How to connect an Atari 2600 to a TV using the RF / Antenna cable

Many people have problem finding the correct channel for an old Atari2600, here’s a tutorial how to find the channel manually.

Useful information first:

The Atari 2600 VCS needs at least 6v dc. You can use more to be sure, let’s say 7-9v DC. The internal regulator reduces the input voltage to the needed voltage,but you shouldn’t go to far away from the original 6v.

The polarity is important:

center = “+”
outside = “-”

The power should be about 500mA, but even 300mA should work. My original power adapter is not powerful enough (anymore!?) and I’m using a generic multi-power supply instead.

Generic power supply

TV configuration if you use the antenna/RF connector of the Atari 2600VCS

  1. On my old CRT, I open the menu to configure the current channel
  2. I chose “manual programming”
  3. Western EU (or whatever region you are)
  4. 61Mhz ! (channel 3 is 61.25Mhz. Channel 2 should be around 55.25 Mhz)
  5. Finetune around the 61Mhz until you get the best picture quality !
TV antenna menu

TV antenna menu

TV fine tuning at 61Mhz

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