Atari 5200 hook up, why is this such a problem?
Then came the first video game consoles. Technically they're "pressure terminal connectors", but they're typically called spade lugs, even though a spade lug is the proper name for a different connector.
The pictures below show you everything. Originally they were intended to connect to the screws on the back of a TV. This is where the antenna wire that used to go straight to the TV would be connected.
It was suited for the coaxial cables that cable TV systems used to distribute their signals, as opposed to the flat twin lead cables commonly used on TV antennas. I'll describe both, and I'll save the background info on why this is such a pain for Page 2.
First, a brief overview.
Atari, however, decided to use an RCA connector on the end of its cable, then have that connect to the TV through a switchbox. Especially since a cable service tech wasn't going to be around until after the show they wanted to watch now.
The Switchbox Solution In the picture above, the twinlead that comes out of the switchbox connects to two screws on a transformer. If you don't at least have this connection, you have our sympathy. Composite The first thing you need to do is figure out what type of connection you're going to make.
It's worth noting that most households of the time did not have extra TVs sitting around.
No VCRs, no cable boxes, no satellite dishes. Then, if you're interested, I go into the gory details of some of the history of consumer electronics, connectors, and video signals. For the first time, the ordinary consumer had a way of putting something on their own TV.
Let's just say that the change from a flat twin lead wire to a coaxial wire will cause a lot of the signal to be lost unless you use a special component called a matching transformer. Cablevision's Connector Choice Cable television introduced a new connector to the consumer, the 'F' connector.
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The game hooks up to the RCA input jack on the top of the switchbox, the twin-lead switchbox's output is connected to a more common type of 75 ohm to ohm transformer also called a 'balun', which is the specific type of the transformer. To get true composite signals, you will need to be handy with a soldering iron and modify your Atari internally.
The matching transformer lets the signal go smoothly from one type of wire to another. They put out a video signal that simulates a broadcast TV signal.
So long as the reception was good, the wind didn't blow over your antenna mast or spark plug noise from nearby vehicles didn't wash out signals from the TV stations, reception was good and life was good.
So even if you have a switchbox you may want to set it aside and connect with one of these adapters. They're not quite like modern game systems, and may require something extra to connect it to that brand new TV you have. Just connect it to the RCA cable of the game system, then plug the other end into the coaxial "cable" jack on the TV.
But Atari 5200 hook up RCA connector is cleaner looking, and easier to connect and disconnect. A television or satellite TV store would be a likely source for the adapter.