5" B&W TV?
@freakazoid @ajroach42 @paradroyd Although, Sony has put rechargeable batteries in some of the smaller Trinitrons, if you want COLOR and small with a battery, especially the 5" ones (also the 8" PVMs)...

@bhtooefr @paradroyd @freakazoid The TV I picked up is an 8” PVM. We’ll s r how that goes.

@bhtooefr @freakazoid @ajroach42

According to the box, yep..8 D cells.

But again, a little under $15 and quite usable with the 12V adapter. For the random purposes I have for it, it more than fits the bill.

@freakazoid @ajroach42 Pretty sure it's just plain-old C cells. I'll take a look at it when I get back home and double check.

I used it with an external 12V supply last time I had it out.

@paradroyd @freakazoid @ajroach42 That's pretty nifty, but it seems like it would eat through batteries pretty quickly? I didn't know they made battery powered TVs. =)

@jerephil @freakazoid @ajroach42 I'm sure it would. I've only used it with the 12V supply. That works fine for my purposes.

@paradroyd @ajroach42 @freakazoid Cool. I had one of those when I was a kid. Department stores sold them for originally around $50 but I recall seeing them as cheap as $20. This was probably around 1999 or 2000.

@paradroyd @freakazoid @ajroach42 I have the same TV! I got it for $4 at a thrift store in Georgia last year.

@freakazoid :-D

I’ll report back on my experiences with my floppy emulator and my WiFi modem.

@ajroach42 I'm definitely interested to hear about this, since I seem to have thrown out all my old C64 disks :(

@freakazoid I should get my composite cable next week, and might be able to find a VCR this weekend.

Modem came in yesterday. Floppy emulator due in today or tomorrow.

I’ll report back when I know stuff.

The TV works fine, but only accepts composite inputs.

The commodore can do composite out, but not with the cables I have.

The commodore can also do RF out, but I have nothing that can take an RF signal, much less convert it to composite.

I’ll hit local thrift stores for a VCR this weekend.

(And I’ve already ordered the right video output cable.)

@ajroach42 You can build a composite AV cable with a 5 pin DIN plug if you're comfortable soldering. Y/C needs an unusual 8 pin.

@ieure comfortable soldering, but not currently equipped to. Just ordered the cable instead. I’ll be patient.