View Full Version : Commodore 64 video RF output

07-10-2010, 08:35 PM
I got a Commodore 64C today. It doesn't have a composite cable so I plan to use RF to connect it to my TV.

I did so using a master system rf adapter. The picture was pretty fuzzy. I tried a nes one and it was worse. I think that the problem is that the video output isn't strong enough to completely activate an automatic switchbox like the nes/sms.

Am I right? I had a similar problem with an atari 7800 for which I had to get an old manual switchbox.

Does anyone with more c64 experience think that Im right? Or is my c64 buggered?

07-10-2010, 09:35 PM
It all depends.

I used to use an NES rf switch on a C64, no problem.

My guess is you're getting interference somewhere.

You're better off taking the route of buying some AV cables for it. They're usually like 8-12$.

If you're good at it, you can just make your own. You only need to find the pin-outs for the AV jack and wire it up.

07-10-2010, 10:53 PM
AV cables are the way to go, but otherwise just use a nice RF cable without a switchbox or even a composite RCA-type cable with a phono to F-jack adapter. Otherwise you will get lots of interference with the thing, especially with automatic switchboxes.

07-11-2010, 06:06 AM
Thanks guys I contacted the seller asking her to check and see whether they had the av cables.

In the meantime I'll have to check for software. It came with discs a lotnof which are blank and messed up.

08-24-2010, 11:15 PM
Hi guys quick update I got some AV cables from a UK ebay vendor. They were cheap ($10 maybe) with cheap shipping.

The picture now look AWESOME. I never used GEOS back in the day, but now that I can see what I'm doing it really is incredible. Very impressive given the hardware its running on.

Thanks again guys.

08-25-2010, 02:31 PM
Whoops, looks like I'm late to the party here... but you can actually get S-Video out of the C64 without any hardware hacking. The signals are right on the video connector.


08-25-2010, 07:41 PM
So you just need a different cable or what?

08-26-2010, 01:23 PM
Basically, yeah. Back when the C64 and 1702 monitor were released, Commodore used a special connection they called "Separated Video", which is Luma and Chroma on two RCA connectors. It just so happens that the signals are the same as S-Video (S-Video didn't really exist back then). So, while "official" S-Video cables were never released, it's relatively straight-forward to hack together your own cables to do the job. In theory, this is the best way to hook up a C64... but I'm not sure how much better the picture would really be, so probably not worth it since you already have a cable.

In fact, I have a 1084S that supports separated video, so I eventually made a female S-Video to 2x RCA cable so I could attach S-Video sources to it. Works great.